The Injuries Board is a State body established in 2004 for the purpose of attempting to resolve straight forward personal injuries claims without the injured party having to bring court proceedings.
With a few exceptions, including claims for medical negligence, the general rule is that all claims for personal injuries are first referred to the Injuries Board for consideration. If you believe your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence (through their actions or inactions) and you intend bringing a claim against that person you must:-
- write to the person whose negligence you believe caused your accident and injuries. (Sometimes it is not easy to identify who is at fault for your injuries or whether the party responsible is a company, partnership or individual.)
- obtain a medical report from your doctor or hospital and
- submit a completed application form to the Injuries Board together with a copy of the letter, the medical report and the application fee of €45.00.
Beware of time limits!
Provided all of your documentation is in order the Injuries Board will write to you acknowledging receipt of your completed application. It is only once that happens that the Statute of Limitations (the time limit within which you are allowed by law to bring a claim) will stop. Beware! These time limits are strictly imposed. If in any doubt, make sure to get legal advice.
The injured person is obliged to engage with the Injuries Board (unless their claim is one of the exceptions referred to above), however the Respondent (the person/company responsible for the accident) is free to chose (within 90 days of notification by the Injuries Board) whether they will engage with the Injuries Board process or not. Ultimately, if the Respondent is insured, that decision will be made by their insurance company.
If your claim proceeds within the Injuries Board process, you will be required to attend a medical examination with a doctor appointed by the Injuries Board. You will also be required to submit details of all of your out of pocket expenses to include such items as lost earnings, medical expenses and physiotherapy expenses. The Injuries Board has a limited time period within which to make a decision (known as an Assessment) on the amount of compensation you should be awarded. Once the Injuries Board makes that Assessment you have 28 days to accept or reject it. Similarly, the Respondent can accept or reject the Assessment. If either party rejects the Assessment of the Injuries Board then the claim will instead be dealt with by way of court proceedings.
A word of caution:-
The Injuries Board does not deal with issues of fault. Therefore you may think that because the Injuries Board is dealing with your claim and the Respondent is engaging with the process that the Respondent is accepting responsibility for the accident and for your injuries. This is not the case! It is therefore extremely important that essential items and elements of evidence are preserved in case the claim is ultimately dealt with by way of Court proceedings.
At Douglas Law Solicitors we look after the entire Injuries Board process on behalf of our clients from the outset, taking steps to preserve vital evidence and advising our clients in relation to the viability of their potential claim. There have been times when we have advised clients to reject an Injuries Board Assessment where, based on our experience and knowledge, we were of the opinion that the amount of compensation was inadequate and we have succeeded in obtaining increased awards/settlements for those clients subsequently.
For further information please contact us at email@example.com or 021 4897256.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not charge fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award of settlement.