Regardless of what circumstances you have suffered a serious injury, in order to make claims for serious injury compensation claims in Ireland, the accident in which you sustained the injury must be attributable to the carelessness of somebody who should have performed a reasonable duty of care. This does not always mean that person had to be physically available at the time of your injury in order to claim compensation for a serious injury – just that their negligence was the cause of your serious injury.
Often, it may not even be one individual person against whom a serious injury claim for compensation is made. Compensation claims for serious injuries 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 injury occurred could have been prevented had greater care been taken by one of these “third parties”, you will be eligible to make a claim for a serious injury and recover compensation for your injury.
Establishing Negligence in a Claim for a Serious Injury
In most scenarios, the procedure for making compensation claims for serious injuries in Ireland is to submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board; who will then contact the person(s) named on your application and request their consent to proceed with an assessment of your serious injury claim for compensation. The assessment of serious injury compensation claims only continues once consent from the “respondent” has been received.
At this point, there is no need for you to submit evidence of negligence in support of a claim for a serious injury; however, in the event that the respondent declines their consent, you may then have to pursue compensation for a serious injury through the courts. Court action is not always necessary, as many claims for serious injury compensation claims in Ireland are resolved by negotiation; however, in order to get a satisfactory resolution of your claim for a serious injury, it is in your best interests that negligence is established before an injury claim is started.
In order for anybody to be considered liable for your serious injury, it has to be proven that they owed you a “duty of care” and were in breach of that duty of care when your injury was sustained, although not every duty of care is “absolute”. This means, for example, that if you sustain your serious injury after slipping and falling in a shop on liquid immediately after it had been spilled by the shopper in front of you, and the shop staff were not provided with a “reasonable” period of time in which to identify and remove the hazard, you may not be justified in seeking compensation for a serious injury.
Litigating Serious Injury Compensation Claims in Ireland
The possibility of court action may sometimes dissuade plaintiffs from making compensation claims for serious injuries; however insurance companies are often even less keen to litigate a serious injury claim for compensation in court. The costs of litigation in Ireland can be huge and, regardless of how justified the insurance company believe they are in challenging their policyholder´s responsibility for your serious injury, the financial risk they are undertaking (that a court will rule in your favour) often encourages an out of court settlement of compensation for a serious injury without the admission of responsibility.
This is particularly true when litigation in court may be needed to resolve a dispute over how much you can claim for a serious injury. Courts tend to be wary of financial disputes of this nature, and both parties will be encouraged to determine a serious injury compensation claims settlement before an appearance in court is required. In most compensation claims for serious injuries in Ireland, your solicitor will approach the negligent party´s insurers at the same time as an assessment is submitted to the Injuries Board, and will be able to inform you at an early stage whether or not court action to resolve your claim for a serious injury could be required.
Making a Serious injury Claim for Compensation for a Child
If your child has sustained a serious injury in an accident for which they were not entirely to blame, they are not allowed to make a serious injury claim for compensation in their own right or engage the services of a solicitor until they reach the age of eighteen. As all evidence of negligence may have faded by that time, it is usual process for a parent or guardian to make compensation claims for serious injuries on their child´s behalf acting as their “next friend”.
The process for making serious injury compensation claims for children varies considerably from when an adult sustains such an injury. A child´s injury claim for a serious injury must be submitted to the Injuries Board through the post (online application for assessment will not be considered), the next friend has to accept all financial responsibility should the serious injury claim be unsuccessful and, when a settlement of compensation for a serious injury is agreed, the settlement amount has to be approved by a judge in court.
Compensation Claim for a Serious Injury: Summary
No two compensation claims for serious injuries in Ireland are identical – regardless of how similar the situation surrounding the accidents were – and it is always in your best interests to talk about your accident and serious injury with a solicitor at the earliest possible moment. A solicitor will be able to assist with potential issues such as determining liability for your serious injury, gathering evidence of negligence on your behalf and ensuring that your application for the assessment of serious injury compensation claims to the Injuries Board properly reflects the consequences that your injury have made to the quality of your life.
A serious injury can often be a debilitating experience, and although no amount of compensation for a serious injury 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 serious injury claim for compensation which it is worth your while to pursue. Therefore, you are recommended to discuss your entitlement to make a compensation claim for a serious injury with a solicitor at the first available opportunity.