No matter under what circumstances you have sustained a loss of limb, in order to make claims for loss of limb compensation in Ireland, the accident in which you suffered the injury must be attributable to the carelessness of somebody who owed you a reasonable duty of care. This does not mean that person had to be physically present at the time of your limb injury in order to claim compensation for a loss of limb – just that their negligence was the reason why your limb injury occurred.
Often, it may not even be one person against whom a loss of limb claim for compensation is made. Compensation claims for limb loss can be made against corporate bodies, local councils and State agencies who have failed in their duty of care to protect you from foreseeable risks and, once it is established that the incident in which your limb was lost could have been prevented had greater care been taken by one of these “third parties”, you will be eligible to make a claim for losing a limb and recover compensation for your injury.
Supporting a Loss of Limb Claim for Compensation
If you were capable of gathering evidence of negligence following the incident in which you broke your limb, this can help to support a loss of limb claim for compensation – as long as you did not place yourself at risk of sustaining a further injury in order to obtain it. What evidence of negligence you should gather can contrast significantly depending on the type of incident in which you sustained a limb injury, and can include photographs obtained on a mobile phone at the scene of an accident, the contact details of people who saw your accident occur or physical evidence – such as when faulty goods bought from a shop have been responsible for the loss of your limb.
If you were unable to gather evidence of negligence as a result of being incapacitated by your limb injury, or because you appropriately made seeking medical attention for your loss of limb your priority, it may still possible after the event to receive evidence in support of compensation claims for limb loss from:-
- The Health and Safety Authority if your limb injury occurred at work,
- CCTV video if your lost your limb in a trip in the street or a slip in a shop, or
- The Gardai if your limb was lost in a road traffic accident.
In most scenarios in which you may sustain a limb injury it should be possible to recover some evidence of negligence to verify your claim for losing a limb. If you cannot collect evidence yourself because of your limb injury, ask a family member or friend (or a solicitor) to perform it on your behalf as soon as possible – while the evidence you need to verify your claim for loss of limb compensation still exists and before the memories of witnesses begin to falter.
How Contributory Negligence can affect Loss of Limb Compensation
If you are liable in any way for the accident in which your limb was lost, or neglected to seek medical attention for your loss of limb at the first available opportunity, the amount of compensation for a loss of limb injury you receive could be reduced to consider your “contributory negligence”. The principle of contributory negligence means that a percentage liability is attached to your loss of limb claim for compensation and your loss of limb compensation settlement is reduced by that percentage.
You will also find that consent is usually not given to the Injuries Board for them to proceed with an assessment of your claim for losing a limb if it is believed that contributory negligence is an element. Without the verification to assess compensation claims for limb loss, the Injuries Board will provide you with an “Authorisation” to pursue your injury claim for losing a limb through the courts, or your solicitor may be able to settle the claim directly with the negligent party and his or her insurance company.
Third Party Capture and Compensation Claims for Limb Loss
Insurance companies are sometimes aware of potential compensation claims for limb loss long before their policyholder is consulted by the Injuries Board for consent to examine your claim. Entries made in Accident Report Books and direct contact from clients can provoke insurance companies to make an unsolicited approach to potential plaintiffs with an offer of loss of limb compensation while they are still in recovery from their limb injury and at their most vulnerable.
While offers of compensation for a loss of limb may be welcome at a time when you may be worried about your short term finances, the offers frequently do not reflect your full entitlement of compensation for the limb injury you sustained and should be assessed by a solicitor at once. If you accept an insurance company´s offer of loss of limb compensation without first seeking legal advice, and it later proves to be inadequate to cover your medical expenses or support your family, you cannot go back to the insurance company and initiate another loss of limb claim for compensation.
Compensation Claim for Losing a Limb: Summary
No two compensation claims for limb loss in Ireland are alike – regardless of how similar the circumstances of the accident were – and it is constantly in your best interests to discuss your accident and limb injury with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity. A solicitor will be able to assist with possible issues such as establishing liability for your limb injury, gathering evidence of negligence on your behalf and ensuring that your application for the assessment of loss of limb compensation to the Injuries Board accurately notes the consequences that your lost limb has made to your quality of life.
A limb injury can often be a debilitating experience, and although no amount of compensation for a loss of limb can ever make up for the negligence of the person who was to blame for your injury, it costs nothing to find out whether you have a loss of limb claim for compensation which it is worth your while to pursue. As a result, you are advised to discuss your entitlement to make a compensation claim for losing a limb with a solicitor at the earliest practical opportunity.