Making a Personal Injury* Claim: Step by Step
Sustaining a personal injury* can be a traumatic experience.
Whether you are subject to a road traffic accident*, a slip or fall in a public place*, or casualty in the workplace*, you may experience many forms of trauma including physical and psychological pain.**
If you have been involved in an accident wherein you received an injury due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may want to seek compensation by making a personal injury* claim. Read on to find out what steps you should take.
For an introduction to personal injury* claims, read our Complete Guide to Personal Injury* Claims.
Speak With a Solicitor
Making a claim can be a lengthy and complex process, with numerous strict stipulations. For this reason, your first step in making a claim should be to consult a solicitor, who will look out for your best interests and protect your rights. They will also provide help and guidance in submitting your application, procuring your medical report, and providing advice on whether you should accept or reject the assessment made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). If you take your claim to court, they can arrange for the necessary court proceedings to be drafted and act as your legal representation.
Contact the Responsible Party
You must contact the responsible party, a.k.a. the respondent, in writing within one month of the accident, advising them of the accident and resulting injury. If you do not do this within one month, your PIAB application may not be affected, but it may infringe on your case if you end up taking it to court. The respondent must consent to the PIAB assessment within 90 days of your notice. If the respondent does not want the claim to be reviewed by the PIAB, you may take the claim to court. (Source)
Establish Your Medical History
As part of your application, the PIAB will need to review a medical report. (Source) This report can be provided by the medical practitioner who treated the injury in question. If you are unable to submit a medical report along with your claim application, you can ask your doctor for a note with details of your injury. You can also opt to submit a copy of your hospital admission records. If none of these options are possible, you can still submit your application on its own and send the medical report later. However, please note that you must submit all documentation (application, medical report, and fee) within two years of sustaining the injury. (Source) Before assessing your claim, the PIAB may carry out an independent medical examination. (Source)
Fill Out a Personal Injury* Claim Application
As mentioned, personal injury* claims should be sent to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), apart from cases of medical negligence.** The PIAB is an independent statutory body that assesses “personal injury claims for compensation following road traffic, workplace or public liability accidents.” (Source)
To submit your claim, you can go to piab.ie to fill out the application form. You may submit the form online or by post.
Submit Your Application
When submitting the form, you must include the processing fee. As mentioned, if you have medical documentation at that point, include this with your application. If you have made any financial losses due to the accident, you must include receipts of this with your application. You can also include any other documentation that you deem relevant. (Source)
Receive a Decision on Your Claim
Once the respondent permits the claim to be assessed by the PIAB, it will take ‘just over 7 months’ on average for a decision to be made. If your claim is taken to court, it may take up to 36 months. For claims assessed after 24 April 2021, the PIAB refers to the Personal Injuries Guidelines as a guideline for awarding personal injury* claims. (Source)
It is usually the respondent’s insurers that are responsible for paying compensation if the claim is awarded. (Source) If either you or the respondent does not accept the award provided by the PIAB, the case may be taken to court. (Source)
If you would like assistance regarding a personal injury* claim, please contact the team at Martin A Harvey & Co. Solicitors and we would be happy to assist you.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
**Please note that the PIAB may allow you to take your claim straight to the courts without an assessment ‘if your injury consists wholly or in part of psychological damage which would be difficult to assess by means of PIAB’s assessment procedures’. (Source)