How Do I Make A Personal Injury Claim In Ireland?

The majority of claims do not commence in court. Typically, they must begin with the Injuries Board, except for cases involving medical negligence, certain assault cases, and instances where the injury is entirely psychological. Many individuals seeking compensation through the Injuries Board enlist the assistance of a solicitor. This ensures a smooth process, from the collection of documents, medical reports, and evidence, to the submission of the application and consideration of the Injuries Board’s compensation recommendation.

If you’ve been in an accident, the Injuries Board claims process typically involves the following steps:

1. Speak with a solicitor:

To initiate the process, you’ll need to furnish your solicitor with the following details:

  • A comprehensive account of the accident and its circumstances.
  • Photographs depicting the accident scene to illustrate its occurrence.
  • Specific date and time of the accident.
  • Information regarding any CCTV cameras operating at the accident site. Your solicitor can request footage from the CCTV owner.
  • Witness information – if any individuals witnessed the accident.
  • Medical reports – if available, or your solicitor can obtain them from your physician.
  • Loss of earnings details – the amount of wages lost due to the accident.
  • Medical history particulars – any pre-existing medical conditions before the accident.
  • Details of past personal injury claims, if any.
  • Accurate identification of the party at fault for the accident.
  • A breakdown of expenses incurred due to the accident (e.g., medical expenses, travel costs, home care expenses, or any other related costs).

Our objective is to offer transparent and impartial legal advice, striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

2. Solicitor obtains a medical report

One of the critical documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will request information about your doctor or hospital to obtain a report on your injuries. This report will play a pivotal role in advancing your case.

Medical Care and Rehabilitation

3. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

Once your solicitor has collected all the necessary information, they will fill out and submit the Injuries Board application form (Injuries Board Form A) on your behalf. Upon submission, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will acknowledge receipt and inform the liable party of your claim. At this stage, a copy of the application form and medical report will also be provided to the liable party. Upon submission, the two-year time limit for your claim will be paused while it undergoes assessment.

4. Assessment & Offer

  • Injury Claim Assessment

During the assessment of your claim, the Injuries Board will review past personal injury cases and injuries similar to yours. They use the “Book of Quantum” as a reference, which documents previous personal injury cases, specific injuries, and the corresponding compensation amounts awarded. You can utilize our compensation estimator to gain an understanding of the potential compensation you may receive for your injury.

  • Consideration of Injuries Board Offer

After reviewing your claim, the Injuries Board will communicate with you, proposing a compensation amount. This sum would be paid to you by the liable party. Subsequently, you’ll need to contemplate whether to accept this offer or not. While your solicitor can offer guidance on the most suitable course of action, the ultimate decision to accept or reject the initial offer rests with you.

  • Possible Outcomes

At this stage, two potential outcomes are possible:

a. Both you and the party at fault agree to the settlement amount proposed by the Injuries Board. Subsequently, the party at fault would be instructed to pay this agreed-upon amount to you.

b. If either you or the party at fault declines the proposed settlement amount, you would proceed to initiate court proceedings against the responsible party for your accident or injury.

  • Time Limit to Accept or Reject the Award

Once a suggested award is received, the plaintiff has 28 days to either accept or reject the offer. On the other hand, the defendant has 21 days to accept or reject the offer made by the Injuries Board. It’s crucial to note that if the plaintiff fails to respond to the offer within 28 days, the Injuries Board will automatically consider it rejected.

Effect of Accepting the Award

If both parties agree to the award proposed by the Injuries Board, the Injuries Board will issue an order directing the person at fault to pay the settlement amount. Once the payment is made and received, the case is considered settled, constituting a full and final resolution. Consequently, the individual making the claim cannot subsequently seek additional compensation at a later date.

Effect of Rejecting the Award

If either party involved rejects the settlement proposed by the Injuries Board, the case will proceed to the next stage of the process, which involves initiating legal proceedings to bring the case before a judge for a decision. At this juncture, you will collaborate with your solicitor, who will take the necessary steps to commence legal proceedings and advance the case further.

4. Settlement Outside Of Court

The majority of personal injury cases are resolved outside of the courtroom. In fact, if your case progresses beyond the Injuries Board stage to legal proceedings, it’s likely that you won’t need to physically appear in court.

Before any court hearing, settlement meetings may be arranged. During these meetings, you, along with your legal team – including your solicitor and barrister – will engage in discussions with the other party. Throughout this process, your legal representatives will keep you informed of the progress and any updated settlement offers. If an acceptable conclusion is reached during these meetings, your case will be settled in full and final agreement then and there.

However, if settlement talks do not yield a satisfactory resolution, your case will proceed to a court hearing. At this stage, a judge will make the final decision regarding your case.

5. Court Hearing

The prospect of going to court can be daunting for many individuals, but it’s important to note that very few personal injury claims actually proceed to a full court hearing. If your case does end up in court, your solicitor will make every effort to alleviate your concerns and guide you through the entire process until its resolution. Their expertise and support will help navigate you through the experience and ensure that your case reaches its conclusion smoothly.

Court Hearing Guide

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