MOST COMMON TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES *

MOST COMMON TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES *

What is a Personal Injury Claim*

Personal injury claim *” refers to the legal action taken by a person after they have been involved in an accident or injured due to the actions/inactions or negligence of a third party.

Accidents can occur when you least expect them to happen. Accidents causing Personal injury * take place on a regular occurrence every day throughout the country. The term “personal injury *” refers to an injury or illness obtained or worsened due to another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. It is important to hold a clear and informative framework of account with regards to the specific incident in question (including personal injury * obtained) in order to assist potential cases.

Participants in a Personal Injury Claim *

A claim will usually be made up of the following parties:

  • Plaintiff – the person who makes the claim – this is you and sometimes referred to as the claimant.
  • Defendant – the person(s) you are claiming against.
  • Solicitor – the person helping you in making your claim.
  • PIAB – Personal Injury Assessment Board – also known as the Injuries Board – almost all personal injury claims * are assessed by the Injuries Board first before the next steps are considered

Types of Personal Injury Claims *

Personal injury claims * can take many forms, ranging from a fall in a public place * to a road traffic accident *. While the circumstances of each accident are different, the claims process will generally be the same (with a few exceptions, of course).  We will now take a comprehensive look at the most common type of personal injury claims *.

Generally, a claim will be brought about in one of the following categories:

Road Traffic Accident Claims *

The all too familiar occurrence of personal injury * as a result of road traffic accidents * means that they are the most common cause behind personal injury * cases in Ireland. Road traffic accident claims * arise from any type of damage to your vehicle, * personal injuries sustained, * and any additional expenses incurred as a result of an accident on the road that wasn’t your fault / caused by other road users negligence.

Road users have a duty to abide by road laws in a safe and reasonable manner that does not pose a risk to other road users. As long as you are not liable in a road traffic accident * you may pursue a claim *, these account for:

If a driver does not obey the road laws or engages in reckless driving an accident that results in injury or fatalities may occur. If the cause of the road traffic accident * was not your fault and you sustained sufficient expenses incurred for damages/personal injuries * as a direct result from the accident * you may be entitled to a legal remedy.

Some common road accident * claim types are:

It is important to note that the following a car accident * or any other type of road traffic  accident * your first point of call is to check and see if anyone involved within in the scene of the accident needs medical attention and to call an ambulance if necessary to ensure that medical attention is gotten as soon as possible.

If in the case that you have sustained a personal injury * it is important to book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible after the accident *. If you do not think your injuries are severe it is still important to get them examined by a trusted medical professional as in some cases minor or unnoticed injuries can progress into a more serious injury over time.

Making a Claim

Call the Gardaí

Regardless of how minor or serious the road traffic accident * was, it is important that you call the Gardaí and report a clear account of the accident to them immediately. For minor accidents, the Gardaí may tell you that they will not be attending the scene, therefore; it may be a case where you can settle the issue yourself. In these cases, it is important to exchange all appropriate information with other parties involved in the accident, and it that you visit your nearest Garda station to request that they take details of the accident and to take your clear statement about the incident that took place.

For more serious road traffic accidents * where other emergency personnel are present such as ambulances and fire brigades, the Gardaí may arrive to assess the scene and to take statements from the people involved and from any witnesses.

Gather Appropriate Information on Other Parties Involved

5 important pieces of relevant information you should obtain in connection with your accident.

  1. Details of the other driver (s)/people involved: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number and vehicle insurance information. You may also offer your own information to the other involved in the accident.
  2. Name(s) and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene e.g. Gardaí and paramedics.
  3. Take a picture of the scene from different angles (side view, front view, and any other areas of damage as a result of the accident). Doing this helps your solicitor understand how the accident happened, especially if no CCTV or video footage can be obtained showing the accident taking place.
  4. Time and date of the accident.
  5. Weather conditions at the time.

Witnesses

  • If there were any witnesses who saw the events of the accident unfold speak to them and ask them for their contact details. This may be of help to you when it comes to making a claim after the accident.

Speak to a Road Traffic Accident * Solicitor

Following a road traffic accident, you should contact a solicitor as soon as possible if you are planning on moving forward with a personal injury claim * or a road traffic accident claim *. If proceeding with a claim, the first step forward will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board. From there a road traffic accident solicitor * can help you prepare your application to the Injuries Board, and also ensure you follow the legal procedural path in the correct format.

Obtain a Medical Report

In order to bring any legal proceeding forwards, a medical report should be obtained. Once this is received, “a Form A” application can be sent to the injuries board for assessment. The cost of this application is €45. Your road traffic accident * solicitor can assist you with this application. After these appropriate steps are taken the injuries board will then offer a settlement amount.

Keep Account

It is important that you remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. Also to retain copies of medical reports or Garda reports, where possible.

Accidents at work *

Accident at work claims * (also known as employer liability claims *) refer to any accident or injury sustained in the workplace as a direct result of the negligence of the employer or fellow employees.

Accidents both big and small can happen in any kind of workplace environment, from warehouses to offices and on any premises that an employee is legally required to be during the course of their working day. Injuries sustained at work are a common occurrence that can result in a personal injury claim * due to accidents occurring from reasons such as:

  • Human error (fellow employee negligence)
  • Hazardous surroundings
  • Inadequate safety precautions
  • Unsafe working environment

(And more)

Some of the most common accidents experienced at work as a result of these reasons are:

The law states that an employer must take adequate measures to protect the health and safety of their employees, (including proper training, proper supervision and safe working equipment). When there is sufficient proof that you have had an accident resulting in personal injury * in the workplace you may have a personal injury claim *, as your employer may be responsible in holding liability with regards to the event in question providing there is proof that the accident occurred as a result of an unsafe workplace

Making a Claim *

Your priority should be to seek medical attention first. If accidents that result in minor injury * ( and you feel like you do not need medical assistance) occur it is still important to see a trusted medical professional for a check-up as injuries may develop into a bigger health issue for you over time.

Once you’ve had a medical assessment there are a number of steps to follow when making your claim *

Report the incident to your superior.

It is important to factually notify your manager at work about the accident * that occurred. You need to inform a superior of any injuries sustained as a result of the accident. You also need to declare clearly what caused the accident.

Seek Legal Advice from a Personal Injury Solicitor *

Once the accident is reported, it is important to seek advice from a personal injury solicitor * who has previous experiences in dealing with cases with regards to accidents in the workplace *. They can further talk and guide you through the next steps as to what is involved as you proceed with your case.

In the event that you do decide to take a personal injury claim *, you are not obliged to personally tell your employer if you do not wish to do so.  In this case, your solicitor can write to your employer and notify them of the claim *. This matter is solely down to the client to decide, but generally, we would advise that all communication regarding the case take place between the legal representatives.

Public Place Accident Claims *

Public place accidents (also known as public liability claims *) refer to any accident or injury sustained in a public place as a result of the negligence or actions of the person (s) responsible for maintaining a safe environment for public use. Accidents in a public place * such as slip, trip and fall accidents* are another common cause of a personal injury *. It is important to understand that property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises safe and hazard free to prevent any injury from occurring from accidents *. It goes without saying that not all injuries that occur on a properties premises will lead to liability, as the landowner’s legal duties vary depending on the situation and circumstantial nature of the incident that took place.

Some of the most common accident claims * in this category are:

The most common reasons that lead to accidents in a public place * (slip, trip or fall accidents *)

  • Uneven or broken footpaths/pavements leading to personal injury *
  • Wet or slippery shop floors cause by spillage or other means that’s not marked with warning signs (e.g. cleaning in progress signs).
  • Tripping on unattended to obstacles on the floor such as boxes or electrical units.
  • Trip and fall on a stairs due to the absences of balance guides such as handrails.
  • Injury * on somebody else’s private property due to hazardous conditions.

Making a Claim

Pursuing a claim for an accident in a public place * will depend on the circumstances of your accident. If you have been injured as a result of a slip, trip or fall on somebody else’s property and it was not your fault, then you may be entitled pursue legal action *.

Much like any other personal injury case * the first call of action when injured in an accident is too seek medical attention from a trusted medical professional who can address and examine injures sustained from the accident * this applies to both major and minor injuries! Minor injuries that aren’t treated immediately can develop into a more serious issue for a victim as time progresses. Please don’t hesitate to call an ambulance to the scene if injuries sustained cause serious pain.

Report the Incident

It is important to report your accident in a public place * to the owner of the premises. Once this is reported you should also ensure that the incident is recorded on their side. Check that they take down the correct details of the accident that took place and the cause behind it happening.

You may also report the incident to the Health and Safety Authority if injured in a shop/restaurant/supermarket, for example. This may lead to the HSA to open further investigations into the property.

Document the Incident

It is important to keep a detailed, clear and concise record of the accident. This will help you recall the event in question when speaking to specialist slip, tip, and fall * solicitor. When documenting an accident you should:

  • Request details of any witnesses who saw the accident take place.
  • Take clear pictures of the accident scene and prevailing factors that may have caused the accident to take place
  • Keep receipts for any additional expenses that arose from the incident.
  • A personal injury claim may have to be first put through the injury board. Request copies of medical records and examinations that a doctor may have carried out. This will be the record to the extent of your injuries. Do not tend to any injuries yourself as you will find yourself with a lack of evidence to prove any personal injury * has been sustained.

Contact the Correct Solicitors

It is advisable to contact a personal injury solicitor * (particularly with experience with accidents in a public place *).

It is important to note cases are not viable when

  • Somebody injured themselves while trespassing.
  • A person ignored any health and safety measurements in place.
  • A person engaged in reckless behaviour which caused the accident.
  • The condition of what caused the accident was not there for a long enough period of time for the property owner or employees on the property to notice and rectify the issue.

Medical Negligence *

When in need of medical care or attention we put our trust into the medical professionals who can help us with recovery and prevent further injuries. Medical negligence * (also known as clinical negligence *) refers to a situation where a person is injured, or their current medical condition worsens, due to substandard care delivered by a medical professional. Where a medical professional engages in inadequate and negligent professional behaviour when dealing with a patients, the results can lead to further injury that can put a patient’s health (or life) at risk. Examples of medical negligence * situations include:

  • Error during a surgery
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to establish illness
  • When substandard medical care has been received
  • Injury, loss of quality of life or fatality is caused by the medical practitioner in question.

Some common medical negligence claims * are:

Making a Claim

The process on how to make a claim for medical negligence * in Ireland is different when compared to other personal injury claims *. Medical negligence claims * are brought straight to court and are not assessed by the injuries board.

Steps to take

  • Record any data and time of the incident and the details of the type of care received.
  • Retain any medical records relating to the incident.
  • Take a photo of any visible injuries sustained as a result.

Speak to a Medical Negligence Solicitor *

As medical negligence is a very complex topic in Irish Law. It is not advisable for you to proceed alone without the help of a solicitor. Once a solicitor is acquired they can guide you through the next steps to ensure that the claim procedure runs as smoothly as possible for you.

Medical Records

Generally, after discussing your situation in depth and detail with you, your solicitor will request to access your medical record. From here an independent medical expert in the field of interest will then review your case.

This is done in order to determine whether you have been subjected to substandard medical care and medical negligence *. Your injuries/illness will also be assessed to determine if they could be avoided.

Letter of Claim

Your solicitors will then draft a letter of claim and send it to the relevant people involved. A letter of claim outlines the nature of your medical negligence * and invites the medical practitioners at fault to settle your claim. This will determine whether your claim is brought to a court hearing or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the best course of action once medical negligence * is confirmed and a letter of claim is sent to relevant parties.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

Tracey Solicitors draw on over 30 years of experience as personal injury solicitors * and have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate the legalities of making a claim without any of the legal jargon attached to it. Our promise is to make law accessible to all. For more information call 01 649 9900 or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie and tell us about your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

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Personal Injury Claims * – Useful Information

 

What is a personal injury claim *?

In scenarios where a person is involved in an accident * that was not their fault and sustains an injury as a result of that accident, they may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim *.

There are many different scenarios that could lead to a claim, most common of which are:

Each scenario and case will be different, therefore, it is important that you contact a personal injury solicitor * as soon as possible after the accident to discuss your case.

How do I start a personal injury claim *?

The first step in making a claim, after you have spoken with a solicitor, is to submit an application to the Injuries Board for an assessment of your claim. You will be required to complete an Injuries Board Form A in order to start the claims process.  Your solicitor can gather the relevant documents needed (medical reports, Gardaí reports etc.,) do this on your behalf.

My claim has been submitted to the Injuries Board, what happens next?

Once the Injuries Board have received your application they have a period of 9 months in which to assess your claim. Once assessed, the Injuries Board will revert back to you and the person at fault with a suggested compensation amount to be paid to you. At this stage, one of two scenarios will come to pass:

  1. If both parties agree on the settlement amount, the Injuries Board will issue an order to Pay and the compensation amount will be paid to you.
  2. If either party disagree on the compensation amount then your case moves to the next stage – you have 6 months to issue court proceedings.
How is compensation calculated?

A compensation amount is calculated by taking into account the following aspects:

  • Loss of wages, if absent from work due to injury
  • Future loss of earnings, if absent from work for a long period of time
  • Medical expenses resulting from the injury
  • Future medical expenses resulting from the injury
  • Out of pocket expenses

In order to calculate compensation for you, the Injuries Board will refer to the Book of Quantum. The Book of Quantum shows value ranges of compensation amounts that have been awarded to people for injuries to specific parts of their bodies. Each of the average compensation amounts found in the book is taken from real personal injury cases * (over 51,000 in total) from the years 2014-2015.

“Very professional services, my solicitor was always giving me extensive/detailed information in a very nice, polite and patient way.”

A.K-K, Personal Injury *

Client Story – Eoin **, Personal Injury *

Incident: Eoin was stopped at traffic lights when suddenly the car in which he was travelling was hit from behind. Eoin was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident but the airbags did not deploy. Immediately he noted significant discomfort in his lower back upon getting out of the car. He was referred to the Emergency Department. He was diagnosed with soft tissue injuries to his back and he noted that two weeks later he developed discomfort in his right buttock going to his left buttock and down his left leg. Eoin had an MRI performed which shows degenerative change throughout much of his lumbar spine. Eoin went through intensive physiotherapy to maintain his core strength and back strength.

Case Progression: Eoin rejected the offer made by the Personal Injury Assessment Board and proceedings were issued on the 20/07/10.

Settlement: The case was settled in the High Court on the 16/12/2010. The other driver had a duty of care to Eoin as he was behind him and should have been paying attention to the car in front.

**The Client’s name has been changed for the purpose of this case study

Client Story – Eoin **, Personal Injury *

Incident: Eoin was stopped at traffic lights when suddenly the car in which he was travelling was hit from behind. Eoin was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident but the airbags did not deploy. Immediately he noted significant discomfort in his lower back upon getting out of the car. He was referred to the Emergency Department. He was diagnosed with soft tissue injuries to his back and he noted that two weeks later he developed discomfort in his right buttock going to his left buttock and down his left leg. Eoin had an MRI performed which shows degenerative change throughout much of his lumbar spine. Eoin went through intensive physiotherapy to maintain his core strength and back strength.

Case Progression: Eoin rejected the offer made by the Personal Injury Assessment Board and proceedings were issued on the 20/07/10.

Settlement: The case was settled in the High Court on the 16/12/2010. The other driver had a duty of care to Eoin as he was behind him and should have been paying attention to the car in front.

** Client’s name has been changed for the purpose of this case study.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long does a personal injury claim take to settle?

The time it takes to settle a claim will depend on the type of accident and the types of injuries sustained. This is why this is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors that come into play in the personal injury claims * process.

There are certain time frames we can somewhat predict and some that we can’t predict, for example, we know that the injuries board must revert within 9 months with an assessment of your claim…

READ MORE

What is negligence in personal injury *?

In the legal world, negligence is defined as the failure of a person to uphold a reasonable duty of care or breach the duty of care or standards of behaviours expected of them for the protection of people against the unreasonable and avoidable risk of accident and injury.

For negligence to be established and proven there are several elements that must exist…

READ MORE

Will I have to go to court?

This is not a question that can be answered at the outset of a case. The reason is that there are steps that need to be followed before the opportunity to move to court proceedings presents itself.

The vast majority of personal injury claims * are settled before stepping foot into a courtroom. Only a small percentage of claims each year go to court for a Judge to decide on the outcome of the case…

READ MORE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long does a personal injury * take to settle?

The time it takes to settle a claim will depend on the type of accident and the types of injuries sustained. This is why this is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors that come into play in the personal injury claims * process.

There are certain time frames we can somewhat predict and some that we can’t predict, for example, we know that the injuries board must revert within 9 months with an assessment of your claim…

READ MORE

What is negligence in personal injury *?

In the legal world, negligence is defined as the failure of a person to uphold a reasonable duty of care or breach the duty of care or standards of behaviours expected of them for the protection of people against the unreasonable and avoidable risk of accident and injury.

For negligence to be established and proven there are several elements that must exist…

READ MORE

Will I have to go to court?

This is not a question that can be answered at the outset of a case. The reason is that there are steps that need to be followed before the opportunity to move to court proceedings presents itself.

The vast majority of personal injury claims * are settled before stepping foot into a courtroom. Only a small percentage of claims each year go to court for a Judge to decide on the outcome of the case…

READ MORE



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