When you suffer injuries in an accident, you may have to handle the costs that result from this. In such a circumstance, making a claim and appointing a solicitor may seem like an excess financial burden. What is the cost associated with making a claim? Before you take any step in this regard, you need to have an idea about the costs.
The first step in every personal injury claim is to apply to the Injuries Board. The only exception is medical negligence claims. The application fee you must pay to the Injuries Board, along with the application form and the medical assessment form, is €45. If you decide to make the claim on your own, this is all that you need to pay for.
However, if you appoint a solicitor to work on the claim, you may have to pay him/her. The question is – how much will you have to pay the solicitor? The fees of the solicitors vary from one to the other. Many charge on the basis of the hours of work put in on your claim. Others may charge a flat fee for personal injury claims.
Before you appoint a solicitor to make the claim to the Injuries Board, get an initial consultation. Make sure you discuss the charges of the solicitor and the way they are calculated. The solicitor must also tell you about the legal charges you may have to pay for the proceedings.
If you have a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement with the solicitor, you may not need to pay him/her until the completion of the case. Moreover, you will have to pay the solicitor only if the claim is successful, i.e. if the Injuries Board or the Court finds that the Respondent to be liable for your injuries and orders him/her to pay the compensation.
However, it may not always be possible to get a conditional fee arrangement for all personal injury claims. It is important that you discuss the possibility of such an arrangement before you instruct a solicitor. Keep in mind that only some personal injury solicitors offer this option for the claims.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is that while you need not pay the solicitor’s fees if your claim is unsuccessful and you have a conditional fee arrangement, you may have to pay the legal costs that he/she incurs during the legal proceedings. Ask for the estimate of these costs before you appoint a solicitor.
The legal costs may not be part of the settlement in a personal injury claim. This depends on the discretion of the Injuries Board. For certain claims in Ireland, the Injuries Board may suggest that the claimant gets legal advice and guidance. In such circumstances, the legal fees and costs may be included in the Order to Pay.
Before you instruct a solicitor to work on your behalf in a personal injury claim, make sure you have a clear idea about the fees he/she charges and the way these are calculated. The solicitor must provide a detailed bill of costs after the completion of the case. This will ensure that you are not billed inaccurately.
Andy Flower is a legal consultant working in Ireland. He provides a few guidelines regarding the costs associated with making claims for personal injuries. Whether you suffer a head injury in a car accident or a whiplash injury in a slip and fall accident, he suggests you visit www.lacs.ie/ for more details on making claims.