For injury claims in Ireland to be successful, you must have sustained an injury or loss due to another person’s lack of care. In very few circumstances will a near-miss suffice as grounds for a personal injury claim and, unless you have sustained some form of discernable emotional or psychological injury, you physical medical records will provide the legal basis for your claim.
Your injury must also have been caused by the negligence of somebody who had a duty of care towards you in order to qualify for personal injury claims. For example, drivers have a duty of care to all other road users when they start their engines and venture onto the roads. Employers also have a duty of care to provide their employees with a safe environment in which to work, and medical practitioners have a duty to use their skill to provide care to their patients.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN INJURY CLAIMS? Whereas many people understand the concept that personal injury claims compensate you for the pain and suffering you experience due to an injury or loss, it is often for the consequences of a personal injury that a person needs to be compensated. If for example, you sustain a whiplash injury in a car accident, you may receive an amount of personal injury compensation for the initial pain and the ensuing discomfort you suffer thereafter, but real cost to your quality of life might be much greater.
As much as making personal injury claims can be difficult when everything goes smoothly, they become harder when facts regarding negligence or the amount assessed by the Injuries Board are disputed. If an employer (for example) claims that you contributed to your work injury by your own lack of care, or his insurance company feels that the Injuries Board assessment is too high, you will need legal assistance to resolve your personal injury claims.
Rather than wait until a problem exists, it is far better to have a personal injury solicitor involved with any personal injury claims from the very beginning. A recent report published by the University College Dublin revealed that more than 90 per cent of people making personal injury claims in Ireland did so with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor – not just to maximise the value of their personal injury claims, but also to assist with the different and sometimes difficult processes for making personal injury claims, especially those involving children which require settlements to be approved by a court.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement - Section 68 (2) of the Solicitors' (Amendment) Act 1994