Have you been involved in an accident* that was not your fault? Have you sustained injuries and would like to seek compensation for your ordeal? Unfortunately, the negligence of another person can often lead to suffering by an innocent party. If something has happened to you, you do not have to suffer alone. Instead, you can make a personal injury claim so that you can receive help through your recovery and to seek your own justice. In order to do this, it is essential that you know how personal injury claims work in Ireland.
There is a Personal Injuries Assessment Board
All personal injury claims made in Ireland are dealt with by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or PIAB. This is an independent statutory body that has been set up to see whether you should receive compensation for an accident you have been involved in. They will analyse the Book of Quantum to see how much you should get. They hear cases involving:
- Road traffic accidents
- Incidents in the workplace
- Public liability accidents
It is possible that the third party involved in the accident may not want the PIAB to hear the claim. If this is the case, you are able to escalate the claim and go to court.
There are also some personal injury cases that cannot be heard by the PIAB. This includes:
- Medical negligence
- Assault claims
- Accidents involving psychological injuries
Patience is Key
While everyone wants their case to be dealt with as soon as possible, it can take a while for your case to be processed. In total, it can take around seven months for your case to be processed by the PIAB. Indeed, this is going to be longer if you have to go to court over the incident.
Know There is a Time Limit
If you have been involved in an accident and want to make a personal injury claim, be aware that there the statute of limitations. In other words, there is a time limit on when you can make a claim. Once you find out that you have been injured or realise the accident was caused by negligence, you have two years to start your claim. This is known as the date of knowledge. For most people, it will be at the time of the accident. After two years, your claim is going to be invalid and you will not receive compensation.
How to Make a Claim
First of all, it is best to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor. They are going to be able to guide you through the process and make it easier to deal with. In addition, you will have a better chance of gaining compensation. Then you will want to obtain a medical report from the doctors. Hopefully, you visited the doctors after the accident to confirm your injuries. This is going to act as evidence for your case. Give this to your solicitor.
Your solicitor will start the application to the PIAB for you. They will submit your medical report and complete all of the necessary documentation. PIAB will confirm your claim to the respondent and they will have to agree to have the accident assessed. This is when the facts will be examined and it will be decided how much compensation you should receive to settle the claim.
Note that you are not obligated to accept the amount of compensation that is proposed by the PIAB. In addition, the respondent can refuse for the claim to be assessed. This is when your solicitor can choose to take your case to court.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.