Making a Personal Injuries Claim *
Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, anyone intending to seek compensation for a personal injury (other than medical negligence/ malpractice ) must make an application through the Personal Injuries Board (PIAB) unless the claim is settled directly between the parties.
The first step your solicitor will take after meeting with you is to make an application to the personal injuries board. The Board will then inform the respondent about the claim. They have 90 days to consent to the Board assessing your claim. If the respondent does not do this, the Board will issue you with an authorisation which gives your solicitors authority to proceed with your claim through the courts.
If the Board does assess your claim you have 28 days to decide whether to accept or reject the award. If either you or the respondent rejects the assessment, the Board will issue you authorisation allowing you to take your claim to court.
Which court your case is heard in depends on the value of the case. Your solicitor will assess the value of your case when all relevant factors have been assessed including your injury, loss of earnings, your prognosis for the future, any contributing factors and will advise as to whether your personal injuries claim should be taken in the District Court, the Circuit Court or the High Court.
Time Limits for Personal Injury Claims *
Generally speaking the time limit to issuing legal proceedings is two years from the date that you know you are injured. In a personal injuries claim * this is usually two years from the date of the accident however there are some exceptions to the rule and it is advisable that you contact your solicitor to obtain advice on the relevant time limits as soon as possible after an accident.
For example, in some instances you may not be aware that you have been injured such as asbestos exposure which can take over 20 years for an injury to become apparent. In such circumstances the two year period will generally only run from the time the injury becomes known to the injured party.
In the case of a minor, the date of knowledge of an injury is deemed to be the minors 18th birthday and so when there is an injury to a minor the minor has two years from their 18th birthday to issue proceedings. This does not mean that a minor must wait until their 18th birthday before taking a claim. A minors parent or guardian can take a claim on a minors behalf well before that time.
The law governing personal injury claims can be complex and so it is advisable to contact your solicitor as soon as possible after an accident to obtain expert advice and to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
* 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 Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.