Have you been involved in an accident recently? Have you been injured due to the actions or negligence of a third party? If so, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about making a personal injury claim.
What are personal injury claims?
A personal injury claim refers to the legal action taken by a person after being involved in an accident or injured due to the actions or negligence of a third party. These cases vary quite a bit and range from very serious to minor.
The participants involved in personal injury claims
- Plaintiff – This is the person who makes the claim. Sometimes, they are referred to as the claimant.
- Defendant – This is the person or persons being claimed against.
- Solicitor – This is the person, firm, or entity helping the plaintiff in their claim.
- Personal Injury Assessment Board (PIAB) – This is where the claim is assessed before the next steps are considered.
Types of injury claims
Unsure about whether you have the right to make a personal injury claim? Check out the list below to see if you’ve been involved in any of the accidents. These are just a few of the many types of incidents that could warrant a personal injury claim. If you don’t know whether you can claim or not, feel free to ask us for advice.
- Cycling Accident Claims
- Accidents Involving Children
- Spinal and Back Injuries
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Accidents Abroad
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Uninsured Driver
- Public Places Accident Claims
How to make a personal injury claim
The place to take any personal injury claim in Ireland is the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. You’ll need to do a bit of groundwork with a solicitor before you get to that stage, though. The expert will run through the details of the personal injury claim and ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.
The solicitor gathers documents, medical reports, and evidence to submit to the PIAB. Once all the paperwork is in order, the solicitor will prepare the application and submit it to the PIAB.
Getting a medical report
The most important piece of information needed for a personal injury claim is the medical report. This details the precise injury and its severity of it. It can also be used to deduce how the injury was sustained. If you don’t have the medical report, we can request it for you. It is essential in building the case as it will include information about the estimated time of recovery and details of necessary future treatment.
Who are the Injuries Board?
The Injuries Board, otherwise known as the PIAB, has been in existence since 2004. It was set up by the Irish Government to reduce the length of time it takes for personal injury cases to be resolved. It has been successful, and it has helped save a lot of time with these issues.
In 2020 alone there were more than 8500 awards, with an average processing time of nine months. The majority of claims were to do with motor liability – 70 per cent, in fact. 13 per cent were due to accidents at work, and 17 per cent were from accidents in a public place.
What is the time limit to file a personal injury claim?
It’s crucial to act fast when making a personal injury claim. Why? Because if you wait more than two years, your chances of winning are greatly diminished. You can check the statute of limitations for the exact time limits, but it’s generally advised to move quickly after an incident has taken place.
It all starts with the “date of knowledge”. This is when you become aware that you have suffered injuries. It’s slightly different to the date of the accident because you could feel fine for a day or two before the effects start to manifest. For example, if you’re in a car crash, you may only realise you have whiplash a few days later.
Date of knowledge steps
The date of knowledge is when you become aware of the four key facts below:
- You have an injury
- It’s not a minor injury
- The injury was caused by someone else through negligence or a breach of duty
- You know whose fault it was
How long does a personal injury claim take?
There’s no set time for winning a personal injury claim, and it varies from case to case. You’ll typically be waiting between nine and 15 months for your claim to reach its conclusion.
If you are successful and your personal injury claim goes through, you’ll be able to get compensation for your medical bills. There may also be some additional funds for other troubles you have incurred as well, such as loss of work.
What is contributory negligence?
It’s important that you know about contributory negligence, as this could have a detrimental effect on your claim. This refers to whether you had any involvement in the accident that may have led to your injury. If it comes to light that you were involved, your personal injury claim will most likely be nullified.
A good example of this is a car accident in which you were hit, but you weren’t wearing your seatbelt. This would obstruct your claim. You need to make sure that you didn’t contribute to the accident before you approach a solicitor to handle your claim. With some companies, a personal injury claim can cost the plaintiff if the case doesn’t work out the way they want it to. However, we have a no-win, no-fee deal so you can rest assured that your case is safe in our hands.
How is the personal injury claim compensation amount calculated?
Compensation for personal injury claims varies depending on a variety of factors. These include how bad the injury is, how much the hospital bills are, how long you suffered, and whose fault it was that the accident occurred.
We can give you an estimate about how much compensation you’ll be entitled to, but the final decision is made by the PIAB when they assess the claim. They follow the Judicial Council’s personal injury guidelines and use them to value the claim. To get an idea, you could turn to the Book of Quantum for reference.
What is the Book of Quantum?
Created by the Board of Injuries, the Book of Quantum offers an outline of how much an individual may be rewarded in a claim. The book offers figures on settlements from various cases over the years, all of which are based on real compensation. It also assesses specific injuries in terms of severity and recovery time. The Book of Quantum acts as a guide for injuries and possible settlements for medical bills, loss of earnings, out-of-pocket expenses, travel costs, and more.
What happens if your claim is successful?
If the Injuries Board assesses your claim and concludes that you are entitled to compensation, it will then suggest the settlement amount to the party at fault. For example, if you were injured in a car crash, the PIAB would deal with the insurance company of the person responsible. You can accept or reject the amount suggested, but you only have 28 days to make this decision.
If you agree, the Injuries Board will issue an Order to Pay to the party at fault. They will then pay directly to you. If an agreement can’t be reached with the negligent party, there is then authorisation to move to court proceedings. In the latter circumstance, most cases end up being settled before they reach a courtroom.
Why choose McGinley Solicitors?
Established in 1988, McGinley Solicitors has more than 30 years of experience in every aspect of the personal injury claims process. Indeed, we’re regarded as one of the leading firms in this field. McGinley has offices in Dublin and Donegal, with three locations in which you can meet with our well-informed personnel and speak about your case.
With your personal injury claim in Ireland, rest assured that we take on a full array of cases and have experienced all the different ways these various cases can play out. Not only can we help you determine how long a personal injury claim will take, but we can also provide answers on the possible outcome of the case and how much compensation you may receive.
Furthermore, McGinley takes a hands-on approach, offering the legal assistance you need. Whether you’ve been in an accident or you’re simply seeking commercial advice, McGinley can provide the professional approach necessary to win your personal injury claim and move on with your life. If you’re ready to talk with one of our personal injury solicitors, give us a call at 1800 998 969 or fill out our online claim form today.