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You may have many questions about the compensation claims process, but the main ones you probably need answered immediately are:
What do I need to know about the compensation claims process?
This guide has been designed to give you basic advice about the claims process. You will however need to speak to one of our very helpful staff who will be happy to deal with immediate questions which will arise. You can contact us for more information at 0035347 51011. Alternatively you can complete our online compensation Claim Form if you think you have suffered an accident or injury, or developed a disease through exposure to hazardous substances, for which you are entitled to compensation .
What is compensation ?
Compensation is a financial award and can be paid for all sorts of reasons including:
- To recognise the injuries, physical and mental, caused by someone’s negligence or as a result of a violent crime
- In certain circumstances, for past or future lost earnings or other expenses
- For losses you have suffered because a person or organisation has broken a contract they have made with you
- To recognise the fact that someone has ruined the enjoyment of your property by behaving in an unreasonable way e.g. a tree root from a neighbour’s garden has damaged your house or the owners of a neighbouring factory allow noisy machinery to interfere with your sleep.
Do I have a claim for accident compensation or other work-related diseases?
Unfortunately, it is a fact that lots of people are injured every day in various different types of avoidable accidents, at work, in the home, or just going about their daily activities. If you suffered an injury in an accident which was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim for the pain and suffering caused to you, together with any losses and expenses such as medical costs or loss of earnings.
With all personal injury compensation claims, you need to prove that your injury, illness or disease was caused as a result of the negligence of another party (for example your employer, another driver or a local council). Once you contact Morgan McManus we will help you to compile your evidence and present it to the third party insurers.
Accidents at work, for example include instances where an employee has received inadequate training for a job. Alternatively, there may have been a lack of safety equipment provided by the employer or there may have been faulty or dangerous machinery involved.
It is quite common for people to develop an illness or disease after coming into contact with harmful substances in their workplace. If your employer has exposed you to a potentially harmful substance, such as asbestos or latex and you have developed an illness or disease, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation .
Other accidents that may give rise to a claim include
- driver injury compensation claims,
- passenger injury compensation claims,
- whiplash injury compensation claims,
- cyclist injury compensation claims,
- pedestrian injury compensation claims,
- animals on the road,
- hit and run accidents,
- work accidents,
- dangerous machinery,
- deafness and long-term injuries,
- lifting heavy object,
- hazards at work,
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI),
- training and safety equipment,
- farm accidents,
- Slips and Trips injury compensation claims,
- medical injury compensation claims,
- sport injury compensation claims,
- school/college injury compensation claims,
- In The Home compensation claims,
- criminal assault injury compensation claims,
- animal attack compensation claims and
- defective product claims.
How much will it cost me to make a claim?
In the normal course all of your legal fees will be recovered from the person responsible for your injury, or their insurers. Where however you are making a claim in the Republic of Ireland, which necessitates the prior submission of a claim through InjuriesBoard.ie (previously known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)) you should phone us to discuss your possible liability for costs. The law on this aspect of the InjuriesBoard.ie claims is continually changing and therefore subject to advice, dependant on the circumstances of your claim.
When should I claim accident, injury or disease compensation ?
It is always advisable to make your claim as soon as you feel able to do so. To help your case, you should report the accident to any appropriate authority, such as the local Council, your employer or the owner of any property where the accident took place. If possible for instance in a work accident situation, make a note of your accident in the accident book and also take names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident. Where possible, we would always recommend that you take photographs to demonstrate any defect or hazard which was responsible for your accident or injury (use a ruler if necessary to show depth or height of the hazard).
There are other good reasons why you should submit any claim quickly:
You are more likely to recall the circumstances of your accident while it is still fresh in your mind
The sooner we have the details of your claim, the sooner we will be able to advise you whether you have a claim and, if you do, start the work of gathering evidence and negotiating a settlement with the insurance company of the person or organisation that harmed you
If your accident occurred in the Republic of Ireland and we advise that Proceedings should be issued in that jurisdiction, it is necessary, under Section 8 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 to issue a Letter before Action within 2 months of the date of the occurrence of the accident.
Again, if your accident occurred in the Republic of Ireland you are required, before you can issue Court Proceedings, we will be required to submit on your behalf your Claim in writing to InjuriesBoard.ie (previously known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board ), commonly known as PIAB which can result in the delay of our ability to issue Proceedings for a period of up to one and a half years.
How long have I got to make an accident, injury or disease claim? In the Republic of Ireland legal proceedings in respect of accident and personal injury claims must be started with two years. This was an amendment brought in by the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004. In Northern Ireland legal proceedings in accident and personal injury claims should be started within three years of the date of the accident. After the expiry of these respective periods it will generally be too late. The two / three year limit is often referred to as the compensation . It is usually three years for personal injury cases in Northern Ireland and two years for personal injury cases in the Republic of Ireland and six years for other claims. After this time, you are very unlikely to be able to make a claim, although there are exceptions to this. Your solicitor will advise you about the limitation period that applies in your particular case. This is a good reason for seeing a solicitor as soon as you think you may have a claim for compensation.">limitation period. If you are in doubt you should contact us immediately. For example, your car accident may have occurred in Ireland over 2 years ago but the other driver may be from Northern Ireland. In that event we would issue Proceedings on your behalf in Northern Ireland (where the other driver resides) and thus bring your Claim within the 3 year limitation period required in Northern Ireland.
In the Republic of Ireland the limitation period issue is further complicated by the terms of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 and the suspension of the limitation period where the Claim has been submitted to InjuriesBoard.ie (previously known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB))
However, in some circumstances the respective two / three year deadlines would start from the date the injury was identified, rather than the date the accident occurred. For example, you may only get a diagnosis of an occupational disease some years after a relevant incident which caused that disease. In this instance the deadline may be measured from the date the diagnosis was made.
There are other cases where the initial two / three year limits do not apply. For instance, where the Claimant is suffering from a mental disability or is under 18 years of age (a minor) or cases involving diseases which take a long time to develop after the initial exposure.
If you are concerned that you may not be able to make a claim for an injury you suffered more than the respective two / three years ago or the limitation period is fast-approaching, contact us without delay. We will discuss your particular circumstances with you and we will let you know whether you are still in time to make a compensation claim.
What must I prove?
Most compensation claims are for ‘negligence’, which is when a person or organisation has not taken reasonable care when they should have done. For example, drivers have a duty to drive carefully. If you are injured because someone hasn’t driven carefully, you will be able to claim compensation . To get compensation you have to show that somebody has not taken the care they should have. Just being injured, even if it is serious, doesn’t mean that you will be able to claim compensation , because sometimes there is no one, apart from yourself, to blame.
You will have to prove that the person or organisation you are claiming from:
was ‘negligent’, which means they did not take reasonable care when they should have done or
breached a contract they have with you, which means that they have broken their side of a legally enforceable contract that you made with them or
did not do something the law says they should (for example, if your employer did not provide you with certain health and safety equipment you need to do your job safely)
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of personal injury compensation awarded varies depending on the seriousness of the injury and the financial losses involved. compensation is awarded for pain, suffering and your inability to do things after your accident that you could do before. The award is made based upon medical evidence, normally specialist reports, of the injuries suffered. The amount of compensation takes account of how your injuries or disease affect you now and how they might affect you in the future. This compensation is known as General Damages.
In assessing General Damages in the Republic of Ireland InjuriesBoard.ie (previously known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)) and the Courts are guided by valuations set out in the Book of Quantum (published June 2004). In assessing General Damages in Northern Ireland the Courts are guided by valuations set out in the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases (published 2008) These are however guidelines only. Every case differs dependant on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the injury. We can advise you further on this when you contact us.
Accident compensation is also paid to cover financial losses suffered as a result of the accident. The aim of this type of compensation is to put you back in a position, financially, as if the accident had never occurred. You should keep receipts and invoices for any expenses associated with your accident, e.g. for prescriptions and the cost of travelling to hospital.
Accident compensation will cover any loss of earnings since the accident and any future loss of earnings. In more serious cases personal injury compensation will extend to alterations to property or vehicles and on-going care costs, including those provided by the family. This compensation is known as Special Damages.
Why choose us?
It is important to choose Morgan McManus a solicitors` firm who have specific experience in dealing with accident, injury or disease claims. At Morgan McManus we have many years of experience in dealing with Accident Claims in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We will be happy to talk you through the compensation claim process. We will answer any questions you ask and will offer our advice in plain language which you understand. We take the mystery out of the claims process. We will be able to advise whether you have a valid claim for compensation . If you do have a valid claim and decide to instruct us to deal with it for you, we will ensure that the process is entirely hassle-free for you.
Bear in mind that the vast majority of claims do not go to Court. In some cases the insurers will want to settle early and, if the amount is reasonable, we will advise you to settle. If the amount offered is not sufficient, we will advise you to take the claim to Court. You however will make the decision as to whether you want to proceed to Court.
Below, you will find a number of links to the websites of other organisations which may be of further help. Subject to their website being of relevance, we are willing to consider requests from other businesses to have their websites registered as Links here provided our website is also registered as a Link on their website on a reciprocal basis.
www.hsa.ie : The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) works to create a National Culture of Excellence in Workplace Safety, Health and Welfare for Ireland.
www.hseni.gov.uk : The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.
www.injuriesboard.ie : The InjuriesBoard.ie (previously known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)) is the independent statutory body in the Republic of Ireland which assesses the amount of compensation due to a person who has suffered a personal injury.
www.welfare.ie : Information about benefits you can claim in the Republic of Ireland after suffering an accident.
www.dsdni.gov.uk : By visiting the Social Security Agency section of this website you can obtain information about benefits you can claim in Northern Ireland after suffering an accident.
www.rospa.org.uk : The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is actively involved in the promotion of safety and the prevention of accidents in all areas of life.
www.nsc.ie : The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in Ireland is tasked with improving safety on our roads in order to reduce death and injury resulting from road collisions.
www.brake.org.uk : BRAKE is a National Road Safety Charity.
www.mibi.ie : The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was set up in 1955 by an Agreement between the Government and the Companies underwriting motor insurance in Ireland for the purpose of compensating victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
www.mib.org.uk : The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) in the UK was established in 1946 as a private company limited by guarantee for the purpose of entering into Agreements with the Government to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists.
www.aware.ie : Aware is a voluntary organization formed in 1985 by a group of interested patients, relatives and mental health professionals, whose aims are to assist that section of the population who are directly affected by depression.
www.yourmentalhealth.ie : This website has been developed as part of the ‘Your Mental Health’ awareness campaign, which aims to improve awareness and understanding of mental health and well-being in Ireland. The campaign and this website are coordinated by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.
www.dohc.ie : This the website of the Department of Health and Children which has a statutory role is to support the Minister in the formulation and evaluation of policies for the health services. It also has a role in the strategic planning of health services. This is carried out in conjunction with the Health Service Executive, voluntary service providers, Government Departments and other interested parties.