Your priority should be to seek the required medical attention as soon as possible. However, if you are in a position to do so, it is a good idea to take some photographs, or speak to witnesses and seek their contact details. When you do consult with a solicitor (Irish Attorney), witnesses will be contacted for statements, and any photographs will be invaluable in showing the accident location at the material time.
Stage 2: Personal Injuries Assessment Board
Personal Injuries Assessment Board is a state agency with the function of placing an independant valuation on accident claims. All plaintiffs pursuing a personal injury claim must first submit an application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board prior to issuing court proceedings. If the Personal Injuries Assessment Board issue an independant valuation in a particular case, the plaintiff or the defendant may reject the valuation, and the parties may negotiate settlement directly or issue court proceedings.
In order to apply to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, the injured party must submit an application form, a medical report and an administrative fee of EUR45.
Stage 3: Court proceedings
If the defendant disputes responsibility for the accident, or if a settlement was not achieved at the Personal Injuries Assessment Board stage, then the plaintiff will need to issue court proceedings. In Ireland, legal costs can be recovered from a defendant provided that fault is established.
The process can be time consuming with various motions and appeals.
Do you require legal representation
When you instruct a solicitor, they will take instructions from you, dispatch a letter of claim to the defendant, seek a medical report from your medical advisers, apply to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, draft and file and serve court papers and ultimately negotiate and advise on the adequacy of any settlement proposals which are received.
It is possible for an accident victim to represent themselves, and the Personal Injuries Assessment Board process can be extremily simple. However, not every case is straight forward, and more often then not it is in the injured party's interests to receive legal advice and representation at the earlies possible stage.
In Ireland, the Statute of Limitations is a very complex issue.
An injured party generally has two years from the date of their accident in which to file their application with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. Once the application is received by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, the time remaining will "freeze". When the Personal Injuries Assessment Board close their file, they will issue an Authorisation which enables the injured party to file court proceedings. The remaining time limit starts to run again, and is extended by six months.
Example, Paul is injured in a road traffic accident on 1 Jan 2008. On 1 July 2008, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board receive the application. Therefore, one and a half years remain on the 2 year Statute of Limitations. On 1 January 2009, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board issue an Authorisation which allows Paul to file court proceedings. The remaining one and a half year time limit is extended by six months to 2 years.