Talk to your solicitor as soon as possible. Also, from the outset keep a record of any expenses incurred by you and a diary in which you can record details of how your injury affects you in any particular activities, or generally. Record also details of travel for medical appointments, etc. This will assist us in putting forward your case as fully and accurately as possible.
This will depend on whether it can be established that another party was either at fault or partly at fault in causing the accident in which you suffered injury.
This does not mean that you are not entitled to claim against another party who is believed to be at fault also. For example, as a result of negotiation or court action it might be determined that each party is 50% responsible, in which case you will only be entitled to half of the damages that you would have received had there been no fault on your part. We will try and advise a client as soon as possible as regards the prospects of establishing liability against another party, but sometimes the position is less clear and it may be necessary to engage other experts such as Engineers to advise on liability
Compensation claims are made up of two main types of damages.
1) Compensation for pain and suffering which is also known as “General Damages”.
2) You can also claim in respect of expenses incurred as a result of the accident which can include, for example, hospital charges, treatment expenses, pharmacy charges, fees for examinations such as x-rays and scans, and travel expenses. It is important that full records such as invoices and receipts are kept and provided to your Solicitor as the claim progresses. Also if you can prove suffer a loss of income due to an injury this can be included within your claim. Again documentary evidence of such losses needs to be kept or obtained. Claims for financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of an injury are known as “Special Damages”.
A person who has suffered an injury should give notice in writing to the party who is believed to be responsible for the accident within two months of the date the injury was sustained or as soon as practicable thereafter. If a notice of an intended claim is delayed without good reason this could affect your rights regarding recovery of costs in a Court action.
A formal claim is required to be submitted (usually to the Injuries Board initially) within two years of the date of the injury. If you fail to do this your claim may be lost.
Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2004, most claims for personal injuries in Ireland are now required to be submitted initially to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) (now re-branded as the Injuries Board) before any court proceedings can be issued. There are some exceptions, e.g. medical negligence actions .
Unfortunately, no. If a claim is settled through the Injuries Board/PIAB then you will usually be entitled to recover the €45 Application fee together with whatever the Injuries Board considers to be the appropriate cost of one medical report . Under the Injuries Board/PIAB system you will generally not be entitled to recover any contribution towards your Solicitor’s fees.
If your claim is not resolved through the Injuries Board/PIAB and Court proceedings are issued then in that Court action you can claim for recovery of most of your legal costs and outlays in addition to your damages. Whether costs will be recoverable from the other party will depend on a successful outcome to your claim.
Injuries Board/PIAB notifies the party who you are claiming against. That party then has 90 days to say whether that party consents to Injuries Board/PIAB assessing the claim. If that party gives such consent (or if such party does not reply) the Injuries Board/PIAB will begin its assessment.
No. If the claim goes through the Injuries Board/PIAB system but is not settled (see question below- “What does an assessment from the Injuries Board/PIAB mean? What is its effect?”) then the other party can still deny responsibility in later Court proceedings.
The Injuries Board /PIAB will allow you to issue court proceedings
Yes, the Injuries Board/PIAB can decide for a number of reasons that certain claims are not appropriate for the PIAB procedure. This might be the case in complex cases involving serious long term or multiple injuries, psychological injuries, etc. If the Injuries Board/PIAB decides it cannot deal with a case, it must authorize the issue of court proceedings.
The Injuries Board/PIAB will make its assessment based only on documents. There is no hearing at which your case can be put forward. So, if documentation for your claim is not full and comprehensive, an award offered might not take proper account of all factors relevant to the claim. We consider that it is imperative that a person making an application to PIAB should receive professional advice and guidance from solicitors experienced in the preparation of claims in order to ensure that this situation does not arise. This is particularly important in relation to claims for loss of earnings, possible future losses, etc.
The Injuries Board/PIAB can request that you attend further medical examination(s) by doctors engaged by the Board and can seek information about a claimant from other persons and public bodies
The party you are claiming against has 90 days in which to consent to the Injuries Board/PIAB making an assessment. The Injuries Board/PIAB has 9 months from this consent to make its assessment, unless during that period the Board/PIAB decides to give itself an extension, of up to a further 6 months. So, if an Injuries Board/ PIAB assessment ran its full course, an assessment ought to be made within 1 year of the application, or 18 months if PIAB allows itself more time. However, the process can be much quicker than this if all parties act promptly and the nature of the injury permits
An assessment by the Injuries Board/PIAB is only binding if it is accepted by:
You, the injured party AND
The party you are claiming against
This is a matter on which it is important that you have the benefit of legal advice to consider the adequacy of the compensation offered and the options available to you and what these may involve. If, after due consideration and advice, you decide to not accept the assessment, Injuries Board/PIAB will authorize you to take court proceedings.
No. Even if you are prepared to accept the assessment the party you are claiming against can refuse to do so. If so, PIAB will authorize issue of court proceedings.
Yes, in effect . Even if the party against whom the claim is made consented to the Injuries Board/PIAB assessing the claim, in any future court proceedings that party is entitled to contest the claim in its entirety and may dispute any liability. This might be 2 years after the accident took place and obviously at that stage any investigations as to responsibility, e.g. by engineer’s attendance, may be prejudiced, due to lack of physical evidence, changes to locations and premises. This is a factor which should be considered when a claim is first made and on which we consider that is it imperative that you have the benefit of legal advice.
Give as full and detailed as information as you can to your Solicitor and also give your Solicitor authority to obtain information from other parties relevant to your claim, e.g. employers. In addition, it is essential that you provide full details of previous injuries/medical history and any previous claims. We will review with you each and every aspect of your claim so that you may be satisfied that information given is accurate. This is essential as under the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 every person making a claim is required to swear on oath that the allegations, statements, and claims made by him/her in proceedings are true and correct.
Under the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 a Court can dismiss a claim if the Court is satisfied that a claimant has given evidence or has sworn an affidavit that is false or misleading with the intention of misleading the Court. The Act also makes these criminal offences, which may result in conviction, with penalties of fines or imprisonment applying. Cases can be lost or thrown out, or severely prejudiced as a result of non disclosure or inaccurate information being given, even where the party making the claim believed these matters to be of no relevance to the present injury/claim.
The Compulsory Purchase Order procedure has been put in place to permit public infrastructure projects to go ahead for “the common good”. This may be for motorway or road schemes or housing purposes, for example. The downside is that in serving the “common good”, the interests of individual land owners are affected. The intention is that these persons should be properly compensated for their losses and disturbance.
The first step in the process is for a statutory body such as a County Council to make a CPO. Notices will be sent to all land owners or tenants affected and the newspaper notices will be published. These will confirm that the CPO is to be submitted to the relevant Government Minister.
You are entitled to make objections usually on planning or legal grounds. A public local enquiry is heard when affected parties can put their views. Following this the relevant Minister can confirm, vary or turn down the CPO Order. A decision will be published.
There are limited grounds for application to the High Court to challenge the validity of a CPO on points of law. There is a strict time limit of 3 weeks for such an application.
The acquiring authority serves what is known as a “Notice to Treat”. In effect, this requests the land owner to enter into discussions regarding the acquisition of the property. The date of the notice to treat is extremely important as any valuations for the purposes of the CPO will be the valuation as at that date.
The Notice to Treat will require you to submit details of your claim within a specified period. It is important to observe this time limit. You can provide further and updated details of claims at a later stage depending on advice received.
Negotiations may be undertaken with the acquiring authority but if there is no agreement as regards the level of compensation you may through your Solicitor submit a formal claim to an Arbitrator to assess compensation.
There are a number of possible heads of for claim including:
- The value of the land to be acquired
- A reduction in value of land which you still own after the CPO
- Losses suffered as a result of interruption to business or domestic activities caused by the Compulsory acquisition of your property
- you can claim for your proper costs in submitting the claim from the time of the Notice to Treat
The date of the Notice to Treat.
In assessing compensation for the land being acquired the underlying scheme (that is, the reason for CPO) is to be ignored. For example, in relation to a road improvement scheme, that road scheme would have an impact on the value of the property to be acquired, but this cannot be taken into account.
e can advise you in relation to possible objections and make representations at the appropriate time. We can also assist you in submitting the claim and negotiating with the purchasing authority. In CPO matters it is our aim to provide a full service to clients including liaising with Valuers, Accountants and other experts where relevant. The aim is that a team working together will be putting forward your claim on your behalf. We are happy to work with existing professionals acting on your behalf such as accountants.
No. But you have to be given not less than 14 days notice. The entry will not affect your rights to compensation, and you can claim interest on the compensation from the date of entry.
This can depend on a number of factors. You ought to be entitled to recover most of your reasonable costs from the acquiring authority if in the course of the arbitration you secure an award for compensation higher than what has been offered. However there are factors that can affect this. For example if an arbitrator considers that a landowner did not put forward adequate reasons to support his claim in good time to enable the acquiring authority to make a reasoned decision as to its offer, it may be disputed that costs of the arbitration should be awarded against the acquiring authority. It is for this reason that we advise that a team be assembled as soon as possible in order to enable us to submit a full and detailed claim for compensation on your behalf in good time
So that you can make sure that whatever assets you have at the time of your death are dealt with according to your wishes, so far as possible. A Will can be one of the most important documents that you may sign in your lifetime. It can give you peace of mind that your loved ones are provided for as you wish, and to deal with any particular wishes and requirements. In your Will you can also chose the persons who you would wish to oversee the administration of your estate, and chose persons who you would wish to act as Guardians for your children. Under Irish Law a person of sound mind and 18 years of age or older may dispose of his or her property by Will .
Yes, but there are strict requirements as to how a Will has to be executed and as to persons who should not witness a will. If a Will is not executed properly, it may be invalid which may result in your wishes regarding your estate being over-ridden entirely or in part. Also, if the wording of a Will gives rise to confusion or ambiguity, this may result in difficulties for those who have to administer your Estate, and may lead to expensive disputes.
Not entirely. The Succession Act 1965 means that certain family members have a legal right to a portion of your estate regardless of what your Will might say. If a person dies leaving a spouse but no children the surviving spouse shall have a legal right to one half of the deceased’s estate. If a person dies leaving a spouse and children the surviving spouse shall have a right to one third of the deceased’s estate.
However, a surviving spouse can renounce this entitlement and the entitlement may be extinguished by way of court order, e.g. in the case of a legal separation.
The Succession Act 1965 does not provide a specific share as a child’s entitlement. However, under the Act an application may be made on behalf of a child for a court to decide whether a deceased parent has failed in his moral responsibility to make proper provision for that child. Very short time limits are allowed for such an application.
Your assets will be distributed according to rules of intestacy under the Succession Act 1965. What this will mean depends on the particular circumstances of each case. For example, if you are married with no children your spouse will have entitlement to your estate. However, if you are married with children the Intestacy rules entitle your spouse to two thirds of your estate and with the remaining third going to your children. So an intestacy situation could cause problems particularly where relations may be difficult between the surviving spouse and some or all of the children. Assets may have to be sold to permit distribution.
The following sets out the basis of entitlements on intestacy since 1/1/1967
|Relative Surviving||Distribution of Estate|
|Husband and issue||Two-thirds to husband; one third equally among children, with issue of predeceased child taking per stripes.|
|Widow and issue||Two-thirds to widow; one third equally among children with issue of predeceased child taking per stripes|
|Husband and no issue||Husband takes all|
|Widow and no issue||Widow takes all|
|Issue and no spouse||Children takes equally, with issue of predeceased child taking per stripes|
|Father, mother, brothers and sisters||Each parent takes one-half|
|Father, brothers and sisters||Father takes all|
|Mother, brothers and sisters||Mother takes all|
|Brothers and sisters||All take equally. Children of predeceased brother or sister take per stripes.|
|Nephew and nieces and grandparent||Nephews and nieces take all equally|
|Nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts and great grandparents||Nephews and nieces take all equally|
|Uncles and aunts and great grandparents||Uncles and aunts take all equally|
|First cousin, great uncle, great nephew and great great grandparent.||First cousin, great uncle and great nephew take all equally.|
If you do not make a Will this may mean that the persons who may apply to administer your estate would not necessarily be the persons you would have chosen to undertake this task. Also, there can be additional cost involved in the administration of an Intestate Estate.
Yes. Property which is held jointly with another will pass to the survivor. The most common example of this would be a house held in joint names, but similar considerations can apply to bank accounts. In planning your estate it is important to consider this issue to ensure that there is no doubt as to your intentions in relation to monies held in accounts in more than one name.
Yes. Your Will may be modified, amended or entirely revoked at any time before your death as long as you are of sound mind. A Will can remain in effect and be amended by a separate document which is called a “Codicil” and similar requirements apply to the execution of a Codicil as apply to the execution of a Will. The execution of a Codicil may be appropriate in circumstances where the amendments to the Will are not substantial. If significant changes are proposed we would advise that consideration should be given to the execution of a new Will. The proper execution of a new Will has the effect of revoking a prior Will entirely.
There are many changes in circumstances which would justify consideration being given to a change of Will, whether by Codicil or a new Will. These may include:
- A birth or death in the family
- A divorce
- Increase or decrease in asset values
- Lifetime disposal of assets previously included within a Will
- Matters affecting proposed executors, trustees, and guardians. For example, persons moving away, altered circumstances and relationships, health factors or deaths.
We would advise that clients give consideration to reviewing their testamentary arrangements every 3 to 5 years, to take account of changes in circumstances.
If your own accounts department has not been successful in recovering money due, it may be necessary to consider legal action. By engaging a firm of solicitors with years of experience and expertise in all areas of debt recovery, you will benefit from our expert advice regarding every step of the legal process.
This is commonly referred to as a “solicitor’s letter”. It is a formal demand for the sum due to be paid within a specified time frame. It can be productive in obtaining the payment due, or indeed in having the debtor engage positively in the debt recovery process.
This is a document prepared by the creditor’s solicitor and formally issued by the court. It starts the legal process. The Claim Notice/ Civil Bill/ Summons should then be served on the debtor. A Claim Notice is the document used in the District Court, a Civil Bill is used in the Circuit Court and a Plenary or Summary Summons is used in the High Court
The District Court sits in a number of locations throughout the country and grants judgment on debts of up to €15,000.00. This court is also used for certain enforcement procedures, regardless of the amount owing on the order/judgment. The Circuit Court is used to obtain judgment for debts of between €15,001.00 and €75,000.00 and sits in a more limited number of locations throughout the country. The High Court has no upper limit with regard to the size of debt for which judgment may be sought.
This is a legal document which may be filed with the creditor’s solicitor and the relevant court office by a debtor or their solicitor. It indicates their intention to defend the case.
This is a document sworn by the creditor setting out the facts of the case and containing details such as the balance due. It is one of the essential documents in seeking judgment.
This is a formal decision by a court – such as a decree or order – acknowledging that the debt is due by the debtor to the creditor. This is necessary before the various enforcement procedures can be pursued.
Judgment can be enforced by various means e.g. by instructing the Sheriff, seeking an Instalment Order in the District Court, registration of a Judgement Mortgage, seeking an order for Garnishee, proceeding by way of appointing a Receiver by way of Equitable Execution. Other procedures can include publication of the judgment, seeking an order for substituted service of documents, Mareva Injunction, Discovery in Aid of Execution, liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings.
The Sheriff is a court officer who has the power to seize goods owned by the debtor to satisfy the debt.After judgment has been obtained, it is possible to instruct the Sheriff.
This is where a judgment is registered as a mortgage against property owned by a debtor against whom judgment has been obtained. It is a means of securing the debt. In the event of the property being sold or re-mortgaged, if there are sufficient funds, these will be applied in payment or part payment of the debt. The liability for which judgment was obtained does not need to have related to the property in order for a judgement mortgage to be registered.
From the day on which judgement is obtained, statutory interest runs at the rate of 2% per annum on the amount of the judgment.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.