Since the 22nd of July 2004, all personal injuries cases must firstly be referred to a statutory body called the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) or the Injuries Board. Previously legal proceedings would have been commenced in Court. The Injuries Board can only deal with cases where liability is admitted, but nearly all personal injury case still have to be referred to it. Certain personal injuries claims, such as those arising as a result of medical negligence are exempted from referral to the Injuries Board. If the Injuries Board cannot deal with your case, they will issue an authorisation to allow you to issue proceedings directly through the Courts. If you are dissatisfied with an award of damages from the Injuries Board, you may then take your case to the Courts.
STEPS IN THE PROCEDURE:
Submitting your application:
We will submit an application to the Injuries Board on your behalf. The Injuries Board will register your application when it has been completed to its satisfaction. Once the Application has been received and registered by the Injuries Board, it will notify the Respondent(s) that a claim has been made by you and the Respondent(s) will have 90 days within which to consent to an Assessment of your claim by the Injuries Board.
If the Respondent(s) does not consent:
The Injuries Board can only deal with cases where the Respondent consents to the matter being dealt with by the Injuries Board. If the Respondent does not consent to the matter being dealt with by the Injuries Board, the Injuries Board will issue an authorisation allowing us to issue Court proceedings on your behalf.
If the Respondent(s) consents:
If the Respondent consents to the Injuries Board dealing with your case, the Injuries Board must notify you and the Respondent in writing of its assessment within a period of 9 months after receiving the Respondent(s) consent to such an assessment. This period may be extended by the Injuries Board by an additional 6 months. We will advise you fully on the Assessment made. If you are unhappy with the Assessment made by the Injuries Board you do not have to accept it and you can then issue court proceedings.
Failure by the Injuries Board to make an award:
If the Injuries Board fails to make an assessment of your claim within 15 months after receiving the Respondent(s) consent, the Injuries Board will issue an authorisation so that we may take court proceedings on your behalf.
Statute of Limitations:
You have 2 years within which to issue and serve court proceedings if you wish to take a Court action for personal injuries. When the Injuries Board registers your application this time will stop running until the Injuries Board issue an authorisation to allow you to take the matter to Court. It is important that your claim be lodged with the Injuries Board as soon as possible.
Fees/Medical Reports/Engineers Fees/Solicitors:
The Injuries Board charges a fee of €50 for every application lodged. The Injuries Board may award this cost to you if they make an Assessment in your case.
The Injuries Board requires a medical report to be lodged with each application. We will take up this Report from your Doctor and generally the fee charged by Doctors is €250 to €350. The Injuries Board may award this cost to you if they make an Assessment in your favour. Sometimes the Injuries Board will not allow the full cost of a Medical Report or it may not allow the cost of all Medical Reports if more than one report is obtained and submitted.
It may be necessary for us to engage an Engineer on your behalf to survey the place where your accident occurred. We would not instruct an Engineer without discussing this with you. Usually an Engineer would not be instructed until after the Injuries Board has dealt with your case, though sometimes it is necessary to do so at an early stage to secure evidence that might be needed should the case not be resolved through the Injuries Board and might be required for Court. The Injuries Board generally will not allow Engineers fees as part of the loss to be recovered from the respondent and the cost will fall to the client.
The Injuries Board does not discharge your Solicitors Fees. They may make a contribution but each client is responsible for his / her Solicitors fees on an application to the Injuries Board.
Reclaiming your Out of Pocket Expenses:
We will also as part of your claim seek to reclaim your out of pocket expenses. Full vouching is required by the Injuries Board, so keep receipts and records of any expense or loss you incur.
Reclaiming your Loss of Earnings:
We will make a claim for loss of earnings you may suffer. All losses must be vouched either with records from your employer or by appropriate accounts if you are self employed. Claims for loss of earnings will be compared by the Injuries Board with returns previously made to the Revenue Commissioners in respect of your income.
For further information contact:
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.