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.