Personal Injury claims work in a specific way in Ireland with the government’s aim to reduce payouts for personal injuries, as the latest policies instituted will attempt to do. Look here for information on the new guidelines.
A suggestion for citizens who want to receive adequate compensation for injuries received in an accident of no fault of their own is to obtain the services of a trusted, reliable solicitor instead of attempting to process a claim yourself. That is the “statutory body” recommendation to “cost-effectively” handle a majority of these cases.
That doesn’t mean the outcome won’t be favorable for you in doing it the way the statutory body prefers. For example, in 2015, out of approximately 34,000 applications, there were almost 12,000 awards, and the claimants accepted nearly 7,000. But when you look at that “success” rate, you have to ponder how much greater these individuals might have done with proper guidance from a solicitor.
In doing it with an “assembly line” approach, there is a set award and a set period (approximately seven months) for cases to settle. You can predetermine your potential settlement for almost any type of physical injury using a document referenced as the “Book of Quantum.”
The Personal Injury Assessment Board or “PIAB” will award applicants contingent on the status of the injury in this book, plus take into consideration the nature of the case and medical records. Either side can reject the award and proceed with legal action for a more reasonable settlement.
Is the book of quantum the best bet or is it wise to speak with a professional solicitor
Based on the fact that the statutory body aims to reduce payouts to personal injury claims, it’s in the best interest of those suffering from these accidents and injuries to seek the help of solicitors to receive adequate compensation for their particular set of circumstances. No two injuries are the same, nor should the “Book of Quantum” render them equal with the same payout.
There can be extenuating circumstances, complications, emotional distress, missed work, and other issues that go with a specific person’s case that doesn’t follow another claim. To have a set award that you pay across the board for a particular injury seems unjust, making it a necessity that you seek solicitor assistance instead of filing and carrying out the claim yourself, as the PIAB encourages.
With the solicitor handling the process, you might still get a “universal” award, but you can reject this and move on with your solicitor to a court case if you feel there should be more compensation for your circumstances. In beginning the PIAB process for you or if you do so, there are steps to take as follows:
A medical provider will need to provide a report relating to the injuries you sustained in the accident or injury. Often, these need to reference preexisting conditions and the state in which you are currently, plus give a prognosis for recovery.
A solicitor will manage this step for you, but you will need to see your primary physician immediately following the accident without delay. Any time-lapse will look unfavorably for your claim. You need to arrive at appointments timely, take each appointment without fail, and follow all guidelines as laid out by the physician.
The solicitor or yourself will make an application to PIAB from whom the reference for you will become “claimant.” All relevant details on the occurrence plus the medical report need submitting. That will include your identification of the person you find at fault for the incident. The individual(s) will reference as the respondent(s).
You should include as much detail as possible with your documentation, including photographs of the scene, video footage, and detailed notes from witnesses who might have signed the documentation. The more detail you provide, the better the opportunity for your award.
PIAB verifies receipt of the paperwork, and they will contact the respondent with notification of the claim. The respondent can either refuse or agree to an assessment of the accident. If there is an agreement, PIAB will propose a compensation amount for which the respondent will be responsible for paying as settlement.
Neither party is held to any obligation to accept the amount as suggested. In fact, the claimant can reject the terms and reach out to legal solicitors under ordinary circumstances. However, if each person agrees to the terms, the respondent will merely submit a settlement check closing the matter from further delegation.
If one of the parties were to reject the settlement amount, your solicitor would then initiate legal proceedings. You will sit as the plaintiff, while the respondent will act as the defendant in the legal case. Either the District or the High Court will hear the case, depending on the estimated value of the case.
You might be expected to produce more documentation, further medical reports. The case has the potential for settling at any point by the solicitor, with negotiations before the actual hearing. Mediation is also a possibility and is, in fact, becoming a commonality in these cases. The High Court strongly urges parties to resolve the issue in this manner, whether either party is game or not.
The Irish statutory board is hopeful that a reduction will come in the personal injury awards with the new policies. While that might be a good thing for Dublin, those suffering from the accidents and injuries would be wise to invest in the services of a solicitor to guide you through the complexity of the PIAB process and interject if the settlement is not satisfactory so the case can then go to one of the courts.
No one should merely settle for an across-the-board settlement for an injury if there are extenuating circumstances. Your case needs to be heard and adequate compensation determined.