Personal Injury FAQ’s

1. How Does the Process Work?

1. How Does the Process Work?

Step One – Initial Consultation

This can be done either by skype if you are living abroad or we will offer you an appointment at our offices at a time convenient to you. We will advise you in relation to all aspects of your case. This will be a free assessment of your case with no obligation.

Step Two – Notification of Claim

If you decide to proceed with your claim we will write to the party at fault notifying a claim for compensation on your behalf.

Step Three – Obtain Medical Report

The next thing that we will do is obtain a Medical Report from your GP. This report is required for your Injuries Board application.

Step Four – Lodge Application with Injuries Board

We will complete your Injuries Board application and submit it to the Injuries Board with your Medical Report. At this stage the party at fault will be given an opportunity to consent to the Injuries Board assessing your claim. The Respondent is the party at fault. If the Respondent does not consent to the process your file is released from the Board and you are given a certificate called an Authorisation allowing us to issue Court proceedings on your behalf (see Step Seven).

Step Five – Assessment of Claim

If the respondent has consented to the process the Board will then arrange for you to attend a medical appointment with their Doctor and will proceed to make an Assessment of your claim and make an award for damages. There will be an award for General Damages and Special Damages. We will advise you fully in relation to the Injuries Board Assessment. If both parties accept the Assessment the Injuries Board will issue an Order to Pay which is the equivalent of a Court Order. We will then proceed to obtain your settlement cheque.

Step Six – Schedule of Special Damages

The Injuries Board will require a schedule setting out your out of pocket expenses together with your receipts. It is therefore important for you to retain your receipts. We will prepare the schedule for you.

Step Seven – Potential Court Proceedings

If either party rejects the Assessment, the Injuries Board releases the matter with an Authorisation allowing us to issue Court Proceedings on your behalf.

Even though Court proceedings are issued, your case can still be settled at any time if both parties engage in successful negotiations.

At any time while your case is in the Injures Board we can engage in settlement discussion with the other side.

**It is important to note that there are very strict time limits in relation to personal injury claims and it is therefore important that you consult your Solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.**

2. How do I make a claim?
If you have suffered an injury in the last two years and your Solicitor believes that you are entitled to compensation, your Solicitor will fill an application on your behalf to the Injuries Board along with a medical report from your GP and a €45.00 processing fee. The Respondent will receive notification of your claim from the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board will then assess the amount of compensation of your claim. Your Solicitor will advise you on whether to accept or reject this claim.
3. How long do I have to make a Personal Injuries claim?
The proceedings in Personal Injury cases should be started within two years of the date of the accident. This period is also referred to as the Limitation period; however, in some circumstances the deadline would start to run from when the injury was identified rather than the date of when the accident occurred. This is also the case where the claimant is under a mental disability or is under 18 years of age.
4. Why should I choose an experienced Personal Injuries Solicitor?
Experienced solicitors in personal injury claims will be able to advise you as to whether you have a valid claim. If you do have a valid claim and decide that you want Cahir & Company Solicitors to deal with it, we will ensure that the process is simple for you and will update you on a step-by-step basis.
5. How long will the process take?
This will depend on the scale of your medical recovery. For example, in cases where injuries are ongoing, it is not advisable to settle a claim at an early stage should further complications develop. Once a Personal Injuries claim is settled it is not possible to reopen at a later stage.
6. What is the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)?
The PIAB is an independent legal body which was set up under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003. It provides assessment of Personal Injury compensation for victims of workplace, motor and public liability accidents. It does not assess Personal Injury claims which have resulted from Medical Negligence.
 
The Injuries Board is the first route which must be followed when seeking compensation for a personal injury. It is important to be properly advised throughout this process to ensure that the appropriate level of compensation is awarded by the Injuries Board and also to receive professional guidance for any settlement talks which might take place during this process. If either party is dissatisfied with the award, or if the Injuries Board deems it appropriate, an authorisation will be given for the claim to be transferred to the Courts.
7. What is the Book of Quantum?

The Book of Quantum is a general guide used by the injuries board to assess the amounts that may be awarded for personal injury claims. It provides a guide in respect of specified types of injuries, depending on their severity and the length of time they take to heal. The law requires the Injuries Board and the Courts refer to the Book of Quantum when assessing personal injury compensation claims. Each personal injury claim can vary considerably, in addition, the same injury can have different effects on different people or some people may suffer multiple injuries.
 
A claimant may also be entitled to claim under other headings such as:

     

  • Medical expenses
  • Psychological trauma
  • Loss of amenity
  • Loss of earnings
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Vehicle damage

 
It is therefore difficult to assess the true value of all parts of your claim by referring only to the Book of Quantum.

8. Will my claim go to court?

In the majority of personal injury compensation claims every effort will be made to come to a settlement figure which is acceptable to both parties without the need of taking the matter to court. In fact, over eighty per cent of personal injury cases do not go to court because they are successfully settled in advance, meaning that when the defendant offers the victim a certain amount of money to settle the case out of court, the victim finds the amount satisfactory and accepts.

Even if your case for compensation made it all the way to court, you’d have your own experienced Solicitor, who will advise you along every step of the way.

9. What is the Process Involved in Out of Court Settlements?

As mentioned above, the majority of high court personal injury cases in Ireland are settled in advance; before the trial date or sometimes even on the day of the trial.
 
If the negligent party wishes to offer you a sum of money to stop your claim and you are willing to settle your case out of court, your solicitor will arrange negotiations with the defendant’s legal representatives before the date of the trial in a settlement meeting.
 
Your solicitor will explain the advantages and disadvantages of accepting the offer made by the defendant and will inform you on how successful you are likely to be at trial and how much compensation you may receive in court.
 
If obtaining a satisfactory settlement is impossible, you can choose to proceed to court.

10. Who pays my fees?

In Ireland, if you instruct a solicitor to represent you and submit your claim to the Injuries Board, if you receive an award for compensation, the respondent is obligated to pay your legal costs. If you do proceed to court and win, your legal costs will still be paid by the other side, but there may be parts of your claim which are not recoverable from the respondent. You will have to pay for this yourself from your compensation.
 
Responsibility for the accident has to be agreed, or decided by a Court, on the evidence, and your claim may be reduced by a proportion, or possibly rejected if the evidence is that you were wholly or partly responsible.

11. What is the Motor Insurers’ Bureau / Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland?
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) is an independent organisation created by the insurance industry to co-operate with the Government in compensating the victims of negligent uninsured/untraced motorists. 
12. When should I claim on the MIB/MIBI?

You should claim on the MIB/MIBI as soon as it becomes clear that the motorist who has caused the injury or damage is uninsured. MIB/MIBI expects that a claimant will have made common sense enquiries to identify an insurer, which enquiries will include but not necessarily be limited to:
 

  • Contacting the motorist.
  • Enquiring of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority as to the identity of the registered keeper of the vehicle.
  • Searching any computer database that may be available for the purpose.
  • Making a formal complaint to the police.
13. What if the motorist cannot be identified?

If you claim is for damage to property, then unfortunately the MIB/MIBI will be unable to help you, as there is no possibility of your obtaining a judgement against the person responsible. However, if you have been injured, you will be able to submit a claim for that injury (but not damage to property), which provides for victims of ‘hit and run’ accidents.

14. What are General Damages?

General Damages cover compensation for pain and suffering resulting from injuries which you sustained in your accident.

15. What are Special Damages?

Special Damages are any expenses that you have incurred as a result of an accident. Special Damages may include loss of earnings, medical expenses, out of pocket expenses and vehicle damage costs. In serious cases there may also be future loss of earnings, future expenses etc. The Board will guide/assist you in this event.

16. Why should I make a claim?

Many people who have suffered a personal injury have a desire to prevent another person from going through the same suffering they did.

Money is only part of the reason many people claim. Lots of people just want those involved to recognise their error and do what they can to prevent it from reoccurring.

17. How can Cahir & Co. Solicitors help you with your personal injury claim?

We are a friendly and approachable firm with a wealth of experience in all areas of general practice law. We will meet you for an initial consultation to discuss all aspects of your case. The strengths and weaknesses, the likely time span of such a case, and the procedure that is involved. We recommend that you should keep a diary and record all of the important dates- such as medical appointments etc. We will further suggest that you keep a detailed list of any “out of pocket expenses” (Those costs arising from anything associated with your injury). We will endeavour to contact you to discuss any progress which we have made on your case so that you are fully aware of the entire process.

 

 

 

 

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