The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is an independent state body that assesses personal injury compensation in Ireland. When you make your application, they will assess your claim, notify the respondent (the person you seek to receive damages from) and value the amount of compensation they believe the case is worth. Some points worth noting are;
Strict Time Limits
When dealing with the PIAB, there are strict time limits that you must adhere to, if these time limits are ignored, or you forget about them, and they pass, your claim may no longer be valid. For example, you have two years from when you first knew you had the injury to make a claim. Hiring a solicitor will solve this potential issue; the solicitor will ensure that all time limits are identified in time.
If all parties agree to the PIAB assessing the claim, then a valuation of the claim will be made by the PIAB after medical reports are reviewed. A solicitor will be able to advise you on whether the assessed valuation and offer made to you is fair for the injuries you have sustained. If the insurance company reject the offer made to you then the solicitor will support you in issuing proceedings to secure a generous offer for your injury and your out of pocket expenses.
Who is Liable for Your Injury?
In some cases difficulty can arise over who is the responsible party if there were more than one party involved, therefore it can be difficult to determine who you should bring the claim against. Hiring a solicitor will solve this problem; the solicitor will look over the facts of the case and assess who is to be a party to the claim. As claims to the PIAB can only be made once and cannot be re-submitted it is vital you find out the correct name of the responsible party, before you submit your application, the application may need to state the company business name not the name of the individual, otherwise you risk your claim being dismissed.
All Relevant Evidence Submitted
There is no oral hearing in the PIAB process so hiring a solicitor to deal with your application will ensure that all relevant information is submitted. This also reduces the chances of personal medical information being shared to the respondent. The solicitor will also set out in the forms the effect of the injury on your daily enjoyment of life so they will take this into consideration when calculating your compensation for general damages.
If your claim cannot be submitted to the PIAB
There are instances where a claim cannot be made to the PIAB. For example medical negligence claims will go straight to a court procedure; in this case you will need a solicitor to take the matter directly to court. There are also types of claims including post traumatic injuries that the PIAB will not take.
Should you accept the PIAB offer?
When the PIAB issue you with their assessment and offer of compensation, if the respondent agrees, you can accept the offer; however, if you have a solicitor helping you with your claim, they will advise you whether you should accept the offer or if they believe you are likely to receive more if you refuse the PIAB assessment and bring the action to a court setting.
Claim cannot be re-submitted if there is a mistake
As the PIAB do not allow a claim to be withdrawn and re-submitted therefore it is vital that all the information on you application is correct. Hiring a solicitor will ensure that all of the details of the application are correct first time and ensure all the details of your claim are brought to their attention in the correct format.
Providing the respondent with information
A solicitor will provide the other side with the information required to proceed with your case. The solicitor will share what is necessary to fast track your case if there is an opportunity to deal the case in a swift manner and get you the value of your injuries.
By engaging a solicitor, you have an ally in your corner that will outline the process to you and explain where you are every step of the way. Your solicitor will also continue to take more information on your injury as the matter progresses so any offer made can be amended in light of additional or unfolding injuries.