Personal Injury Law*
If you are reading this, you may have been personally injured* in an accident and are now questioning what your legal options are.
If you have been injured as a result of the actions of someone else, you will have suffered what is termed a Tort, which is a civil wrong, which basically means you will have a right to seek a legal remedy for this wrong. Tort law is there to protect people from harm and injury and attach legal responsibility to anyone who causes the harm.
Area’s of Personal Injury Claims
Any type of accident can be covered by tort law, such as, if you have an accident in a car, or as a pedestrian or an accident at work.
As we all know, your health is your wealth. We can all take this for granted sometimes until we are unwell.
If you have been in an accident and are injured and someone else caused your accident, you should be compensated for the injury and the disturbance to your life. This disturbance could be loss of work, loss of a hobby or various other things. A real life example could be a chef who especially needs his hands for work and one day, while driving home, he is hit by another car and suffers an injury to his hand.
If you take proceedings against the party who has caused your injury and it goes to Court, the Judge hearing the case will consider the extent of the pain and discomfort caused to you by your injury and in addition will consider the impact of the accident on your work life, your social life, and personal life in making an assessment of damages.
Your Solicitor’s job is to ensure that the offending party is held legally responsible for causing the accident.
You won’t need a Solicitor if the offending party agrees to compensate you for causing the accident and liability is admitted and you are happy with the compensation offered. Now being Solicitors, we would advise you to seek advice from a Solicitor to ascertain if the offer of compensation is fair.
If on the other hand, the person who caused the injury does not agree to compensate you, you will need a Solicitor unless you decide to pursue the matter yourself.
Your case could be decided by the Personal Injuries* Assessment Board, which means you do not need to attend any court hearing of any sort, and the Injuries Board can direct the offending party to pay you a certain amount of compensation.
If the case is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, you will have to go to the District Court, Circuit Court or High Court to establish that the offending party is legally responsible for the accident and must pay the compensation.
If the offending party, once the Order has been granted decides not to pay, your Solicitor can help you with what is termed enforcing the Order, to ensure that you get the compensation.
Personal Injuries * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
If you have been injured in a car accident or injured at work or for example injured in a public place etc. and can initiate a civil remedy and seek damages. To start this you must submit an Application Form to the Injuries Board for assessment.
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act established the Personal Injuries Board as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to a court.
If you have been injured and seek compensation for the pain, suffering and loss then certain procedures must be followed.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another and wish to pursue an action to recover damages, you must begin this action within 2 years of the accident in question.
This is a strict legislative rule which has some exceptions in exceptional circumstances.
Letter before Action
Under S.8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 this is called a ‘Letter of Claim’. A person pursuing an action should serve notice in writing to the other person within 1 month of the date of the accident of their intention to pursue this course of action.
If its possible in the circumstances, do obtain the details of the other driver in relation to a car accident or a cycling accident and take note of the registration of the car.
Its more difficult for the Gardai to investigate an accident if they don’t have the necessary information particulars.
If the letter of claim is not sent to the offending party, a court can draw inferences from the injured party’s failure to do so.
Preservation of Evidence
Depending on the nature of the accident and the factual situation, an application can be make to Court to preserve necessary evidence in a situation where the other party will not undertake to preserve it. This is especially the case with CCTV as many holders of CCTV do not retain it for very long.
If the matter is not resolved at this stage and the alleged wrongdoer is on notice of it, then an application to the Injuries Board can be made by completing and submitting Form A with the application fee €45 or €90 and a medical report. The Injuries Board accept applications either online or via post.
The medical report will be completed by your doctor and will include information regarding accident details, injuries sustained, medical history, complaints, clinical findings and prognosis.
When you receive the medical report you should go through its content and make sure everything is accurate and your happy with it.
Insurance Company Correspondence
Its likely after the application to the Injuries Board is submitted, you will receive a holding letter from the Insurance Company explaining that liability is being investigated and asking a series of questions.
Various outcomes can happen in civil cases after initiation, such as, liability can be admitted, the Injuries Board Assessment can take place, or the matter can proceed to Court for a determination by a Judge.
Once the Injuries Board have received the application they will send the s.50 confirmation letter which is very important as it acknowledges registration of the civil action and that the injured party’s application.
Section 13 Notice
The Injuries Board will then send this notice of the application to the alleged wrongdoer and he/she has 90 days to consent/reject or do nothing. The Injuries Board will send a copy of the injured person’s application with this notice and or any other accompanying documents.
The Injuries Board will after this period begin their assessment, if the alleged wrongdoer does not reject this outright. In that case court proceedings can begin.
9 Month Period
The Injuries Board must make their assessment within 9 months of receiving the alleged wrongdoers consent to assessment. Once the assessment decision is made the alleged wrongdoer is given 21 days to accept the award or there’s deemed acceptance. The injured party is given 28 days and if no response is received, is deemed to accept the award.
Award of Pay
If the injured person and the other person ( respondent ) BOTH accept the award then the Injuries Board will make an Order to Pay. If one party does not accept the award in question for whatever reason, then a Court will have to hear the matter and resolve it.
Personal Injury Negligence Questions & Answers
If you have been injured in an accident due to the fault of another you will have a lot of questions.
These can vary from –
‘Am I eligible to make a claim or take a case’;
‘Is the other driver possibly negligent and is it easy or hard to prove’;
‘What is my personal injury case worth’;
‘What do I do if the other party has no insurance’;
We will try to answer any questions you have and advise on the best course of action. Most importantly, if instructed we will act for you to seek the best possible outcome for you.
In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.