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Here at legal.ie we have a team of specialist solicitors who can help you to make a claim for an injury or accident or assist you with other areas of law completely online.

Our experience allows us to simplify the legal process for you and get results at a time when you need it the most.

Contact us today for confidential advice in relation to your legal issue via our simple enquiry form or request a call back and one of our experienced solicitors will get in touch to talk you through the process.

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Personal Injury Claims

Choosing to begin the claims process can feel quite intimidating and confusing. Let us guide you in the right direction.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board aids individuals who wish to claim compensation for an injury without going to Court.

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence you are entitled to make a claim for your injury.

Claim for injuries caused by a road traffic accident, as a driver, passenger, motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian.

If you have been injured in a public or privately owned place you may be able to make a personal injury claim.

You are entitled to a healthy working environment. If you have had an accident at work you may be entitled to compensation.

This is often as a result of a road traffic accident, medical negligence or a work place accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Personal Injury Claim is a legal process used whereby you seek compensation for an injury or loss which you have suffered through the negligence of another. Two things are necessary to succeed in any personal injury claim 1) you are injured, and 2) your injury was caused by a person or place who owed you a duty of care.

Common examples of situations were personal injury claims arise would be:

  • road traffic accidents,
  • work place accidents,
  • medical negligence and
  • slips/trips or falls

There are however many situations were a personal injury claim may arise, and if you think you might have a claim you should contact legal.ie for a free consultation.

Anybody who has been injured or who has suffered a loss as the result of the negligence of a third party can pursue a claim.

In the case of the injured party being a minor (a person under 18 years of age) they cannot make a personal injury claim until they are over 18 years of age.

However, a parent or guardian can make a personal injury claim on behalf of the minor before they have reached this age. They can do this through the “next friend” process. Any compensation granted under this process will be held by the courts until the minor has turned 18 years of age.

In the case of a fatal injury a personal injury claim can be made by the dependents of the deceased i.e. spouse, children, or other immediate family.

This is a government board which was set up in 2004 for the purposes of resolving personal injury claims outside of court. The Personal Injuries Board (PIAB) can assess most personal injury cases, with the exception of medical negligence claims. The process is simple and involves submitting forms with the details of the accident, details of any losses and a medical report. We can guide you through this process and submit the paperwork on your behalf.

While the injuries board has broadly been a welcome development in making the claims process simpler and less costly for claimants, most solicitors would be of the view it is ill equipped to deal with more complicated injuries, i.e. those involving any element of psychological harm and future loss of earnings.

You can make a claim 2 years from the date of the injury or loss. In most cases this will be the day the accident or injury occurred. In a more complex case, such as medical negligence, the 2 year time period can start from the date of the knowledge of the negligence. There can however be exceptions to this general rule, as we would caution against any delay whatsoever, as if a case is “statute barred”, no matter how serious the injury, compensation will be denied.

A personal injuries claim for the most part is generally commenced by making an application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. This involves getting a report from your doctor and applying through the board and paying the relevant fee. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is a state agency tasked with the job of making a fair and reasonable assessment of your claim.

The length of time a personal injury case will take from beginning to end will vary greatly from case to case. It will mostly be dependent upon the severity of the injury or accident and whether liability has been admitted. With more severe injuries the claims process can take longer as the process tends to be more complex.

In general, the Injuries Board process takes approximately 12 months from the date a claim is filed.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board refers to the “Book of Quantum” in making an assessment. This is suitable in many cases where the injury you have suffered is straightforward, i.e. a broken hand or sprained ankle. If you have more complex injuries the Board may decline to assess the case, or in some cases attempt to assess it with varying degrees of success.

In a word, no. When the Personal Injuries Board has made an assessment both parties are afforded the opportunity to accept or reject the assessment. The board will not engage in any negotiation, but will issue an “authorisation” if either party is unhappy with the outcome of the process. This will permit the claimant to proceed to Court.

At times they do, however any offer made by an insurance company should be treated with a degree of caution and circumspection. Insurance companies at all time seek to minimise their exposure to claimants and will often try to buy off a claim early, sometimes when a claimant is a vulnerable place either emotionally of financially. It is not unknown for representatives of insurance companies to be overly pushy in trying to settle genuine claims, and it is common that they would be particularly active before Christmas when people are often financially stretched. If you are ever in doubt about the amount of an offer, or if you are wise in settling a case get legal advice.

Put simply if your case is one that is not suitable for assessment by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, or if you are not happy with the assessment made by the board you will need to instruct a solicitor and go to court.

Each personal injury claim will be different and the amount of compensation you will be entitled to will vary upon several factors. These can include the severity of the accident and injury, any future health implications and / or any impact on the quality of life experienced as a result of the accident or injury, financial implications, and the amount of “Special Damages” such as loss of earnings or medical costs.

The final compensation figure reached may be influenced by the “Book of Quantum”. This book published by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) contains guideline figures that may be awarded for different types of personal injury. These amounts have been calculated by taking the average compensation amount from similar personal injuries.

In general terms the Courts are obliged to be ‘fair’ to both parties and any award made must be ‘proportionate’ within the scheme of awards for personal injury damages and further that any such award must be objectively ‘reasonable’ in light of the common good and social conditions.

It is generally accepted that €450,000 is the upper figure for “general damages” that might be awarded by a Court in Ireland. This would be for a catastrophic and life changing injury, and equally modest injuries will attract more modest pay-outs.

On top of this figure are what are called special damages, this will generally be:

  • loss of income now and into the future
  • medical expenses and rehabilitation expenses
  • traveling expenses to and from appointments
  • other costs attributable to the injury suffered

As such the headline figure you might obtain will be made up of a component of general damages and special damages.

Our People

A skilled group of lawyers who have joined forces to provide a specialist offering in catastrophic personal injury* and litigation cases.

More About Us

Micheal O’Dowd

Principal BCL LLM

Mícheál O Dowd graduated from UCC with a BCL in 2004 and LLM in 2006 and is a practicing solicitor since 2009. Micheál has extensive experience in Litigation matters and has represented clients at all levels.

Deirdre Costello

BA LLB Solicitor

Deirdre Costello joined the firm in 2014. She is an experienced litigator having worked previously as an associate solicitor for leading law firms in Dublin and Limerick.

Susan Fitzharris

Office Manager

Prior to joining O’Dowd Solicitors in 2018, Susan worked in retail management for a prestigious English Heritage company in the UK, gaining invaluable experience in communication, organisation and administration.

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