What Is Personal Injury?
Personal Injury covers a range of physical and/or psychological injuries which a person suffers from, as a result of an accident. Generally, the accidents fall into the following categories:
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Accidents at Work
- Accidents in Public Places
- Fatal Accidents
- Slips and Falls
If you have suffered such an injury, then you may be entitled to compensation for the personal injury and any other loss related to this accident e.g. if you were out of work as a result of your injuries, you can claim for loss of earnings.
How Do I Make a Personal Injury Claim?
In order to make a successful claim for personal injury compensation, you need to establish that somebody else was at fault for the accident.
The claims process then involves the following steps:
- As a first step, unless your claim involves medical negligence or assault, it must be submitted to the Personal injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). PIAB is an independent statutory body that deals with personal injury claims.
- PIAB then provides an independent assessment of your claim.
- They assess your claim based on the medical evidence you provide from your doctor. We can advise and assist you to obtain the medical reports required. If necessary, PIAB may also appoint an independent doctor to provide a report to them.
- When assessing compensation levels, PIAB will take into account the injuries you sustained. They will also consider your circumstances or any other losses you incurred as a result.
- Sometimes, the person you hold responsible for your injury does not want the PIAB to assess your claim. If so, then you can take your claim to court.
- If either side rejects the PIAB assessment, the claim can be referred to court.
- If your injury consists wholly or partly of psychological damage, it can be difficult to assess under PIAB procedures. In such cases, PIAB may give you permission to pursue your claim through the courts without assessing your claim.
- If both sides agree to the PIAB assessment, the person (or their insurance company) pays you the award and the case ends there. If not, then your solicitor may issue court proceedings on your behalf.
How Much to Expect From a Personal Injury Claim
There are guideline amounts of compensation for specific injuries. These are laid out in what is known as PIAB’s ‘Book of Quantum’. These are the PIAB General Guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded or assessed in Personal Injury Claims. You can click here to download a copy.
Generally, the level of compensation aims to cover:
- Medical expenses – this includes past and future medical bills.
- Loss of earnings – this includes actual and potential future loss of earnings
The amount of the award will vary, depending on the gravity of the injury, personal circumstances and any level of loss of earnings. However, the same injury could amount to two different awards depending on the circumstances. For example, in the case of a leg injury, a professional footballer may be forced to retire early. An office worker with a similar injury may still be able to carry out their job. So, the professional footballer would receive more compensation than the office worker.
Is There a Time Limit on Personal Injury Claims?
Yes – the time limit for compensation claims is 2 years from the date of the accident.
In the case of minors, they cannot make a claim themselves before the age of 18. A claim is usually made by a parent on behalf of a minor.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?
The average time it takes for PIAB to process your claim is just over 7 months. Personal injury claims taken in the courts can take up to 3 years. The length of time involved can vary, based on the following factors:
- The nature of the injury. For example, if an injury is ongoing, updated medical reports may be needed before setting it down for trial.
- The severity of the injury. For example, the more serious the injury, the longer it may take to recover. This is likely to influence the length of the case.
- What court your case is heard in
The Orpen Franks Solicitors LLP Personal Injury Legal Team
Our team of expert personal injury solicitors are highly experienced in providing advice to people who have suffered injuries as a result of accidents. We regularly advise people in relation to road traffic accidents, slips and falls and accidents at work.
In particular, we specialise in high value and complex personal injury claims where an individual sustains catastrophic, life-changing injuries. We also specialise in advising in fatal accident claims.
We work with other experts in order to ensure that an injured party receives maximum compensation. This includes considering nursing care, occupational therapy, loss of earnings, on-going medical expense and damages for pain and suffering to date and into the future.
Contact us for advice or to arrange an appointment on +353 1 637 6200 or email: email@example.com
Our Personal Injury team is led by Daragh O’Donovan