If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, or accident at work, or in a public place, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury, and refunded any financial loss for, say, being unable to work, drive or perform regular household duties. You may also be entitled to compensation for future losses.
For personal injury claims in Ireland to be successful, you must have sustained injury or loss due to the negligence of somebody who had a duty of care towards you – e.g. negligent driving, or in the case of an employer, a failure to provide employees with a safe system and place of work, or medical practitioner who did not provide the best possible care to their patients.
The Injuries Board
You or your legal advisers can negotiate a fair settlement with the other party, but if agreement cannot be reached (either the offer is unreasonable or the medical prognosis suggests that it is too early to settle) you must first bring a claim to the Injuries Board (‘IB’), a Government body established to assess compensation where liability is not being disputed.
There are stringent time frames within which a claim must be brought and procedures to be followed when progressing the claim through the IB. Furthermore, if liability is not accepted by the other party, the IB will not assess compensation, but rather issue an authorisation to enable you issue Court proceedings. In addition if the IB assesses the claim below what you and your legal advisers believe is reasonable or fair, you can refuse to accept the IB award and issue Court proceedings.
All settlements in children’s claims – whether assessed by the IB or settled following Court proceedings – must be approved by a judge before payment can be made and the Judge may direct that the money be paid into Court until your child reaches 18.
Consult a Solicitor
It is advisable to obtain independent legal advice before embarking on a claim to assess the liability position and to estimate how much you may be entitled to receive.
You are invited to contact Direct Law Solicitors to discuss how best to proceed with your claim – there is no obligation to proceed with a claim once you speak with us. Our objective is to give you clear and comprehensive advice and to help in any way we can,
Shane Dowling Solicitor is the principal of Direct Law with offices in Skerries and Swords.