FAQ | All your Injury Claim Legal Questions Answered

How Can We Help you – Frequently Asked Questions

We have provided answers for questions we get asked regularly about the injury claims process, going to court, legal fees and more. However, if you have further queries, please contact us, we are happy to answer any queries you may have about starting a claim or an existing claim.

Legal Fees
  • What are My Legal Costs?

    The law requires a solicitor to provide clients with information (particulars) in writing, when the solicitor is instructed, or as soon as is practicable after that, of:

    • The solicitor’s actual charges, or, where this is not possible or practicable
    • An estimate of the solicitor’s charges, or, where this is not possible or practicable
    • The basis on which the solicitor’s charges are to be made.

    These are also the factors which are taken into account in the assessment of a solicitor’s bill.

    In addition to the professional fee and miscellaneous charges payable to the solicitor, there will be items of outlay payable to third parties, including government agencies, which must be discharged by you. By law, we (the solicitor) must provide you (our client) with information about case procedures (particulars) in writing.

    On the successful conclusion of legal proceedings, (as a general rule) most of your legal fees will be payable by the other side. Fees that are payable by you include: the PIAB application and ‘Solicitor client costs’, ie work carried out for which the other side is not liable to pay for.

  • What Outlay Will I Incur?

    In the course of handling your claim we will incur certain items of outlay including doctors’ fees for preparing medical reports, stamp duty on the proceedings, Counsel’s fees for drafting, and in some cases fees of Litigation Engineers for preparing reports.

    The outlay averages about €1,000 per case but in large cases can be much more. If your claim succeeds, then we can usually recover most of the outlay from the other side. Our clients have the option of paying the outlay on an ongoing basis, in which case the recoverable portion thereof will be refunded to you at the successful conclusion of your case.

  • No Win No Fee Outlined

    Solicitors are prevented by law from publishing on the Internet and elsewhere that they do in fact take cases on a no win no fee basis. See solicitors Advertising Regulations or contact us to clarify.

    See No Win No Fee Explained

Claims Process
  • Have I a Case?

    If you have suffered injury, loss, damage or expense as a result of the negligent act of omission of another party, then you may be entitled to claim from that other party or his/her insurers.

    The purpose of this information is not to discuss the particular laws involved. Before accepting your instructions, we will have discussed your case with you and will have advised you of the strengths and weaknesses (if any) of your case. In many cases, it is very clear from the outset that an injured party will succeed, for example, where the injury results from a motor accident when the client is a passenger, to give but one example. In some cases, the courts apportion liability, i.e. they rule in favour of the Plaintiff but make a deduction from the full value of the case on the basis of the Plaintiff’s “contributory negligence.”

    It is important to note that many valid claims are never brought because an injured party feels the accident was his own fault, whereas the primary cause of the accident may well rest with some other party, and the injured party’s own carelessness may only have been a contributing factor. In such cases the courts may apportion Liability. It is therefore always advisable to consult a solicitor concerning any injury resulting from an accident.

  • What we do – The Claims Process – Step By Step

    Once we you have instructed us to commence case proceedings, We, your Solicitor, write to you confirming the instructions and issue an originating letter of claim to the third party and / or their insurers. We then collect evidence to support your personal injury case. We handle your application to PIAB (Personal Injuries Assessment Board) and all case files.

    Step by Step

    1. We will write to you confirming the instructions and issue an originating letter of claim to the third party and / or their insurers
    2. We will collect evidence to support your personal injury case and will keep you informed at every stage of your claim
    3. We will correspond with the insurers outlining the legal basis of your claim and the nature of your injuries
    4. We will ensure that your claim is presented fully and comprehensively so that you receive the best case outcome
  • How much is my Claim Worth?

    This is a question we are often asked, Once we know all the details of your accident and injuries sustained, we can provide an estimate of the amount you may be awarded.

  • Simple Steps to Starting an Injury Claim

    7 Steps – What to do if involved in an accident


    1. Look – what caused your accident?
    2. Act – make sure to immediately report your accident to a person in authority
    3. Witnesses – make sure to take the names and addresses of anybody at the scene
    4. Lawyers – contact Lawline for advice without delay
    5. Injured – make sure to attend your doctor or local hospital as soon as possible
    6. Never – never admit liability
    7. Enquire – now for a copy of our brochure or email us for an instant call back
  • Litigation for Contentious Cases

    If your solicitor is dealing with a contentious matter for you, the law requires that the following explanation be given to you.

    Unless otherwise agreed, when your solicitor sends you a bill of costs, you are responsible for the payment of that bill. You remain responsible for this amount even where you reach a settlement with the defendant or any other third party and a term of that settlement is that you will be paid your costs. This is also the case where the defendant or other third party is ordered by a court to pay your costs. Your solicitor will seek to recover as much as possible of the charges from the defendant or other third party. When the monies are so recovered, if you have already paid your solicitor, the monies will be refunded to you, less any costs incurred in their recovery. Otherwise, they will be set off against the full amount due to your solicitor.

    The amount which the defendant or other third party may agree or may be ordered to pay will not generally be sufficient to set off your solicitor’s entire charges. Insofar as the costs recovered from the other party are insufficient to discharge your liability to your solicitor, then you remain liable to make up the shortfall.

    Even where your solicitor is satisfied that you have a good case, the law requires that it is explained to you that, in the event of the following circumstances arising, you may be liable to pay, in addition to your own costs, the costs of the Defendant or other third parties.

  • How long do I have to Make a Claim – Statute of Limitations

    Subject to certain very strict exceptions, you have two years from the date of your accident to commence legal proceedings for compensation. If the two year period has expired, even by one day, then your claim is Statute Barred from proceeding.

    An important exception to this rule is that persons under the age of 18 years at the time of the accident (minors) have until their 20th birthday to commence proceedings. In theory therefore, a four year old for example has 16 years to commence proceedings, although a lengthy delay may create severe difficulties and may give rise to the defendant having grounds to apply for a dismissal of the claim on the grounds that his right to put up a defence has been prejudiced by the delay. It should be noted that it can take time to have legal proceedings issued so you should not leave it until the last few weeks before expiry of the statute before instructing your solicitor in the matter.

  • How long will my Case Take?

    Once we are instructed to proceed we will take up a medical report as soon as possible and issue an originating letter of claim. We will then lodge your claim with The Injuries Board (PIAB) for assessment. PIAB will usually issue an assessment within nine months (assuming the other side consent to your claim being dealt with by PIAB.) Read more on PIAB Claims > and PIAB 5 things to know >

    As a general rule we advise our clients not to attempt to settle a case within 12 months from the accident date. It is good practice to see how the injury has settled at that stage. Subject to the medical report and Counsel’s advice, it may be opportune to try to settle the case after about 12 months, although many cases may take considerably longer, particularly the more serious ones.

  • Medical Examinations

    For the purpose of your claim we will request your doctor and / or the casualty consultant of any hospital you may have attended and any other medical practitioners, to prepare medical/legal reports on your injuries. Sometimes these medical practitioners may furnish reports based on the notes taken when they examined you previously, but very often they will write back to us giving us a date, time and venue for a medical examination.

    We will of course notify you in writing of all medical appointments which we receive on your behalf. You should make a very careful note of all medical appointments and ensure that you are in prompt attendance. Failure to attend can give rise to a non attendance fee being charged by the doctor and possibly a lengthy delay for another appointment. If any appointment does not suit you, please telephone your solicitor’s Secretary as soon as possible to let us know, and we will rearrange the appointment. We would ask you please not to contact us to confirm that you will attend an appointment unless we specifically ask you to do so. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will assume that you will attend.

  • My Medical Report

    As part of the Claims Process, we must put your claim through PIAB and first we need to get a Medical Report. We obtain this medical report from your treating doctor outlining all injuries sustained by you as a result of your accident.  We will then send a copy of this report to you along with a Form A – an application form which must be signed by you in order for us to firstly process your claim with the Injuries Board.

  • Children under 18? – Different Time Limits

    Persons under the age of 18 years in law are known as minors or infants. Minors may not bring proceedings in their own name. They must be represented by a “next friend,” usually one of the parents. If a minor reaches the age of 18 years before the claim settles, then he or she can continue the proceedings in his or her own name at that stage. The claim amount awarded to a minor is lodged into the court bank account and becomes payable to the minor together with interest when he or she reaches the age of 18 years. Any settlement of a case involving a minor must be approved by the court.

  • I can’t work due to injury – Compensation for Loss of Earnings

    ‘Loss’ or ‘Injury’ is a factor that determines the value of your case. Our solicitors advise you on what constitutes ‘loss’ or ‘injury’. What constitutes loss or injury includes: Medical expenses, loss of income due to injury, the cost of living with long term injuries, Future care needed – amongst other outlay items.

  • Who are PIAB – Personal Injuries Assessment Board?

    PIAB is an Irish independent state body which assesses personal injuries compensation. PIAB assesses compensation in respect of all personal injuries suffered by people in road accidents, work place accidents and public place accidents.

    • All personal injury claims must come through PIAB first, This is best managed by your solicitor.
    • PIAB do not review Medical Negligence Cases for assessment.
    • If PIAB is processing an assessment, it can take up to 9 months from the date of application to make an assessment.
  • 5 Reasons Why you need a Solicitor for PIAB

    1. PIAB do not provide you, as a claimant, with any guidance or legal advice.
    2. When making an application to PIAB you must identify the correct respondent (person at fault). If the wrong party is identified in your application an order for Costs may be issued against you by PIAB. This means you will be responsible for the legal fees.
    3. The Law Society of Ireland have recommended obtaining legal advice when dealing with PIAB. –  ‘Legal representation is necessary to guarantee the rights of victims of accidents against the interest of big business and the insurance industry‘.
    4. Dealing with PIAB can be complex. PIAB DOES NOT assist you in completing the application form, nor will they advise you as to the correct identity of the person or persons at fault. See Problems with making your own PIAB application
    5. You have two years from the date of your accident within which to make an application to PIAB … REMEMBER that if you name the wrong party, the two year time limit is still running against the party actually at fault. By the time you have figured out your mistake it may be too late.
Going to Court
  • Will My Case Go To Court?

    We deal with every case individually but always on the basis that it may end up in court, but in reality few cases end up in court. Cases go to court for two reasons;

    1. The defendant has not offered enough compensation  OR
    2. The defendant has made no offer

    If an offer is made, then it is you who decides whether or not to accept the offer; we and your Barrister will give our advice in relation to any offer, but the ultimate decision is yours. If no offer is made, then this would clearly indicate that the other side is reasonably confident of successfully defending the case. In such event your options will be clearly explained to you by us and your Barrister.

  • Will I Have To Go To Court?

    Every case is handled on the basis that it may end up in court, but in practice few cases do. Cases go to court for two reasons, either the defendant has not offered enough or the defendant has made no offer. If an offer is made, then it is you who decides whether or not to accept the offer; we and your Barrister will give our advice in relation to any offer, but the ultimate decision is yours. If no offer is made, then this would clearly indicate that the other side is reasonably confident of successfully defending the case. In such event your options will be clearly explained to you by us and your Barrister.

  • Court Lodgements / Tenders

    When a case reaches defence stage, the Defendant (the other side) may serve a “Notice of Lodgement.” This is a document which tells us that the Defendant has lodged a certain amount of money into the court bank account and invites you to accept that amount in full settlement of your claim. In that event, you will have the benefit of our advice as to whether we believe your case may be worth more than the amount lodged or otherwise.

    Regardless of our advice one way or the other, you have the option to accept the amount lodged in which case we will serve “Notice of Acceptance” and subsequently the court office will issue a cheque for that amount to complete the matter. If you refuse the lodgement and your case does not subsequently settle but proceeds to trial and the Judge awards you an amount equal to or less than the lodgement figure, then you will have failed to beat the lodgement and will be held liable for all costs of the proceedings from the date of the lodgement up to the conclusion of the trial. The Judge, when making his decision, will not be aware as to how much the Defendant has lodged.
    A Tender operates in the same way as a Lodgement.

  • Going to Court Circuit and High Court

    In Circuit Court cases, your case will be presented in Court by your Barrister. In High Court cases, you will be represented by a Senior Counsel as well as a Barrister (Junior Counsel). A pre-Trial Consultation takes place with your Counsel either on the day of the Trial or within a day or two previously. When arriving for your case, it is important that you dress in a manner which shows proper respect for the Court.

  • Settlement Meetings

    Your solicitor will meet you at the appointed time outside Court No. 1, in the Round Hall of the Four Courts (Dublin cases only).

    • Your solicitor will then introduce you to your Barrister. Your Barrister will previously have been fully ‘briefed” about your case and will have with him our “Brief” consisting of copies of relevant material to your case.
    • Your Barrister will talk to you informally about your case, and we will give you advice about the “value” of your claim, i.e. the approximate sum which a Judge would be likely to award to you in the event that your case goes to Court at a later date.
    • Your Solicitor and Barrister will then go away and discuss your case with the insurance company’s solicitor/barrister and will endeavour to obtain their best offer and one which, hopefully, we can recommend to you.
    • We will then come back to you to discuss any offer which has been made and give you our advice in relation thereto. Further negotiations may then take place.
    • Please note that you will not be pressurised into accepting or rejecting any offer. Your solicitor and barrister are skilled negotiators and are experienced in valuing cases. They are there to give you the benefit of their experience and to advise you. However, it is your case, and your decision as to whether you will accept or refuse the Defendant’s best offer.
    • In addition to “General Damages” for your injury, we will be claiming on your behalf, all expenses which you have incurred as a result of the accident. Please bring with you to the meeting, any relevant bills, receipts etc. which you have not already furnished to us.
  • Giving Evidence in Court

    After completion of your evidence, the evidence of any other witnesses is taken in the same way. In regard to medical evidence, medical practitioners may be in attendance in Court but more usually, their evidence is admitted in the form of medical reports handed into the Judge.

  • Making an Appeal

    Either party may Appeal the decision of the Court. An Appeal can be brought against the judgement on liability or on “Quantum” (the amount of the Award). In Circuit Court cases the Appeal to the High Court must be lodged within 10 days. The Appeal is “De Novo,” a complete re-hearing of the Trial by examination of witnesses in the same way as in the Circuit Court.

    There can be no further Appeal from the decision of the High Court. An Appeal from the High Court is made to the Supreme Court. This is a much rarer occurrence. As a general rule, the Appeal cannot be made against the decision of the lower Court on the grounds of liability, but only on “Quantum”. The Supreme Court will only adjust the amount of the Award where it is significantly too high or too low.

  • Your Barrister

    Your Barrister will lead you through your evidence, and you should ensure that you answer all questions to the best of your ability. Try to avoid giving hasty or confused replies. If you are not sure of the answer to any question, you should say so. After the examination by your own Barrister, the Defendant’s Barrister will cross-examine, in an attempt to illicit details from you which may be favorable to the Defendant’s case. The Judge may also have some questions.

  • Witnesses

    When all the witnesses have been heard, and Counsel has made any relevant points to the Court, the Judge usually makes his/her decision there and then, or s/he may adjourn for a short time for consideration or, on occasions, postpone his/her judgement to another day. The judge delivers a decision on liability, and if deciding in favour of the Plaintiff, will make an award of damages as compensation. If you have any questions on going to court, contact our legal team today on Freefone 1800 20 40 60 or email us with your query.