In general the reason you engage the services of a solicitor is to represent your best interests. Consulting with an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor before accepting any settlement will make sure you receive a fair offer.
After you have an accident you may be told you do not need a solicitor and you may even be put under some pressure to accept a settlement offer. Whomever you are claiming against will be represented by a solicitor and it is important to protect your interests.
Remember that the injury you have suffered may not just go away but linger for years to come.
"I was travelling as a passenger and I had a car crash. The insurance on the other side told me I would not get more than €7,000 for my injuries and that I had to accept the offer straight away. I called John Glynn & Co Solicitors and settled for €18,000 – AC, Dublin"
In Ireland, virtually all personal injury claims must go before one of two boards before any action may be taken in court. The Injuries Board (formerly know as PIAB) was set up by the Government to mediate claims between you and the party who caused your injury. The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), was established for the purpose of compensating victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles
Claiming from the Injuries Board and MIBI may be more complicated than you may realize. (for a detailed process of an Injuries Board claim click here) There are a number of common pitfalls in the claim process that may delay or even jeopardize your claim.
It is in your best interests to proceed with an experienced solicitor when filing and dealing with either the Injuries Board or the MIBI.
What About the Costs?
Most people are concerned by the potential costs of court proceedings when making a personal injury claim. Generally, under the Courts system, ‘costs follow the event’ such that the wrongdoer pays the injured party’s costs of seeking compensation in addition to the compensation itself. This means that if you are successful in your case, the defendant has to pay all or most of your legal expenses in addition to your compensation award. The defendant will pay for the solicitors’ professional fees, engineer’s fees, medical report fees and other expert report fees. However there are instances where a shortfall occurs between what the defendant is ordered to pay and the actual costs incurred by the Plaintiff. In such circumstances, the Plaintiff will be responsible for these fees, usually paid out of any compensation award. Some costs are not routinely covered, and these include a portion of the witnesses’ fees, and in particular, expert witnesses’ fees. You will likely have to pay these sums out of your compensation award, or otherwise out of your own pocket. This includes the initial application fee to the Injuries Board. Where the Injuries Board assess your case, their offers will include some outlays, may add some legal fees if applied for, and tend to allow for the fact that legal costs are not specifically recoverable. Our clients have been more than pleased with the net result in practice. However, it is important to realize that most personal injury cases never reach court at all. Instead, they are successfully settled outside of court.