Eye Injury Claims
An Introduction to Eye Injury Claims
Eye injury claims are civil legal actions which enable you to recover compensation when you have injured your eye in an accident for which you were not at fault. You will be eligible to make eye injury claims for compensation when it can be proven that the accident in which your eye was damaged was caused by somebody who had a “duty of care” towards you and – either by their action or a lack of action – that person´s negligence was responsible for your eye injury.
No two claims for an eye injury are the same – even when the nature and severity of the injury are identical – as compensation for a eye injury should account for consequences of your eye injury and how they affect your quality of life as much as the physical trauma you experienced at the time of the accident. Consequently, it is always in your best interests to discuss the circumstances of your accident and eye injury with an experienced solicitor prior to making eye injury claims for compensation.
Eye Injury Claims and Your Health
Your health is the most important factor in claims for a eye injury and although you will have sought professional medical attention at a hospital or clinic at the time of your eye injury, it is essential that you keep any out-patient appointments after your discharge to prevent claims from the negligent party´s insurers that you made your eye injury worse by your own lack of care. Your “contributory negligence” will not disqualify you from making claims for eye injury compensation, but it might affect how much your eye injury claim is worth.
Eye injury claims should also consider any psychological injury you have sustained either during your accident or while recovering from an eye injury. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder because of the manner in which your eye injury was sustained, suffered from depression or anxiety during your recovery from an injured eye or lost your confidence to drive, work or socialise as a direct result of your eye injury, you should advise your solicitor – who will arrange for the appropriate proof of psychological injury, and include this factor in your claim for eye injury compensation.
Establishing Negligence in Eye Injury Claims
Even though a negligent driver, employer or other third party may have admitted their liability for your eye injury at the time your accident happened, when you claim compensation for an eye injury, the settlement of your claim is made by the negligent party´s insurers – even when claims for an eye injury are processed by the Injuries Board Ireland. Therefore, as the negligent party´s insurer was not present at the time of your accident, claims for eye injury compensation have to be compiled which establish that the insurance company´s client was indeed the negligent party and thereby liable for your injured eye.
In order to establish negligence in eye injury claims, an accident report should be made to either the Garda, your employer or at the offices of anther third party responsible for your eye injury, and a copy retained to submit with your application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland. You can support claims for eye injury compensation with photographs taken at the scene of the accident or CCTV video, and statements from witnesses who saw your eye injury accident occur. Indeed the more evidence of negligence in eye injury claims you – or a solicitor on your behalf – can collect, the likelier it is that your claim for eye injury compensation will be successful.
The Process for Making Eye Injury Compensation Claims
There are two main ways in which claims for eye injury compensation are processed. The first is that your solicitor sends a Letter of Claim to the negligent party, advising them that you are claiming compensation for an eye injury. The negligent party will usually forward the letter on to his insurers – advising them whether or not they accept liability for your eye injury – and, if liability is not contested, your solicitor will enter into negotiations with the insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of your eye injury compensation claim.
The second method of claiming compensation for an eye injury is that an application is sent to the Injuries Board Ireland, requesting an assessment of your claim. The Injuries Board Ireland will then write to the negligent party, asking them to confirm that they accept liability for your injured eye and calculate – once confirmation is received – what your eye injury claim is worth based on the information you have provided and a further independent medical examination. The Injuries Board Ireland will advise both you and the negligent party how much compensation for a eye injury they believe you should receive and – if both you and the negligent party are in agreement with the Injuries Board´s decision – they will issue an Order to Pay, and the negligent party´s insurers will send you a cheque in settlement of your eye injury claim.
The Injuries Board´s Role in Eye Injury Claims
The Injuries Board Ireland plays an important role in the settlement of eye injury claims as, if liability for your eye injury is contested, or how much compensation for a eye injury you should receive is disputed, the Injuries Board Ireland has to issue an “Authorisation” before you are allowed to take your claim for a eye injury to court. It is estimated that as many as a third of all eye injury claims are resolved in court, and without the “Authorisation” from the Injuries Board Ireland, you will be unable to proceed with a claim for eye injury compensation if negotiations between your solicitor and the negligent party´s insurers fail to satisfactorily resolve your eye injury claim.
The Injuries Board Ireland declines to disclose exactly how many eye injury claims are settled according to their assessments, but many observers are of the opinion that the resolution of claims for eye injury compensation is equally divided between negotiated settlement, injury board assessment and litigation in court – with up to 90 percent of claims for eye injury compensation submitted to the Injuries Board Ireland having been prepared by an experienced personal injury solicitor.
Eye Injury Claims and Litigation
Inasmuch as the possibility of court action can often dissuade people from making eye injury claims, insurance companies are even less keen of the prospect of litigating a claim for eye injury compensation in court. The costs of litigating eye injury claims in court are substantial and, no matter how justified the insurance company feel they are in denying their client´s liability for your eye injury, the financial risk they are taking (that a court will find in your favour) often prompts an out of court settlement of a eye injury claim without the admission of liability.
This is especially true when litigation is required to resolve a dispute over how much your eye injury compensation claim is worth. Courts tend to look down upon financial disputes of this nature and both parties will be encouraged to negotiate an eye injury compensation settlement before an appearance in court is necessary. Nonetheless, because there is the possibility that your eye injury compensation claim may have to be presented in court, your solicitor will prepare the strongest possible eye injury claim with litigation in mind as soon as he or she has accepted your case.
How Much Are Eye Injury Claims Worth?
How much compensation for an eye injury you will be entitled to receive will depend on the severity and extent of your injury and subject to the range of eye injury compensation values published in the Book of Quantum. Your age, gender and general physical condition prior to the accident in which your eye was injured will also be taken into account, along with the impact that your eye injury has on your quality of life and your lack of ability to complete day-to-day tasks without assistance. Due to the fact that – as you recover from your eye injury – many of the limitations you had to put up with will be forgotten, it is recommended that you maintain a diary to record the times when your eye injury prevents you from enjoying a full social life or participating in leisure pursuits.
Eye injury claims also enable you to recover any financial costs you may have incurred which are directly attributable to your injured eye. These can range from the cost of medical treatment and medication to the expense of using public transport should your eye injury prevent you from driving. Eye injury special damages – as they are known – also ensure that any income you have lost from being unable to work is replaced and, when your eye injury claim is ultimately resolved, you should be no worse off financially than if your eye accident had never happened.
Third Party Capture and Eye Injury Claims
Although it would be impossible for a solicitor to tell you how much compensation for a eye injury you would be entitled to receive on an initial consultation, it is important that you are aware at an early stage how much your eye injury claim is worth. This is because you may be approached directly by the negligent party´s insurers when a Letter of Claim is received with an offer of compensation in settlement of your eye injury claim.
An insurance company´s approach with an offer of compensation for your eye injury claim is not necessarily a bad event, as it confirms their client´s liability for your eye injury. However, without a full assessment of your eye injury compensation claim, it is unlikely that the insurance company´s offer is appropriate to your entitlement to eye injury compensation and, should it prove to be inadequate to cover your medical costs and loss of income, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more compensation for a eye injury.
Eye Injury Claims for Children
If your child has injured their eye in an accident for which they were not to blame, they can only claim eye injury compensation through a parent or guardian acting as their “next friend”. A “next friend” has to be approved by court and be prepared to accept the financial consequences of making a claim for eye injury compensation should the claim be unsuccessful. You will therefore need a solicitor to assist with the process of making eye injury claims for children when you first start your claim.
Furthermore, any settlements of eye injury claims for children – irrespective of whether the eye injury compensation has been agreed by negotiation, assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland or awarded in court – have to be approved by a judge before payment of eye injury compensation can be made. Compensation settlements for children´s eye injury claims are usually held by the court until the child reached the age of eighteen, but can be released on application to the court if some of the eye injury compensation is required for educational or medical purposes.
Eye Injury Claims Summary
Irrespective of whether the accident which caused your eye injury happened recently or up to two years ago, you should always engage the services of a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity to advise you about your entitlement to eye injury compensation and to assist you at the start of the eye injury claims process. At a time when you may be feeling both physically and emotionally traumatised, a claim for eye injury compensation can be taken out of your hands and dealt with professionally – allowing you to focus on making a quicker recovery from your eye injury.