How Does The Injury Board In Ireland Decide On Settlements?
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board or PIAB in Ireland is responsible for valuing an injured person’s claims. It was set up in 2003, and they decide on the settlement based on several factors. Only negligence in the medical field is out of its range. Most of the claimants make claims with the help of solicitors in exchange for a set fee.
The process of claiming can take months, and if the parties decide to go to trial in court, it can take years. Fortunately, almost 80% of the cases don’t go to the courts because of settlements. This happens when the defendant offers money to settle the case, and the claimant accepts the amount being offered.
How Long Does PIAB Take?
It can take around 7 to 8 months for the claims to be processed. This is according to the annual report of the PIAB. Keep in mind that most personal injury cases do not typically start with the courts. They begin with the injury board, which is a statutory body that decides the amount of compensation due to the injured party.
It’s essential that the claimant should submit their claims, statements, pertinent papers, photographs, medical reports, proofs, and names of witnesses to the board. They should show that the accidents caused a loss of income or out-of-pocket expenses on their part, and they should be reimbursed because of this.
The Roles of Solicitors
Since there’s a process that needs to be followed, many applicants usually hire a solicitor to help with their cases. They typically want someone who is familiar with the process and who is “on their side” to help them navigate the complicated process of filing.
If you consult one, the solicitor will need to know all the facts that you know about the accident, the resulting wounds and injuries that you have suffered, and the expenses that you have incurred because of medical check-ups and hospital stays.
Your solicitors will take action by securing the things that you need to be successful. You can know more about the roles of solicitors or lawyers on personal injuries on this link here. They will obtain video footage if applicable, and they will record everything. They will calculate the doctors’ bills, medications, hospital fees, and home-help expenses, and they will help you get reimbursement.
Timelines To Keep In Mind
The claimants have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Once the board accepts this claim, the average time to wait for the assessment will be about 7 months. Losing the 2-year window will put the applicant at the risk of not getting accepted by the PIAB. They will lose their rights or get into a statute-barred because of waiting for too long.
Amount of the Awards
The average assessment made by the board is usually €25,000. If you go to the District Court, they have the power to award you up to €15,000 in damages. The court can go as high as €60,000, depending on your situation. If you go even further to the higher courts, they will handle all claims that are more than €60,000 since they have unlimited power to award the damages due to you.
The board will assess the compensation due to you based on several factors. They will look at how severe your injuries are, your long-term situations, and the general nature of how the accident has affected your life.
However, this does not mean that you have to accept everything that the board will say. You have the power to accept it, or if you feel that the amount is unjust, you can always go to the high courts instead and you can know more about them here: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/justice/courts_system/high_court.html. . Some solicitors would advise you of the value that the court will assign to your wounds.
Settlement in the Courts
Most often, the cases pertaining to personal injury in Ireland don’t have to reach the high courts. This is because the defendant was willing to settle, and the claimant agreed to the amount. A staggering 80% of the cases don’t need a judge, and the settlement was arranged and accepted before the trial has started.
In the end, the defendant will offer the claimant the money to end everything. If the plaintiff agrees to settle, then the solicitor will arrange a meeting for both parties. You should be able to get the best offer available that can cover the damages that you’ve received for the accident.
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