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personal injury

Suffering a personal injury can be a life altering event.  Sheridan FitzGerald is happy to act on your behalf in all matters of personal injuries to include:

  • Workplace Accidents

  • Trip/Slip and Fall

  • Road Traffic Accidents

  • Defective Product Accidents

If you have suffered a personal injury, it is important that you attend a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident.  Your case will be handled by a Partner in our firm and you can always count on the quality and efficiency of your firm.  If you have any queries we are just a telephone call away.

 

Under the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004, a Plaintiff is obliged to send a letter of claim to the Defendants within 2 months of the date of the accident.  This is not as simple as it sounds as it is necessary to identify the correct Defendant and the correct title of the Defendant.

 

Statute of Limitations

The time limits within which you can bring a civil action in Ireland are set out in the Statute of Limitations, 1957, as amended by the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Acts, 1991 and 2000.

 

However, other limitation periods are set out in the Civil Liability Act, 1961, the Liability for Defective Products Act 1991 and the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004.

 

Actions for Personal Injury Based on Negligence, Nuisance or Breach of Duty

 

Actions in this category must be brought within 2 years of

 

a)      The date on which the cause of action accrued or

 

b)      The date on which the Plaintiff first had knowledge of the injury, that the injury was significant, and the identity of the defendant.

 

Fatal Injury Actions

 

Actions for fatal injury claims must be brought within 2 years of the date of death.

 

You should contact us as soon as you have knowledge that you might have a claim.

 

Injuries Board

 

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, now known as the Injuries Board.ie, was formed under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act, 2003.

 

Generally, all personal injury claims must first be submitted to the Injuries Board for assessment.  These assessments must be on consent of the Respondent (liable party) and often undervalue your injuries.  Sheridan FitzGerald will advise you fully on whether to accept or reject any assessment.

 

Book of Quantum

 

In assessing your damages as a result of your injuries, the Injury Board.  Please see the link below:

 

https://www.piab.ie/eng/forms-guidelines/Book-of-Quantum.pdf

 

The Respondent will be given a choice to allow the Injuries Board to assess your case or to refuse.  If the Respondent refuses for the Injuries Board to assess your injuries, you will be furnished with an Authorisation to Proceed which means you can file proceedings in either the District, Circuit or High Court depending on the value of your case. 

 

If the Respondent consents to assessment, the Injuries Board will usually assess your injuries unless the injuries are psychological in nature or unusually complex.

 

Both you and the Respondent may accept or reject the assessment.  If we advise you to reject the assessment

 

Once the Authorisation to Proceed is received, you can issue proceedings in either the District, Circuit or High Court depending on the value of your case.

 

Jurisdiction

 

We will advise you as to which jurisdiction your case should be filed.  This is based off of the likely value of your case. 

 

The District Court jurisdiction is up to €15,0000.00.

 

The jurisdiction of the Circuit Court personal injury actions (as defined in Section 2 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004) is between €15,0001.00 and €60,000.

 

The jurisdiction of the High Court is above €60,000.00

 

Costs

 

There are two different principle types of costs.  The first is solicitor and own client costs which are the actual costs of prosecuting your case and include your solicitors’ costs, the barrister’s costs, stamp duty and any other outlay to include experts’ fees.  We will always keep you fully advised on cost incurred.

 

The second is party & party costs which are the costs that may be awarded in your favour against the defendant(s).  These costs are paid on de minimis basis meaning that the costs will always be less than the solicitor and own client costs; however, the great majority of your costs should be recovered.

 

Sheridan FitzGerald will keep you regularly updated on your costs throughout the case.  Most cases will be taken on a no foul no fee basis which means if you do not win or if you do not cease your instructions to our firm, you will not be liable for any legal fees outside of basic outlays such as stamp duty and expert reports.

 

Steps in Proceedings

 

Personal Injury Summons

This document sets out the facts of your claim, the injuries you suffered and the basis that you claim the Defendant(s) is/are liable for your injuries and loss.  This document will be drawn by your solicitors with the assistance of a barrister.

 

Appearance

After the Personal Injury Summons is filed and served upon the Defendant(s), he/she/it/they will have to file an Appearance noting which solicitors firm is representing them.

 

If the Defendant fails to file an Appearance a motion can be filed seeking judgement in default of Appearance. 

 

Notice for Further Information

After the Defendant files an Appearance, the Defendant may deliver a Notice for Further Information. 

 

Under section 11 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004 you will be obliged to furnish:

  1. particulars of any personal injuries action brought by the plaintiff in which a court made an award of damages,

  2. (b) particulars of any personal injuries action brought by the plaintiff which was withdrawn or settled,

  3. (c) particulars of any injuries sustained or treatment administered to the plaintiff that would have a bearing on the personal injuries to which the personal injuries action relates, and

  4. (d) the name of any persons from whom the plaintiff received such medical treatment,

in this Act referred to as “further information”.

 

The Defendant may also request details relating to relating to any earnings or other income in respect of which the plaintiff is making a claim.

 

Sheridan FitzGerald will prepare replies and will request that you attend our offices, to confirm the accuracy and for any additional instructions.

 

At this point, the Defendant (the liable party) will deliver its Defence.  This may be a full defence denying both liability and that you suffered an injury.  Often you are blamed for contributory negligence.  Sheridan FitzGerald will ensure you are fully advised of the impact and effect of the Defence.

 

Following receipt of the Defence, it may be necessary to seek discovery (a list of relevant documentation relating the accident location or procedures of the Defendant) and sight of those documents.

 

After Sheridan FitzGerald has reviewed the discovery documentation and commissioned all necessary expert reports, we will send your case to a barrister for Advice on Proofs.  This documents discusses the strength of your case and advices what, if anything, will be required before the matter can proceed to trial.

 

Once your case is ready for trial we will issue a Notice of Trial and apply for a hearing date.  As soon as a hearing date has been assigned we will notify you and then write to each and every witness to ensure their availability to attend.

 

If is not uncommon that a few days or even on the morning of the hearing that the Defendant will make settlement proposals.  Sheridan FitzGerald will have already discussed the value and the costs of your case at this point so you will not be forced into making any rash decisions.

 

After the case is settled or won, it may take a few weeks for the cheque to arrive.  The cheque must first be lodged into our accounts until it is cleared.  We will then prepare final accounts and furnish you with the balance.