Frequently asked questions about personal injury claims

What is a Personal Injury Claim?-

In scenarios where a person is involved in an accident * that was not their fault and sustains an injury as a result of that accident, they may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim *.

There are many different scenarios that could lead to a claim, most common of which are:
Accident at work
Occupational Injury
Road Traffic Accident
Car Accidents
Accident in a public place
Accident on Holidays
Accident on a Flight
Accidents involving children
Medical Negligence

Each scenario and case will be different, therefore, it is important that you contact a personal injury solicitor * as soon as possible after the accident to discuss your case.

How do I start a personal injury claim *?-

The first step in making a claim, after you have spoken with a solicitor, is to submit an application to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim. You will be required to complete an Injuries Board Form A in order to start the claims process.  Your solicitor can gather the relevant documents needed (medical reports, Gardaí reports etc.,) do this on your behalf.

What is the procedure for accidents * involving children?-
A child is considered any person under the age of 18. Legally, a minor cannot engage a solicitor and make a claim this leaves two options for making a claim:
The child’s parent/guardian can proceed with a claim on the child’s behalf
The child can proceed with the claim themselves when they turn 18 years of age
In scenario 1 where the case is settled before the child reaches 18 years age, the settlement amount awarded to the child is held by the courts and can be paid out when the child reaches 18 years of age, by way of an application to the court.

My claim has been submitted to the Injuries Board – What happens next?-
Once the Injuries Board have received your application they have a period of 9 months in which to assess your claim. Once assessed, the Injuries Board will revert back to you and the person at fault with a suggested compensation amount to be paid to you. At this stage, one of two scenarios will come to pass:
If both parties agree on the settlement amount, the Injuries Board will issue an order to Pay and the compensation amount will be paid to you.
If either party disagree on the compensation amount, then your case moves to the next stage – you have 6 months to issue court proceedings.

Will I have to go to court?-
Every case is different, and each case comes to resolution differently. In the majority of personal injury cases *, the person making the claim will not step foot into a courtroom.
It is possible that the person at fault will seek to settle outside of court with and your case will be settled in settlement meeting attended by you, your solicitor and barrister to negotiate your settlement. At the end of the
Ultimately, it is entirely up to you whether to accept the settlement offered. If you do not accept then it will move to a court hearing where a judge will decide how much your settlement will be.

How is compensation calculated?-
A compensation amount is calculated by taking into account the following aspects:
Loss of wages, if absent from work due to injury
Future loss of earnings, if absent from work for a long period of time
Medical expenses resulting from the injury
Future medical expenses resulting from the injury
Out of pocket expenses

In order to calculate compensation for you, the Injuries Board will refer to the Book of Quantum. The Book of Quantum shows value ranges of compensation amounts that have been awarded to people for injuries to specific parts of their bodies. Each of the average compensation amounts found in the book is taken from real personal injury cases * (over 51,000 in total) from the years 2014-2015.

Can psychological injury * be claimed?-
Psychological injuries * can be claimed but are a little more difficult to be proven. It is important to have as much medical evidence as possible when claiming a psychological injury. While there are many types of psychological injuries, these types of injuries usually appear in the following scenarios:
Where a person witnesses a particularly traumatising event
In cases of workplace harassment/bullying in the workplace
Medical negligence – the actions or inactions of a medical practitioner.
The most common of psychological injury is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In order to show these types of injuries a medical evidence will be required, i.e. doctors reports, psychiatrists’ reports, for example.

How long do I have following an accident to make a personal injury claim *?-
Immediately following an accident, making a claim * may not be at the top of your agenda, focusing on your recovery is most important.
It is important to note that in Ireland there is a time limit in which you can make a personal injury claim *. This time limit is called the statute of limitations and states that a case must be started within two years from the date of the accident.
It is important to discuss your case with a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident, because any attempt to start a personal injury case * after the two-year mark may not be pursuable.
However, there are some exceptions to this two-year rule and the two-year time limit does not apply in the following scenarios where:
The injured person was under the age of 18 (a minor) at the time of the accident – a parent or guardian bring a case forward on behalf of the child or alternatively the child can start the case when they turn 18. In this case, the two-year time limit will start when the child turns 18 years of age.
A person did not know or could not have known that they were injured for some time after the accident.
A person did not know or could not know who had injured them/who has caused the accident.
Once an application to the Injuries Board for assessment has been filed and a letter from the Injuries Board is issued to acknowledge your claim the clock stops of the two-year time limit and will restart as a soon as the case moves forward to court proceedings.

What information will I need for my solicitor to make a claim?-
In order for your solicitor to proceed with a personal injury claim * for you they will need the following information:
Details of the person who caused the accident.
Names, addresses and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
Where available, photographs of the location of the accident, paying particular attention to the item or area where the accident happened.
Name of Gardaí/police and station where the accident was reported – names of any Gardai who attended the scene of the accident (where applicable)
Medical records detailing any injuries/treatment following the accident
Details of any costs incurred following the accident (keep your receipts)
Details of any loss of earnings and details of any future loss of earnings if you are to be out of work for a long period of time.
Cost of medical treatment – details of future medical treatment needed.
What does no win no fee mean?-

Solicitors fees are based on a number of factors:
Complexity and urgency of your case
Paperwork involved- the amount of paperwork, medical records etc., that need to be obtained and examined
The amount of time spent by the personal injury solicitor and their legal assistant on the matter
Skill, knowledge and expertise
Whether costs can be recovered from the other side will play a role in whether you will have to pay legal fees or whether the other side will have to pay them for you.

Speaking with a solicitor is the best first step you can take if you are concerned about legal fees, they will explain to you exactly how it all works and put your mind at ease.
You may find some many solicitors operate on a no win no fee basis which means that if your personal injury claim * is not successful then there is no charge to you. It is important to note that while this is a common practice in the industry the Law Society of Ireland regulate how a solicitor’s firm can advertise their services, one of these regulations is that a solicitor’s firm cannot advertise ‘no win no fee’ services and any solicitor found to be advertising these serves will be found to be in breach of the regulations. Keep this in mind when choosing your solicitor to represent you.

Do I need a Personal Injury Solicitor * to make a claim?-
This is a common question for people making a personal injury * claim. It would be better phrased, ‘Should I use Personal Injury * Solicitor to make a claim?’ The answer most definitely is yes.
Insurance companies may advise you that you can pursue a claim for your injuries through the injuries board. In Ireland, it is possible to bring a claim for personal injury * yourself through the Injuries Board (formerly known as PIAB) or for road traffic accidents *, the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Making a personal injury claim * yourself is actually a lot more involved in a claim than you may realise. Not following procedure or making the right moves at the right time could be detrimental to your case and leave you with no grounds for a claim for compensation.
The Injuries Board and MIBI were set up to assist people in making claims without the need for a solicitor. The reality is that the majority of people make a claim with a solicitor because the likelihood of greater compensation is higher.

We give legal advices in Russian. If you need legal help contact Emilia 087 165 1564

Tracey Solicitors
16/17 St. Andrew Street
Dublin 2

T: 01 649 9900 – Reception
T: 087 165 1564 – Russian

W: https://www.traceysolicitors.ie/en/multilingual-legal-services/russian/
W: https://www.traceysolicitors.ie/en/

*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

 

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