Personal Injury

Personal Injury

EARLY & BALDWIN PERSONAL INJURY SOLICITORS*

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

How can we help you?

We deal with *Road Traffic Accident, *Injury At Work, *Medical Negligence/*Clinical Negligence, Professional Negligence, *Garda Compensation, *PIAB applications, *MIBI, *Statute of Limitations.

ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS*

We act on behalf of the injured party as a result of an accident, therefore, we are PLAINTIFF SOLICITORS ONLY. If you were involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault you may be entitled to compensation for any injury suffered and out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

Please contact us for advice if you were a Passenger, Pedestrian, Driver, Cyclist, Motorcyclist or Bus Passenger and you were injured as a result of an accident that was not your fault.

If the Defendant is an uninsured person or untraced you may be able to take a claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.

Injury At Work*

As we spend so much time in our workplace it is inevitable that accidents at work will occurrence. Injuries due to slips and falls can cause untold distress and may very well have lasting implications for an individual. In cases where the individual injured was not at fault, or the injury was due to the carelessness or negligence of another or if the work environment was unsafe, the individual may be entitled to seek legal redress.*

Medical Negligence/Clinical Negligence

Medical negligence can be difficult to prove. Medical negligence can be defined as any action by medical staff or members of hospital/clinic staffs which fall below an acceptable standard of care and which directly causes injury or disease or allows the health of a person to deteriorate as a result. A medical report must be obtained from a suitable qualified doctor expressing an opinion that negligence is present before court proceedings should be issued, and all before the statute of limitation period of 2 years runs out.

You should consult your Solicitor as soon as you become aware of an injury/loss.

Professional Negligence

May arise in a number of professions where a standard of service has not been reached and you have suffered loss eg Solicitors Negligence. We are only human after all and humans make mistakes. If such a mistake is made you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.

Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland was established in 1955 by an Agreement between the Government and the companies underwriting motor insurance in Ireland for the purspos of compensating victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured or unidentified vehicles. Claims must be submitted in writing to the MIBI together with Garda Abstract, Medical Reports and all evident to try establish the identity or insurance of the offending vehicle.

Garda Compensation Claims

If you are a member of an Garda Siochana and injured in the course of your duties you may be entitled to compensation under the Garda Compensation Scheme: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Garda_Compensation_Scheme

Contact your Solicitor to see if you are eligible for compensation.

Statute of Limitations

Under the Statute of Limitations Act of 1957 a Claimant must submit a claim with the Injuries Board within 2 years from the date of loss (which is usually the date of the accident). In some cases eg medical negligence claims the 2 year time limit only starts from the date of knowledge of the loss. It is important that the process is started as soon as possible in order to avoid missing the 2 year deadline. If a case has not been submitted with the Injuries Board within the 2 year period the case then becomes “Statute Barred” meaning that the case is essentially dead.

It is important to note that a case submitted with the Injuries Board must be accompanied by a medical report from a doctor which outlines the nature of the injuries. It can take some time to arrange such reports, and that is why it always best to start the process as early as possible, to minimise the risk of missing the 2 year deadline.

Note that under the Legal Service Bill 2015, not yet enacted, the statute of limitation period in medical negligence claims is proposed to be increased to three years.

Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)

PIAB was set up in 2004 by the then Minister for Justice Mary Harney. Before proceedings can be commenced in this jurisdiction a personal injury* claim (except medical negligence cases) must be submitted to PIAB before the 2 year statute of limitation expires . The purposes of the PIAB is to try settle the claim without the need to issue Court proceedings.

A formal application on Form A, together with a medical report Form B and fee of €45.00 must be submitted to PIAB to stop the statute of limitation clock. The Defendant (referred to as the Respondent in the PIAB process) has 90 days to indicate to the PIAB if they are willing to let the PIAB make an assessment on the claim. PIAB can only assess claims where liability not in issue, or where the Respondents have failed to engage with them. If the respondent feels that they are not liable or only partial liable for the accident then they will reject the PIAB process and the Plaintiff (Applicant) will be furnished with an authorisation to issue Court proceedings.

If an assessment is made by the PIAB the Respondent has 21 days to accept or reject the assessment, whilst the Applicant has 28 days to accept or reject the assessment. If both parties accept the assessment and Order to Pay is issued to the Respondent and a payment should follow shortly thereafter and the case is closed.

If either party rejects the assessment made by PIAB the case exits the PIAB process, and an Authorization is issued to the Applicant permitting them to issue Court Proceedings.

To issue Court proceedings it is prudent to have a Barrister draft same. It is important that the correct Defendant (respondent) is listed on the authorization to allow court proceedings be issued.

The documentation that needs to be exchanged to being a personal injury* case to hearing are as follows:

  • Personal Injury Summons (filed by Plaintiff)
  • Appearance (filed by Defendant(s))
  • Notice for Particulars (served by Defendant(s))
  • Replies to Notice for Particulars (served by Plaintiff)
  • Defence (served by Defendant(s))
  • Notice of Trial (can be served by either Plaintiff or Defendant)
        (+Setting Down Docket if issued in the High Court)

Further Motions for Discovery or Schedules may need to be issued depending on the level of the Court.

GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET TO CLIENTS

Since you are probably unfamiliar with the usual process of a negligence matter such as yours, we would like to acquaint you with the general pattern of how these cases are handled. We feel it will be helpful both to our clients and to ourselves if they know in advance what to expect and the step-by-step procedure of their case.

After your file has been opened in our office, the facts are first investigated to determine the value of the case from the standpoint of the extent of damage and injury to you, and the extent of negligence and liability on the part of the Defendant(s).

Generally, discussions are first had with the Defendant's Insurance Company for the purposes of establishing their views on liability. If the Insurance Company is not interested in settling the matter, or will not settle for an amount that is fair and reasonable then the file is submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

A Plaintiff cannot issued legal proceedings without first submitting the claim to PIAB. If liability is not in issue, the Defendants will consent to PIAB making an assessment of the injury. The Defendants have 21 days to accept or reject the said assessment, the Plaintiff has 28 days to accept or reject the assessment. If either Defendant or Plaintiff reject the assessment, an authorisation issues to the Plaintiff to issue Court proceedings.

Commencing proceedings involves issuing and serving a summons on the Defendant(s) and waiting for an answer from the Defendant's Solicitor. There is the necessity of further pleadings that must be filed, which of course takes more time.

Further investigations is made and, when necessary, periodical medical reports are requested to enable us to follow the progress of your physical health. We will explain this to you in more detail when they are scheduled and will review your case with you at that time. One of the most difficult requests that we make of our Clients is patience.

We do want to point out that although your case may be started, the possibility of settlement is always there, and if we feel that a settlement can be made which is in your best interest rather than waiting to try your case, we will make such a recommendation to you. Please be sure to send all of your bills and expenses relative to your case which we do not have. Also, please keep us advised of any changes in your address, telephone number, changes of employment, physical health and any new information which may be helpful to us in preparing your case.

Your co-operation is essential to bringing your case to the best possible conclusion. We welcome your help and suggestions.

INSTRUCTIONS TO CLIENT

  • TALK TO NO-ONE: Do not talk to anyone about your case except one of the solicitors or investigators in our office. You should always require identification so that you are sure who you are talking to. Don't even talk to your own insurance company or to any lawyers hired by your own insurance company without notifying us so that we may be present if we desire. We may want these statements taken in our office.
  • YOUR DOCTORS: You should return to each of your doctors as often as necessary and should always tell them about all your complaints. If you see any additional doctors, be sure we are advised immediately of their names and addresses.
  • RECORDS OF COMPLAINT: Please keep a daily or weekly record of your complaints and progress. This can be very helpful when a year later, you will be called upon to relate your pain and difficulties.
  • WAGES AND EARNINGS LOST: Please keep an accurate record of days lost from work because of injuries.
  • MEDICAL BILLS: Obtain and keep duplicate copies of all medical, hospital and drug bills. Please keep all receipts for expenses incurred as a result of your accident, together with a list of same. You should not expect doctors and hospitals to wait until your case is tried or settled to receive payments. You should, therefore, pay any balance as soon as possible. The only exception is the Hospital RTA bill which Solicitors undertake to include as part of the claim.
  • CAR REPAIR: Do not have your car/vehicle repaired until you are sure that we have obtained pictures of it. After pictures are taken and your case has been inspected by the Insurance Company, you can have your car repaired.
  • TRAFFIC OFFENCES: If you are arrested in connection with this accident, call one of the solicitors in this office immediately and we will see that someone represents you or advises you. In the event of a coroner's inquest or other type of hearing, be sure to notify this office so that we will be able to represent you in connection with this inquest.
  • WITNESSES: Furnish to us immediately the correct names, addresses and telephone numbers of any or all witnesses you may learn of.
  • PHOTOGRAPHS: Take photos of the location and/or damage.
  • YOUR ADDRESS: Be sure to keep us advised of any change in your address or telephone number.

You are in good hands...