Frequently Asked Questions
Accident Claims Direct aims to make the claims process as simple as possible. This section gives you the answers to the questions most commonly asked. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, we welcome your call on 1890 252467.
What is an accident claim?
An accident claim is the first step toward being compensated for personal injury, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages resulting from an accident where the fault for the accident lies with somebody else. Establishing whether you have a case will be your first step.
Generally speaking, it can be said that you have a case if:
• Your accident happened in the last two years
• You recently became aware of an injury following an accident that happened over 2 years ago
• If the accident was the fault of another person
• If you suffered an injury as a result of the accident
How do I know if I have a claim?
You can only claim damages for personal injury if a person or organisation is at least partly to blame for the injury you sustained.
In a road traffic accident*, for example, you would have an entitlement to pursue a claim if you were hit from behind.
You should get legal advice before you contact the person or organisation you think caused the accident or before replying to any letters or offers to settle your claim.
If we believe you have no case we will tell you immediately as it will not be in your interest to pursue a case if you have little chance of being successful.
How long after an accident can you file a claim in Ireland?
If you have been involved in an accident through no fault of your own and suffered a personal injury * as a result you may be entitled to make a claim to recover damages for the personal injury* you have suffered and also for any losses you have suffered as a result of the injury. It is important to note that there are strict time limits within which you are entitled to make a claim. These time limits are referred to as the Statute of Limitations. They are set out in the Statute of Limitations Act 1957.
What is the statute of limitations?
The term ‘statute of limitations’ refers to the length of time that a person has to make a personal injury claim following an accident. The rules surrounding this time limit are set out in the Statute of Limitations Act 1957.
A person has two years less one day from the date of knowledge to bring a claim forward.
What is the date of knowledge?
The date of knowledge refers to the date on which the person injured had knowledge of the following facts:
• That they had been injured
• That the injury in question was significant
• That the injury was caused by negligence, nuisance or breach of duty by the party at fault for the accident
• That they know the identity of the party at fault for the accident
• If the fault for the injury lies with somebody other than the person who is liable to compensate them, they know the identity of that person and the legal reason as to why the person they are claiming against is liable for the accident.
Children and time limits
For accidents involving children (child under the age of 18) injured in an accident their circumstances are treated a little differently than an accident involving an adult. A minor cannot bring a personal injury claim * forward themselves. Therefore, if no claim is made in the 2 years following the accident, the two-year time limit to make a claim starts from the date of the child’s 18th birthday.
What happens after a car accident not your fault Ireland?
The following pieces of information are important when you start the claims process with your solicitor:
• A detailed description of the accident and how it happened.
• Pictures of the scene of the accident to show how it happened
• Details of the party responsible for the accident –name, address, insurance details, car registration (if applicable)
• Specific time and date of the accident
• Was there any CCTV in operation where your accident happened? Your solicitor can request the owner of the CCTV to send over the recordings.
• Witness details – were there any witnesses to the accident?
• Medical reports – if you have copies of them to hand, if not your solicitor can request these from your doctor.
• Details of loss of earnings – how much wages have you lost as a result of the accident?
• Details of Medical history – did you have any medical conditions before the accident occurred?
• Claims history details – have you made any personal injury claims in the past? Details of the party at fault for your accident – it is of the utmost importance that you have correct party identified when making a claim.
• A list of any expenses you incur as a result of the accident (for example, medical costs, travel costs, home care costs or any other costs involved)
Can I claim if the accident happened a long time ago?
If you are thinking about making a claim for personal injury*, it is important to get legal advice as soon as you can. This is because you must start proceedings within the time limits set down by the Statute of Limitations.
If you are concerned about whether you still have time to claim, contact Accident Claims Direct Solicitors as soon as possible and we can advise you.
What is the average settlement for a personal injury?
One of the most common questions asked by people who are pursuing a personal injury* claim following an accident that was not their fault is how much damages they will get. This is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors that are taken into consideration when an amount is settled on and is a question that a personal injury solicitor cannot give a definitive answer to. Therefore, a useful tool in estimating a claim amount is the Injuries Board book of quantum.
What is the Book of Quantum?
The Injuries Board Book of Quantum provides us with general guidelines as to how much may be awarded in a personal injury claim* and is used by the Injuries Board when they are assessing a personal injury claim*. This book was compiled by examining sample cases from over 51,000 closed personal injury cases* from 2013 and 2014 and is based on actual court figures. It shows us what personal injury* amounts were awarded in the past and help give an estimate as to how much compensation could be awarded based on a person’s specific injuries.
How long will my case take?
Cases can settle at any stage, where it is practical to do so. Generally, this is determined by the Defendant’s willingness to settle the case or by the circumstances of the accident and/or if liability is admitted
Will I have to go to the solicitor’s office?
At Accident Claims Direct we believe it is for you to choose on what basis you engage your solicitor. We won’t insist that you visit our offices. Subject to the usual verification of identity regulations, your case can be dealt with by phone, email etc.
When will I get my settlement/award?
When your claim is settled or concluded, Accident Claims Direct will work to ensure that your monies are paid quickly by the Defendant. Read More about the new guidelines
Who will deal with my claim?
Your claim will be investigated by a dedicated accident claims solicitor.
Our solicitors will try to settle your claim as quickly as possible. Many low value claims can be settled in just a few months. If, however, you have been involved in a severe accident, it will probably take longer. Every case is different and your solicitor will be able to tell you the average time it takes to settle your type of case.
Will I have to fill out loads of paperwork?
Your Accident Claims Direct solicitor will do most of this for you. You will have to check the details of your claim, but your solicitor will help you with this.
Are there any cancellation fees?
If your solicitor advises you that you are unlikely to win your claim, Accident Claims Direct Solicitors will decline your case and there will be no legal fees payable. If you instruct us but later decide not to continue with your claim, you might have to pay for the work done on your claim to date.
How much damages will I get?
If your claim is successful, you will be awarded damages. Such awards are intended to put you in the same financial position in which you would have been had your accident not occurred.
It’s impossible to value your case until we have details of your claim. Your Accident Claims Direct solicitor will be able to discuss this with you and give you more detailed advice.
How much do solicitors take from any award or settlement?
The best way to find out is to ask your solicitor. Once you ask, they can explain how it all works to you, without all the legal jargon you might find researching online yourself!
There are rules in place that set out how solicitors can charge their clients. These rules are known as ‘Section 150 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. These rules state that a solicitor must let a client know – in writing – of the following information regarding fees:
• How much they intend on charging the client
• Estimate of fees that may be charged in cases where it is impossible to calculate actual charges
• Detail out the basis on which the charges are to be made. These rules also stipulate that where the matter is of a contentious nature, a solicitor cannot charge a percentage of any monies awarded to the client.
What is the Injuries Board?
Before commencing Court proceedings in Ireland for personal injury claims, application (with the exception of a personal injury arising out of medical negligence) must be made first to the Injuries Board (formerly known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or PIAB). The Injuries Board is an independent government body which assesses the amount of compensation due to a person who has suffered a personal injury*. The Injuries Board can deal only with matters where there is no dispute on liability, as they do not hear cases. In the event that the defendants agree, an assessment of damages can be carried out by the Injuries Board without the necessity of proceeding to Court. Either party may reject this assessment, choosing instead to go to the Courts. In the case of complicated cases, or where the defendant denies any wrongdoing, the Injuries Board plays no further part and the case may go to the Courts. It is not the role of the Injuries Board to advise you on your claim or how best to present your case. * In contentious issues, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002
What does No Win No Fee mean?
The term ‘No Win No Fee’ is one that is familiar to most people. However, there can be some misunderstanding as to what exactly this term means. ‘No Win No Fee’ is the term used to describe how some solicitors take on a case. What ‘no win no fee’ means is, if the solicitor or law firm does not win the case for you, you do not pay the solicitor’s fees. The Law Society has strict rules in place regarding advertising and these prohibit any solicitor from advertising their services as no win no fee. It is important that you clarify with your solicitors before instructing them that they do operate on a no win no fee basis and ensure that this is also put in writing to you.
If we haven’t answered your questions here, give us a call. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.
To find out more about Personal Injury* Claims is simple and fast. It all starts with a conversation. So call us for a confidential chat on 1890 252467 or tell us what happened so that we can best advise and guide you.