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Personal Injury FAQ

 

If I am to claim, does the incident have to have happened in Ireland?

When you are injured abroad and it is as a result of another’s negligence you have a right to compensation. We have contacts in several jurisdictions to enable you to process your claim.

How do I know if I can make a claim?

Fill in your contact details on our website and we will assess the likelihood of success for you. We have an excellent panel of solicitors with access to all necessary experts to review the nature of your claim and an ability to assess liability. There are a number of criteria (dealing with liability) which each claim has to meet before going to the expense of obtaining medical reports. If you meet these criteria then we will request a medical report. Later when the medical reports are received by us we will be in a position to advice on the sum of money you should expect to be awarded.

The Injuries Board can only assess the level of compensation for your injuries if your claim is presented in the most comprehensive fashion. Our panel of solicitors’ role is to ensure that your claim is so presented. While your claim is a one off for you we have processed hundreds of personal injury claims.

You have 2 years to make your claim in the Republic of Ireland and 3 years in Northern Ireland. If you were injured while under the age of 18 you have 2 years to make a claim following your 18th birthday.

Am I entitled to any compensation?

This question should be asked of our panel in each and every case involving personal injury. The issue of liability is not black and white. While you may have been partly to blame for putting yourself in danger (contributory negligence) nevertheless you are probably still entitled to bring you case. The issue of partial liability will play a part later in the proceedings when assessment of damages or the award is being discussed.

How much might my claim be worth?

Each and every claim has different aspects to it. Not least is the presentation aspect. If liability isn’t properly presented in a clear and lucid way your claim will be much diminished. Similarly if all aspects of the injury received are not detailed then the award will also be diminished.

In general terms, therefore, if your claim is properly presented both from a liability and a medical point of view to the Injuries Board the measure of damages to be awarded will depend on the extent of your injuries. Future pain management will have a very significant bearing the award to be received. The award for pain and suffering are called “general damages”.
In addition, any loss of earnings or other out of pocket expenses are also awarded and must be vouched. Keep all receipts for this part of your claim. These damages are known as “special damages”.

We discussed above another aspect that will impact on your award relating to contributory negligence. When discussing contributory negligence your claim will be valued on a 100% basis initially and then a % reduced depending on how much you are to blame for the cause of your injuries. For instance failing to wear a seat belt if you were injured in a motor accident.

Our panel of solicitors are well versed in all these aspects of your claim and will bring this knowledge to bear on your behalf when processing your claim. This security or peace of mind allows you to feel comfortable that your claim is in the best possible hands and that the fullest award possible will be achieved.

How often can I expect to receive an update on my claim?

We work in a service industry and are conscious at all times of the need to keep you abreast of your case. To achieve this in a practical way we present to you our “claim’s folder” on your first visit to our firm. You will be requested to keep all correspondence form the firm in this folder and to bring your claim’s folder on every visit made to the firm.

Our commitment to you is to write to you every 2 months in addition to forwarding any correspondence received by us concerning your case. Your injuries may take a long time to heal before a reasonably confident prognosis can be made as to the future pain management you will endure. By making this 2 month commitment we are promising you a close bond with the solicitor assigned to your case.

It is easy for us to make this commitment as we know that the future of our firm depends on us satisfying your needs both on a professional and friendship basis. We hope that all our clients perceive us as “their solicitor’s firm” able to provide competent professional advice in a friendly and courteous manner.

How long will it take before my case is settled?
Your case will be settled as early as possible given the nature of your injuries. Injuries that are minor in nature will be settled in a matter of weeks and more extensive injuries will be monitored to ensure that settlement is achieved as soon as the injuries have “settled” allowing for a prognosis on the future pain management.
It is in your interest that the monetary part of your injuries is settled when your injuries have settled.

What if I was partly to blame for the accident?

We briefly touched on this in our earlier answers and introduced the concept of “contributory negligence”. Where you are partly to blame for the extent of your injuries (and we used the example of not wearing a seat belt) we will guide you on the proportionality of negligence. In other words your claim will still be assessed on a 100% basis but a % will be deducted relating to that aspect of the claim where you were partly responsible. To put it another way how much did you contribute to either (a) receiving the injuries in the first place or (b) to the extent of your injuries.

What are damages?

We discussed this above and said there are 2 types of damages “General” and “Special” damages

General Damages

This was answered above as follows:-
In general terms, therefore, if your claim is properly presented both from a liability and a medical point of view to the Injuries Board the measure of damages to be awarded will depend on the extent of your injuries. Future pain management will have a very significant bearing the award to be received. The award for pain and suffering are called “general damages”.
Special Damages
This was answered above as follows:

In addition, any loss of earnings or other out of pocket expenses are also awarded and must be vouched. Keep all receipts for this part of your claim. These damages are known as “special damages”.

What is the Motor Insurers’ Bureau / Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland?

Unfortunately many people drive without insurance. Victims of car accidents where the driver was uninsured or unidentifiable received no compensation.  To prevent this happening the Government introduced the Motor Insurers’ Bureau in 1955 which required insurance companies to put together a fund from which victims could claim for personal injuries.

The Bureau is independent of the insurance companies but relies on the insurance companies to process claims made on the fund.

How is the MIB / MIBI financed?

The fund is collected from the insurance companies in proportion to the market share which they enjoy.  The insurance companies charge the insured drivers for the fund as part of the premium paid.

When should I claim on the MIB/MIBI?

Where you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or an unidentified motorist you should notify the Gardai as soon as possible so that they can commence their enquiries. The Gardai will confirm if the driver is uninsured after they make contact with him or will confirm that their enquiries have not borne fruit and that the driver remains untraceable.
A claim can then be made on the fund to compensate you for your personal injuries.

Can I claim for material damage to my car?

This part of your claim is only allowed in certain circumstances described by the Motor Insurance Bureau as follows:

“It is not always possible to claim compensation for vehicle or property damage under the MIBI compensation scheme.  Where the offending vehicle is not identified there is no provision in the 1988 or the 2004 MIBI Agreements to recover losses for vehicle or property damage.  The 2009 MIBI Agreement (Clause 7) introduced compensation for vehicle or property damage against an unidentified vehicle where there are significant personal injuries arising from the same accident.  In certain circumstances an excess may apply to vehicle/property damage claims.”