A personal injury claim is when an individual suffers injury and loss as a result of the negligence of another individual or company, and that individual seeks justice from the negligent party. The most common types of personal injury cases arise from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, workplace accidents and slips/trips in public places.
Any individual who has suffered injury as a result of the negligence of a third party can pursue a claim, as long as it can be shown that the third party was negligent and that the Claimant has suffered an injury.
Under the Statute of Limitations Act of 1957 a Claimant must submit a claim with the Injuries Board within 2 years from the date of loss (which is usually the date of the accident). In more complex cases such a medical negligence, the two year time period only starts ticking from the date of
knowledge of the negligence. It is important that the process is started as soon as possible in order to avoid missing the 2 year deadline. If a case has not been submitted with the Injuries Board within the 2 year period the case then becomes “Statute Barred” meaning that the case is essentially dead.
It is important to note that a case can only be submitted with the Injuries Board when the Claimant has a medical report from a doctor which outlines the nature of the injuries. It can take some time to arrange such reports, and that is why it always best to start the process as early as possible, to minimise the risk of missing the 2 year deadline.
The Injuries Board was set up in 2004 by the Irish Government. Every Personal Injury case in Ireland (with some exceptions, such as for medical negligence cases) must be submitted with the Injuries Board as soon as the Claimant has a medical report available. The purpose of the Injuries Board is to try to settle personal injury cases without the need to start Court proceedings.
The Claimant’s Solicitor will submit the relevant application form (known as Form A) with the Injuries Board and a medical report (known as Form B). The application will contain all the relevant facts of the case and will be accompanied with a medical report which outlines the Claimant’s injuries. The Injuries Board will then grant the Respondent (which is usually an insurance company on behalf of the Respondent) 90 days to investigate the accidents circumstances under Section 50 of The PIAB Act 2003.From the Claimant’s perspective, not a great deal will happen within this 90 day period. The insurers will be making the relevant investigations and asking lots of questions with their insured in order to decide whether or not they should accept liability (responsibility) for the accident.At the end of the 90 days the Respondent must decide whether or not the will consent to the Injuries Board assessing the claim. If the Respondent feels that they are not liable for the accident, they will not allow the Injuries Board to assess the value of the claim. The Injuries Board would then grant the Claimant an Authorisation which allows them to start Court proceedings and the case would exit the process entirely.If the Respondent feels that they are liable they will allow the Injuries Board to assess the value of the claim. This will usually involve the Injuries Board arranging a further medical examination of the Claimant in order to obtain an updated medical opinion regarding the injuries and the recovery. The Injuries Board will then consider all of the medical evidence and details of all expenses, and eventually assess the value of the claim.If all sides are happy with the assessment of the claim, then the claim will simply settle an Order to Pay will be sent to the Respondent which compels the Respondent to pay the relevant sum of damages to the Claimant. If either side is unhappy with the Assessment, the Injuries Board will grant an Authorisation which allows them to start Court proceedings and the case would exit the process entirely.The Injuries Board process can take around 12 months to complete, but a lot of this depends on whether or not the Respondent is happy for the Injuries Board to assess the case.
If a case exits the Injuries Board process, then the only option available to the Claimant is to issue Court proceedings in order to progress the case forward. In order to start Court proceedings the Claimant’s Solicitor will usually instruct a Barrister to draft the relevant Court documents. A Personal Injuries Summons must be draft and filed with the Court. This document will outline details of the accident circumstances, details of the alleged negligence of the Defendant and details of the Plaintiff’s Injuries.
The value of a case is determined by the losses sustained by the Claimant. These losses can the take the form of physical injury, mental injury, loss of earnings or damage to property. All losses must be supported by relevant evidence such as doctors reports, actuary reports in relation to lost earnings and engineers reports in relation to damage to a motor vehicle.
Each case is completely different. The length of a case can depend on factors such as the complexity of legal arguments relating to liability and to the nature and complexity of the injuries involved. Very straightforward cases can settle within a few months, while more complicated cases can take years to settle.
Rogers Solicitors deal exclusively with Personal Injury cases. Rogers Solicitors do not deal with any other are of law. The firm has an excellent reputation for providing an excellent level of service to its clients and in winning cases.
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