The Changing Face of Personal Injury Claims in Ireland

A personal injury or a life-changing injury is something which anybody does not want. There is a never a good time for it. Injury is tough for the victims because they might not be able to go to work and they stand to lose money for being absent from work.

The government has widened the access to justice and transfer the burden of finding litigation from the state and back to the claimant. From 1995, claimants were required to pay up to 25% of the compensation to the solicitors. Winning cases would pay for cases that were lost and law firms all over the country were able to take on all cases with a considerable prospect for success.

Personal injury claims or awards, are compensatory and are calculated to meet the precise losses of the injured person. Giving the injured party only 25% left people undercompensated and unable to afford the expenses of future therapy.  As a recognition of this, the Labour government legislated that the burden of funding be transferred from the claimant to the defendant.

The insurers of the losing defendant will would pay not only the base of the legal costs but also the cost of insurance and the success fee. This was good news for claimants since it meant that the claims would be of no cost to them.

This was the system a few years ago and it worked very well from the perspective of the claimant. However, insurance companies are complaining that they should not have to fund the opponent’s insurance and success fee. Claimants have effectively returned to funding cases since April 2013 and they will again be asked to pay for a success fee, insurance, up to 25% of the damages which will no longer be recovered from the defendant. The government has succeeded in delivering significant savings to the insurance industry since 2013 although it is at the expense of the seriously injured.

How can a solicitor help in making personal injury claims?

The first step that will be taken by a solicitor is to send a claim letter to the person or people or even company held responsible for the accident who is also called the defendant. Employing the services of the best personal injury solicitors Dublin has to offer is paramount for you to stand the best chance at winning a case. This letter will have all the details of your injury and what has transpired. If expert opinion is needed to support your claim, the solicitor will suggest a relevant specialist.

The defendant is given a period of time to reply to the letter, normally it is three months but sometimes it can be shorter. The defendant must reply if they accept or deny the liability for your injury.

After the defendant replies favorably, the solicitor will then think about the value of your claim. The solicitor might also ask you how much compensation you are prepared to accept and whether you want to make an offer to settle. If the defendant is ok with your demand then a figure is agreed and the matter can be settled without going to court.

If both parties are unable to settle for a fair amount out of court, the solicitor will advise you on the legal action to take.

Basic Rights at Work in the UK

Being employed means you will have money to feed your family, as well as purchase what you want for yourself. However, before you start counting how much you are earning, it is a good idea to know your basic rights at work. The UK has come a long way and one of the government’s most important duties is to protect the rights of the working class. Seek the advice of competent employment law solicitors if you find yourself in a difficult situation with regard to your rights in the workplace.

Basically your rights at work will depend on two things:

  • Contract of employment
  • Statutory rights

The contract of employment will vary from one person to another; however, it does not have the ability to eliminate rights you have by law. If for example, your contract says that you can only have 2 weeks of paid holiday per year, however, the law says that you are entitled to 28 days of paid holidays in a year, it means that your contract is void and it will not apply.

On the other hand, if your contract says that you have more paid holidays in a year, then your contract applies.

Statutory rights

Statutory rights are those based on laws as passed by Parliament. All workers have certain legal rights but there are some workers who are not entitled to certain rights. There are times when employees only get certain rights after they have been with their employer for a particular period of time. The following are the just some of the basic rights most people are entitled to:

  • The right to an itemized pay slip
  • The right not to have deductions made from your pay illegally
  • The right to a paid holiday.  Full-time employees have at least 28 paid holidays in a year. Part-time employees can only get the prorated number of holidays in a year.
  • The right to a written statement of the terms of employment within a couple of months starting work
  • The right to a paid maternity leave for women
  • The right to a paid adoption leave
  • The right to a paid paternity leave for men
  • The right to a paid time off for prenatal care which applies from the day the employee starts workingf
  • The right to work until the age of 65
  • The right against discrimination at work
  • The right to have written reasons for dismissal from an employer
  • The right of part-time workers to the same contractual rights
  • The right to compensation if dismissed unfairly
  • The right not to suffer dismissal from bringing into light matter of public concern, such as malpractice

Contracts of employment will be illegal if tax, as well as other contributions to the national coffers, are not paid; the employee gets a part or all of their wages via cash in hand so as to avoid having to pay tax and other fees.

When it comes to wages, there are a number of rights, which you should be aware of. All employees are entitled to be paid for the work they have done and they are also entitled to payment if they are ready and willing to work and the employer has not provided them with any.

 

What to Do if Personal Injury Settlements Fail

Adjusters handle claims and consider numerous things before arriving at a decision. As much as possible, they want to handle claims without unnecessary energy and time. However, you must know that there are adjusters who want to stall or bluff after examining all the documents and after arguments have been made on both sides.

There are adjusters who will often make fairly low initial offers and then stick to their offers without any justifications in the hopes that their tactics will frustrate or intimidate people into accepting settlements which are much lower than the worth of their claims. Having the best personal injury solicitors Galway has to offer makes your chances of having a successful claim much greater.

So, what can a person do after a personal injury settlement talk has failed?

Threat of a lawsuit

If there is one thing which adjusters do not like, it is a lawsuit. Lawsuits means lawyers will be involved and this can result to costly legal fees. In Ireland seeking the advice of one of the experienced solicitors Dublin or solicitors Galway has to offer is a must. There is also the possibility that the claim file will be taken away from the adjuster and given to the lawyer of an insurance company or to a different adjuster. This could translate to a blemish on the adjuster’s work.

Suggest for a fair offer and if it is not made on a certain date, tell the adjuster that you will be forced to file a lawsuit and hire a personal injury lawyer to help handle the claim for you. When you do this, you will certainly get the attention of the adjuster.

The threat of a lawsuit can be an effective way to get the adjuster to act, keep in mind that it will only work if a lawsuit is actually possible. Make sure that you have the legal right to back up your threat before you even think of making one.

Persistence

Move an adjuster off by holding your position and staying firm. Show the adjuster just how persistent you are. Call the adjuster or write him an email asking for a fair and reasonable offer. Reaffirm that you are both persistent and patient and you will not fold on your claim. By doing this you might be able to get the adjuster to come up with a fair offer.

Consult an attorney

It is advisable to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer immediately. Although most lawyers are paid for handling personal injury claims by taking a percentage, there are some who can be consulted in an hourly basis while you continue to handle the claims by yourself. If you can get the attorney to handle everything for you, all the better.  You need an expert who will guide you through the process and help you win the case.

When consulting an attorney, you must bring with you all the notes and documents and correspondence which has a relation to the case. After reviewing the documents, the lawyer will be able to point out what tactics you can use when you contact the adjuster again.

Getting a new idea or legal theory into the negotiations just might prompt the adjuster to make a serious settlement offer which is fair to you.

 

What You Need to Avoid if You Want to Pursue a Personal Injury Case

Nobody wants to be injured. Injury is not only inconvenient, it can also cause you to lose money if you are unable to go to work. If you are the aggravated party, you certainly want to pursue a case, most especially if the damage is extensive. You want to be adequately compensated for all the suffering you are going through and having experienced personal injury solicitors to represent you gives you a strong chance of a successful claim.

However, you must take note that there are things which you do intentionally or unintentionally which can hinder your chances of having a successful case.

Seek medical attention right away

Sometimes the best lawyers to have on your side are those who have vast experience acting as medical negligence solicitors in successful cases. Aside from that, one of the most important things which everyone should remember is that it is of utmost importance to seek medical attention immediately. Not seeing the doctor right away after you have been injured will make getting compensation quite difficult.

Keep your appointments with doctors

Not going to your doctor’s appointments is not a good thing? Jurors will not like it at all. Insurance companies, as well as jurors, will be convinced that you are not really injured when you do not show up for your appointments. People who are truly injured are hurting. They do not feel well and they need medical attention to alleviate their suffering.

Take photos

It is advisable to take pictures of your injuries as photographic evidence. Do not delay. It is important that you rake pictures right after the accident. It will help understand the cause of the accident and injury, as well as the severity of the accident and injury.

Keep a journal

Why should you keep a journal even if you do not have the most exemplary writing skills? Because it serves as a witness to what you are going through. There are many details which you should document after an accident or injury. What depth of mental anguish did you experience? Did you lose sleep? How was your diet affected? What things were you able to do before the injury which you could no longer do after getting injured?

By the time you get through the first trial or by the time you get to settle the case, it is important that your personal injury lawyer knows what you have been feeling on the third day after the accident. The details are very important, they can help you win the case and get just compensation. It is very important for your lawyers to represent you based on the merits of your case.

There are hundreds of law firms in most big cities and it is important that you choose your representation wisely. You want a lawyer who has he experience, education and expertise and you want no one but the best to be your representation especially if you have a big case with a potentially big compensation.

Being prepared can make the difference between winning and losing, between being compensated properly and losing a lot of money because of inability to work. The whole process can exhaust a lot of people and sometimes make them want to give up and the help of a good personal injury lawyer is very indispensable.

Making the Most of Your Personal Injury Claim

Accidents happen every day in different places around the world. As a matter of fact more than 3 million accidents happen annually. You could be at home, in school, in your car or in the workplace. In most cases, there is almost someone or something which is at fault. As a victim of an accident, it is only right and proper for you to get just compensation.

The law pertaining to personal injury can be quite complicated but the help of a personal injury lawyer should help you enormously. Making the claim can be made straightforward. Most attorneys or solicitors today also offer free initial consultation. You will be able to determine if you can make a justifiable claim without spending any money.

Finding a lawyer

Chances are there are hundreds of personal injury lawyers in your city. The best way to find a lawyer is through the reference of friends and family. You can also search for lawyers online. If you have insurance for legal expenses or you are a member of the trade union, you should be ready to provide your full details including a copy of your policy to the solicitor.

What the lawyer needs

In order to establish the details of your case, the lawyer will need the following information:

  • Documents of your insurance policies. This is for the attorney to check if they can cover the legal costs of your claims
  • Documents which can be used to support your claim
  • Proof of financial expenses, as well as proof of loss of earnings
  • The date of the accident and how it happened
  • The witnesses and their contact details
  • The details of your injuries which includes medical diagnosis and treatments

How the lawyer can help you

The goal in hiring a lawyer is because you need an expert which can guide you through the process, help you win the case and get just compensation. After you explain the event to your lawyer, he or she will be able to tell if you have a good chance of winning the case what amount you will be able to get in compensation.

They will explain the legal process to you and how you will fund your case. Do not be afraid to take notes or ask your lawyer questions. If there is anything which is confusing or unclear to you, you must ask right away. It is important that you know everything there is to know about your case. You should also ask your lawyer to make a letter for you outlining the process, how long it will take, what you might have to pay, when you will need to pay and that the lawyer is happy to take your case on.

Making your claim

The first thing that your lawyer will do is to send a claim letter to the defendant. This will detail the injuries you suffered, as well as the other things that took place. A relevant specialist will also be recommended if there is a need for one. The defendant has a fixed period to reply to the letter. If they accept liability, the matter will be settled out of court.

Making Personal Injury Claims Against Uninsured Drivers

More than half of the personal injury cases nowadays are due to vehicular accidents. The unfortunate thing is that it there are more than a million of uninsured drivers out there. So what should you do in case you have an accident with one?

There is no way for anyone to tell when and how accidents can happen. You can be as careful as you can possibly be but accidents still happen, that is a fact of life. If someone is at fault and responsible for the accident, then that person’s insurance company will pay for the damage that the other party suffers.

What if the person is uninsured?

So, what will happen if the other party is not insured? By law it is a requirement for all motorists to have a valid insurance policy if they want to drive a vehicle. However, not everyone follows the law. In the UK alone, there is an estimated 1.2 million drivers who are not insured.

There is a big chance of being hit by an uninsured driver. What will happen if you suffer property damage or injury caused by one of these drivers? In the UK there are more than 20,000 incidents annually which involves uninsured drivers. They are dealt with by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau or MIB.

Proving that someone is guilty is not very easy and making claims from the MIB can be time consuming. It is always a good idea to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who will look out for your interests.

Your personal injury lawyer can help you with the claiming process and ensure that you get the correct type of medical examination, as well as the correct treatments. If the extent of the injury is quite great, you might also need to take a serious look at the cost of long-term rehabilitation.

Paying attention

Being involved in a car accident means being shaken up and most people do not think straight during this time. However, it is vital to remember that the first few moments after the accident are crucial. It is a must to take note of the other vehicle’s registration number. Drivers without insurance will be very afraid and they tend to flee the scene right away for fear of being discovered.

Exchange information

If the other driver is cooperative, you should exchange telephone numbers and email addresses. Whenever possible, take photographs for documentation purposes. All these things will work in your favour when the time comes for you to make a claim.

Contact the police

Call the police right away and report the incident.  This must be done within 5 days of the accident if there is damage to property and within 14 days if someone has been injured. The earlier you report, the better.

Visit a medical professional

Even if you have already taken photos, you must still go to the doctor. You must also see a medical professional even if you have minor injuries only. It is necessary to make sure that you are given the right medical attention.