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How is PIAB involved in my Claim and Why?
All Personal Injury Cases by Irish Law, bar Medical Negligence must first be processed through PIAB (Personal Injury Assessment Board). Once you have instructed us to commence proceedings for your case, we handle all dealings with PIAB on your behalf. Our legal team will also ensure that PIAB adheres to any time limits that the case may have and deal with all queries in relation to your PIAB Application.
In order for our firm to put your claim through PIAB we must first get Your Medical Report. We obtain this medical report from your treating doctor outlining all injuries sustained by you as a result of your accident. This report is very important as PIAB will base their assessment of your claim solely on the contents of your medical report along with a 2nd Report from an Independent Medical Practitioner. We will then send a copy of this report to you along with an application form (Form A) which must be signed by you in order for us to process your claim with the Injuries Board.
How Long Does it take for My Case to go Through PIAB?
If PIAB is going ahead with an assessment, it has 9 months from the date of application to make an assessment. During this time period PIAB arranges for the claimant to be assessed by an independent doctor / medical expert in order to take up a medical legal report. Once the Board is in receipt of your case documentation (which we organise on your behalf) the completed Schedule of Special Damages, Certificate of Loss of Earnings (if appropriate) and the Medical Report, they will proceed to make an assessment.
- We (the Solicitor) will be notified in writing of the award being made by the Board.
- You (the claimant) are given 28 days to decide whether or not you wish to accept the award.
- The respondent is given 21 days within which to make the same decision.
- If both parties accept the assessment then an ‘Order to Pay’ will issue and your cheque is usually requisitioned within 6 weeks.
Can I Make my Own PIAB Application?
If you have already made an application to the Board yourself without using the services of a solicitor – we will be happy to arrange a consultation to look at the paperwork and advise as to whether or not we believe that the Board has made a fair assessment of your claim.
What Happens if I Reject the PIAB Offer?
If one or both parties reject the Assessment, PIAB will issue an Authorisation, allowing you (the claimant) to issue Court Proceedings. Even if court proceedings are issued, this does not necessarily mean that the claimant/plaintiff will end up in court. If we do end up issuing proceedings on your behalf, in the majority of cases the claim settles before going to trial.
What happens if I Accept the PIAB Offer?
If you are willing to accept The PIAB Assessment and the offer of compensation, provided the other side are willing to pay it, then this is the end of the matter. However, if either you or the other side does not accept the Assessment, then the claim will proceed under the former system of Court Litigation.
It should be noted that PIAB does not award any costs, so your Legal Fees must come out of the figure assessed by PIAB. The foregoing is a very brief synopsis of the workings of PIAB and, there are all sorts of diverse situations which can and do arise. Your solicitor will fully advise you in relation to your particular circumstances.
Will my Case Go to Court?
We deal with every case on the basis that it may end up in Court – in reality cases don’t always go to court and usually settle beforehand. If the defendants Insurance Company has not offered enough or has made no offer on your case, then your case may go to court. However, if any offer has been made, you (the claimant) decide whether or not to accept it. Your Solicitor will give you advice in relation to accepting or rejecting the offer, but the ultimate decision is yours. If no offer is made, then this indicates that the other side is reasonably confident of defending the case.
Why would my Case go to Court?
Cases go to court for two reasons, either the Defendant has not offered enough Compensation 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. Your Solicitor will provide advice in relation to any offer, but the ultimate decision is yours. If no offer is made, then this would indicate that the other side is reasonably confident of successfully defending the case. In such event your options will be clearly outlined to you.
What Happens if my Case does go to Court?
If your case does go to court, there is no reason for concern about appearing in court as your your solicitor will lead you through your evidence. You simply answer all questions to the best of your ability. And your legal team will be there to support you throughout the whole case. You are firstly examined by your own Barrister, following which, the Defendant’s Barrister will cross-examine and attempt to illicit details from you. These questions may be favourable to the Defendant’s case. The Judge may also have questions.
3 Tips For Going to Court
- When arriving for your case, it is important that you dress in a manner which shows proper respect to the Court.
- If being questioned in court, Try to avoid giving hasty or confused replies.
- If you are not sure of the answer to any question, you should say so, Your legal team are there to support you.
Do I need to bring a Witness to Court?
After completion of your evidence, the evidence of any other witnesses is heard. This may include a Medical Practitioner. Their evidence is usually admitted as a Medical Report handed into the Judge. Other witnesses may include an engineer and any person who witnessed the event.
A few days prior to / or on the day of your trial, a consultation takes place with Counsel from both sides. During this meeting, if an offer is made from the other side, our legal team will provide detailed legal advice in relation to the offer, but ultimately the decision is yours whether you accept or not. If no offer is made, then this would clearly indicate that the other side is reasonably confident of successfully defending the case. In such an event, your options will be clearly explained to you by us.
How does the Judge reach their Decision on Liability?
When all the witnesses have been heard, and Counsel has made any relevant points to the Court, the Judge makes his/her decision, more often than not on the day, but on occasion, they may postpone the judgement to another day. The judge delivers their decision on liability, and if in favour of the Plaintiff will make an Award of Damages as Compensation.
When will I get my Compensation Award?
Following a settlement or court award it typically takes about 3 weeks for a cheque to issue from the major Insurance companies. Local Authorities can take longer, usually about 8 weeks.
Download Injury Claims Guide Booklet
Synnott Lawline Solicitors developed this compensation claims guide to give our clients an understanding of the personal injury claims process. Throughout your case we may make reference to sections in this guide.
Topics include: The claims process, How to know if you have a case, Legal costs, Going to court, Statute of limitations, PIAB, Medical examinations and more.
Expert legal services
With over 35 years experience our legal team is dedicated to providing our clients with the very best level of service. Have you suffered an injury due to an accident caused by another party? Are you looking for a professional personal injury solicitor? We provide expert legal services in all areas of personal injury law.
Leading Irish Law Firm
Synnott Lawline Solicitors are a leading Irish law firm based in Lawline House Dublin 8. We specialise in exceptional legal services focusing on Personal Injury Claims*, Medical Negligence and Cosmetic Surgery Claims. With our legal expertise and proven track record our team is best placed to offer our clients unparalleled legal services.
Tell us about your case
If you have a question about an injury claim, contact us on Tel: 01 453 7890 or fill out our online form to tell us about your case and start your claim today. Our law firm is centrally located beside Christchurch in Lawline House, High Street, Dublin D08CX34. Street Parking available.