Coyle Kennedy Smyth have a long and proven successful track record in handling personal injury claims on behalf of our clients. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and if you are injured, through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If you are out of pocket due to not being able to work and if you have incurred traveling, medical or other expenses as a result of your injury, we can seek to recover these for you. If your injuries are so severe that your future work prospects are affected, we can advise you regarding claiming for future loss of earnings.
We pride ourselves in processing cases quickly and efficiently and we will keep you fully informed of the progress on your case at all times.
We deal with all claims resulting in injuries to our clients, both physical and psychological including:
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Accidents in the workplace
- Accidents in Public places
- Medical Negligence
- Injuries to Minors
- Fatal Injuries
- Post Traumatic Stress Claims
At our very first consultation we will set out for you, in plain English, how the claims system works and will guide you through all stages of the claims process. Your claim will be handled by a fully qualified Solicitor with years of expertise in personal injury cases.
In Ireland, most personal injury claims have to be made to the Injuries Board. We take your instructions, obtain a medical report on your behalf, identify and write to the party deemed responsible for your injury and them submit your claim as the applicant to the Injuries Board.
If the personal deemed responsible for the accident (“the Respondent”) accepts that they are in fact responsible, and consents to the Injuries Board delaing with the claim, then the Injuries Board will proceed to process your claim. If the Respondent denies responsibility an Authorisation will issue permitting you to take your claim to court. If your injury will take a long time to recover from, or is not of a type delat with by the Injuries Board (e.g psychological injuries) then an Authorisation may also issue.
The Injuries Board, if dealing with your claim, will arrange to have you medically examined by an Independent Doctor and will also ask for details of your out of pocket expenses, loss of wages and any other loss incurred by you. These are called “Special Damages”.
When the Injuries Board have all necessary information, they will make an assessment of what your claim is worth. Both you and the Respondent will have a specified period of time to decide if you are happy with that assessment. If you both accept the assessment, an order to pay will issue and that should conclude matters. If you or the Respondent reject the assessment, an authorisation will issue permitting you to take your claim to court.
The Injuries Board aim to process all claims within 9 months of receiving the application.
If your claim proceeds to court, we will attend to issuing your claim, replying to any notice for particulars that may be raised by the other side, dealing with any discovery requests, replying to the defence (if applicable), setting your case down for hearing, liaising with any witnesses needed for your case and ultimately running your case if it does not settle in advance.
You do not need a Solicitor to process a Personal Injuries claim and can, if you so wish, make the application directly to the Injuries Board yourself. However, statistics show that over 90% of people decide to engage a Solicitor to process the claim on their behalf.
Some of the reasons why you should engage a Solicitor to handle your personal injuries claim are:
1. Time limits
The Injuries Board cannot provide legal advice and therefore will not be in a position to tell you of the time limits applicable to your claim. If your claim is made outside the specified time frame, your claim will be deemed “statute barred” and you will receive no compensation.
2. Name of person responsible
It is a matter for you to advise the Injuries Board who you believe is responsible for your claim. Sometimes this is obvious but quite often it is not. If you name the incorrect Respondent, your claim may fail. Quite often the Respondent may be a company, which trades under a different name than its proper legal title and without making the appropriate searches with the companies office, it will be difficult for you to know the correct name of the Respondent. If you are in a car accident, it may be necessary to issue the claim against the driver and the owner, which may not always be the same person. We conduct searches on your behalf to identify the registered owner of such vehicles.
3. Amount of compensation awarded
Without proper legal advice, you won’t know if the compensation awarded to you is fair and just. We are dealing with Personal Injury claims on a daily basis and will be in a position to advise you if any assessment made is fair, or if the value of your claim has been under assessed.
4. Dealing with sensitive medical information
If your medical reports or records contain sensitive data, the Injuries Board may release that data to the other side without your knowledge or consent. If we are acting on your behalf, we will ensure that the Injuries Board are notified of any sensitive information that you do not want disclosed to third parties.
5. Uninsured Driver – If the person you are claiming against is not insured, it may be necessary to join the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) to the claim and again, the Injuries Board do not provide legal advice on who you should claim against. If the MIBI are a party to the action, strict and complex rules and time frames apply which you would likely not be aware of without legal advice.
6. Negotiating a speedy settlement
Quite often the other side may want to negotiate to settle your claim faster. This may suit you if your injuries are minor, you are fully recovered and you just want the whole matter resolved. We can enter “without prejudice” negotiations on your behalf and get the best deal available for you. We will also be in a position to advise you if any offer made is fair in light of your injuries.
7. Going to court
If your case ends up going to court (for example if the other side rejects the assessment) you will not have had the benefit of legal advice. Important evidence may not have been preserved. Witnesses may have moved on. If Solicitors are engaged at the outset, you will be better prepared if your case eventually proceeds to court.
8. One shot at It!
If you decide to lodge your claim with the Injuries Board without consulting a Solicitor, you cannot withdraw and re-lodge your application at a later stage if you realise you made mistakes or your application was badly drafted. If you withdraw your application you are not permitted to make a new one. You only get one shot at it. That is why it is always prudent to consult a Solicitor when making a claim to the Injuries Board.
We are on your side and in your corner, with your interests as our main priority. Our duty is to you, not the other party or their insurance company. By instructing Coyle Kennedy Smyth to act on your behalf, you are guaranteed solid, reliable and confidential advice for your specific circumstances.
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the injury you have suffered, your expected recovery period and the out of pocket expenses incurred by you as a result of your injury.
In legal terms, compensation payments are know as damages, and most claims are made up of 2 sets of damages; “General Damages” which is compensation for your pain and suffering and “Special Damages” which is compensation for expenses and losses incurred by you as a result of the injury e.g loss of earnings, medical expenses, traveling expenses, physiotherapy etc.
The courts and the injuries Board have a guide called “the Book of Quantum” which assists them in deciding what value to put on an injury.
Once we have a clear picture of your injuries and your future prognosis we will be in a position, in consultation with the Book of Quantum, to guide you on the value of your claim.