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.</p> ">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.