Suffering from a personal injury can be a very stressful experience. A lot of claimants reach a settlement (Personal Injury Claims) with insurance companies before they seek legal advice meaning they are not fully aware of what their entitlements are and how much they may be entitled to. A claimant has 2 years from the date of their injury within which to initiate a claim for personal injuries.
In the first instance, a personal injury claim must be filed with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). The PIAB provides an independent assessment of personal injury compensation for victims of the workplace, motor and public liability accidents. A Claimant must bring an application before the PIAB within two years of the date of the injury. An Application Form is available from the PIAB website. A report from the Claimant’s doctor should also be sought as soon as possible after an injury.
The Claimant will then be issued with an application number specific to his/her personal injury claim. The PIAB will only assess a claim if the other party consents to have the case assessed. If the person against whom the claim is being made does not reply to the PIAB, they are deemed to have consented and the PIAB will make an assessment. The PIAB assessment can take up to 9 months depending on the circumstances. Claimants are advised to review the “Book of Quantum.” which sets out the average compensation awards for different types of personal injury. This will give a claimant an idea as to what award to potentially expect.
Any costs incurred such as doctors’ bills, travel etc. can be awarded in addition to the award set out in the Book of Quantum. Once the Board has made an award, the Claimant has 28 days to accept or reject the award. The person against whom the personal injury claim is made has 21 days to accept or reject the award and again if they fail to respond, they are deemed to have accepted it. If the Claimant or the person against whom the claim has been made rejects the award, they are entitled to issue legal proceedings.