WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM GOES TO COURT *?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM GOES TO COURT *?

Personal Injury Claims * Court Procedure

One of the most common questions that we get from clients is – ‘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.

Note: 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.

In order to best answer the question, we must first look at the process of making a claim.

Making a Claim

1. Injuries Board Assessment (does not involve going to court)

This is the first step for a personal injury claim (with some exceptions). Personal injury claims * must first be assessed by the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board, also referred to as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), was set up in 2004 by the Irish Government. Its function is to evaluate and assess personal injury claims * and its aim was to reduce the amount of time it takes for a personal injury case to be resolved.

At this stage, you may need the assistance of a solicitor. However, there is no need or obligation for you to go to court at this point.

Once the Injuries Board assesses your claim, they will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this point, you have a choice to make. You can choose to accept the Injuries Board assessment or to reject it. This decision is best made by speaking with your solicitor.

What happens if I accept the Injuries Board Assessment?

If you decide to accept the Injuries Board assessment and the party at fault also accept their valuation of your claim. Then your case is settled at this point. The Injuries Board will issue an Order to Pay and the party a fault will pay your settlement to you.

Everything up to this point can be handled by your solicitor and there is no need for you to attend court as part of this process.

What happens if I reject the Injuries Board Assessment?

If you reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you will be issued with an Authorisation to move the claim forward and issue legal proceedings to resolve the matter.

At this point, your solicitor will take the necessary step to issue legal proceedings to move your claim forward.

Your solicitor will prepare your case with the assumption that it will go to court. However, the reality at this point is that most cases at this point don’t make it to the courtroom.

Most cases are settled outside of court, usually by way of a settlement meeting.

2. Settlement Meetings (does not involve a court hearing)

For cases that have not be settled at the Injuries Board stage, they will move to court proceedings, but before having to step foot into a courtroom it is not uncommon for settlement meetings to occur. While you do not have to enter a courtroom and have your case heard by a Judge, you may have to meet your solicitor at the courthouse to facilitate the settlement meeting.

If your case progresses to this stage the process usually works as follows:

  1. You will meet your solicitor at the courthouse.
  2. You will not interact with the other side personally and generally will not have to face the person at fault for your accident
  3. Your solicitor will introduce you to the Barrister that will facilitate the settlement talks. Your solicitor will have briefed the Barrister on your case details.
  4. Your Barrister will speak with you and your solicitor and then speak with the other side and will then return with an update on the amount the other side is willing to offer. They may go back and forth several times negotiating with the other side until an agreement is reached.
  5. If you come to an agreement at this point, then your case will be settled at this point and you will never have had to step inside a courtroom.
  6. Going to Court

If you cannot reach an agreement at the settlement talks stage, then your case will move to a hearing where a Judge will decide the outcome of your claim.

At this point, your solicitor will be with you every step of the way to support you and make the process as easy as possible for you.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

Tracey Solicitors draw on over 30 years of experience in personal injury claims * to ensure that we make law accessible to all, without the legal jargon that comes with it.

To discuss your case in more detail you can call our team on 01 6499900 or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

contact no win no fee solicitors

016499900

or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case and we can call you back

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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.

“I would like to thank you for your nice and professional cooperation. I am very happy and grateful for all your efforts to win my case. I was updated regularly about progress in my case.”

B.R., Personal Injury *

Client Story – Lucas **, Personal Injury *

Incident: Lucas sustained an injury on his left knee on the 11/03/2015 while descending stairs in his workplace. He left the canteen and was walking towards the production hall when he slipped on the edge of a top step. He fell down 3 steps in total and he was unable to get up due to an injury sustained to his left knee. The stairs are covered in lino and have rubbery edges. The stairs in question are slippery as they are covered in grease which is caused by workers coming and going from the production hall, the canteen and the changing rooms. Lucas had to get an ambulance from his workplace to take him to hospital. He was diagnosed with a torn ligament and a dislocated patella and he underwent surgery the following day. He was housebound for 10 days after the accident and had discomfort in his left knee for the duration of that time. He was unable to work after the incident and also unable to take part in his extracurricular activities.

Case progression: Lucas workplace declined having the claim processed by the Personal Injury Board so proceedings were issued on the 13/01/2016. The case was brought to the High Court.

Settlement: The case was settled on the 18/12/2017. Lucas’ employer was at fault as a safe workplace should be provided to their employees. The grease on the stairs should not have been there.

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

Client Story – Lucas **, Personal Injury *

Incident: Lucas sustained an injury on his left knee on the 11/03/2015 while descending a stairs in his workplace. He left the canteen and was walking towards the production hall when he slipped on the edge of a top step. He fell down 3 steps in total and he was unable to get up due to an injury sustained to his left knee. The stairs are covered in lino and have rubbery edges. The stairs in question are slippery as they are covered in grease which is caused by workers coming and going from the production hall, the canteen and the changing rooms. Lucas had to get an ambulance from his workplace to take him to hospital. He was diagnosed with a torn ligament and a dislocated patella and he underwent surgery the following day. He was housebound for 10 days after the accident and had discomfort in his left knee for the duration of that time. He was unable to work after the incident and also unable to take part in his extracurricular activities.

Case progression: Lucas workplace declined having the claim processed by the Personal Injury Board so proceedings were issued on the 13/01/2016. The case was brought to the High Court.

Settlement: The case was settled on the 18/12/2017. Lucas’ employer was at fault as a safe workplace should be provided to their employees. The grease on the stairs should not have been there.

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

How do I make a claim *?

To proceed with a personal injury claim *, it is advisable to speak with a solicitor. The path your case takes will be heavily dependent on your injuries, the negligent party and the circumstances of your accident.

In general, most personal injury claims will need to be assessed by the Injuries Board first. Before this happens, however, your solicitor will help you gather all the necessary documents to make your claim…

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

How do I make a claim *?

To proceed with a personal injury claim *, it is advisable to speak with a solicitor. The path your case takes will be heavily dependent on your injuries, the negligent party and the circumstances of your accident.

In general, most personal injury claims will need to be assessed by the Injuries Board first. Before this happens, however, your solicitor will help you gather all the necessary documents to make your claim…

READ MORE



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