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Personal Injury Claims – Public Places

Have you had an injury in a public place? If you have any questions, Talk to us today, we are here to help.

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Call 014537890 or Email info@lawline.ie

Claiming for Accidents in Public Places

Everyday in Ireland, people suffer from accidents in public places. Examples of trip, slip and fall injuries occur at all privately and publicly owned places such as footpaths, wet floors, gyms, airports, restaurants, schools and parks. An accident like this can lead to serious injury, ongoing discomfort and in some cases it could lead to disability.

If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer an injury from an accident in a public place such as a park or public building, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. If your accident was the result of a slip, trip or fall in a public area which is owned by a local county council you can bring a claim against this local council. It is the duty of the local council or building owner to provide a safe environment for the users of the public place.

If you, or your child have been injured in an accident in a public area, keep a record of the event; and take photographs, names and home addresses of witnesses; keep evidence of doctors visits related to the incident and keep receipts for any injury related expenses as this will be needed to prove liability. There is a 2 year time limit to making a personal injury claim from the date of the accident, so it’s advisable to seek expert legal advice as soon as you think you may have a valid public place accident claim. It’s often easier to investigate your accident claim if you begin proceedings quickly. (Children have a longer time limit. See Children involved in Accidents.)

At Synnott Lawline Solicitors our dedicated team deals with claims for accidents in public places on a daily basis and we have extensive experience in successfully claiming for accidents in public places. Our focus is on keeping things clear and simple for our clients so they don’t have to worry.

Types of Public Place Claims we cover

  • Claims Against the Co. Council
  • Public Transport Accident Claims
  • Accident at Concert Claims
  • Restaurant Claims
  • Claims for Slips and Trips in Pub
  • Hotel Accident Claims
  • Flight Accident Claims >
  • Shopping Centre / Super Market Claims
  • Trips and Slips in Car Park Claims

Common Areas for Trips and Slips in a Public Place

  • Dangerous or cracked footpaths, Potholes & Tree roots
  • Defective rails or supports
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs
  • Supermarkets & shopping centres
  • Parks & Car Parks
  • Train & bus stations
  • Airports
  • Gym
  • Public roads
  • Universities / Schools

  • What are General Damages?

    General Damages in Personal Injury Cases for example; a Traffic Accident, are in place to compensate you for the impact the injury has and will have on your life. This includes pain and suffering mild or severe sustained from the injury. This pain can be physical but also physiological. Read more on Post Traumatic Stress Claims. The amount awarded will also be based on the impact of your injuries on your daily life such as short term or a permanent disability or disfigurement.  A further consideration for the compensation end figure includes what areas of the body were temporarily or permanently affected.

    Read More about General Damages

     

  • What are Special Damages?

    Special Damages consist of your out of pocket expenses such as Loss of earnings, Medical Expenses, Travelling expenses, Care hire etc.

    Read More about Special Damages

  • How to know if I have an Injury Claim

    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 in being fully compensated, 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.”

  • What if I was partly to Blame for the Accident?

    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.

  • How long does it take to get paid after the Settlement?

    Following a settlement or a Court Award, it typically takes about 4 weeks for payment to issue from the major Insurance companies. Local Authorities can take longer, usually about 4 – 8 weeks.

  • Who pays out the Compensation Award?

    A compensation figure is firstly offered by the defendants Insurance Company. Insurance Companies will often make a low value offer to your solicitor. It’s always the objective of the Insurance company to pay out  less money. In Most cases your solicitor will reject this offer when the defendant appears to be liable.

    Defendants and their insurance companies will want to avoid the expense of Going to Court.

    Once the insurance company realises the defendants liability position, an appropriate settlement offer will be made. If the case is complicated, this can cause delays. 

    Once an insurance company has admitted liability on behalf of the defendant and agreed to process the claim, this moves quickly.  Typically, the claimant will receive their compensation payment (from initial offer to agreed  offer) within a few weeks.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury is defined as either a physical injury, disease or illness, or a psychological injury / condition that has been caused by someone else.

If you were injured in an accident due to no fault or your own, Irish law entitles you to claim General Damages compensation for your injuries sustained, Loss of Income, Future Care and possibly other Special Damages. Our personal injury solicitors deal with a wide range of minor to catastrophic and life changing injuries. So, If you have suffered a personal injury and want to make a claim for an accident, contact our team today.

FAQ – PIAB (The Injuries Board)
  • 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.

    1. We (the Solicitor) will be notified in writing of the award being made by the Board.
    2. You (the claimant) are given 28 days to decide whether or not you wish to accept the award.
    3. The respondent is given 21 days within which to make the same decision.
    4. 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.

FAQ – Going to Court
  • 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
    1. When arriving for your case, it is important that you dress in a manner which shows proper respect to the Court.
    2. If being questioned in court, Try to avoid giving hasty or confused replies.
    3. 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.

  • 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.

FAQ – Claiming for Children – What You Need to Know
  • Can a Child Start a Claim?

    If you are the parent or guardian of an injured child, or if you were injured when you were under 18 and your injuries were caused by someone else, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

    In the eyes of Irish law, a person under the age of 18 is considered to be a “Minor” and therefore cannot engage the services of a solicitor. However, the Parent or Guardian of the child can bring a personal injury action on their behalf.  A claim can be made on behalf of a child by a “Next Friend” at any point up to the child’s 18th birthday. The injured person then has a further 2 years, until the date of their 20th birthday, to start their own compensation claim. The Next Friend (typically a parent or guardian) acts as an agent for the child and the nominated solicitor will deal directly with them.

  • What are the Legal Costs when claiming for a Child?

    It’s worth noting that when it comes to bringing a case for a minor there is no solicitor/client fee, subject to the case being successful. Most Child Injury Cases will be run on a No Win No Fee Basis.  All legal costs will be paid by the Defendants Insurance Company.

  • What Happens to the Minor’s Compensation when they reach the age of 18?

    Once the minor has reached the age of 18 they can apply to have the Award released from Court. In the majority of cases the figure lodged will have increased as it accrues interest over time.

  • How is the Child’s Compensation Award Managed?

    Once a case for a minor has been settled it is necessary to make an application to the appropriate court to have the settlement figure “Ruled”. This is a safeguard that has been put in place for minors to ensure that they are receiving the true value of their claim.

    The appropriate paperwork will be drafted and sent to the relevant Court and your solicitor will be provided with a date to attend Court to put the settlement figure to the Judge and go through the legal proceedings and medical evidence. If the Judge is satisfied with the settlement, the matter will be “Ruled” and the settlement money will be lodged into a court account.

Got a question about Starting a Claim for Personal Injury or Medical Negligence?

Contact us 7 days a week by phone, email or fill out the callback form and a solicitor will contact you without delay. We are Here to Help.

01 453 7890

email-lawline

info@lawline.ie

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Got a query about your case?

Whether your injury case is straight forward or complex, our solicitors will provide professional legal advice, guidance and support throughout your case. Simply, tell us a little bit about what happened, we will guide you through the process and tell you whether or not you can claim for injury. Contact us by phone or email 7 Days a week. Expert Legal advice as you need it.

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