Should I Use a Personal Injury Solicitor?
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Personal Injury Lawyers & Attorneys in Ireland
Were just plain unlucky? Or were you in the wrong place at the wrong time? Whatever your injury, an arm injury, a leg injury, brain injury, a whiplash injury, a neck injury, or a head injury and however you suffered an injury you may need to consult solicitors Dublin. Pain and suffering can possibly lead to a claim for compensation and your personal injury solicitor Dublin and maybe with a co solicitor will be able to give you legal advice.
Personal injury claims may be made when you are a victim who is involved in an accident when you are harmed by the negligence of a third party. In simple terms, it is when you are involved in an accident which was not your fault and in which you suffered an injury. Most of these accidents come under the following headings for injury compensation;
- Road traffic
- Holiday accident
- Slip and fall
- Work accidents and injuries
- Medical Negligence
- Car accidents
Road traffic accidents
Car accidents are arguably the most common of all the type of claim for compensation and can involve your car with another car, lorry, bus, bike or a pedestrian. A road accident tends also to be the most argued as all drivers claim that they are brilliant drivers and never make mistakes ever! The most common type of personal injury from a road accident is a whiplash injury. Whiplash often occurs when your vehicle is struck from behind which propels your body forward to be held by the seat belt which produces extreme pressure and stress on the neck. This results in a neck injury which is known as a Whiplash injury. Very often the full extent of a Whiplash injuries sustained is not known for some days after the road accident. This means that road traffic accident claims may take a little longer to formulate than other types of claim.
We all like a holiday! Accidents on holidays do happen, unfortunately. Personal injury law may well apply even on a foreign holiday. A holiday accident can happen and you need to contact a personal injury lawyer to explore any personal injury compensation claim. If something happens on your holiday then take legal advice about claim compensation.
Slip and fall
A slip and fall can give you as much pain and suffering as any other kind of accident. You will be continuing on your way when suddenly you can find yourself flat out on the floor. What happened to you? Was the floor wet, with no warning signs to tell you it was wet, was the carpet worn, what caused you to get an injury? Is there negligence involved for a personal injury claim? Injury claims all revolve around the quality of the evidence available.
Trips can also cause you much pain and suffering. Was something placed in the wrong place that made you come to the ground? Were there no warning signs to let you know of the danger? These types of injuries are usually the arm, head or leg trauma from trips.
Work Injuries and Accidents
A workplace accident and subsequent injury can cause you very significant hardship, including lost wages or salary, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a work related accident in Ireland, it is important to consult with a injury lawyer who can help you pursue all avenues of personal injury claim to see if you are entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained. If a negligent third party contributed to your injury in any way, you may be entitled to a personal injury compensation claim.
Every health care practitioner whether it is a surgeon, consultant, doctor, dentist or nurse has what is called a duty of care to the people that they treat if professional negligence is involved when you are being treated or have been treated then under personal injury law you may be entitled to compensation by making a medical negligence claim. A claim for compensation against a medical professional is generally a complex and risky matter. Doctors, Consultants, Dentists, Surgeons, in particular, have unlimited funds and resources to defend themselves and their reputations. Any consideration to sue them must be canvassed thoroughly with your Medical Negligence Solicitor or injury lawyer. The Medical Negligence Solicitor you choose is very important unless you want to waste your time and money prosecuting a poorly prepared or presented case.
The Injuries Board (PIAB)
All claims for personal injury compensation in Ireland, except for Medical Negligence have to be first submitted to the Piab injuries boards.
Here is the back ground to the creation of the Injuries boards. In the 1990’s and the early part of the 21st century, there was such a large increase in accident insurance claims that the cost of insurance in Ireland went very quickly up through the roof both in the number of claims and the amount of the awards to victims of the accidents. The government of the day acted and created in 2004 the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) in Dublin to oversee the whole area of claims made by employees against their employers. Several months later the scheme was extended to include motor accident and public liability claims. The PIAB, which is now known as the Injuries Board does this by speeding up the process of finalising most of the claims. Under the scheme, all personal injury claims must be referred to Injuries Board before proceedings can be issued. Medical Negligence claims it should be noted were excluded from this process of being put before the Injuries Board.
The Irish Law Society in Dublin, who regulate the legal profession in Ireland, has advised that those victims wishing to bring a claim for personal injuries should even before starting the process of submitting an injuries board claim, consult their solicitor or a solicitor specialising in injuries board claims.
The concept of how the Injuries Board works is very interesting and innovative. Instead of the confrontational and classical situation, with the plaintiff and defendant in an adversarial position in front of a judge, the Injuries Board has no role at all in the determining of liability and will not make any findings of fact that relate to either fault or negligence. The actual role of the Injuries Board is limited to valuing claims and making awards which can be accepted or rejected by both of the parties. It is controversially claimed that this way of dealing with claim compensation like neck injury claims and other types of injuries like brain injury and head injury has a major advantage in reducing the value of the claims even though you are entitled to compensation for injury claims in Ireland and by direct consequence the insurance premiums to be paid. Not everyone agrees with this! It also establishes a published tariff of fair awards to make sure that no claimant receives too much or too little of a reward. Should either party reject the piab Injuries Boards award then the claimant or the defendant is then free to issue court proceedings in the normal way.
The Statute of Limitations for accident and personal injury claims is normally two years to make a for any types of injuries claim assessment however the notification of a claim to Injuries Board stops the clock from running for the Statute of Limitations.
The process for submitting a claim with the Injuries Board is relatively simple and straight forward. The Injuries Board will contact the employer and or the insurance company seeking from them an admission of their liability. If and only if there is an admission of total liability by the employer or the insurance company can the Injuries Board make an assessment of damages. Now it gets a little bit more complicated in so far as this is done on a “without prejudice” basis and this means that in any subsequent court proceedings the liability of the employer or the insurance company can be contested. On the other hand, where there is no actual admission of liability for the purposes of an Injuries Board award or settlement assessment by the employer or the insurance company, the Injuries Board will then issue a Release Certificate, which will allow the claimant to proceed to court in the normal way.
The Injuries Board’s Assessment of claims is purely based on written evidence, such as Garda accident reports, medical reports etc. No oral personal evidence is accepted or allowed at all by the Injuries Board. In the event that there is a dispute between the two parties over the written evidence then the Injuries Board has the right and the power to appoint an independent expert to give a professional opinion in these circumstances. The value assessments handed down by the Injuries Board are based upon a database of previous valuations which has been compiled based on court awards. These are deliberately calculated to be on the generous side so as to encourage acceptance by claimants. Off course neither party is bound by the Injuries Board’s assessment nor may either party reject the board’s assessment if they are not happy with it. Should this happen and the Injuries Board’s assessment is rejected, a Release Certificate will be issued by the Injuries Board allowing the claimant a further period of 6 months within which to issue court proceedings.
The disadvantages of not using a personal injury solicitor Dublin to make an injuries board claim for personal injury compensation are as follows;
A personal injury solicitor Dublin will know what evidence is necessary for your road traffic accident claims or another type of personal injury claim for compensation, In other words from who and when it is necessary to collect. If you wait many months until the Injuries board process has finished then witnesses may have moved on or forgotten and other evidence may be difficult to get. Do not forget that after your claim for compensation is accepted by the Injuries board many months may have gone by. Also, do not forget that any award made by the Injuries Board is not binding on the insurance company that you are attacking and it is also not binding on you! So it is wise to prepare in advance for every eventuality.
If you make a mistake (even a small typo) in completing your Injuries Board form for compensation then they will not tell you and you will find out only when your claim is rejected many months later. The statute of limitations in Ireland is two years for you to file a valid claim. Hopefully, your time will not have run out when the rejection is received.
As already pointed out the Law Society regulates the legal profession in Ireland and that includes the charging of fees. Whereas in other parts of the world notably in North America legal firms are allowed to charge a percentage of the award of compensation to the injured party. This is not so in Ireland where they state that “In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”
Fees can only be charged according to work done by the personal injury solicitors firms or co solicitors.
The Law Society of Ireland also regulates the advertising and websites of the legal profession so as they do not use aggressive, sensational language to get potential people to contact them. Curiously enough injury lawyers are not allowed to advertise No Win No Fee agreements to the injured who are contemplating making a personal injury claim but they can agree in consultation to go down that route with them!
No Win No Fee means that you pay your brief nothing if the personal injury claim for compensation is lost. You will only pay if the claim is won. This has the effect of focusing your injury lawyers mind on winning as that’s the only way they will get paid. But be careful if you should lose then you may not have to pay your solicitor, but costs and fees on the other side may be awarded against you.
Personal Injury Compensation and Medical Negligence Compensation is never straight forward and the Government is currently looking at ways to reduce the personal injury compensation for some accidents read the Irish Times November 17th, 2016
In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement