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Top 3 reasons to use a solicitor for a personal injury claim

A common question asked is whether it’s possible to make a personal injury claim without a solicitor. While it is possible, there are several compelling reasons why using a specialist personal injury solicitor for your claim is a smart choice. Here are 3 reasons why.

1: Solicitors know how to get the best outcome for you

Solicitors understand how to assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and future care needs, to ensure you get the appropriate amount of compensation for your case.

Solicitor Elaine Hickey explains: “We understand how claims are assessed completely from end-to-end, and we know what’s needed to make sure we get the best possible result for our client. This allows our clients to focus on their recovery while we focus on their legal claim.”

In Ireland, virtually all personal injury claims must go before The Injuries Resolutions Board (formerly known as Personal Injuries Assessment Board, or PIAB).

However, in her experience, Elaine finds the Injuries Resolutions Board may not always offer the best outcome for the client.

“In these cases, “explains Elaine, “we instigate court proceedings to seek more appropriate compensation for our client. These cases don’t always go to court; they are often settled out of court, but they usually lead to a better outcome for our client.”

2: They make sure all information is correct for your case

Navigating the complex system of Irish personal injury law can be daunting for someone without practical legal experience. And any mistakes along the way can jeopardise the case.

Elaine says that while it may seem straightforward, the reality is that bringing a case can be tricky.

“Quite often,” Elaine says, “pre-existing injuries or conditions aren’t disclosed. People often think a pre-existing injury will make their case worth less, but in fact it could make it more valuable, because it’s an aggravation of an injury. Or people sometimes simply forget, or think their condition isn’t relevant to the case. But if someone doesn’t disclose absolutely everything, it could mean the case is unsuccessful because of a lack of transparency.”

Another area that can pose problems is naming the correct defendant in a case. If you are suing a company, they often have different registered names. It’s vital that the correct entity who you’re taking legal action against is named.

“It’s critically important that you identify the correct person at fault when making your application,” says Elaine. “If you’ve identified someone to be at fault for your injuries and you have not identified the correct party then your case against the correct party may be statute-barred. This means that you are out of time for naming the correct legal entity and you will be unable to bring a successful action for compensation”.

3: A solicitor can represent you in court

In the event that your case escalates to court proceedings, you will have a solicitor by your side who knows your case inside-out. They understand court procedures and how to effectively present your case to a judge. This can help secure a favourable verdict for you and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Elaine, who has been a solicitor for over 19 years, says she still loves the energy of going to court to get a result for her clients.

“It’s very rewarding to get great results for people who really deserve it, especially when you get rightful compensation for people who have suffered,” she says.

“We put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes that people don’t see. I think most people don’t realise the amount of effort that goes into a case. But it means a lot to me when we get to successfully close a case for our clients and they’re really thankful for the work that we do.”