Personal Injury Process in Ireland
At Pádraig O’Donovan & Company we specialise in personal injury litigation. We ensure that your call will always be taken and returned by an experienced Personal Injury solicitor. We can tell you immediately what your likelihood of success will be and the general level of compensation that you should obtain for your injury. Acting on your behalf, if we feel you have a claim worth investigating we will aggressively pursue your claim to achieve the best possible result for you.
We have set out below a brief outline of the personal injury legal process in Ireland:
First & Foremost
Personal injury actions can take some time to be completed. The legal system in Ireland is busy and as a result moves slowly. It is usually the case that the matter should not be settled before your injuries have subsided and a full medical report is available regarding the effects of the injury for the future. In general it can take from 18 months to 2 years for a personal injury case to reach settlement either in PIAB or Court.
Consult with your Solicitor
After examining the situation and satisfied that there is a case, the solicitor may commence a personal injury action on your behalf.
Your solicitor will request that you go to a consultant in order for you to be physically examined and have your medical condition determined
Application to PIAB
Under newly introduced legislation one must make an application to The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) before Court proceedings are issued. We will take an active role in this and have vast amounts of experience in this process. If the Defendant agrees to have the matter dealt with by PIAB then they will carry out an assessment of the damages suffered by you thus avoiding matters proceeding to court.
It is crucial to receive proper advice throughout the process in order to ensure that a satisfactory level of compensation is awarded to you by PIAB or to assist you through settlement talks which may be held throughout the process. If on the other hand the Defendant refuses to allow PIAB deal with the matter or if the award given by PIAB is not to either party’s satisfaction, only then will the matter proceed to court and legal proceedings will be issued.
Issuing Legal Proceedings
The issuing of legal proceedings will inevitably delay matters for you depending on the defendant’s response. Your solicitor will issue legal proceedings against the person/organisation who you believe is responsible for your injury. If they contest the action then further legal proceedings will be issued however they may at this stage agree to partake in settlement talks.
Additional Experts’ Reports
Your solicitor may seek additional reports from engineers and other specialists to back up your case and in order to help strengthen your case.
Continuous Medical Assessment
You will be required to undergo continuous medical assessment throughout the proceedings in order to ascertain how the accident has affected you in the intervening period.
Settle Out Of Court
Often as the court date approaches, the Defendant may make a financial offer to you. If you choose to accept the offer then your case will not proceed. Throughout the settlement talks you will at all times be expertly represented and advised by one of our experienced barristers along with your solicitor. However if neither of the parties involved can come to an agreement then your case will ultimately proceed to court.
Proceedings in Court
On the day you will be asked questions by the Defendant’s legal representatives. Either side may call on expert witnesses to improve their argument. A single judge will determine the outcome of your case depending on the legal argument put before him by both sides.
If the judge decides in your favour you should receive monetary compensation in addition to being awarded costs. This means that your legal cost will be paid by the Defendant. However, if you lose, not only will you have to pay your own costs but you will also have to cover the costs of the Defendant. You also have the option of appealing which entitles you to appeal the decision of the judge through further court proceedings.
In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or a proportion of any award or settlement.