Do I have a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injuries can occur anywhere – in a car, as a driver or passenger, footpaths and roads as pedestrians, on buses and trams, at sports grounds, public parks, shops, shopping centres, dances and hotels. They can be caused by animals, people, machinery, vehicles or by environmental factors such as gases, rock falls etc.

How do I bring a personal injury claim?

All personal injuries claims, with a few exceptions, must go through the Injuries Board. This is a forum set up by the government to administer claims and reduce the overall cost of claims handling.

When lodging a claim through the Injuries Board it is most important to have the advice of a seasoned personal injuries legal practitioner on how to manage your claim and maximise your compensation.

How much time do I have to make a claim?

For most cases you have a two year period from the date of the accident to make a claim. If you leave it any longer you will be barred from seeking compensation.

How long does it take to process the claim?

The injuries board process takes up to 9 months (possibly 15 months in some cases) to be processed from the time that the application is accepted. Usually a decision is made well within that time frame.

What do I need to make a personal injuries claim?

You need a medical report in the format required by the injuries board which typically costs €250.You will also need the application fee of €45. Both of these are recoverable as special damages if an award is given.

What are special damages?

You are entitled to recover your expenses arising from the accident. They are called special damages. These normally include medical treatment and medication and out-of-pocket expenses. The key message is to keep all your receipts!

What about loss of earnings?

You can also recover for loss of earnings.

What do I do if an offer is made?

This is the crucial moment. You need advice as to whether the offer is enough. You need to know how much you will actually receive into your hand. This is in particular is where an experienced personal injuries Solicitor can help you. This is where you will obtain real value for your legal advice.

What if I want to refuse the award?

Either you or the respondent can refuse the award. In that case it would be released by the Injuries Board and will be dealt with through the courts. If you feel the award is too small the matter can be taken to court to recover better compensation. Normally court costs and legal fees will be paid as part of the court proceedings if the case is successful.

No insurance/cannot find the driver or insured?

If, for example, a driver involved in an accident had no insurance or left the scene of the accident before giving their name and address it is possible to pursue a claim through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland. It is very important to initiate a claim like this as quickly as possible.

What if I am under 18?

A case can be taken on your behalf by a third party known as a ‘next friend’. Typically this is a parent or relative over 18.

Once past the age of 18 you can, obviously, have the case run in your own name.

Any more questions?

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