Who are the parties involved in a personal injury claim?
Personal injury proceedings usually involve:
- The plaintiff – this is the person who is bringing the claim, also commonly referred to as the claimant.
- The defendant – this is the person who the claim is brought against.
- A solicitor – solicitors are responsible for helping you make your claim, acting as your guide throughout proceedings.
- PIAB – this is the acronym for the Personal Injury Assessment Board, sometimes called the Injuries Board – the vast majority of personal injury claims must first be assessed by PIAB before proceeding to the next stage.
Personal injury claim application (A step-by-step guide)
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a personal injury claim in Ireland:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and well-being should be your first priority. Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will ensure that you receive the necessary treatment and will also help to establish the extent of your injuries for the purposes of making a claim.
- Gather evidence: Collect any evidence that may be relevant to your claim, such as photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and other relevant documentation.
- Report the accident: If the accident occurred in the workplace, on the road, or in a public place, you should report it to the relevant authorities. For example, if you were in a car accident, you should report it to the Gardaí.
- Contacting a personal injury solicitor: It is recommended that you contact a solicitor specialising in personal injury claims as soon as possible after the accident. They can advise you on the best course of action and help you with the process of making a claim.
- The PIAB application: Your solicitor will assist you in filing a claim with the Injuries Board Ireland. This is a government body that assesses personal injury claims and makes recommendations for compensation. This process includes providing relevant documentation such as medical records, witness statements, and any other evidence that supports your claim.
- PIAB Assessment: PIAB will review your claim and assess the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life. They may also appoint a medical assessor to examine you and provide a report.
- Recommendation for compensation: Based on their assessment, the PIAB will make a recommendation for the amount of compensation they believe you are entitled to.
- Accept or Reject the Recommendation: If both parties accept the recommendation, the case is settled and the compensation is paid
Personal injury claim types our solicitors manage
Serious injury claim
- Head & Brain Injury
- Back & Spinal Injury
- Nerve Damage
- Eye Injury
- Neurological Damage
- Fatal Accidents
- Lower Body Injuries
- Whiplash Injury
Road traffic accident claim
- Car Accident
- Bicycle Accident Claim
- Motorcycle Accident Claim
- E-Bike / E-Scooter Accident Claim
- Taxi Accident Claim
- Bus Accident Claim
- Pedestrian Accident Claim
- Public Transport Accident Claim
- Luas Accident Claim
- Other Major Road Traffic Accident Claim
Factory accident claim
- Asbestosis Claim
- Mesothelioma Claim
- Warehouse Accident Claim
- Industrial Accident Claim
- Crush Injury Claim
- Over Exposure Claim
- Defective Equipment Claim
- Loss of Limb Claim
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Claim
Construction accident claim
- Machinery Handling Accidents Claim
- Defective Machinery Accidents Claim
- Moving Vehicle Accidents Claim
- Welding and Chemical Burns Claim
- Electrical Injury at Work Claim
- Slip and Fall Injury Claim
- Building Site Accident Claim
Other accidents in the workplace claim
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Claim
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- Fishing Accident Claim
- Warehouse Accident Claim
- Meat Factory Accident Claim
- Defence Forces Accident Claim
- Agency Worker Injury Claim
- Retail Staff Injury Claim
Accidents in public places claim
- Accidents in a Supermarket
- Car Park Accidents
- Claims made against a council or local authority for accidents that occurred on a footpath, in a park, or in another improperly managed public area.
- Slips, trips, and falls in public places
- Accidents in a Hotel
- Accidents in a Restaurant
- Food Poisoning from a Restaurant
- Accident on a Petrol Station Forecourt
- Accidents Caused by Spillages
- Crèche Accident Claim
Compensation for a personal injury claim
How much compensation you receive for a personal injury claim is dictated by two legally binding documents known as:
The “Book of Quantum” and
The recently published Personal Injuries Guidelines by the Judicial Council of Ireland.
The Book of Quantum dictates how much compensation you are owed if your Authorisation was received from PIAB prior to the 21st of April 2021. In all other cases, compensation in respect of general damages is assessed with the aid of the Judicial council’s Personal Injuries Guidelines.
The Book of Quantum sets out general guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded or assessed in Personal Injury Claims. The guidelines are divided into sections depending on what category of injury was suffered, e.g., head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, and spinal fractures, upper limb injuries, lower limb injuries, and body and internal organs. The Book of Quantum sets out four steps to assess what compensation is appropriate for the suffered injury. These steps are as follows:
- Identify the category of injury
- Assess the severity of the injury (through medical reports and records)
- Research the value range
- Consider the effect of multiple injuries
The Personal Injuries Guidelines were adopted by The Judicial Council on the 6th of March 2021. Similar to the Book of Quantum, this legal document sets out guidelines for assessing compensation in respect of general damages. The general principles for this assessment centre on three criteria:
- Awards of damages must be fair and reasonable to both the claimant and the defendant(s)
- Awards must be proportionate to the injuries sustained
- Awards must be compared on a scale of injuries that are both of a lesser and greater magnitude
One of the most substantial differences brought about by this update is that the average level of damages awarded has been reduced. The new guidelines have, however, provided more detail and more explanation for claimants, which is overall a welcomed change to the process of making a personal injury claim.
What is contributory negligence?
In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, you prove that the incident and consequent injuries were caused by the defendant – normally as a result of negligence.
However, if the person making the claim has contributed to the cause of the accident or the severity of the injuries, this is known as contributory negligence. If contributory negligence is proven, this may nullify your claim or significantly diminish your award.
Will my claim be affected by Contributory Negligence?
Whether or not your claim will be affected by contributory negligence will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If it can be shown that your actions or failure to take action contributed to the accident or injury, it may reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
For example, if you were involved in a car accident and it can be shown that you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and that this contributed to the severity of your injuries, your compensation award may be reduced to reflect your own contribution to the accident.
It’s important to note that the amount of reduction will depend on the degree to which your actions or failure to take action contributed to the accident or injury. If your actions or omissions were minimal in comparison to the other party, then the reduction might be small.
It’s recommended that you consult our solicitors with experience in personal injury claims, to advise you on how contributory negligence may apply to your case and how it could potentially impact your claim.
When is my date of knowledge?
The date of knowledge is the date the plaintiff gained knowledge of the following:
- They were injured
- It was a significant injury
- Negligence, nuisance, or a breach of duty on the part of the responsible party in the accident caused the injury
- The responsible party’s identity
The date of knowledge is often the day the accident occurred as the plaintiff is immediately aware of their injuries. However, sometimes a period of time passes before the claimant’s injuries manifest. In such circumstances, the date the claimant finds out about the injury is the date of knowledge.
The date of knowledge is significant as there is a time limit within which you must bring a claim, known as the Statute of Limitations. You can ‘stop the clock’ of the Statute of Limitations by submitting your claim to the Injuries Board.
Note: PIAB does not review medical negligence claims and therefore, a submission to the Board will not stop the clock. Consequently, it is vital to seek the advice of a solicitor as soon as possible in cases of medical negligence so they can issue proceedings within the Statute of Limitations.
Statute of limitations for a personal injury claim
You have two years from the date of the accident within which to issue proceedings.
If you are under 18, a separate set of rules apply, and we would recommend you contact our solicitors to discuss these.
Claims Involving a Minor
Where the plaintiff is under 18 years old, they may not bring a claim forward themselves. There are two options open to minor claimants. A parent or guardian can make a claim on their behalf under the ‘next friend rule.’
Awards made in such circumstances will be withheld by the courts until the child turns 18. Alternatively, they can wait until they turn 18 and bring the claim themselves; however, they must do so within two years of their 18th birthday.
Why choose Coleman Legal?
At Coleman Legal, we understand that being involved in an accident and possibly getting injured can be stressful and challenging. That’s why we are here to provide support and assistance with the practical issues that may arise due to someone else’s fault.
For example, you may need to understand your Social Welfare entitlements should you be out of work. Also, it’s important for you to know that your legal advisers will obtain all of the important Reports that may be required to ensure that you get the best outcome in your case.
We offer a national service and can meet with you locally to ensure you have a voice and access to the best advice and resources for your specific case. Our focus is on the client and we communicate in plain English without any unnecessary legal jargon. Our team has extensive experience handling thousands of claims over many years and we pride ourselves in our respectful and caring approach to all our clients.
How can Coleman Legal help with your personal injury claim?
From the moment of your first contact with CL to the completion of your case, our team listen, care and act with empathy, whatever the extent of your injury.
Our teams have the understanding and expertise to ensure that your injury is professionally and properly dealt with to ensure the best outcome for you in the circumstances of your case.
Our Team will manage your case and keep you fully informed of progress on a regular basis. Our commitment and service to you will include;
- Working with you to fully understand what happened,
- Collect all medical notes and obtain all medical reports on your behalf.
- Submit your claim to the Injuries Board and advise you on the outcome of same.
- Process your case and deal with all queries.
- Advise and support you throughout the whole process.
If you want to take legal action over a personal injury, you should consult our injury solicitors, who are members of the Law Society’s injury accreditation scheme and clinical negligence accreditation scheme. Contacted us at:
Coleman Legal LLP
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
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Personal injury claim important FAQS
How do I know if I have a valid personal injury claim?
To have a valid personal injury claim, you must have suffered an injury or illness due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party.
How much time do I have to make a personal injury claim?
In Ireland, there is a two-year time limit for making a personal injury claim, starting from the date of the accident.
How do I prove that someone else is at fault for my injury?
To prove fault, you will need to provide evidence that the other party was negligent or engaged in wrongdoing that caused your injury. This can include witness statements, medical records, and other documentation.
How much compensation can I receive for my injury?
The amount of compensation you can receive will depend on the severity of your injury, the impact it has had on your life, and any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the injury.
Do I need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim?
While you are not required to have a solicitor to make a personal injury claim in Ireland, it is generally recommended that you seek legal representation.
A solicitor can help you navigate the claims process, gather evidence, and negotiate with the other party to secure a fair settlement.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.