- By Andy Flower
- Published 01/2/2013
Do you need the advice and guidance of a solicitor to make a personal injury claim? Every personal injury claim, whether it involves workplace accidents, road traffic mishaps and accidents that involve public liability, must be taken to the Injuries Board Ireland. The only exception is when a personal injury claim involves medical negligence.
Before the claimants, that is the victims of the injuries and damages, decide whether to seek legal advice and guidance for personal injury claims, it is necessary to find answers to certain questions. The answers will direct them to make the right decision in this regard.
Is the claimant an adult or a minor? If the claimant is an adult, it is not compulsory to appoint a solicitor to make a claim to the Board. However, if the claimant is a minor, i.e., not yet 18 years of age, legal advice and guidance may be the right option. In such cases, the Injuries Board may recommend the use of a solicitor.
Is the respondent or his/her insurance company eager for an early settlement? If the respondent, that is the individual or organisation against whom the claim is made, or his/her insurance company, tries for an early settlement of the matter, it is a better idea to seek the help of a solicitor to handle the negotiation on your behalf.
Is the claimant not sure about the amount of settlement? If you are not sure about the amount of compensation that will be adequate for the injuries, you had better seek the advice of a solicitor. This will be necessary if you opt for an early settlement of the matter with the respondent before the Injuries Board assesses the damages.
Is it difficult to identify the respondent? In certain cases, it may be difficult to identify the respondent. For example, if a defective piece of machinery at the gym is the cause of the accident and injuries, not only the gym owner but also the manufacturer or installer of the piece of machinery may be liable for the accident and the injuries.
Is the respondent an unidentified or uninsured driver? If a negligent driver fled from the scene of the accident after the accident, you may find out his/her details from the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland. If the driver is uninsured or unidentified, the claim must name the Bureau as a respondent. It is better to appoint a solicitor in such a case.
Is there any fatality? In case of a fatal injury to an individual, his/her family members may make the claim to the Injuries Board. It is necessary to seek legal help for such injury claims to ensure proper handling of the matter. Sometimes, the Injuries Board suggests this for claims that involve fatalities.
Is the respondent disputing liability? The Injuries Board cannot continue with the evaluation of damages if there is a dispute regarding the liability for the accident. In such a situation, the Board may issue an ‘authorisation’ to the claimant. This authorisation makes it possible to take the matter to the Court, for which you need a solicitor.
Andy Flower is a legal consultant working in Ireland. He provides a brief overview of the instances when you need to seek legal help to make personal injury claims in Ireland to the Injuries Board. If you are claiming whiplash compensation or head injury compensation, he suggests you visit www.lacs.ie/ for more details on making claims.
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