Eligibility for High Court Compensation Awards
High court injury compensation awards are generally granted in cases that are extremely complex, those where an agreement on liability is in question and where a sufficient compensation settlement cannot be easily resolved.
It is worth noting that more than eighty per cent of personal injury claims do not go to court as they are successfully settled first. Every effort will usually be made to come to a settlement figure which is acceptable to both parties and a satisfactory resolution can normally be arrived at without the need of taking the case to the high court.
When High Court Action May be Required
High court compensation awards are given in the most complex cases and the high court has the power to award an unlimited amount of compensation. Examples of when a case may be elevated to high court status are as follows:-
- Road traffic accidents that are seemingly straightforward where a party has been recognised as fully liable at a lower court may be taken to the high court in order to agree on compensation. In cases of uninsured drivers, high court action may be the only possible option to make sure that payment is made to cover medical bills and other related expenses.
- Medical negligence claims are often taken to the high court, especially when there is doubt over liability for death or serious injury.
- It may be required that personal injury compensation claims be taken before the high court when an employee has contracted an industrial disease such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, which can take a long time to develop. Such cases are frequently complicated if the insurance company of the alleged negligent party maintains that the claim was generated by the onset of illness rather than the victim’s exposure to asbestos, for example.
Concerns and Interim Payments
In the majority of cases, the threat of a long drawn out fight in court and the associated expenses make it more worthwhile for a third party to settle a compensation claim out of court rather than attempting to obtain high court compensation awards. A major worry for potential plaintiffs would be the costs of such a claim as failure at this stage would certainly have negative financial implications.
The length of time that it may take to receive a settlement may also contribute to considerable financial strain on the potential plaintiff, especially in cases of serious injury where there is a rapidly increasing medical bill.
However, it may be possible to get an interim payment in cases where negligence has been admitted by a third party and it is just a matter of agreeing to the final settlement amount. Even where negligence is denied, interim payments may be possible when the case is especially strong.
The Importance of a Solicitor
It is essential to select an experienced solicitor in order to receive the most satisfactory high court compensation awards. Specialist legal advice will always be needed to fight complicated industrial disease claims and cases of medical negligence.
Your solicitor would be in a good position to assist with the procedures required to be carried out before a case even reaches the high court – submitting an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland and embarking in negotiations with the negligent party’s legal representatives in order to facilitate an out of court settlement.
Additionally, it is worth noting that compensation claims heard in the high court do not always rule in favour of the plaintiff and so it is essential that the plaintiff receives the best possible legal counsel to increase the possibility of a successful claim.
In legal, professional or clinical negligence cases, a high court compensation solicitor will be needed to present a case based on opinion rather than fact and will try to determine that “on the balance of all probability” a professional failed in their duty of care and that their action, or lack of action, caused injury or loss.
Summary: High Court Compensation Awards
- High court compensation awards are usually reserved for the most complex cases, cases where liability has been disputed and where it has proved impossible to reach a suitable compensation settlement.
- Most cases are settled out of court through direct negotiations between both sides’ legal representation.
- High court cases tend to be long and drawn out and can place financial strain on the plaintiff.
- It is vital that the assistance of an experienced solicitor is sought to ensure a greater possibility for a successful claim.
No two cases are exactly the same and each should be judged on their individual merits. If you have been injured in an accident for which you were not to blame and feel that you may have a viable claim, you would be highly advised to seek the assistance of a solicitor at the first opportunity possible.