Involved in a motor accident, accident at work or accident in a public place?
The Injuries Board (formerly known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or PIAB) and the courts are the two routes for which you can recover compensation for the personal injuries you have suffered.
The Injuries Board is the first route that you must follow when seeking compensation for your personal injuries. It is a statutory independent body which provides assessment of personal injury compensation for victims of workplace, motor and public liability accidents (it does not cover injuries resulting from medical negligence).
You have two years to bring an application, from the date of an accident or the date that you are aware that there was a connection between the injuries and the matters you believe to have caused the injuries. Within two months of the accident or as soon as practicable thereafter a letter should be written to the person you believe caused the injury setting out the type of accident and the cause of action etc.
You then make an application to the Injuries Board in which you fill in an application form (Form A) and have a medical assessment form (Form B) completed by your doctor. You should also send in all receipts for any financial loss you may have incurred. If you have had any correspondence with the person you hold responsible for your injuries you should include copies of this correspondence.
The fee to be paid with the application is €45.00 and is paid to Injuries Board, PO Box 8, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. When they receive your application and supporting documentation they will write to you acknowledging this and confirming your application number.
The Injuries Board will only assess a claim for compensation if the other party does not dispute liability and consents to be assessed by them.
The Injuries Board will write to the other party (the respondent) who has ninety days to consent or decline to submit to the agency process. Failure to respond is deemed to be consent. If after ninety days the other party declines to have the claim assessed by the Injuries Board, then the agency will issue an Authorisation. At that stage you can instruct your solicitor to commence court proceedings on your behalf.
Where the respondent consents to the matter being dealt with by the Injuries Board and the Injuries Board makes an award this award is communicated to you and to the other party. You have twenty-eight days to accept or reject the award and if you do not reply to the Injuries Board you are deemed to have rejected the award. The other party has twenty-one days to accept or reject the award and if it does not reply to the Injuries Board it is seemed to have accepted the award. If you and the other party accept the award, the claim is settled and an Order to Pay is provided to the other party. This document has the same effect as a court judgment and proceedings may be issued on foot of it in the event of non-payment by the respondent.
If you or the other party rejects or is deemed to reject the award then you are entitled to go to court immediately. If you are not happy with your award you can instruct your solicitors to commence court proceedings on your behalf.
If you have been involved in an accident and wish to engage a firm of solicitors for the purpose of making the application on your behalf to the Injuries Board please contact Kevin O’Donovan & Partners, Solicitors, telephone 027 51440 and we will be delighted to handle the matter on your behalf.