PERSONAL INJURY AND PIAB*
The law relating to personal injury claims underwent a major change with the introduction of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act in 2003.
The purpose of this single piece of legislation was to require everyone injured through the negligence of another to apply in person to PIAB (now called the Injuries Board) before they could bring proceedings for negligence against the party responsible for their injury.
The Injuries Board is a Government-established body which is empowered to assess the value of a claim.
In cases where the party against whom the claim is made admits responsibility for an applicant’s injury and where injuries are not complicated, the Injuries Board will make an assessment and award damages to the injured party.
Where the party against whom the claim is made refuses to allow the Injuries Board to make an assessment or award, or where the Injuries Board decides not to make an award, a claimant is entitled to institute legal proceedings in order to obtain redress.
Once the Injuries Board makes an award, it falls to the claimant to either:
- Accept the award or
- Refuse the award and institute proceedings
ROAD TRAFIC ACCIDENTS
If you have been in a road traffic accident, such as a car crash or you have been knocked down, you may be entitled to seek compensation for any injuries received, ongoing pain and suffering, damage and loss of use of your car, loss of earnings, hospital and medical expenses, travel expenses and other miscellaneous expenses. We can advise you about all of the items which you might be entitled to claim compensation for.
We have extensive experience where there has been an uninsured driver or where the driver has left the scene.
ACCIDENT AND PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS*
If you have been involved in an accident or suffered an injury or loss due to the fault of others, you should seek our advice about bringing a claim for damages. Even if you believe you may be partly at fault you may be entitled to receive compensation in relation to your accident or injury.
Accidents occur every day: whether on the roads or dangerous footpaths, from defective products, repetitive strain injury as a result of your work or being exposed to dangerous substances, such as asbestos.
When making a claim, the correct choice is crucial. So if you would like to talk to us about a personal injury claim in Ireland contact Hilary or Caroline to make an appointment.
COMPENSATION FOR ACCIDENTS AT WORK
If you have been injured in an accident at work, you may be entitled to claim for compensation. Employees have the right to a safe place and system of work. You may be compensated if you can prove that the accident was the fault of someone else – your employer or a fellow employee. For example, you may be able to claim if your employer has been in breach of Health and Safety legislation. You could potentially make a claim for the injuries you received, your medical expenses, any loss of earnings which you had and other miscellaneous expenses.
If it is not possible to settle your claim for compensation with the other parties’ Insurance Company we will make an application on your behalf to the Injuries Board. This Board assesses compensation for victims of Workplace, Motor and Public Liability accidents.
If you have been injured as a result of a violent assault you may in a position to pursue a claim for compensation. In some cases, where the perpetrator is prosecuted the Judge may award compensation to the victim or it may be offered in mitigation of a sentence. However, for various reasons it is often necessary to take a civil case against the perpetrator separately or seek damages under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. If you have been assaulted while attending an event or on licensed premises you should always:
- Report the accident to management and call the Gardaí
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Identify any witnesses
- Telephone this office to speak to us as soon as practicable
FATAL INJURIES CLAIMS
The death of a family member may give rise to legal proceedings where it involves a wrongful accident, albeit a road traffic accident, an occupational injury or medical negligence. The family is in mourning and the last thing that they want is to address a claim for fatal injury. However such a claim can alleviate the financial hardship that may result from the death of a family member. It is our aim to mitigate such financial hardship as soon as possible when we bring a claim on behalf of such a family member.
To discuss your case, contact Hilary or Caroline who specialise in accident and personal injury claims today
HOW WE CAN HELP WITH YOUR PIAB APPLICATION
The PIAB claim procedure does not allow for payment of legal fees where a claimant retains a solicitor to assist with his / her application for compensation except in limited circumstances. Examples of cases where fees and expenses may be allowed include, but are not limited to; minors, fatalities, uninsured drivers, where the identity of the driver is at issue. However, it is our practice to endeavour to recover expenses for the submission of the PIAB application and a fee note is submitted during the course of your PIAB procedure.
Since the Injuries Board was established, our experience, has been that claimants come to us for assistance and are happy to avail of our experience and advice. With over 25 years’ experience in personal injury litigation, we can assist claimants in the following ways:
- We assess a claimant’s injuries and advise on the level of compensation that is likely to be awarded for a wide range of injuries
- We interpret and advise on the content and adequacy of medical reports obtained from doctors who attend the injured party
- We advise on liability
- We assist in the completion of PIAB forms of application for compensation
- We advise on the adequacy or otherwise of the Injuries Board award
- We consider and advise you in relation to your chances of success in courts when an assessment is not made or is considered inadequate.
We are aware that many lay litigants who apply to PIAB for redress are refused compensation. We have the experience to offer comprehensive advice in such cases.We highly recommend that our advice is sought in such circumstances. It is important to remember that rejection by the party against whom you have claimed or refusal of an assessment by the Injuries Board does not mean that your claim will be unsuccessful in Court.
If you find yourself in this position please contact us immediately for assistance and advice.
*PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION IN THE COURTS
A consequence of the PIAB procedure has been that personal injury cases that are now brought before the courts fall into the following categories:
- Where persons against whom a claim is made refuse to participate in PIAB. In some cases this is because liability may be at issue and the Defendant may choose to defend the case in Court
- Where a PIAB award is rejected by the claimant, for example, where injuries are ongoing and / or an award is inadequate and acceptance is not recommended by your professional advisors
- Where a person against whom a claim is made rejects the award. In such cases, the claim proceeds to court
- Where the Injuries Board refuses to make an assessment because it is difficult to assess the injury, for example, where the claimant’s injury is still ongoing, or in cases of psychological injury.
**In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any settlement.
Hilary O’Connor graduated with an LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Law Degree in 2000 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2005. She joined Maurice Leahy Wade in 2008 after three years in general practice in County Mayo.
Rachel graduated from the University of Hull with a LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Law degree in 1988. She undertook her Solicitor Final Examinations at Christleton Law College, Chester, England, qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1992. Following a move to Ireland she was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in the Republic of Ireland 2015.