What is the legal process?
The claim will be submitted to the defendants who will then be required to confirm whether they admit or deny any liability within a time scale relevant to that particular type of personal injury claim. If defendants admit liability evidence will be then be obtained in support of the claim, such as a medical report and receipts in support of financial losses such as pay slips for loss of earnings.
If defendants deny liability, full disclosure will be obtained and we will then assess the merits of your claim succeeding at trial. If your prospects of succeeding with your claim at trial exceed 50% then we will commence proceedings once the appropriate evidence in support of your claim has been obtained. Appropriate insurance may need to be purchased. You have 3 years from the date of your accident to bring a claim and issue legal proceedings to extend the life line of the claim.
How long will it take?
Some claims can be investigated, valued and resolved within 3 months. Other claims, for example where liability is disputed or where the medical evidence is more complicated because of continuing symptoms, can take up to 3 years to finalise. Most claims take between 12 and 18 months.
Will I have to go to court? Sometimes it is necessary to issue Court proceedings to put your opponents under pressure and encourage them to put forward realistic proposals for settlement of your claim. The fact that proceedings are issued does not necessarily mean that you will have to attend Court to give evidence – more than 95% of cases are settled without a Court hearing.
I have recovered - does that mean that I cannot claim?
No. Court proceedings to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation can be issued up to three years from the date of an accident. If the injuries resolve over a 6 month period then the claim would simply be limited to 6 months pain, discomfort and suffering – even if the claim is made a year after the recovery has been achieved. Many claims assume that a full recovery will be achieved at some point in the future so if the recovery has already taken place it may be easier to prove the true extent of the injury.
I have been injured in an accident - have I got a claim?
Accidents happen - but some are avoidable. Avoidable accidents that cause injury usually mean that a claim for damages can be pursued.
The law is more defined when it comes to particular relationships. Employers owe a higher level of duty of care to protect their employees from injury, owners have statutory responsibility to visitors (and trespassers), local authorities have responsibilities to the general public and landlords have responsibilities to tenants.
How long do cases take to settle?
A road traffic accident can usually take around 6 months to conclude, or 9 to 12 months if we are required to commence proceedings. Workplace accidents, slips and trips can take longer. Complex or severe serious injuries cases can take years to finalise due to the complexity of the injuries suffered and the time it takes for treatment and recovery.
No one witnessed the accident. May I still claim?
Yes: entries within your medical records can provide supportive evidence. It is useful to keep a note of what happened on the day of the accident; the date and time, where it occurred, and any other information that may assist.
If I claim against my employer can they sack me?
If your employer were to terminate your employment as a result of you making a claim then you have the option of taking them to a tribunal for unfair dismissal which our employment experts can also assist you with. If you are sacked as retaliation against you, you have been discriminated against. This is illegal practice. Legally your employer is supposed to have employer’s liability insurance that covers personal injury claims.
Will I have to go to court?
Sometimes it is necessary to issue Court proceedings to put your opponents under pressure and encourage them to put forward realistic proposals for settlement of your claim. The fact that proceedings are issued does not necessarily mean that you will have to attend Court to give evidence – more than 95% of cases are settled without a Court hearing.
Someone I know had died in an accident. Can a claim be made in those circumstances?
Yes. Claims following fatal accidents require specialist advice and care. Claims may be brought by relatives who are witnesses (psychiatric injury), financially dependent on the deceased or who have lost a child or spouse.
The law provides firm guidance on what one is entitled to claim and how the claim should be presented. Provided that negligence on the part of another has caused the death then a claim can be made by the relatives and/or personal representatives of the deceased.
How much is my case worth?
Compensation depends upon the severity of the injury and subsequent losses. For life changing or extensive injuries the sum is significantly higher. Each case is treated individually. Financial loss includes costs of any travel, medication; care received, and damaged caused to personal effects.
How do I know whether to accept an offer of settlement over going to court?
Your legal expert will advise you which option is best. Going to court can cause further costs and delays, and you can risk losing the case. If you win the case, the amount may be less than you were initially offered in your settlement agreement.
Can I claim for all treatments and costs I’ve incurred?
As long as that treatment was necessary and linked to the accident, yes. It’s vital to keep an accurate record of such costs and treatments with valid receipts, dating details such as time and location.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
Whilst there are exceptions to the rule, the rule of thumb is that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to issue Court proceedings in respect of your claim.
Could I claim legal aid for expenses?
Legal aid is not available usually for personal injury claims. However, if you have a claim arising from deliberate assault or medical negligence, you will be entitled to claim legal aid.
Can I sue if I signed a disclaimer stating I was aware of and understood all of the risks?
If your claim was caused by negligence, you can claim even though you signed a disclaimer. Disclaimers do not exclude liability caused by negligence, you can still take action.
I was injured in an assault, can I sue that person?
You can claim against the attacker if they have assets or through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Can I claim if I crash due to a defect in the road service or inadequate signage?
It is possible to make a claim against the local authority but only if they knew or ought to have known that the road was defective and failed to repair it within a reasonable period of time.
Car accident with passenger, will we receive same amount of compensation?
No this depends on the injuries sustained and losses incurred.
Do you need documentation to prove financial losses?
Yes you will be advised of the requirements and how to obtain documentation specific to your claim.
A work colleague is to blame for the accident; do they have to pay my compensation?
No: the employer is responsible for the negligent actions of their employees, this is known as vicarious liability.
The company no longer exists, can I still claim?
Yes a claim can still be made against an employer regardless if the company no longer exists.