LITIGATION – Different Personal Injury Categories and making your claim.

20th Oct 2017

Road Traffic Accidents

Car accidents and crashes, also called RTA’s (Road Traffic Accidents) can be devastating. If you are ever injured in a road accident, it is important to find out whether you can claim compensation for your injuries. This information can save you critical time and money following an accident.

Possible Car Accident Compensation

Every driver in Ireland is legally obligated to carry third party car insurance. Therefore, if a driver causes injury to another party — even the driver’s own passengers the driver’s insurance may be responsible for paying compensation for those injuries.

In instances where you have been injured by a driver who does not carry third-party insurance (or who cannot be located after the accident), you may be able to claim compensation from the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
Some injuries that result from road accidents do not appear immediately, but only after several hours or days and sometimes weeks. Therefore, it is always crucial to telephone the Gardaí and file a report immediately following an accident regardless of being injured or not.

Due to the Statute of Limitations accident victims have two years to file a compensation claim, so it is important to file as quickly as possible and to consult a solicitor.

What you should do following a Car Accident

If you think you have a case for a claim after an accident, these steps can help you to obtain the best possible outcome:

1. Following the car accident request the other driver’s information to include name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information, which can be found on the disc on a vehicle’s windshield.
2. Offer your information to the other driver.
3. Telephone the Gardaí immediately. If for some reason they will not attend the scene of the accident, report to the nearest Garda Station and request that they take the details of the accident.
4. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you have been injured.

Insurance information is crucial in filing your claim. A Garda report may also be important if the other party turns out to be uninsured or denies the accident even occurred. Keeping records from the medical care you have received, whenever you seek it, will help to establish what injuries are present as a result of the accident if necessary during the claim process.

You should not leave the scene of the accident until you have exchanged all information with the other driver and/or the Gardaí have told you that you may leave.

Do not assume that you cannot claim compensation because the other driver does not carry insurance, or because you do not think you have been injured as it may be that any injury has not yet shown its extent, due to the shock of the accident itself. The victims of these types accidents could, in some cases be denied compensation because they did not take the adequate steps following the accident in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Trips/Falls

Trip and Fall injuries can most certainly happen almost anywhere ranging from private homes to supermarkets to public pavements. In many instances, a slip, trip and fall is a normal and unfortunate part of life. More often than not trips and falls are as a result of a hazardous condition happening on someone else’s property in such instances the owner of the said property where the accident took place may be responsible for your injuries.

It is important when one falls or slips in someone else’s property that you request that the property owner or an employee (if in a place of business) to document the accident and obtain a copy of their documentation. The injured party should take a picture of the flooring or area which is hazardous if possible. Most importantly one should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they think they have been injured. Lastly, after all of the above seek advice from a solicitor.

Possible Slip Trip and Fall Accident Compensation

Every property owner in Ireland be it public or private property owes a duty of care to all visitors regarding keeping the premises reasonably safe and clean and they may have slip and fall insurance. If they are insured this means that if your injuries are sustained as a result of carelessness the property owner’s insurance may be responsible for paying for those injuries.

One must understand that a property owner is generally not responsible for any in injuries sustained in instances where the person is trespassing at the time that the incident occurred. Also, if the person was acting carelessly and this contributed to the accident and in instances where a person would have noticed the danger and avoided the area.

It will also be taken into account if the hazardous condition did not exist long enough for the property owner to reasonably discover and correct same. If the property owner took reasonable steps to prevent said accident for example by placing a barrier or warning sign near the hazardous condition this will be taken into consideration.

If the property owner or an employee of the property owner caused the hazardous condition or the property owner or an employee knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and did not correct same or the property owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent the accident, such as placing a barrier or warning sign near the hazardous condition then the property owner may be held responsible for the injuries sustained.
Not all of the above must be present in order to make a successful claim for an injury as in some situations just one is enough to make the property owner liable. A solicitor can help you determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation.

Work Related Accidents

Accidents at work are very common in Ireland on a day to day basis even with the aid of the Health & Safety Authority being implemented to reduce the number of Injuries sustained at work annually. Workplaces involving construction or heavy machinery do hold a higher risk of workplace injury but very serious accidents do occur however in offices and retail units also. A variety of injuries and accidents can happen in the workplace such as industrial accidents, slip and fall at work, injuries due to lifting or bending, asbestos exposure etc.

The Law states that employers owe a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of their employees. This is to include the provision of proper training and supervision, a safe working environment, maintained and adequate machinery and equipment fit for purpose, and also co-workers with sufficient ability to carry out their job. If you are injured while at work, your employer may be responsible for compensating you.

Possible Compensation for Accidents at Work

Many Irish employers are insured to cover accidents. This means that if you are injured whilst in employment, your employer’s insurance may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. In such instance, there is a worry/fear by the employee that they will lose their job or suffer other consequences should they take a claim against their employer seeking compensation for their injuries. In these situations, the employee must bear in mind that employers are legally responsible for providing a safe work environment. An employee should not let their employer intimidate them or try to talk to them out of seeking compensation that they may be entitled to.

Injured workers may be entitled to compensation not only for the injury itself, but also for ongoing pain and suffering, lost wages, and financial expenses such as the following:

Medical treatment;
Medical devices and equipment;
Rehabilitation services;
Prescription drugs;
Accommodation and transportation adaptations;
Travel expenses;
You may not be entitled to compensation if your injury was caused by some fault of your own, but it is worth gathering all the facts before concluding that you were at fault. By consulting with a personal injury solicitor, it will help you to make decisions about any fault and where it might lie.

Medical Negligence

Most medical treatment in Ireland is of a high quality, and most professionals working in the medical industry are dedicated to providing the public with the best possible care. Nevertheless, mistakes do happen in this profession just like any other. All medical professionals owe a duty to ensure that their patients receive the proper treatment in the safest possible and most efficient manner. This duty applies not only to doctors but to all healthcare professionals. If you have been injured due to a medical professional’s mistake or neglect (sometimes this is referred to as “clinical negligence”), you may be entitled to compensation.

Possible Medical Negligence Claims

Some common forms of clinical negligence for which you may be entitled to compensation include:
1. Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed injury or illness
2. Administration of the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
3. Mistakes made during surgery
4. Mistakes made during childbirth
5. Defective medical products such as drugs and implants

Victims of clinical negligence may be entitled to compensation not only for the injury itself, but also for ongoing pain and suffering and for financial expenses such as corrective medical treatment, rehabilitative services, pain, distress or loss of faculty, loss of earnings, loss of future earning capacity and support for dependents such as minors.

Establishing clinical negligence can indeed be a lengthy and complicated process, requiring a lot of sophisticated knowledge of medical procedures and terminology, fact investigation, and reports from experts in the field often from abroad. Therefore, it is important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible if you think you have been injured by a medical professional as you have a certain time limit to raise a claim.

If you require advice in relation to a possible claim in relation to any of the particular above or require further information please do not hesitate to contact us by email at info@dohertysolicitors.ie or telephone our office on 065-6846884