Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your spinal injury, in order to pursue claims for spinal injury compensation in Ireland, the accident in which you sustained the injury must be the result of the carelessness of somebody who owed you a reasonable duty of care. The person responsible for your injury did not have to be physically present at the time of your spinal injury in order to seek compensation for a spinal injury – just that their negligence was the reason why your spinal injury took place.
Frequently, it may not even be an individual person against whom a spinal injury claim for compensation is initiated. Compensation claims for spinal 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 spine was injured 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 spinal injury and recover compensation for your injury.
Getting Treatment for a Spinal Injury
One of the most essential elements of a spinal injury claim for compensation is the action you took following the incident in which your spine was injured. In most cases, you would have used common sense and sought an immediate medical examination of your spinal injury at a hospital or clinic, or at your family GP´s surgery. While swift medical attention is very important for the sake of your health, it can also influence the success of compensation claims for spinal injuries.
If – for any unjust reason – you neglected to seek immediate professional attention for your spinal injury, it could be alleged when your claim for a spinal injury is made that you worsened your injury by your own lack of care. If this is the case, it may not disqualify you from claiming spinal injury compensation, but you may find that how much compensation for a spinal injury you receive is reduced to account for your own lack of care.
Establishing Negligence in a Claim for a Spinal Injury
In most scenarios, the procedure for making compensation claims for spinal 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 spinal injury claim for compensation. The assessment of spinal injury compensation is performed only 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 spinal injury; however, in the event that the respondent declines their consent, you may then have to pursue compensation for a spinal injury through the courts. Court action is not always necessary, as many claims for spinal injury compensation in Ireland are resolved by negotiation; however, in order to get a satisfactory resolution of your claim for a spinal injury, it is in your best interests that negligence is established before an injury claim is started.
In order for someone to be considered liable for your spinal injury, it has to be determined that they owed you a “duty of care” and had breached that duty of care when your spine was injured. For instance, the driver of a car has a duty of care to avoid creating an accident, an employer has a duty of care to keep a safe environment in which to work and public places of access have a duty of care to prevent hazards which may result in an accident in which a spinal injury is sustained.
However, a duty of care is not always “absolute”. This means, for instance, that if you injure your spine after slipping and falling in a shop on liquid which immediately prior had been spilled by the shopper in front of you, and the shop staff did not have a “reasonable” period of time in which to identify and remove the hazard, you may not be justified in seeking compensation for a spinal injury.
How Much Compensation for a Spinal injury?
The “value” of compensation claims for spinal injuries in Ireland is determined in accordance with the “Book of Quantum” – a publication which notes a comprehensive range of injuries and allocates a financial value to a spinal injury depending on how severe your spinal injury is and how long you may take to recover from it. This number of compensation for a spinal injury is then adjusted to consider your age, previous state of health and what effect your spinal injury has on your quality of life.
You are also eligible to include in your claim for a spinal injury any quantifiable psychological trauma you endured due to the nature of the incident in which your spinal injury occurred and any financial expenses you have incurred due to your spinal injury. Unless you have had previous experience of making an application for assessment to the Injuries Board, it is highly difficult to adequately communicate all the consequences of a spinal injury on the application for assessment, and as a result it is in your best interests to have a solicitor assess your spinal injury claim for compensation before providing it to the Injuries Board to ensure you receive your maximum entitlement of spinal injury compensation.
Compensation Claim for a Spinal Injury: Summary
No two compensation claims for spinal injuries in Ireland are identical – regardless of how similar the circumstances surrounding the accident were – and it is always in your best interests to discuss your accident and spinal injury with a solicitor at the earliest possible moment. A solicitor will be able to help with potential issues such as determining liability for your spinal injury, collecting evidence of recklessness on your behalf and ensuring that your application for the assessment of spinal injury compensation to the Injuries Board adequately reflects the consequences that your injured spine have made to your quality of life.
A spinal injury can often be a debilitating experience, and although no amount of compensation for a spinal 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 spinal injury claim for compensation which it is worth your while to pursue. Therefore, it is recommended that you discuss your eligibility to make a compensation claim for a spinal injury with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.