Accident Claims * For Non-Residents Who Sustained An Injury In Ireland
Whether you are here on holidays, visiting family or friends or just passing through, having an accident and sustaining an injury for any non-national while in Ireland, is a total inconvenience and most definitely not part of your travel plans! In many cases the injured person will not be in Ireland long enough to pursue a personal injury claim while they are here, this begs the question, what can a non-Irish national do if they were involved in an accident that was not their fault while in Ireland?
A Guide for non-Irish nationals pursuing a Personal Injury Claim * for an accident that occurred in Ireland
If you are resident outside of Ireland but have had an accident whilst in Ireland then you are entitled to bring a personal injury claim * in Ireland in respect of that accident.
- Your first priority, if you have been involved in an accident, is assessing whether you have been injured or not, the best way to do this is to go to a doctor or the nearest A&E (Accident and Emergency) room.
- In some cases, like in a road traffic accident *, you may need to call the police (Gardaí) to come to the scene of the accident or if you were involved in an accident in work *, for example, then you would report the accident to your manager. If your accident occurred in a public place *, like a supermarket, then you would immediately inform the shop staff and complete an incident report.
- Once you have been assessed by a medical professional, take a second to think and document the details of the accident, this will prove helpful when you speak with a personal injury solicitor * about your case and will help the solicitor establish whether you have a personal injury claim * or not. Some of the information you should note are:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Details of how the accident happened, think about the few moments before the accident happened and what led to your injury.
- If there are any witnesses to the accident, if possible, take note of their contact details as you may need to refer to them during the personal injury claim * progresses.
- Make sure that you photograph your injuries as by the time you come to making the claim you have healed somewhat.
- It is also important to keep records of all documentation relating to the accident – keep your medical records, receipts for any expenses relating to the accident any correspondence over email or text message from anybody involved.
Once you have gathered all information possible and are sure that your injuries have been seen to and are recovering, if you are going to pursue a personal injury claim *, it is advisable to contact a personal injury solicitor * to make sure that you make the right steps at the right time. A personal injury solicitor * will guide you through the process with your best interest at heart dewing your claim.
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (The Injuries Board)
The Injuries Board is the government body in Ireland which assesses and suggest compensation amounts for personal injury claims *. Most accidents in Ireland must go through the Injuries Board process (**There are exceptions to this – consult a solicitor for further advice). You are required to submit your case to the Injuries Board within a certain period of time (called a statute of limitations). If you do not submit the case within that time period then you may be unable to make any successful claim for compensation. When submitting your case to the Injuries Board for assessment you will also need to submit a medical report, you can request this from the doctor/hospital that treated you after the accident. The Injuries Board process for a personal injury claim * may follow these steps:
1. The Injuries Board assess your application and case and suggest a compensation amount to be paid to you by the defendant (the person responsible for the accident).
2. If you both agree on the compensation amount suggested by the Injuries Board, they will issue a document called an ‘Order to Pay’ and the person responsible for the accident must then pay the agreed compensation amount to you.
3. If you or the person responsible does not agree with the compensation amount suggested by the Injuries Board then court proceedings are issue and your claim moves to the next step – at this stage, if you haven’t done so already, you should consult a personal injury solicitor * as the solicitor will advise you, in conjunction with a barrister, to identify the correct court to issue your proceedings in and will normally arrange for those proceedings to be drafted once you have instructed them to act on your behalf. Soon after this and some more legal formalities that your solicitor will help you with, you will be notified of a court date.
4. At any stage of the proceedings, the person responsible for the accident may seek to ‘settle’ the case – meaning that they would like to arrange compensation outside of court. This will involve your solicitor speaking with the legal team of the person at fault and negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
Settling a Personal Injury Claim *
If the defendant seeks to settle the claim, your legal advisors will advise you as to the adequacy of a settlement – with their experience in the field of personal injury *, they will be able to guide in this matter. Settlement negotiations always take place on a ‘without prejudice’ basis which essentially means that the court cannot be advised of the content of those negotiations if the matter fails to settle.
Settling the case basically, means that you agree to conclude your case for a number of settlement monies offered to you. It is important to note that once your case is settled then it is done in ‘full and final settlement’ of your case against the defendant. This means that you cannot, for example, advise a few months or years later that your injury is worse and that you now want to claim further monies.
If you are a non-Irish national who has a personal injury claims * they wish to pursue but you are no longer in Ireland, the best course of action for you is to contact and appoint a personal injury solicitor * in Ireland as soon as possible, this way you can be sure that the solicitor is familiar with Irish legal system and personal injury claims * procedure.
For a confidential discussion contact Elaine Hickey and tell her about your case on +353 (0) 1 649 9900 or email email@example.com to arrange a call.