Many of our clients have similar questions, so to help you get started, we’ve provided some answers here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many of our clients have similar questions about what happens when you make a claim, so to help you get started, we’ve provided some answers here.
Contacting a solicitor and making a claim may seem complicated. That’s why our initial consultation is free and with no obligation. We’ll explain everything to you as simply as possible and make the experience as stress-free as we can.
Call 041 9843534 now to speak to a solicitor.
Enjoy first class results in personal injury and medical negligence claims
Deal sensitively but firmly with delicate family and employment law concerns
Take the stress away with our efficient property, wills and probate services.
Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Claims
How long do I have to make a claim?
In a personal injury case, there is a two year “limitation period” to start a legal claim. This time ‘runs’ from the date of the accident. Not only that, you must notify the party you intend to claim against in writing of the circumstances giving rise to your claim within only one month of you becoming aware of those.
Time may not start to run immediately. For example if you are under eighteen. Or, it might only start on the date you identify a connection between your symptoms and what caused them as being as a result of an accident or incident.
It’s always advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
What is the Injuries Board?
The Injuries Board was established to independently assess the value of personal injury claims where the person who caused your injury consents to that. Most cases must start with an application to the Injuries Board.
How long does an injury claim take?
Usually the Injuries Board issue an assessment within 9 months from the date the defendant agrees to the Injuries Board dealing with the matter. If the Defendant does not agree to the Injuries Board assessing the case, the Board will release the case far sooner.
Depending on whether or not you decide to accept the assessment of the Injuries Board the matter can then go into the courts system. The length of the process then depends on whether the case is processed through the Circuit or High Court. However, if settlement can be reached, and provided that your injury does not get progressively worse, it is possible to have the matter fully dealt with quickly after your case is released from the Injuries Board.
How is a claim made?
TMR Fitzsimons will go through all of the details with you to make your claim. A medical report must be obtained in relation to your injuries and an application form must be submitted to the Injuries Board. We will do all the work for you so you can concentrate on getting better.
Do I need a solicitor?
Be careful if an insurance company may offer to deal with you directly shortly after an accident. The insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. It is in their interest to settle cases as soon as possible after an accident, even though you may not know the extent of your injuries at that stage. You risk accepting compensation that is too low.
The Injuries Board will also say that you do not need a solicitor to process a claim. But do you have the knowledge to assess whether the assessment of damages is sufficient. Worse, if you make a mis-step during the Injuries Board process the insurance company can use that mistake to seek to deny you compensation and you would otherwise be entitled too.
Your solicitor acts solely in your best interests and has the knowledge and expertise to fully advise you. At a difficult time, that makes sense to us
Will I have to attend a medical?
Usually you will need to be examined by your doctor who treated you after your accident to obtain a medical report. The Injuries Board and the defendant will also want you to attend a medical appointment so that they can have a medical report prepared. Depending on the type of injuries that you have suffered you may need a number of reports during your claim and sometimes your medical records will be sent to experts to report on these.
Whenever you have a medical appointment we will look to arrange a mutually convenient appointment for you as close to your home as possible.
How are damages assessed?
An award of damages is the sum of money which the Injuries Board or a judge thinks is enough to compensate you for your injury. This is made up of General Damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering and Special Damages, which are designed to reimburse you for certain expenses that you have or will be likely to incur, including loss of earnings, cost of care, replacement car hire, travel costs incurred as a result of your accident.
Must an Injuries Board Assessment be accepted?
No. Either side can reject it. In that case you must issue court proceedings to get compensation. But if you decide to reject the Injuries Board assessment, unless you are awarded more by the court, you may have to pay not only all of your legal costs but all of the other side’s legal costs, which could be substantial.
However, if you accept the award and the persons responsible for your accident, agree to pay that amount your case is settled. A cheque is paid, generally by an insurance company within a number of weeks. We should receive your cheque following which we deduct our fees and pay the balance to you.
What if the other side does not consent to the Injuries Board Stage?
If this happens, the Injuries Board will issue an “Authorisation” allowing you to issue court proceedings to recover compensation for your accident.
How much will it cost me?
Unlike some claims processors, we do not charge fees calculated on a percentage of an award. Typically our fees for an Injuries Board application will be between €1,250 – €2,500 ex VAT and outlays incurred by us – typically these will be the cost of your application fee paid to the Injuries Board and the cost of your medial report.
Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Negligence
How to start a Medical Negligence Claim
- We have to get your medical records and review them, including with one of our medical negligence specialist barristers.
- Specialist medical experts may then be instructed to consider whether or not the treatment was negligent, and if it was, what damage it did. This will involve getting a medical legal report.
- If we consider that we have enough evidence to prove the case for medical negligence, then we advise starting court proceedings immediately. You must have a supporting medical legal report to back up any claims of negligence made in a medical negligence summons.
- Although, medical negligence cases can be settled by negotiation without the need to proceed to a full trial but they are rarely resolved without starting court action.
It’s always advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
When can I make a claim for Medical Negligence?
your allegations are supported by an expert report stating that your medical practitioner has been negligent in treating you.
Secondly, you will also need a medical expert report linking that negligence as a cause of additional or worsened condition or treatment. Without these reports no proceedings should be served.
Because of the two year limitation period, acting fast is important and this can mean obtaining medical records and obtaining medical expert reports while treatment is ongoing.
Time Limits for issuing a Medical Negligence Claim?
Legal action must be taken within two years of the date you first knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, that you have suffered an injury caused through someone else’s fault. This is called the date of knowledge. Starting the two year deadline from the date of knowledge is useful as it is often some time before you may become aware of the negligence mistreatment that you have suffered. Special rules apply for children and for some others.
You must seek advice quickly because there are strict time limits for making complaints and it can take time to obtain and consider your medical records and to obtain medical expert reports on your treatment.
Liability for your Health Condition?
Legal responsibility in medical negligence looks not only at liability for negligent treatment or diagnosis, but also, importantly, at whether this caused or worsened your medical condition.
This causation element is often the trickiest part of the case. The medical practitioner may claim that the injury arose from the illness itself and not from the treatment; or that the injury would have come about in any event.
However, even if your condition may have been underlying, meaning that you have a problem proving causation for your medical condition, you may still have suffered from having undergone a more difficult course of treatment or management of your condition than would otherwise have been necessary.
Taking a Step Back
If you have a concern about your medical treatment we advise that you talk to your medical practitioner first. There may be a genuine misunderstanding, or a problem in communication, that can often be resolved at this stage.
A Team to Rely On
You need a team you can rely on. We have a close relationship with leading medical negligence barristers and we use AvMA experts for preparation of our medical-legal reports. A medical negligence claim can have many ups and downs and your team must have the experience and expertise to keep you advised and keep your claim moving forward. Many claims settle, but generally shortly before trial.
Why you should call us?
With our experience in medical negligence, we can advise you whether or not or how to establish if you have a valid claim for compensation. This is often the trickiest part of the case. Your medic may claim that your injury arose from your illness itself and not from the treatment; or that your injury would have come about in any event.
We understand just how devastating and emotionally difficult this can be for both you and your family. We have experience helping clients who suffered unnecessarily because of medical negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered, contact us today for free, expert advice.
Fees and Medical Negligence Claims
We understand the worry of potential legal costs and expenses if you are thinking about making a medical negligence claim.
Normally, if you win your claim, your opponent will pay a contribution close to the majority of your basic legal costs and related expenses, such as medical report and court fees. If you win, any of the legal costs not paid by your opponent will be deducted from any compensation awarded to you or the settlement agreed with the other side. It is unlikely that you will have to pay any legal costs until your claim has come to an end. However, expenses, particularly for medical and expert reports may have to be paid as they are incurred.
We will be delighted to answer your questions about legal fees and expenses in medical negligence claims and to explain what terms like ‘No Win No Fee’ mean.