A personal injury overview from the personal injury solicitors at MBSolicitors based in Dublin 3.
Personal injury includes any disease and any impairment of a person’s physical and mental condition. In order to bring a claim for damages for a personal injury, the injured party must show that a third party caused the injury.
- Traffic accidents
- Accidents at work or in public places
- Use of a defective product
- Medical negligence
The statute of limitations provides that an injured person has 2 years from the date:
- on which the accident occurred; or
- when the injured person had the requisite knowledge that they suffered an injury. For example, it would be grossly unfair if the 2 year limitation period applied for a new born baby that suffered an injury in the course of his/her delivery. Therefore, this 2 year time limit will run from the date the person reaches the age of majority – 18 years old.
Personal injury compensation may be awarded for pain, suffering and reduction in life expectancy. Suffering can include physical injury or mental injury e.g. depression, anxiety or loss of enjoyment of life. This compensation for personal injuries is known as general damages.
The injured person may also be entitled to compensation for out-of-pocket expenses which can include:
- Compensation for loss of earnings
- Compensation for future loss of earnings
- Hospital and medical expenses
Compensation awarded for personal injury is not subject to tax. However, money earned on the investment of compensation may be subject to tax.
The injuries Board is a statutory body set up to independently assess personal injury compensation.
In Ireland, all claims of personal injury must follow the below process:
- Submit an application, copy medical report and the required fee currently €45 to the Injuries Board.
- The Injuries Board will write to the person you are claiming against (the respondent) to notify them of your claim.
- The respondent or their insurance company will agree to the assessment.
- The injuries board may arrange a medical assessment and will then assess the value of your claim.
- If both the respondent and the injured party are satisfied with the assessment the Injuries Board will issue a cheque and the matter is settled.
The injured party has 28 days to accept the award whereas the respondent has 21 days to reject the award.
If the Injuries Board’s assessment is rejected then you are free to begin court proceedings.
There can be a number of reasons why Court Proceedings will be necessary, for example, the Board will not assess damages of a psychological nature.
- Personal Injuries Summons is issued.
- The person you are making a claim (defendant) against will request further information.
- The defendant will then deliver their defence and counterclaim.
- The case is then set down for trial.
While there is no doubt that a person may enter this process without a Solicitor, it can be a daunting process, especially where your injuries are ongoing. MBsolicitors will dedicate their time, skill and know-how, to ensure that an award of damages which could be granted for your injuries, will be the fairest possible compensation for the injury you have suffered. When the worst happens, you need someone to be in your corner, and that is our promise to you, should you decide that you would like our assistance.
Word of Warning
A claimant who exaggerates his claim runs the risk of being disqualified from any compensation with their case being dismissed even where the claimant suffered some injury.
*In a contentious matter a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of or proportion of any award or settlement.