Do you have a real claim?
There are a multitude of circumstances in which a personal injury compensation claim may be sought including those sustained in traffic accidents, injuries suffered at work or while carrying on with one’s routine daily life.
Accidents happen, of course, and some of them will be your own fault. Not paying attention when pouring water from a boiling kettle might result in a nasty scald but you would not think to blame anyone but yourself for an incident like that.
But what about the case of 10 year old Deirdre Quinlan? She reached across the front of a fireplace in an effort to protect her little brother from the flames. In her preoccupation with her brother’s safety, she did not notice as her new nightie got a fraction too close to the fire. Within seconds she was ablaze as the nightie exploded into flames.
Was that little girl responsible for the horrific injuries she suffered that day? Her parents didn’t think so when they brought a compensation case in her name against the store which sold the dangerously flammable child’s clothing. A judge agreed and the girl was awarded a €376,000 settlement against the store.
Her case is a good example of the principles of personal injury claims compensation. While no amount of money could adequately compensate that child and her family for the pain and horror they suffered that day, the sum was large enough to send a clear message to the store chain. Now you can guarantee that if you scoured every clothes retailer in Ireland from top to bottom, you would not find any item of child’s clothing that had not been rigorously fire-tested.
On the one hand, the monetary settlement was intended to compensate the girl for her pain and also to make her life easier in the future but the other, it forced the chain store to accept responsibility for the goods they sell to the public.
Do I have a Case for an Injury Claim?
Should you have an accident at any time which was not entirely your own fault, you might wonder if you have a case for compensation. Generally speaking, if you have suffered pain, injury or material damage, the answer is likely to be yes.
- In order to bring an injury claims case you must have suffered an injury of some kind.
- Compensation can include material damage.
- The accident should not have been 100% your own fault.
Our free help line is probably the quickest and best way to know if you have a good case for an injury claim. Our experienced claims solicitors are standing by to listen to you and advise you on your options. Call 1-800 989 999and we will put you right through. If making a call is not convenient right now, leave your call back details in the form on the left.
What If I am Partly to Blame?
Sometimes injury victims are reluctant to bring a claims case because they feel that they were at least partly to blame for the accident.
It is not at all unusual for the actions of two or more people or organisations to contribute in some way to an accident. In fact, the term contributory negligence describes the relative percentage of blame when a compensation award is being considered.
For example, if a pedestrian ran across a road in a built-up area and was hit by a car, the pedestrian must assume some of the blame for the accident. In inner cities, the onus is on car drivers to be aware of pedestrians and drive with due caution but every individual must take responsibility for taking care of his own well-being and safety.
If his contributory negligence was assessed at 40% the final settlement awarded would be reduced by 40%.
Against Whom is a Claim Made?
The person or organisation against whom a case is brought is called the defendant or the respondent. Who this is depends on who bears responsibility for the accident. In the case of a work related injury this would most likely be the employing company. However, if a work related injury is seen to have been caused or exacerbated by an individual – perhaps a manager or company – foreman that person would also be named as a defendant.
One of the most common accident types is ‘slips, trips and falls’. The Respondent in these cases will be the person or organisation who owns or is responsible for the area where the accident happened. For example, if you tripped over a broken slab in the pavement and broke your ankle, the respondent would be the local authority which has the responsibility for the upkeep of the walkways of the town. On the other hand, should you have fallen by slipping on spilt liquid at the local supermarket, it is the supermarket company that will be have to defend the case.
What Does Compensation Cover?
A compensation award is intended to compensate the victim for pain and suffering. There is a general guideline for monetary awards based on the location and severity of the injury and its potential to cause ongoing medical problems.
Consideration is also given to out-of -pocket expenses, immediate loss of earnings, future loss of earnings and material damage.
Should the injury suffered have been so traumatic as to have caused the victim to require ongoing medical care or adaptations to their home or lifestyle, the expenses involved will be taken into account.
Further consideration will be given to any loss of enjoyment (social life, sporting activities) that the victim will experience as a direct result of the accident.
Call our advice line today on 1-800 989 999. Nothing can set your mind at rest regarding your compensation claim better than speaking to someone who understands the legal system.