Litigation


Road Traffic Accidents

For anyone involved in a road traffic accident it can be an immediate traumatic event. A number of simple guidelines may help you at a later stage in bringing your case to a successful conclusion:-

1. Assuming you are not seriously injured and you or any other party need immediate medical assistance, we would suggest you ask firstly for the names and address of any independent witnesses who may have witnessed the accident as they are likely to be the first people to leave the scene of the accident as they are not directly involved.

2. Check to see if the other driver or drivers has an up to date insurance disc and tax details that correspond with the car registration number.

3. Obtain the drivers and owners (if different) contact and correspondence details.

4. If you think the other driver was at fault ask them to admit liability and if that is forthcoming write out a note stating that and ask them to sign it.

5. Use either a camera of your mobile phone to take photographs of the precise location of all vehicles involved in the accident and particularly the point of impact.

6. Call the Gardai and inform them of the accident particularly if anyone is injured, if you have concerns about the other driver, their insurance or if you feel they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even though the Gardai may decide that it is a civil matter and not attend the scene of the accident at least they ought to keep a record of the call.

7. If the Gardai do attend the scene of the accident seek the Gardai contact details and if you don’t agree with the other party’s version of the events say so.

8. If you think you may have either contributed to the accident or were at fault for the accident do not admit liability until you first obtain independent legal advice.

9. Within 24 hours of the accident you should write out a detailed statement of your understanding of how the accident occurred. Memory of particular events such as a road traffic accident tend to lapse after 24 hours.

10. Notify your own Insurance Company and Solicitor of the accident as soon as reasonably possible. You may be contacted by representatives of the other party’s insurance company in an effort to settle the case but our advice is not to settle anything until you first seek independent legal advice.

If you do decide to make a claim in relation to a road traffic accident or an work related accident then our advice to you is the following:-

1. Seek independent legal advice. While you might not agree with what is being said you will learn from hearing from an independent professional’s perspective on your case.

2. Gather all your receipts that specifically relate to your additional losses that are accident related. Examples would include medication, A&E costs, GP consultation fees, physiotherapy etc. These additional costs will later be referred to as Special damages.

3. Obtain an estimate of your car damage repair costs (if applicable) from the mechanic looking after your car. This estimate should also include costs for towing your car from the accident location, storage fees and car rental (usually to a maximum claimable period of two weeks).

4. Write out a statement in your own words of how the accident occurred and obtain statement from other witnesses if available.

5. Obtain the contact details of the attending Gardai at the scene of the accident.

If independent legal advice is sought a Solicitor should inform you of the following:

1. Every litigation case has two aspects to it. The first is liability or fault. Who is to blame for the accident? Is it totally the fault of one party or many parties? Would the injured party have been partly responsible for the accident? If so the claim may be reduced by the percentage the Court finds the injured party responsible for the accident. The second aspect of every case is Quantum or value of your injuries. What the Court considers your injury and associated special damages to be worth.

2. Under the Statue of Limitations Act 1957 (as amended by the 1991 Act) and the Civil Liability Act 1961 (as amended by the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004) you only have a limited time to issue Court proceedings or your case will become statute barred (i.e. You will be prevented in taking a case against a third party because you didn’t issue proceedings in time). In actions for damages for personal injuries that occurred after the 25th of March 2005 proceedings must issue within two years from the date of the accident.

3. Under Section 12 of the Personal Injuries Board Act, 2003 a claimant (the injured party) must make an application to the Injuries Board (previously known as the PIAB) in order for the them to assess your claim.

4. An injured party may make their claim themselves directly with the Injuries Board or through their nominated Solicitor. To make a claim you must fill out a claim form, enclose a medical report from your medical attendant and pay the fee of €45.

5. The Board. will only deal with cases on a quantum basis. The other party (or their Insurance Company) may decide not to allow the Board assess your claim and if that happens the Board will issue an Authorisation to you or your appointed Solicitor and if you wish to do so at that stage you may proceed to issuing Court proceedings.

6. If the Board is allowed to assess your claim that may require you to attend an independent medical examination and/or complete a Schedule of your damages (losses) that directly relate to your claim.

7. At any stage during this process the Insurance Company may approach you/your solicitor acting on your behalf seeking the settlement of your claim.

8. If you do let the Injuries Board assess your claim they will furnish you with a figure that they feel is a reasonable value of your claim. Both the Claimant (the injured party) and the other party (or their Insurance Company) has the opportunity to either accept or reject the assessment. Unless both parties accept the offer then an Authorisation issues and the Claimant will have no option but to issue Court proceedings to seek financial redress of their losses to an amount that the feel is fair.

9. The Court Jurisdiction of the any particular case will depend on the seriousness of the injury and the value of your claim. Claims of a value of less than €15,000 would take place within the District Court jurisdiction. Claims in excess of  a value of€75,000 ( or €60,000 for personal injury actions) would issue in the Circuit Court and all other cases in excess of that amount would have proceedings issue in the High Court.

If you have been a victim of a road traffic accident and would like to speak to a Solicitor then please call us at Geraghty & Co., Solicitors for a Free Consultation to discuss your claim. At Geraghty & Co., Solicitors we will use our expertise and experience to deal with your claim in a comprehensive and professional manner.

If you have any query in respect of road traffic accidents, personal injury or any other legal matter of which we can be of assistance, please contact us herein by phone on 091-565258 or email us at enquires@geraghty.ie. Please note that the above information is for general purposes only and does not constitute professional legal advice. If you require specific advice on any legal matter then please Contact Us by phone on 091-565258 or by email at enquires@geraghty.ie.

Medical Negligence

Where registered medical practitioners or health care providers fail to meet the acceptable standards of conduct within the medical community for duties and responsibilities relating to the medical profession, an action for medical negligence may arise.

These medical practitioners or health care providers include the following: doctors, hospitals, consultants, opticians, chiropractors, midwives, plastic/cosmetic consultants or surgeons, etc.

The following can lead to a claim for medical negligence arising:

  1. A  misdiagnosis
  2. A failure to communicate the risk involved in a surgical procedure
  3. Substandard care management.
  4. Errors when completing a medical procedure

The negligence or malpractice can cause a wide range of damages from minor injuries to life-threatening situations or even death in some cases. It is worth noting that it is not just in hospitals where patients may be at risk from medical negligence.

In Ireland it must be proved on the “balance of probabilities” that the practitioner acted in a negligent way which directly contributed or caused to the injury or fatality.

Any person who has suffered from medical negligence or malpractice in Ireland can seek to claim compensation for damages from the practitioner involved through their insurance company, or through the practice, hospital or Health and Safety Executive. In Ireland, medical practitioners are required to have professional liability insurance to offset the risk and costs of medical negligence claims.

Claims for medical negligence in Ireland are dealt with by the court system and not by the Injuries Board Ireland. Medical negligence claims can be highly complex and it is imperative that you the right advice and guidance from a reliable solicitor.

If you feel you may be a victim of medical malpractice call us at Geraghty & Co. Solicitors for a Free Consultation to discuss your claim. At Geraghty & Co., Solicitors we will use our expertise and experience to deal with your claim in a comprehensive and professional manner.  If you have any query in respect of medical negligence or any other legal matter of which we can be of assistance, please Contact Us herein by phone on 091-565258 or email us at enquires@geraghty.ie.

Please note that the above information is for general purposes only and does not constitute professional legal advice. If you require specific advice on any legal matter then please contact us by phone on 091-565258 or by email at enquiries@geraghty.ie.

 Injuries Board

Set up in 2003, The Injuries Board, which was formerly known as PIAB or the The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, is an independent body which assesses the amount of compensation due to a person who has suffered a personal injury.

 

The Board deals with road traffic and motor accidents, work place accidents and public liability claims.  It does not deal with claims concerning medical negligence, marine or aviation claims. The Injuries Board provides an independent assessment of personal injury claims.

 

For the Board to deal with a claim, all parties must accept the role of the Board. This usually means that liability is not an issue.

 

There is a time limit for lodging claims: it must be done within two years from the date of the accident. You can lodge the claim yourself but it is highly advisable to have the assistance of a Solicitor in lodging your claim.  At Geraghty &Co., Solicitors we have assisted a large number of clients with their successful Injuries Board applications.

 

Once your application is received, the Board will inform the other party (respondent) and they have 90 days to consent to the Board assessing the claim. If they do not respond or do not consent, then the Board will issue the claimant with anAuthorisation. This is a document which allows you to proceed through the Courts with your claim, if you so wish.

 

If the Injuries Board is assessing the claim, they will look at medical reports and assess the situation.  If the assessment is accepted by both sides, the Board issues an Order to Pay to the respondent.  If however either party rejects the assessment, they will issue you with an Authorisation and you can proceed through the Courts if you want.

 

At Geraghty & Co., Solicitors we will use our expertise and experience to deal with your Injuries Board Application in a comprehensive, professional manner. Please Contact Us for a Free Consultation if you have any query in respect of the personal injury or the Injuries Board either by phone on 091-565258 or email us at enquires@geraghty.ie.

 

Please note that the above information is for general purposes only and does not constitute professional legal advice. If you require specific advice on any legal matter then please contact us by phone on 091-565258 or by email at enquiries@geraghty.ie.

Litigation

Personal Injury

If you have suffered an injury (physical or other) as a result of a Road Traffic Accident, you may be entitled, under Irish law, to compensation for the injury and/ or any loss caused as a result of the injury (such as material damage or loss of earnings).

In Ireland, all claims for personal injuries, bar a small number of niche areas, must first be lodged with the Injuries Board (formerly PIAB), an independent statutory body, for an independent assessment of the claim before legal proceedings can be issued. The Injuries Board does not deal with liability.

To register a claim with the Injuries Board (PIAB), the following documentation must be filed:
(a) Injuries Board (PIAB) Application Form A
(b) A copy Medical Report
(c) Authorisation of the Claimant (Client)
(d) A cheque in the sum of €50(Application Fee)

Either party can reject the assessment of the Injuries Board (PIAB).

The Injuries Board will order a medical examination of the Claimant by one of its panel of medical attendants. When all the information is collected by the Injuries Board (PIAB) they will issues their assessment of compensation for the injury.

If the Claimant or the Respondent (the party responsible for the accident) reject the assessment made by the Injuries Board (PIAB) an Authorisation will issue to the Claimant allowing them make a claim through the civil courts.

In general the Injuries Board (PIAB) will not award legal fees and outlay and at Geraghty & Co. we make a point of explaining to Claimants at the outset that our fees will more than likely have to be discharged from any award made to the Claimant.

Our firm is vastly experienced in offering advice to both Claimants and Respondents in dealing with the Injuries Board and proceeding through the civil courts.

If you have suffered a personal injury and you would like some advice in relation to making a claim, please contact Davitt Geraghty and Brian M Geraghty at our firm.

NB! The majority of claims for Personal Injury have a time limit of two years from the date of the action (accident) before they are statue barred.

Road Traffic Accidents

At the scene of a Road Traffic Accident:

Stop the vehicle and call a doctor or ambulance where there is a serious personal injury/ injuries,
It is very important to gather the name and address of the other driver, his/her registration number, the name/address of his/her insurance company, the insurance policy’s expiration date, and information from any bystanders and witnesses.
It is wise to call the Gardai to report the road traffic accident as soon as possible, do not admit liability, talk about the road traffic accident or sign anything, even if you think you might be liable. It could be the other driver’s fault, or you might be equally responsible.
Wait for the Gardai and give them your personal details but you do not have to give a statement without consulting your solicitor.
You should attend your doctor, even if feeling well, to be sure that you have not been injured in the accident.
It is advisable to contact a solicitor to prepare a statement of the road traffic accident for the Gardai and handle the insurance claim. It should be remembered that insurance companies will have their own legal advisers.

If you have been in a Road Traffic Accident and would like our assistance to interact with your insurance company, the other party and their insurance company, the Gardai or to represent and advise you in any pending litigation please contact us.

Work Related Injuries

If you have suffered an injury at work, you can make a personal injury claim through the Injuries Board as outlined above.

Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence is the one area where a claim for a personal injury does not go through the Injuries Board. Where a person suffers an injury/loss through the act/omission of a medical professional and that act/omission is not one an average member of that profession would make, the professional will be liable to the person for the injury/loss. The relevant standard and the level of skill is that practiced and accepted by a responsible body of medical persons skilled in the particular area of medicine in question.

If you think you have suffered loss as a result of sub-standard medical care and you wish to make a claim in the civil courts please contact us.

At Geraghty & Co. skilled in resolving disputes, whether by way of litigation, mediation or arbitration, in a high quality and cost effective manner. We work closely with each client to ensure that matters are resolved to their satisfaction.