A personal injury claim arises when you suffer physical injuries and other loss and damage due to the fault of another, be it in a car accident, a work accident or some other form of accident that is not your own fault. Money can only compensate you for your injury, it can never bring you back to that pre-accident place but it can and should help you to get back to that pre-accident life as close as possibly it can. Injuries can be wide ranging from the very minor to the very severe and sometimes you do not even know how badly injured you are for some time after the accident.
You can collect from your own insurance company, however such a claim is usually very limited it is much better to take a claim against the insurance of the person who caused the accident. It can be tempting to settle your own claim quickly with the insurance company of a third party, in fact they would like that very much. But take the example of one young woman that I knew who nearly settled her claim but then disocovered that her injury was much more severe than first diagnosed, she had in fact broken her back making it impossible for her to return to work for a long time and she needed to re-train in a different field of work. If she had settled her claim herself this would never have come to light.
When filing for a personal injury claim you will also be able to claim back your accident medical expenses and other losses as long as you keep your receipts. You are advised to seek representation to help you deal with your claim, when you are injured you should be looking at your recovery and health and well-being and not worrying about form filling. A solicitor will deal with the paperwork to get your claim moving, get the right experts on the job to look after you and to ensure that you get the most monetary compensation for your type of injury which will also include compensation for any medical treatment required by you into the future.
Initially your claim will be put before the Injuries Board and this is the starting point for all personal injury actions. If a claim is not settled then a personal injury claim can drag on for a while as it will then involve going to court. It is best to have legal representation from the outset as your initial form that is filled out for the Injuries Board will form the basis for any court claim. A solicitor is there to ensure that your claim progresses quickly, that it has all the relevant information correct at the outset, that you get the best compensation for your injury so that you can have the best medical care to get you back as close as possbile to your pre-accident self.
Should your personal injury arise from a car accident then you ideally should have reported the incident to the Gardai and that they have an accident report that can be taken up. It is advisable to call the Gardai to have them attend the accident scene. You should exchange insurance details with the other party and if possible take down the make and model and registration number of the car. Also get their name and address and give them yours and find out if they are the owner of the car and the main insured.
It is important to note that there are timelines that are set out by the Irish Statute of Limitations and the Injuries Board and it is therefore very important to contact a solicitor early on so that these deadlines are not missed and that all the relevant information is put together to facilitate you making your claim.
This office deals in a variety of personal injuries actions and can be contacted to give confidential information and advise.