If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Personal injury claims can encompass various types of damages, including general damages for the injury itself and special damages for out-of-pocket expenses. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to claim compensation for a personal injury.
Determine Eligibility for a Personal Injury Claim
To pursue a personal injury claim, you must meet certain criteria:
- Recent Injury: The injury should have occurred (or you became aware of it) within the last two years.
- Liability: The injury should have been caused, wholly or partly, by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
If these conditions are met, consider seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately.
Your solicitor will help you collect evidence to establish liability and quantify your losses. Gathering proof that the defendant was at fault and that you suffered significant damages will strengthen your claim.
Choose Your Approach
You can negotiate a settlement with the insurer for the responsible party. This may lead to a faster resolution, but the amount may be lower than what you could potentially receive via the PIAB process or through the court system.
b. Personal Injury Assessment Board
If a settlement cannot be reached or if the offer is insufficient, you can proceed with a personal injury claim. Most personal injury claims must first involve an application to the PIAB. This involves submitting an application along with a medical report. If the insurance company or the other person consents, then the Board can assess the claim. If they do not consent, or both parties do not accept the assessment, then the matter can proceed to court.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation
a. Special Damages
These damages compensate you for actual financial losses, such as medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other tangible costs directly related to the injury.
b. Non-Economic or General Damages
Non-economic damages compensate you for intangible losses that affect your quality of life, including physical and mental pain, suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
c. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer if the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious. These damages are not designed to compensate you for losses but to deter such behaviour. These are rarely awarded in the Irish Judicial system.
d. Wrongful Death Damages
In cases of a person’s death due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the deceased person’s estate or close family members may be entitled to make a wrongful death claim.
➡️ Read More: 7 Personal Injury Cases You Would Need a Solicitor For
Time Limits for Making a Claim
Different types of personal injury claims have specific time limits within which you must initiate legal action. For negligence, the most common type of claim, the time limit is typically two years from the date you became aware of your injury. Seek legal advice promptly if you intend to claim compensation.
Conditional Fee Agreement
Many personal injury solicitors offer conditional fee agreements, commonly known as “no win, no fee” arrangements. This means your solicitor will receive no fees if you lose your case, but you may have to cover the other side’s legal fees and expenses as well as outlay incurred by your solicitor. Your solicitor may recommend insurance to protect against this situation, which is typically paid if you lose your case.
How Long Does a Claim Take to Settle?
Personal injury claims can take varying amounts of time to settle, ranging from 9 months to 2 years for average cases. More complex cases with severe injuries and long-term complications may take 5+ years to resolve.
What’s Included in the Initial Letter of Claim?
When pursuing a claim, your solicitor will prepare an initial claim letter, which should include:
- Details of the Accident: Provide a clear account of the incident.
- Liability Explanation: Explain why the other party should be held responsible.
- Injury Information: Describe your injuries and their impact.
- Statement of Intent: Clearly state that the letter is for the purpose of initiating a claim for general and special damages, if appropriate.
How Much Compensation Can You Get?
The exact amount of compensation you’ll receive is challenging to predict. It’s not solely based on the type of injury but also factors in personal suffering, pain, recovery time, and financial impact. When advising you, your solicitor will be guided by the Personal Injury Guidelines as issued by the Judicial Council and then factor in non-general damage claims.
Consult a Personal Injury Solicitor in Ireland
To successfully navigate the complexities of a personal injury claim, reach out to Mannion Solicitors LLP in Dublin. Our team of experts is here to provide you with guidance and unwavering support throughout your legal journey. Remember that timely legal advice and meticulous documentation of your losses can significantly bolster your chances of securing fair compensation for your personal injury.
At Mannion Solicitors LLP, we offer a comprehensive range of services to assist you in your personal injury claim, including managing the PIAB process, collaborating with medical professionals, providing quantum advice, assisting with loss of earnings, engaging experts when needed, representing you in court, and maintaining transparent communication by keeping you consistently updated on the progress of your case. Contact us today to benefit from our expertise and dedicated support in your personal injury claim.