Always obtain legal advice for an injury claim.
When it was initially set up, the Injuries Board wanted the resolution of personal injury claims to become a “solicitor free” zone. However, through legal challenge, it was determined by the Supreme Court of Ireland that this was an infringement of the public’s legal rights.
Now, the majority of claimants use a solicitor to advise them about their claim and prepare their legal paperwork for submission to the Injuries Board. This is a sensible approach, primarily because a specialist personal injury solicitor has the experience to assess the unique circumstances of your accident, including the impact it may have on you and your loved ones over the course of your lifetime.
They will know, for example, if an expert medical opinion is needed, and how to obtain one for you. A normal member of the public with no legal training or experience cannot be expected to know when or which specialist medical reports are required.
Basically, people use a solicitor to ensure their case is presented in the strongest manner possible and obtain the maximum compensation. Put simply, would you operate on your body? Of course not – you would only allow an expert surgeon.
The best comparison is selling your home – would you accept any offer without instructing an estate agent to prepare a valuation? Our Solicitors will advise you whether to accept or reject an offer and how to then enter into the litigation process (if necessary), where a court will very likely award you a higher sum. Since very few cases actually end up in court, your Solicitor will essentially negotiate the highest possible settlement with the insurance company based on past experience and knowledge with compensation pay-outs.
Remember the Injuries Board process is a “documents only procedure”. It does not involve any oral hearing, so you never get the chance to meet or talk to any person about your case. The whole process is by paper only! You never meet and/or speak with a representative from the Injuries Board. However you can meet your Solicitor anytime, or ring him at any stage throughout the process to discuss your case.
Any experienced personal injury solicitor will tell you that talking through an accident is often part of the healing process for an injured party, and it always helps to clarify the details, which can otherwise remain vague. Sometimes accident victims are reluctant to claim because they somehow feel partly responsible and don’t want to “cause more trouble”. A Solicitor will help you clarify who is responsible and what you are rightfully entitled to claim for – something PIAB have no duty to do!
We strongly recommend you get independent legal advice from an experienced claims solicitor by calling Gary Matthews Solicitors directly on 01 903 6250, or by completing a claims form. A member of our team will respond within 24 hours to discuss your claim.