ACCIDENT & PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS

 

We have extensive experience in respect of all types of personal injuries. We are regulated by the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland and we aim to deal with all matters to the highest legal standards.

CAN I CLAIM ?

If you were the driver of a motor vehicle, a passenger, a motorcyclist, a pillion passenger, a pedestrian, a cyclist or if you had an accident at work or in a public place you may have grounds to make a claim provided the accident occurred not more than two years prior to the date of the accident.

CAN MY CHILD MAKE A CLAIM ?

A minor or infant who is under the age of eighteen can issue proceedings in the name of a “next friend” who is usually a parent of the child. The proceeds of any settlement or award are lodged into Court until such time at the child attains the age of 18 years. In certain circumstances, applications can be made for payment out of Court for part of the settlement or award. The two year limitation period runs once an individual has attained eighteen years of age. Anyone under eighteen years of age who has had an accident has until their twentieth birthday to make a claim regardless of the date of the accident. However, it is wise to institute a claim earlier rather than later in order that witnesses memories do not become ‘stale’ as time progresses.

HOW LONG DOES A CLAIM TAKE ?

Each case depends on its own circumstances. Straightforward claims can generally be resolved between a few months and a year. Serious injuries take longer but we will advise you. It is necessary to assess the full extent of your injuries and for more serious accidents this can take substantially longer. Whatever your situation, we will advise you as to the appropriate course of action. We will always act in your best interests.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO ?

If you have grounds to make a claim we will handle all the paperwork. We will advise you if you need to attend independent medical experts or the other other party’s medical experts. You should obtain and keep all receipts in respect of out of pocket expenses such as hospital, medical, therapeutic, travel and chemists bills etc.

CAN I CLAIM IF THE OTHER DRIVER IS UNINSURED ?

Claims in respect of injuries caused by uninsured or unidentified vehicles are dealt with by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland ( M.I.B.I ). If the offending vehicle cannot be traced or is uninsured, compensation for personal injury may be payable, subject to liability. However, compensation for property damage will not always be payable. The M.I.B.I will pay for damage to the insured’s vehicle if the damage exceeds €500 and if compensation has been paid for’substantial personal injuries’ involving a hospital stay of five days or more. An excess of €220 applies if the offending vehicle is uninsured or stolen. We have extensive experience dealing with such claims.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED ?

If we are to act on your behalf, we will need a copy of your driving licence or passport together with a utility bill such as a telephone or electricity bill. These documents are necessary to provide proof of identification and address. We will advise you of any medical reports that are required and what other documents may be necessary as your case progresses.

PRIVACY

Who will know I am making a claim ? Details of your claim are treated in the strictest confidence. Only the party you are claiming against will be aware of your claim. The vast majority of cases are settled. However, if your matter proceeds to a full hearing your case will be held in open Court.

WHAT COMPENSATION WILL I RECEIVE ?

Each case will depend on its own circumstances. Damages are the only means of compensation and as such are an attempt to place the claimant in the position he would have been had the injury not occurred. Damages are categorised as general and special damages. General damages are usually composed of compensation for pain and suffering, but can also include damages for shortened life expectancy or quality of life. The compensation you will therefore receive in respect of general damages will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries and how your normal day to day activities have been affected.

Special damages relate to monetary expenses incurred and consequential losses which flow from the tort (civil wrong). The following are examples of special damages

  • Car repair costs
  • Car hire
  • Loss of earnings to date and into the future
  • Medical expenses
  • Therapeutic expenses
  • Care costs
  • Equipment aids
  • Travel expenses

We will always seek to reach a negotiated settlement but will issue Court proceedings if we believe this is necessary to ensure our client receives a fair and correct amount of compensation. Securing the best possible outcome for our clients is our priority. If you would like an assessment of your case please click here.

It is prohibited to calculate fees as a percentage or proportion of the settlement or award.

COSTS AND FEES

As soon as practicable after receiving instructions from you, we shall furnish you with details of actual charges or we shall provide you with an estimate of charges. Where this is not possible, as is the situation at the beginning of any litigation case, we shall provide you with the basis on which charges are calculated which are as follows :

  • the complexity of the matter
  • the difficulty or novelty of the questions raised
  • the skill, labour, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved
  • the number and importance of documents prepared or examined
  • the urgency of the matter
  • the amount of value or any transaction involved
  • the importance of the matter to you
  • the time reasonably spent by personnel on the matter
  • the venue and circumstances in which the matter is pursued

Miscellaneous charges in respect of postages, phones, faxes and photocopying will be incurred.

In addition to the professional fee and miscellaneous charges payable to us, there will be items of outlay payable to third parties, including government agencies, which must be discharged by you.

When we provide you with a bill of costs it is your responsibility to pay. We will always attempt to recover our costs from the other party but generally this is not always possible and the other party only discharges a portion of our bill. You will be responsible for the balance of any fees due. We shall at the conclusion of each matter provide you with details of all costs recovered from the other party.

In addition, there will be other outlays as the case progresses, such as medical reports, engineers reports, counsels fees, stamp duty on Court documents etc but we shall notify you in advance. Where you are not in a position to discharge these outlays we can pay for these items in exchange for a small fee. Generally, it is not possible to recover all the outlays from the other party but any outlays so recovered, will be set off against the total outlays payable. The amount therefore unrecoverable from the other party is your responsibility.

In the event that your claim is unsuccessful in contentious litigation, costs can be awarded against you and it will be your responsibility to discharge the costs and outlays of the other party in addition to your own costs.

HEAD INJURY

The area of traumatic brain injuries are complex. Even ‘minor’ brain injury can adversely affect an injured person’s ability to manage routine activities. A substantial range of issues need to be addressed including rehabilitation, career, educational, social, family and legal issues as a result of a brain injury. Rehabilitation is quite often expensive, as are support services for the injured person and their families. Our objective is to provide an efficient, sensitive and professional service. We visit our clients at their place of residence if necessary.

INFORMATION REGARDING BRAIN INJURY :

  • After an accident you may not know that you have suffered a brain injury until such time as you return to work and discover that you cannot now carry out your normal activities
  • A neurological examination will often not reveal brain injury
  • Confusion, dizziness, headaches, personality changes, forgetfulness, sleep pattern changes, fatigue, blurred vision, communication difficulties, tinnitus are symptoms associated with brain injury
  • Concussion, a direct blow or a visible injury are not necessary for a brain injury to exist

WHAT EXPERTS WILL BE EMPLOYED ?

Any combination of the following :

  • A neurologist and/or a neurosurgeon
  • A radiologist
  • A neuropsychologist or a neuropsychiatrist
  • A rehabilitation consultant
  • An occupational therapist
  • A speech therapist
  • A vocational rehabilitation expert
  • An employment consultant
  • An accommodation expert

NEUROLOGIST AND NEUROSUGEON

A neurologist is a physician that specialises in neurology. The function of the neurologist is to investigate, diagnose and treat brain disorders, spinal disorders and the peripheral or the autonomous nervous system. If surgery is required the neurologist refers the patient to a neurosurgeon.

RADIOLOGIST

Radiologists are scientists that specialise in the use of radiation and radioactivity in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Radiology involves the use of imaging technology such as ultrasound to diagnose or treat the disease.

NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST

Generally, a clinical neuropsychologist will hold an advanced degree in clinical psychology and will have completed future studies in neuropsychology or neurology. The brain is the neurophychologist field of speciality. They assess brain behaviour to ascertain if the expected neurobehavioural function is different from normal or to assess if there has seen impairment. There are a variety of assessment procedures used by neurophychologists such as selective attention/concentration processes, learning/recall processes etc. They usually provide specialised evaluation such as personality, intelligence and specific brain disorder evaluations.

NEUROPSYCHIATRIST

A neurophychologist deals with the neurological aspects of psychiatry and the psychiatric aspect of neurology. Neuropsychiatry often called behavioural neurology is the medical sub speciality dealing with the evaluation and management of higher brain functions or brain disorders.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS (“OT’s”)

OT’s help patients to improve their ability to perform tasks in their normal day to day living and working environments. Their role is to assist their clients to have independent and productive lives. Often, this may mean that the OT will engage with the patient and the patients employer to change or adapt the work place environment to enable the patient to complete his or her work. OT’s may be required to make or design equipment for the patients home and teach how the equipment functions.

* ” In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”.