An injury in any situation is painful and inconvenient at best. Add in the loss of earnings, medical expenses, emotional strain and health repercussions and an injury becomes life-changing. When you suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligence it can be difficult to establish where you stand legally.
Making a personal injury claim in Ireland depends largely on the scenario in which an injury was caused. If you are unsure about if you have a case or not, contact Whelehan Solicitors, Tralee, on (066) 712 9782.
What is a personal injury claim?
Anyone who experiences injuries due to the fault of another person has a right to make a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is a legal submission that requests compensation for the victim or victims.
Example of common personal injury claims include:
- Being injured in your workplace
- Road traffic accidents caused by another person
- Falls and slips in a public space
- Farming accidents
- Illness, such as food poisoning
What these scenarios all have in common is that the responsibility for duty of care is not yours.
Workplace injuries – In a workplace, the employer has a duty of care to all workers. If you experience an injury at work through no error of your own, then you may have a case.
Road traffic accidents – You may be entitled to make a claim if you suffer an injury as a pedestrian, driver, cyclist, or passenger. The fault of the accident must lie with another person and the accident must be reported to the police immediately.
Accidents in public places – Public spaces should be safe for everyone. Injury caused by a trip or slip because of a faulty or slippery surface in a public place may be claimable.
Farming accidents – Similar to a workplace injury, you may have a claim if the responsibility of care was not yours. This could include an injury suffered by a visitor to the farm, a member of the public or a worker.
Illnesses – Dining out is relatively safe, but on rare occasions, mistakes can happen and result in illness. Illnesses can also occur if you are exposed (at work or in public for example) to toxic fumes or materials.
Assessing Your Personal Injury Claim
The best way to understand if you have a personal injury claim is to talk to a Personal Injury Claim solicitor. As an expert in personal injury claim cases, your solicitor will assess the strength of your case.
Your solicitor will speak to you about the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on you. It is advisable to keep any associated receipts for the medical care you received as a result of the injury. If you decide to go ahead with your claim, your solicitor will request access to your medical records.
The impact on quality of life is an important element of a personal injury claim. Where an injury or illness was minor or fleeting, you may have a case but the payout could be trivial. An injury that prevents you from working or causes you to need assistance is likely to receive a larger payout. Similarly, injuries with longer lasting impact or life-changing consequences will – in most cases – receive larger compensations.
What You Need For A Personal Injury Claim
To support your personal injury case, you will be required to produce evidence of your claim.
This evidence can take many forms but would be strongly supported with the following:
1. Medical Treatment Records
When you suffer an injury caused by the fault of another person, seek immediate medical care. Likewise, if you suspect that you are suffering from food poisoning or an illness caused by someone else.
By seeking medical care you are creating a paper trail that will support the evidence of your personal injury case. Proof of medical care clearly evidences the injuries you suffered and the treatment you received.
When an accident occurs in the workplace, you might be treated by an in-house medic. It can be beneficial to also request medical care from an independent medical professional such as your GP or A&E.
2. Road Accident Reports
For road accident personal injury claims, there must be a police report. Note that police don’t always attend the scene of a minor accident. In these situations, you must go to the nearest station straight away to have a report filed.
3. Photographic Evidence
Cases from slips and falls in public places are helped by photographs, where possible. If you are unable to photograph the cause of your fall, ask someone to take them for you. The same applies to road traffic accidents. Any photographs that are taken of and at the scene could be beneficial.
4. Proof of Associated Cost
Your case may also be supported by evidence of endured costs. This could include:
- Medical expenses, including prescriptions
- Travel expenses (for medical care etc)
- Adaptations to your home
- Carer expenses
5. A Personal Injury Claim Solicitor
Personal injury law is a niche area of Irish law that requires expert knowledge. When you are considering bringing a personal injury case, consult with an experienced personal injury solicitor.
When To Make A Personal Injury Claim
You have a limited time period to make your personal injury claim. After which you will no longer have a claim. In Ireland, the time limit is specified by the statute of limitations. For personal injury claims, the statute restricts you to a two year claim period.
If you fail to make a claim within that period it will not be considered. Note also that the two year period starts from the day the injury was caused.
In cases where your injuries prevent you from making an immediate claim, it is advisable to empower a family member. The family member can start the claim process on your behalf and with the assistance of your personal injury solicitor.
Contact Whelehan Solicitors
If you believe you have a personal injuries case, contact us at Whelehan Solicitors for advice. We provide a Personal Injuries Assessment service and will submit a claim to The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) on your behalf.