WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY
A Personal injury* is the legal term for an injury or illness that has been caused or exasperated by someone else’s negligence. An injury of any kind can affect your quality of life. Being out of work as a result of injury may also affect your monthly household income. Personal Injuries could happen in a public place, at work, abroad or even on the road.
PERSONAL INJURY ASSESSMENT BOARD
Where a person suffers from a personal injury it is necessary to make an application to the Personal Injury Assessment Board prior to commencing Court proceedings. The party making the application is known as the “Claimant”.
The Personal Injury Assessment Board was established by virtue of the Personal Injury Assessment Board Act, 2003. The main reasons for its establishment was to reduce the costs on Claimants making applications and to avoid the delays caused by busy court lists.
A personal injury may involve accidents at work, on public or private property or as a result of an assault or road traffic accident. An application must be made within the legal time limit or statute of limitations which is 2 years from (i) the date of the injury, or (ii) the date of knowledge of the injury. The party(ies) who are responsible for the injury are known as “Respondent(s) ” and should be notified within two months of the date of the injury or as soon as possible thereafter.
APPLICATION TO PERSONAL INJURY ASSESSMENT BOARD
An application to the Personal Injury Assessment Board should be completed with the assistance of a Solicitor and should detail all expenses as well as the injuries sustained by the Claimant. The injuries are detailed and outlined by medical report prepared by your GP or a suitably qualified medical practitioner.
The Personal Injury Assessment Board issues a formal “Notice of Claim” to the Respondent advising that a claim has been made against them and they are afforded 90 days within which to respond, either consenting to assessment of the claim or refusing. Where a refusal is received, the Personal Injury Assessment Board will issue the Claimant with an “Authorisation”, which is a legal authority allowing the Claimant to commence Court proceedings in respect of the injuries sustained. In the event that consent is received from the Respondent, either positively or by default, the Personal Injury Assessment Board may arrange for an independent medical examination to be carried out before deciding the level of damages to award. This examination will take place within 28 days of the Respondent having consented to the assessment and is carried out to ensure that the award is based on the most up to date information available and reflects the true extent of the injuries suffered by the Claimant .
In assessing the “value” of the claim, the Personal Injury Assessment Board will review the medical report submitted at the application stage, together with any independent medical report subsequently obtained. The “Book of Quantum” is consulted which attaches a monetary “value” to all injuries sustained depending on elements such as body part injured, the degree of injury, likely recovery and the likely timelines for same along with future prognosis.
The Personal Injury Assessment Board furnish the details of the award to both the Claimant and Respondent. The Respondent is afforded 21 days within which to confirm acceptance while the Claimant is afforded 28 days. In the event that the Respondent does not reply within the timescale provided, they are deemed to have accepted the assessment made. Where either party refuses the assessment, an Authorisation will be issued to the Claimant to commence court proceedings .
If both Claimant and Respondent accept the assessment, an “Order to Pay ” is issued by the Personal Injury Assessment Board, which is legally binding similar to a Court Order. Where the Respondent fails to make payment, it is open to the Claimant to enforce the Order through the Court system.
It is highly advisable that a Claimant obtains legal advice prior to making any application to the Personal Injury Assessment Board and that both the Claimant and Respondent obtain legal advice prior to accepting or refusing an assessment, as there may be significant implications in relation to costs where subsequent proceedings prove necessary. At McMorrow & McLaughlin Solicitors our experienced Solicitors will guide you in enforcing your rights with respect to personal Injuries. We have the knowledge and experience to advise on all aspects of Personal Injury Litigation .
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.