The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer in Ireland is an expert legal advisor on the legislation which entitles you to make a personal injury claim and the processes you need to follow to ensure that you receive the maximum personal injury compensation applicable to your circumstances. He or she will investigate, litigate and negotiate on your behalf to construct the strongest possible personal injury claim when you have been injured or suffered a loss due to an accident for which you were not wholly to blame.
Many personal injury lawyers form together to create a specialist company or panel. By doing this they can combine their professional skills to serve their clients better. For example, one lawyer may be more experienced in medical negligence cases, whereas a colleague may have helped clients to receive a suitable amount of personal injury compensation after being injured at work. By diversifying and focusing on one particular area of personal injury compensation, you – as the victim of an injury or loss caused by negligence – can be assured of the best possible outcome in your personal injury claim.
The Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer
The Law Society of Ireland recommends that all claimants in personal injury compensation claims engage the services of a personal injury lawyer, and there is good reason for this. A personal injury lawyer has a comprehensive knowledge of the law and how it can be applied to ensure you receive your full entitlement of personal injury compensation. They are also experienced in submitting personal injury claims to the Injuries Board Ireland and negotiating with the negligent party’s insurance company while the Injuries Board Ireland are still making their assessment.
A personal injury lawyer will also be able to litigate on your behalf should there be a dispute over liability or a disagreement about how much personal injury compensation is assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland. Using a personal injury lawyer to assist you when making a personal injury claim in Ireland is like taking your car to a garage for the specialist knowledge they can provide about your vehicle. Consequently, more than 90 per cent of people who make a personal injury claim in Ireland take the advice of the Law Society of Ireland and do so with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Personal Injury Lawyers and Special Damages
One of the biggest benefits of using a personal injury lawyer when making a claim for personal injury compensation is his knowledge of “Special Damages”. Special damages relate to the personal injury compensation you receive on top of that for the physical and psychological trauma you experience as a result of an injury or loss sustained in an accident. Special damages can compensate you for costs incurred in attending a hospital and receiving treatment, can represent a loss of earnings while you are unable to work and also cover the expense of ongoing care and physiotherapy if necessary.
The more severe an injury, the higher these special damages become. In “catastrophic” personal injury claims a point is reached where the special damages element within a personal injury compensation claim is worth more than the damages for the injury itself. It is important that you receive your full entitlement to special damages, and this is why you should always consult with a personal injury lawyer after you have been injured or suffered a loss in an accident for which you were not wholly to blame.
Personal Injury Lawyers and Negligence
One of the factors which will affect your entitlement to personal injury compensation is if you have played any part in your own injury. This is known as contributory negligence and could apply, for example, if you were injured in a road traffic accident for which somebody else was to blame, but failed to wear a seatbelt. Personal injury claims where negligence is in doubt will be rejected by the Injuries Board Ireland, and you will be issued with an authorisation to pursue your claim through the courts.
Other personal injury claims which involve medical or professional negligence also have to be resolved through the courts. Again you will need a personal injury lawyer to represent you, as for a medical or professional negligence claim in Ireland to be successful, it will have to be proven in a court of law that the action – or lack of action – taken by the alleged negligent party was avoidable at the time of your injury and represented a lack of skill or failure to display that skill.
When You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
You will also need a personal injury lawyer to represent you if the amount of personal injury compensation assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland is unacceptable to either party. If you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer prior to your application to the Injuries Board Ireland, you will have an idea of how much personal injury compensation you should receive. If their assessment is lower than you anticipated, you do not have to accept it – you can pursue your claim through the courts for more.
Every personal injury compensation claim in which a child is a beneficiary has to be approved in court by a judge. A personal injury lawyer will explain to the judge the circumstances surrounding the injury and justify the amount of personal injury compensation to be paid. The judge will determine whether the compensation should be transferred into court funds – to be released when the child reaches the age of 18 – or some of it made available immediately for educational or medical needs.
Personal Injury Lawyers and Insurance Companies
Approximately a third of all personal injury claims for compensation in Ireland are resolved by negotiation between your personal injury lawyer and the negligent party’s insurance company. Negotiations often start as soon as you first engage a personal injury lawyer, and can frequently result in a successful conclusion to your personal injury compensation long before the Injuries Board Ireland has made their assessment.
However, you should be aware of direct approaches by insurance companies with offers of early settlement. This practise (or “third party capture” as it is known) is designed to pressure victims of accidents into accepting inadequate personal injury compensation settlements – often while they are still in their hospital bed. By introducing a personal injury lawyer into the equation, you will be sure of receiving your full amount entitlement of personal injury compensation.
Personal Injury Lawyer Summary
Specialist personal injury lawyers exist to help claimants receive an appropriate amount of personal injury compensation after they have been injured or suffered a loss in an event for which they were not wholly to blame. Their experience will ensure that all the special damages to which you are entitled in a personal injury compensation claim are included in your application to the Injuries Board Ireland, and they will subsequently represent you if there is any dispute over how much personal injury compensation you receive.
A personal injury lawyer will investigate every case to ensure there is no risk of a contributory negligence counter-claim and, where there is, negotiate a realistic percentage of blame so that you still receive an appropriate amount of personal injury compensation. His litigation and negotiation skills will also be required in medical or professional negligence personal injury claims, or if you are directly approached by the negligent party’s insurance company with an offer of early settlement.
Using a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process of making a personal injury compensation claim is similar to going to any professional tradesman to take advantage of their knowledge and expertise. In the same way as you may take your car to the garage as soon as you are aware that something is wrong, the earlier you discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer, the quicker your personal injury compensation claim will be resolved.