Sometimes, succeeding in a personal injuries claim and getting the compensation you deserve takes more than just applying to the PIAB yourself. You may need a little help and expertise along the way.
People in Ireland who have unfortunately been injured in an accident that was not their fault are entitled to make a claim for compensation. Under the law, they must do so via what up to now was generally known as the Injuries Board, but not everyone is clear on what’s involved or what the process is.
Adding to the confusion, the Injuries Board is known by a variety of names. Officially, it’s the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, but it’s also known by its acronym, PIAB. Even its executives are not always sure what they want to be called, as they keep changing their minds.
Recently, the body appears to have changed its name and website from the Injuries Board to the PIAB and so, for now, we’ll stick with the PIAB. This is an official, statutory body that was set up in 2004 as a way for people to make claims for personal injury. They can do so in a low-cost and relatively speedy way — rather than the expensive and time-consuming method of going to court, as well as clogging up the court system with claims.
Claiming via the PIAB
Making a claim for personal injury compensation with the PIAB can be fairly straightforward. You can do it online and it only costs €45 for a claimant to make an application. All relevant documentation to support a claim must be submitted, including medical reports detailing an injury and any ongoing treatment or therapies.
In 2016, the PIAB made a total of 12,966 personal injury compensation awards. These were collectively worth €315.1 million and the average time for processing a claim was just over seven months. But, while all this sounds positive and an easy way for someone to make a personal injury claim, the reality can often be far different. As such, many people appoint an experienced personal injury solicitor to handle their claim with the PIAB.
That’s because most people are aware that they only have one chance at making a personal injury claim — and it must be within two years of an accident happening. Therefore, they don’t want to leave it up to chance when they do. After all, it’s only natural that claimants want the maximum amount of compensation for the injury they have suffered. An experienced personal injury solicitor can put them in the best possible position to get exactly that.
Succeeding In A Personal Injuries Claim
Additionally, many people are either not knowledgeable about the claims process in Ireland, or don’t want to spend a lot of their time dealing with the PIAB and potentially other parties as well. It can add up to a lot of hassle. For them, it’s best left to a solicitor to handle it all. A top personal injuries solicitor will also have an idea as to how much settlements should be for particular cases.
Plus, bear in mind that claimants are not obliged to accept a financial award from the PIAB. If it’s too low and they think the situation warrants more, they can reject it. That’s not the end of the road, however, as you can then take your case to court. Claimants who already had a solicitor dealing with their claim via the Injuries Board will be primed to argue their client’s case before a judge.
A little expert help with your personal injury claim can go a long way towards ensuring you get what’s rightfully yours. It will all help in getting over the accident you were involved in and the injury you suffered, putting you back on the road to health and happiness.
To find out more about the PIAB or any other aspect of personal injury claims, contact McCarthy + Co in Dublin & Cork and speak in confidence to one of our expert personal injury solicitors. In the meantime, make sure to download your FREE copy of our Consumer’s Guide to the Injuries Board.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.