Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are claims made for compensation when you have suffered a physical or psychological injury due to the negligence of another person. For claims for personal injury compensation to be successful, two conditions have to be proven:-
- That you actually sustained a personal injury
- That the injury was due to negligence by a party that failed in its duty of care towards you
Fulfilling the first condition may look straightforward but, in many cases, determining the long term consequences of a personal injury may prove difficult and a matter of medical opinion. This may also be true for illnesses which have been acquired over time or physical injuries which are described as “non-anatomical” – meaning that they would not show up on an x-ray or MRI scan.
Personal injury claims for psychological injuries have to show deterioration in your psychological state of health subsequent to a specific accident or incident which led to it. Temporary shock from being involved in a near-miss would not qualify you to make personal injury claims for compensation unless there where extreme circumstances which ultimately led to measurable physical personal injury.
Personal injury claims for compensation also have to show that some person or authority had a duty of care towards you that they did not fulfil. Examples of this would be the driver of a vehicle who was talking on his mobile phone and not paying attention to his driving, or an employer who failed to implement health and safety regulations in your place of work.
However, the value of personal injury claims can be negatively affected if the negligent party can show that you were partly to blame for your injuries due to your own actions – or lack of them. Examples might be failing to wear a seatbelt when involved in a road traffic accident or operating a (poorly maintained) fork lift truck without supervision.
Making Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are initially made to the Injuries Board Ireland by means of their application form. The form can be sent to you through the post on request, or you can complete it online. You will need to accompany your claim for personal injury compensation with supporting documents from your doctor and Gardai, employer or other negligent party, plus a payment of €50.00.
The Injuries Board Ireland assesses all claims for personal injury compensation based on an independent medical examination, provided that the negligent party in the personal injury claims admits liability for your injuries. They then advise you and the negligent party of their assessment and, if both parties are in agreement, issue an Order to Pay for your compensation settlement.
Reasons to Use a Personal Injury Claims Solicitor
Inasmuch as the processes for making personal injury claims may also initially appear straightforward, there are many circumstances in which using a personal injury claims solicitor is not only advantageous, but necessary. The Injuries Board Ireland procedures do not apply in personal injury claims for medical negligence, which have to be litigated by a solicitor in court. Any compensation awards involving children also have to be approved in court before settlement can be made.
Online personal injury claims applications are not permitted in cases involving children or where the personal injury claim for compensation involves a fatality. Should the negligent party deny his liability or claim contributory negligence on your part, the Injuries Board Ireland will decline to assess your personal injury claim and issue you with an authorisation to pursue your case in court.
The most important reason to use the services of an experienced personal injury claims solicitor is to ensure that you do not accept a settlement of personal injury compensation which is inadequate for your needs and leaves you in financial hardship. An experienced personal injury claims solicitor will be able to explain to you the special damages you are entitled to include in your personal injury claim for compensation to the Injuries Board Ireland, but the biggest threat to receiving a fair compensation settlement is third party capture.
Personal Injury Claims and Third Party Capture
Third party capture is when you are approached by an insurance company, on behalf of the negligent party, offering an early settlement of your personal injury claim provided you accept the amount they offer. Frequently these amounts are entirely inappropriate to the physical or psychological trauma you have suffered. Although a short term input of finance may be welcome when you are recovering from an injury, it has to be remembered that an insurance company is acting in its own financial interests – and not in yours.
An approach by an insurance company is not necessarily a bad thing however as it is usually a sign that they are willing to negotiate. By involving a personal injury claims solicitor – even at this late stage – an adequate settlement can be forthcoming, sometimes even before the Injuries Board Ireland has made its assessment of your personal injury claim for compensation.
Personal Injury Claims Summary
In a report published by University College Dublin, it was revealed that 90% of personal injury claims submitted to the Injuries Board Ireland have been prepared with the assistance of a solicitor. Of those, there is a three-way division of personal injury claims which are resolved by the Injuries Board Ireland´s assessment, by litigation in the courts and by negotiation between an insurance company and the claimant´s solicitor.
It is the norm rather than the exception to use the services of a personal injuries claim solicitor when making personal injury claims for compensation. If you have been injured in an accident for which you were not wholly to blame, you are invited to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury claims solicitor on our free advice service – 1-800 989 988.
Your call to us is completely free, and you are under no obligation to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation once you have spoken with us. Furthermore, our service is completely confidential, so if you have been injured in an accident at work, our service provides the best way to proceed with a personal injury claim for compensation without the potential of an awkward workplace confrontation.
Finally, it is in your best interests to call us as soon as possible after your accident or personal injury diagnosis, as certain claims for personal injury compensation are limited in time by the Statute of Limitations. If it is not a suitable time for you to speak with us right away, please complete your contact details in our call-back form, and one of our experienced personal injury claims solicitors will get back in touch at a time which is more convenient to you.