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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)

Remember that you must make the claim within two years of the date on which you sustained the injury, per the Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004. (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)

What to do after an accident in a public place

In recent months we have all been keen to make better use of the great outdoors and enjoy outdoor dining. With many new activities, pedestrian areas and outdoor dining spots opening up, this has meant that the rate of injuries and accidents occurring in public places is rising. 

At Martin A Harvey, as one of the top personal injury firms in Ireland, we have been successful in securing compensation for clients who have had an accident or suffered an injury in a public place.

If you have been injured or had an accident in a public place, you should: 

  • Request that the owner of the property or an employee report the accident and document the circumstances, and provide you with a copy of this report;
  • Take photos where possible / if appropriate. Make sure you take as many as you can with varying angles to ensure a full picture can be obtained on review;
  • If you have been injured, make sure you seek medical help;
  • Speak to a solicitor.

If you feel that another party may be at fault following your accident, you should consider: 

  1. Did your accident happen in a public place?

This is the most important question you should establish – understanding the environment in which you were injured is vital in establishing who will be held responsible for your injury. By definition, a public place is: 

Any area that is intended for use by members of the public such as a road, outdoor area, vehicle that is carrying persons, or any premises that you have been granted access to by express or implied permission. 

Examples of these usually include pathways, roads and parks that are poorly maintained or have uneven surfaces, are littered with potholes or have obstructions on access routes.

  1. Was your accident avoidable?

For a claim to success, you or your legal team must prove that the accident was avoidable, ie: that the organisation in charge of the facility failed to keep the area free of danger to those using it. To prove negligence on behalf of the property administrator, you will need to demonstrate: 

  1. That the Local Authority or organisation had an obligation to the public to a) not to do anything or b) failed to anything that would cause you to be injured; 
  2. The Local Authority or organisation consciously made a decision that resulted in these points;
  3. It could be reasonably expected that an accident would occur as a result of this;
  4. That the Local Authority or organisation did not operate the standard of conduct to be expected, thus resulting in the injury.

No matter the circumstance of your accident, at Martin A Harvey our expert team are ready and available to provide legal advice that will ensure the best result for you. As a small team, you will be greeted with a friendly and personal service.

Call today (021) 427 1006, freephone 1800 396 396 or email maharvey@martinharvey.ie. We look forward to helping you.

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