What falls under personal injury law and can you make a personal injury claim yourself?
Personal Injury claims arise from all sorts of different circumstances and can be broadly broken down into the following four categories and we will explore each category in turn:
1. Road Traffic Accidents;
2. Accidents that occur in public places;
3. Accidents that occur at work; and
4. Medical Negligence claims
1. Road Traffic Accidents
The most common type of personal injury claim brought by injured parties are claims which arise from Road Traffic Accidents. This category also includes persons who might be pedestrians or cyclists who have been involved in a road traffic accident with the user of a motor vehicle. Such road traffic accidents arise from:
i. Car Accidents;
ii. Bicycle Accidents;
iii. Motorcycle Accidents;
iv. Pedestrian Accidents including hit and run;
v. Bus Accidents;
vi. Passenger Accidents; and
vii. Taxi Accidents.
2. Accidents that occur in public places
This is another common type of Personal Injury claim and is also known as a public liability claim. Public liability means that a County, City or local council, business or property owner has a duty of care towards members of the public to ensure the public space concerned is safe for public use
Essentially, this means that if you have an accident and sustained an injury on property intended for public use, you will have a valid claim against the property owner concerned. Such public liability claims largely arise from slips, trips and falls in:
iii. Shopping Centres / Supermarkets;
iv. Petrol Stations; and
v. Public parks/ footpaths.
3. Accidents that occur at Work
Accidents that occur at your work place are also known as employer liability claims. Such accidents are personal injuries that occur in the workplace, either by the negligence of the employer or a fellow employee.
Most employers will have employer’s liability insurance plans in place for all potential accidents involving their employees. It should be noted that injured parties should not worry about their position within their place of work when taking a claim against their employer as unfair dismissal legislation protects the employees’ position if a claim is brought after a workplace accident.
A large proportion of such claims arise in the construction industry and include the following:
i. Accidents on Building Sites;
ii. Accidents arising from a Health and Safety breach;
iii. Accidents which arise from a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
iv. Accidents involving machinery;
v. Farm Accidents;
vi. Repetitive Strain Injuries; and
vii. Manual Handling Injuries.
4. Medical Negligence Claims
Medical Negligence which is also known as clinical negligence refers to situations where the injured party/patient sustained personal injuries as a result of an error made by their treating medical practitioner/professional. Such medical professionals include but are not limited to GPs, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, opticians, A&E staff, radiologists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons.
Such claims do not require an application to be submitted with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) otherwise referred to as the Injuries board, due to the complexity of injuries often involved. For any claim for medical negligence to be successful, an injured party needs to prove firstly, there has been a breach of the duty of care owed by the medical professional concerned; secondly, an injured party must prove causation, ie,t hat this breach of duty caused or contributed to the injury, loss or damage suffered, and that but for the negligence, the injured party’s loss would not have occurred.
Medical Negligence claims usually arise from the following circumstances:
i. Acquired brain injury;
ii. Birth injury;
iii. Cerebral palsy;
iv. Cancer misdiagnosis;
v. Fatal injury; and
vi. GP Negligence
Why you need a Solicitor to pursue a personal injury claim
While any injured party can legally submit an application to PIAB and indeed initiate court proceedings on their own as a lay litigant without any legal representation, it is highly advisable not to proceed this way. As you can see from the above, the area of personal injury and indeed medical negligence litigation is complex. Solicitors who specialise in personal injuries and medical negligence are best placed to advise you from the beginning whether your case has any merit and whether at the conclusion of your case, they think a settlement offer is fair and reasonable and if not, they can advise you of what your options are.
Furthermore, the open objective of PIAB is to be as cost effective as possible in terms of legal costs and concluding a personal injury claim regardless of whether the compensation offered in their assessment is adequate for the injuries of the injured party. It is also worth noting that PIAB have no jurisdiction over medical negligence claims. The only person who will have your best interests in mind will be the Solicitor you engage with who will advise you from start to finish. If your issue is based in Dublin, Ireland and looking for legal support from professional personal injury solicitors, then you can contact our Dublin based personal injury solicitors.
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In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
If you would like to discuss making a personal injury claim please contact us to discuss further by calling our phone number: 01 234 0044 . We will be happy to have a no obligation conversation with you to discuss your claim and provide you with advice and an initial opinion regarding your injury, the process from the personal injuries assessment board to issuing proceedings in a case. We pride ourselves in knowing that our clients are always fully informed and advised of all aspects of their case from the beginning when they first speak to us regarding an injury, right the way through to a final award or settlement.
Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors, 39 Waterloo road, Dublin 4.
We also have a number of other practice areas and would be happy to discuss any other work you would like to discuss with a solicitor. Call us now for further details or for initial advice.
Phone: 01 234 0044 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com or complete our online assessment form.