The function of the Injuries Board is to assess a personal injury action before litigation is commenced. All personal injury actions with the exception of Medical Negligence Claims must be submitted to the Injuries Board in the first instance.
Under the Statute of Limitations an injured party has a period of 2 years from the date of the accident to submit a claim. If an application is not submitted within the two-year period the right to pursue a cause of action will be lost forever. The two-year time period applies to all claims regarding road traffic accidents, workplace accidents and public liability accidents.
Although there is a two-year time period within which to submit an application, by law a Claimant is obliged to send a letter of claim to the proposed respondent within a period of 2 months from the date the cause of action arose.
Accordingly, it is important to obtain legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
How to submit an application to the Injuries Board
An application is lodged with the Injuries Board by submitting the following: –
a. Completed Form A
b. A medical report from a Doctor setting out full details of the injury
c. The application fee payable to the Injuries Board of €45
d. A copy of the letter of claim sent to the respondent
Upon receipt of the completed application the Injuries Board will confirm registration of the application and issue an application number. The Injuries Board will issue correspondence directly to you and your solicitor confirming safe receipt of your application and confirming that a letter has issued to the respondent giving them a period of 90 days within which to consent or decline the Injuries Board assessment of your case.
The Injuries Board will notify your solicitor after the 90 day period to confirm whether the respondent has consented or declined.
What happens if the Respondent declines to have my case Assessed?
In the event that the respondent declines to have the claim assessed by the Injuries Board an Authorisation will issue which will permit your Solicitor to initiate court proceedings on your behalf.
What happens if the Respondent consents to have my case Assessed?
In the event that the respondent consents to the assessment of the claim the Injuries Board will notify your Solicitor of the fact that the respondent consents. The Injuries Board will set about obtaining the information they require to assess your claim. This will involve completion of a Schedule of Special Damages and a Certificate of Loss of Earnings.
In order to complete the Schedule of Special Damages you should retain safely all or any receipts arising as a result of your injury. This will include doctors fees, hospital treatment, medication, travel expenses and any other expenses which may arise in your particular case.
In the event that you have a Loss of Earnings the Certificate of Loss of Earnings will be completed by your employer.
The Injuries Board will also arrange for an independent medical examination which will be arranged with another doctor in your general locality. The type of doctor who will assess you will depend on the nature of the injuries. The Injuries Board bears the cost of the medical appointment.
Typically, the Injuries Board will assess your claim within a period of 6-9 months from the date that they confirm that they have consent to proceed with the assessment. Delays may occur from time to time for example, if the nature of the injuries requires the Injuries Board to obtain additional reports from doctors of various specialities.
Your Solicitor will keep you updated as to the progression of your claim within the Injuries Board process.
I have received an Assessment from the Injuries Board- What should I do?
When an Assessment issues from the Injuries Board it will be sent to you and to your Solicitor. Upon receipt of the assessment you should immediately arrange to attend with your Solicitor to discuss same.
Both the claimant and the respondent can accept or reject the assessment made by the Injuries Board. In order for the assessment to be binding, both parties have to accept the assessment. In the event that either party rejects the assessment an Authorisation will issue from the Injuries Board which will permit you to issue court proceedings in respect of your case.
In the event that both parties agree to accept the assessment the Injuries Board will issue a Order to Pay which is in effect the same as a court order directing payment.
How do the Injuries Board value my claim?
In valuing all claims submitted the Injuries Board makes reference to the Book of Quantum. The Book of Quantum sets out guideline valuation ranges for various injuries. The Book of Quantum may be accessed on the Injuries Board website www.injuriesboard.ie
Should you have any queries in relation to an application to the Injuries Board please contact our Personal Injuries Department on 071-9162032 (Sligo) or 071-9662019 (Boyle) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
By Caroline McLaughlin, 5 April, 2016