The length of time varies, typically between two and five years. Obstacles such as discovery (by either or both parties) being compelled to produce relevant documentation, delays in the courts (outside Dublin), unavailability of witnesses, difficulty in securing witnesses, and Plaintiff or Defence Solicitor delays are a few examples.
When everything is ready, one can make an application to have the case called on straight away. However, if the case is in the county list because of where the accident happened or where the Defendant lives, one has to wait in line for the case to be reached. If the case is anticipated to take more than one week to be dealt with, the Plaintiff’s solicitor can make an application to the High Court in Dublin to have the case transferred to Dublin from the county list. This is what McMahon Goldrick solicitors do with every catastrophic case that we have outside Dublin.
When everything is ready, one can make an application to have the case called straight away. However, if the case is outside Dublin, there may be additional delays. If the case is anticipated to take more than one week to be processed, the Plaintiff’s solicitor can make an application to the High Court in Dublin to have the case transferred to Dublin from the county list. This is what McMahon Goldrick solicitors do with every catastrophic case that we have outside Dublin.
It can also take between two and five years. One should not settle a case unless it is as well prepared as if immediately going to Court. Very often in catastrophic injury cases, the Plaintiff likes to settle the case at the last minute to know that the insurance company are to “the pin of their collar”, and they are being pushed for every euro.
The case is valued based on the injury and the out-of-pocket expenses that are justified by the injury. Compensation for pain and suffering is known as General Damages, which are capped at €500,000. Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses is known as special damages, and these are not capped.
Every Personal Injury case the Plaintiff’s solicitor must complete the Injuries Board’s form and submit it with a medical report prior to the expiration of two years from the date of the accident, unless it is an infant case. The Injuries Board then have nine months to deal with the Plaintiff’s case. In some cases, this can be extended to fifteen months.
The Defendant will then be invited to state their position. If the Defendant denies liability or disagrees with the Injury Board’s dealing with the matter, the Injury Board may be asked to release the case to the Courts for a more “traditional” proceeding.
During the Injuries Board process, the time for bringing a case is put on hold and does not recommence until six months after the case is released. If the Defendant admits liability, the Injuries Board can award a sum which is first notified to the Defendant and then the Plaintiff. If both agree, then the case is at an end and the Defendant writes a cheque for the award. If the Defendant does not like the award, they have the entitlement to deny liability and send the case to the Courts. All dealings with the Injury Board is completely confidential without prejudice.
In Catastrophic Injury cases, the Plaintiff’s solicitor can make an application under Section 17 of the Civil Liability Act to have the Injuries Board release the case on the basis that the case is too complicated for the Injuries Board to deal with in the time that the Injuries Board have been given. This is the course we always adopt in McMahon Goldrick when dealing with our Catastrophic Injury cases.
This process typically takes nine to fifteen months in total.
The Injuries Board can offer a contribution to the Plaintiff’s legal costs – the balance, if any, is to be paid by the Plaintiff from his/her award and pursuant to the contract they have with their solicitor.
If the solicitor does not succeed in securing a result that they recommend, and the case is lost, no fee is paid by the Plaintiff to his/her solicitor.
If you have any questions in relation to catastrophic injuries or the Injuries Board, please contact Ralph McMahon of McMahon Goldrick Solicitors on 01 6770044 or firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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