If you have been injured in an accident that was clearly someone else’s fault you are legally entitled to pursue a personal injury* claim in order to gain justice and compensation for your pain and financial loss. Therefore you should speak to a solicitor after seeking medical assistance.
At Gibson & Associates Solicitors, we’ve been helping people claim compensation and rehabilitate after suffering personal injury* for many years. We understand that when you have been involved in a matter of personal injury*, the last thing you want to worry about is how to approach the legalities involved in making a claim. So we’ve put together this guide to help you make an informed decision when it comes to making your personal injury* claim. With the information on this page and help from our experienced lawyers making a claim can be easy.
For an immediate personal injury* claim assessment give us a call on 1890 989 289, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our Online Enquiry form and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.
What is personal injury*?
Personal injury* is a physical or psychological injury, disease or illness caused by another person’s negligence.
Examples of personal injuries include:
- An injury caused by a traffic accident
- An illness caused by errors in hospital treatment
- Work-related illnesses such as diseases caused by exposure to harmful substances
Actions everyone should take after suffering a personal injury*
No matter what you intend to do about your personal injury* you should always:
- Go to the doctor or A&E. It can be very hard to prove you had significant damages or injuries if there is not a doctor’s note to prove it. Having their comments and prescriptions written down can be very helpful later on to show that you were indeed injured. Even if the injury seems minor it may become more serious. Also, if you do end up claiming and going to court, you will be asked to provide a medical report.
- Write all the details of the accident down. Cases can take months to settle, so it is always in your best interest to write down details while they are fresh in your mind. You can always go back to your notes to recall specific details.
- Document with photos. Considering some of your injuries may heal, it is crucial to take pictures of your injuries and damages. Pictures can help you prove damages months later. Make sure you take clear pictures and date them.
- Keep all your documents. Whether its emails, medical bill or insurance letters, all of these will help you in your case and you may need to reference them later. Keeping them all together and in one place will make them easier to reference.
- Gather your witnesses. If anyone else was present at the time of your injury, make it a point to gather their contact information so that you may potentially use them to provide evidence if it proceeds to Court.
Using Medical Reports For Personal Injury* Claims
Personal injury* claims are assessed using the medical report you provide from your Doctor or Specialist Consultant and, if necessary, a report provided by an independent doctor appointed by InjuriesBoard.ie. The assessment of the damages due is made having regard to the particular injuries you sustained and your circumstances as documented in your Medical Report.
These medical records are a key piece of evidence in a personal injury* case and will in most circumstances dictate the quantum of the settlement. As such, it is important that the medical records contain thorough information regarding the claimant’s accident, injuries and treatment. For example, the records should indicate that the claimant commenced treatment after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Clearly establishing the link between the accident and the injuries can strengthen a claim for settlement with the insurance company.
If the personal injury* claimant does not seek medical treatment immediately after the accident or only does so after receiving such advice from their Solicitor, it can be more difficult to link the accident and the injuries. This may lead to an argument from the insurance company that the claimant had a pre-existing injury.
In addition, any treatment and records associated with the accident can be a critical component of a case. These records can help establish the link between the accident and the injuries that the claimant suffered.
Not all medical reports are perfectly scribed or have all of the relevant information. Being referred to a doctor or specialist consultant who will be able to document the claimant’s injuries and provide a solid medical report can help make a personal injury* case, while not having these aspects of the case can break it. Experienced Personal injury* Solicitors will be in a position to refer a claimant to a specialist medical consultant who will document any injuries effectively. It is important that all personal injury* claimants seek precise and specialist referrals to medical experts from their Solicitor.
An injury as a result of a car accident or otherwise does not automatically mean that you will be adequately compensated for your injuries. Not only do you actually have to be injured to receive compensation, you must be able to prove it. Although your Solicitor will deal with this it is important that you obtain documented proof of your injuries, which will significantly help prepare for your personal injury* case. The following are important actions to remember if you have suffered a personal injury*.
Who can make a personal injury* claim?
Anyone who has been injured or contracted an illness or disease as a result of another person’s negligence is entitled to take a personal injury* case and claim for compensation in Ireland. If the injured party is under 18, the courts will appoint a ‘next friend’ to claim on that person’s behalf.
In the tragic circumstances where an accident of this kind results in a fatality, the deceased’s financial dependents or personal representatives can claim for loss of dependency.
What information do I need to make a personal injury* claim in Ireland?
If you intend to make a personal injury* claim there is certain information and evidence that can be useful in making your case. You should record as much information as possible at the scene of the accident as some evidence may not be available later when you make your claim.
Information and evidence checklist:
You may still be able to make a claim even if you do not have all of this information, our solicitors can advise you of what is needed specifically for your case.
How long do I have to make a personal injury* claim?
In most cases, the time limit for making a personal injury* case is two years from the date of the accident or the date of knowledge of the injury. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you were a child at the time of the accident you will have two years from the date of the child’s eighteenth birthday to make a claim for compensation.
In Ireland, the Injuries Board assess all personal injury* claims initially, but there are various rules and procedures which you will need to follow. You must present your claim within two years of your accident and you must inform the person you think is responsible (the respondent) within two months of the accident. The respondent also has to agree for your claim to be assessed by the Injuries Board or you will have to go to court.
However, if you decide to make your claim, it’s extremely important you seek legal advice to guide you through the process as early as possible.
How can I make a personal injury* claim? Do I need a personal injury* solicitor?
Unless you are fully up-to-date with all the nuances of the law in Ireland, it is almost impossible to get the best possible outcome in relation to an injury claim without the help of an experienced solicitor. No matter how clear the blame is in an accident, personal injury* law is complicated and your case can be weakened by a multitude of factors you may not be aware of when you make it without the aid of legal representation.
Personal injury* solicitors are experienced with the legal process and the precedents available to leverage even the weakest personal injury* case. They can ensure you receive the maximum compensation due to you, and they can make the process simpler, quicker and make your chances of succeeding much higher. Therefore, if you want to take legal action over a personal injury* you should absolutely consult a reputed and experienced personal injury* solicitor first.
How much will it cost to claim – can I afford to make a claim?
You may be put off from making a claim for your personal injury* because you are concerned you will not be able to afford a solicitor, but there are options available to you throughout the process of making a claim which mean you can avoid a large legal bill, and possibly not pay anything at all.
In Ireland, if you instruct a solicitor to represent you and submit your claim to the Injuries Board, the respondent has to pay your legal costs if you receive an award for compensation. If you do proceed to court and win, your legal costs will still be paid by the other side, but there may be parts of your claim which are not recoverable from the respondent. You will have to pay for these yourself from your compensation.
What Can I Claim Compensation For?
Whenever you make a personal injury claim in Ireland, you can make two claims, one for general damages and one for special damages.
The compensation awarded is also adjusted depending on how much culpability the victim is seen to have had in the accident.
This is the area where the most compensation is likely to be awarded – it encompasses the pain, suffering and how much the person’s quality of life will be affected by the injury.
Also determining what sort of compensation the person is likely to receive will be the level and type of injuries sustained by the victim, as well as the pain and suffering inflicted on the victim.
Other aspects taken into account will be the age and sex of the victim, the locality of the injury and how this overall has affected their job prospects and future opportunities. The health of the victim at the time of the injury will be considered as well so it’s important to be as clear about this as possible.
This covers costs and expenses that arise from a personal injury. If the treatment is straightforward, the compensation will probably be low.
Factors such as the extent of the medical treatment and loss of earnings, over-time and pensions, both past and in the future will be taken into consideration.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need home help and day care, as well as a amendments to your vehicle, which will all be taken into account when assessing your compensation. You may even need to change your accommodation and arrange for extra transportation to appointments and so on, all of which will be considered.
Common Personal Injury* claims by injury
Serious Injury Claims
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury* in an accident that was someone else’s fault, there is legal action you can take. Serious injury claims work to ensure compensation for injuries such as broken legs, paralysis, serious burns and in the most tragic cases, fatalities. Although this will not undo the damage and suffering of the situation, it will give you a form of justice and help to cover the costs of on going care and support. Click here for more information on making a serious injury claim.
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your head is suddenly thrown back and forth in a violent, whipping motion. A whiplash injury is most commonly the result of a road traffic accident, but you can get whiplash from playing sports and fairground rides too.
If you have sustained whiplash in an accident that was not your fault you may be eligible to make a claim and Gibson & Associates can help. Read about how we helped a whiplash victim claim over €12,000 in compensation after being involved in a road traffic accident.
Click here to read more about the options available to you if you are looking to claim for whiplash.
Common Personal Injury* Claims by Accidents
Road Traffic Accidents
While some road traffic accidents have contributing road or environmental factors, the majority are due to human error. If you are involved in a road traffic accident, the law requires you to stop at the scene and exchange insurance details, and if necessary, call the police too. If the offending party doesn’t stop, the accident could be classed as a hit and run, which is a criminal offence.
Here is some more information about the most common road and car accidents you can make a personal injury* claim for:
If you are a cyclist who has sustained a serious injury as a result of a bicycle accident that was not your fault, whether it was caused by a negligent driver or a poorly maintained road surface you need to know what options are available to you. Find out what action you can take here.
Passengers often suffer injuries whilst travelling on buses, and many do not realise they may be eligible to claim compensation for their injuries. Bus operators in Ireland have a duty of care to their passengers, and their safety. If a bus operator fails in their duty, you may be able to make an accident with a bus claim, regardless of the situation that caused your injury. Click here if you would like more information about making a bus, or bus car accident claim.
Motorway accidents are amongst the most serious of all road traffic accidents. It is not uncommon for an accident to result in devastating injuries, and even fatalities. If you have been injured or your car has been damaged in in a motorway accident you may be able to claim financial compensation. To read more about motorway accidents and how to claim click here.
Click here to read about a successful road traffic accident compensation claim made by a passenger who suffered injuries to their head, knees and lower back.
Car drivers and other road users have a duty of care towards pedestrians, and must therefore drive in a safe and reasonable manner at all times. Therefore, if you were a pedestrian involved in an accident caused by a road user you have cause to make a claim. You can also claim compensation if you are injured in an accident caused by unsafe buildings whilst using pavements. Click here to read about a successful claim from an accident in which a pedestrian was injured by a local business sign in Dublin city centre. Read more about pedestrian accidents here.
Taxi drivers have a duty of care to their passengers. So, if you have been involved in an accident with a taxi and it was not your fault, you have a legal right to make a claim. If you would like more information about the options available to after suffering a personal injury* as a result of an accident with a taxi click here.
Accidents involving emergency services vehicles
It may come as a surprise but emergency vehicles do have reduced culpability if they’re involved in an accident. This means that it’s worth investigating a claim, as you could be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Accidents in the workplace
Your employer has a duty to ensure your welfare while you are at work. Failure to do so and you may be in a position to make a work claim.
Accidents at work should be recorded in an accident book. If your workplace does not have one, you should write out the details of the accident and injuries, send them to your employer and keep a copy for yourself. This is because many contracts say that you have to report any injuries at work. If you are self-employed, you have a legal responsibility to report some accidents resulting in injury to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the local authority environmental health department.
Building Site Accidents
Building and construction sites are very dangerous places, and employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees. If they have failed or been negligent, compensation is your legal right. If you have suffered a building or construction accident that has resulted in a serious personal injury*, you may be eligible to claim financial compensation. Click here to read more about employer responsibility and how to make a claim.
Large machinery, livestock and changeable weather conditions means farms are often hazardous places to work and unfortunately, some farmers who employ staff do not make an effort to create a safe working environment for their employees. This is considered negligent in the eyes of the law. If you are a farm worker with an injury caused at your workplace, click here to read more about your options and pursuing a claim.
Noise at Work Regulations in Ireland mean employers are required to provide their workers the correct protective equipment to prevent injury or illness. Therefore, if you’ve been a victim of hearing problems due to industrial deafness, it is possible that your employer is at fault. Click here to find out more about the common causes of industrial deafness and how you can make a claim.
Repetitive tasks and long time exposure to certain hazardous chemicals or materials in the workplace can result in industrial disease or sickness when employers fail to ensure the health and safety of their employees. If this applies to you and your health read more about industrial diseases and how to make a compensation claim.
Asbestos related injuries
Have you ever been exposed to asbestos and since developed a related illness? If it can be be proven that you were exposed to it and if wasn’t your fault you may be entitled to make a claim. Even if you have been exposed to it recently and therefore haven’t shown any symptoms of related illness, it is still worth contacting a solicitor, so you can be put on an Asbestos register for any future claims you may need to make.
Slip, trip and fall
Uneven footpaths, broken paving slabs and slippery floors can all cause slips, trips and falls. However, those responsible for public areas have a duty of care to protect people from injury by following health and safety guidelines to prevent these kinds of accidents. If you have suffered this sort of accident and another party is responsible for your accident, you could be entitled to make a slip, trip, or fall claim.
Night Club, Bar & Pub Accidents
Personal injury* claims from night club, bar and pub accidents can arise for a number of different reasons including broken glass, badly lit flooring and violent and abusive people under the influence of alcohol. Click here for more information and to find out more if you are eligible to make a claim.
Footpath Trip Compensation
If you have been injured in a footpath trip caused by poorly maintained pavements or roads, you should be able to claim compensation. Typically, the paving must be raised by at least an inch to be dangerous enough to warrant compensation. If are unsure of whether you are entitled to claim financial compensation following an injury sustained on a public footpath click here to find out more.
The majority of accidents that occur in supermarkets and shops result from slips trips and falls. As supermarkets have a duty of care to their customers, if you have suffered an accident or injury whilst in a supermarket or shop you may be able to claim compensation, even if you think your accident was trivial. Click here to read more about what you should do in this case and how you can make a claim.
It is always extremely distressing when a child suffers an injury in an accident. However, it’s all the more troubling if this accident was caused by another person’s negligence. If this is something that has affected your family you may be able to take legal action and claim compensation. Read more about the options below.
Accidents at School
If your child has been injured due to the negligence of a supervisor or teacher, or the antisocial behaviour of another child, you may be entitled to make an accident at school claim. Click here to read more about your options.
Dangerous Toy Accidents
You cannot always protect your child from dangerous toys, especially if they are faulty or have mistakenly passed health and safety checks. If your child has been injured in this situation click here to find out more about making a compensation claim.
At Gibson & Associates, our experienced lawyers have won many compensation claims for accidents in which a child was harmed. Read about our most recent case study in which a family received 30,000 in compensation after an infant was injured in a traffic accident here.
There are occasions when a fairground accident occurs because of the negligence of another individual. For example if a food seller has failed to respect hygiene rules, or if the fairground owners have failed to ensure rides are maintained to a safe standard. If you or a family member has suffered an injury at a fairground you believe to be someone else’s fault. Click here to read more about making a claim and the options available to you.
Accidents Involving Animals
When animal owners fail to take responsibility for their pets members of the public may suffer an injury. This might be because the animal has not been properly controlled, mistreated or classed as dangerous. We’ve outlined the main instances in which you can make a personal injury* claim from an accident involving an animal.
Dog Bites and Attacks
If you have suffered a dog attack in the last three years, were under 18 at the time of the attack and have yet to reach your 21st birthday, or if a loved one was fatally injured in a dog attack as a result of the negligence or recklessness of its owner, you could claim dog attack compensation. Click here to read more.
Horse Riding Accidents
When it comes to horse riding, another person’s negligence can result in injuries for both novice and experienced riders. Click here for more advice if you have been injured in a horse riding accident in which someone else was to blame.
When travelling and on holiday, there are times when organisations and their employees fail to take reasonable and practical steps to safeguard your wellbeing. If you suffer an injury as a result of this negligence, you will be in a position to make a claim. Below are some of the main circumstances in which you would be eligible to make a claim:
Regardless of whether the party responsible is an airport employee, manager or a member of the public – if you have been injured at an airport and the accident occurred because of another person’s negligence, you could be in a position to make an airport accident claim. Click here to read more about the options available to you.
Holiday Food Poisoning
Was your holiday ruined by a bout of food poisoning? Do you suspect that poor hygiene at a restaurant or resort was to blame? If so, you may be able to make a holiday food poisoning claim. Click here to find out more information.
Accidents Whilst Traveling on Public Transport
As all public transport operators have a duty of care towards their passengers. If you suffer an injury or trauma as the result of an accident on a train, plane, boat, ferry or bus, you may be able to make a personal injury* compensation claim. Click here to find out how to make a claim.
Why use a solicitor for your PI claim?
These sorts of cases are time-consuming and complicated. Once a case is filed, it will most likely be contested, which will lead to a potentially long, drawn out legal fight. In order to avoid a pay out, the party in question will most likely try to fight using all the loopholes they can find.
A personal injury solicitor will be able to negotiate around these obstacles and details, using their extensive knowledge and experience, whereas a layperson will most likely not have the time, or the expertise.
Why Claim With Gibson & Associates Solicitors?
The team at Gibson & Associates have been resolving legal matters across Ireland for many years and we focus on these kinds of personal injury* claims. Our experienced solicitors are dedicated to helping and offering you guidance at every stage of the process of making a personal injury* claim.
Our ‘Why Choose Us’ page explains everything you need to know about our compensation claim process, our solicitors and more.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement