Is your compensation guaranteed when you are injured – an advice note on Irish law by Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

The simple answer “No”.

Even where you have a 100% compensation claim (i.e. a case certain to win), there’s no guarantee that you will get any money. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the one we focus on today is – Is the person responsible for your injury insured ?

If they are not, then, the chances of recovering money reduce. Remember, whilst most people will have insurance, it’s not a certainty, nor is it a legal requirement to have insurance, except in the case of motor vehicles that go on the public road – drivers must have insurance, and even if they don’t the Irish Insurance companies will cover the claim through the MIBI.

If there is no insurance, great care is needed in making a decision to proceed against the responsible party. You could get a court award for huge money, but, at the end of the day, the Court Order is merely a piece of paper. It’s not cash, and to convert it to cash may take a long time and a lot of costs.

Think hard before suing an uninsured defendant.

- an advice note on Irish law by Kilkenny based Solicitors Holland Condon

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Irish State benefits paid to injury claimants needs to be repaid – an update on Irish Compensation Law from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

The Recoverable Benefits and Assistance Scheme will come into effect on 1 August 2014.

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2013, provides that certain social welfare payments, which are normally deductible from a claimant’s personal injury claim for loss of earnings, are now recoverable by the State. In summary:

  1. The payments to be recovered are Illness Benefit, Partial Capacity Benefit, Injury Benefit, Disablement Pension (incapacity supplement), Invalidity pension and Disability Allowance relating to the personal injury.  They are limited to a maximum period of five years from the date of first entitlement to the benefit.
  2. The obligation is on the “compensator” to reimburse the Minister for Social Protection directly for any “recoverable benefits” received by the claimant from the State.
  3. The “compensator” must apply to the Minister for a Statement of Recoverable Benefits before making any compensation payment.
  4. The Minister must within four weeks from receipt of the request, issue a statement which will remain valid for a 3-month-period and must at the same time, issue a copy to the injured person/claimant. The compensator must discharge the amount specified in the statement.
  5. If a compensator fails to pay the Minister the amount of recoverable benefits in advance of making a compensation payment, the compensator remains liable to pay on demand the full amount due to the Minister.
  6. If there are two or more compensators, they are jointly and severally liable to the Minister.
  7. The Act does not apply to fatal injuries claims or to specified compensation schemes.
  8. The compensator may reduce the compensation for loss of earnings or profits payable to the claimant by the amount the compensator has paid to the Minister in respect of the total recoverable benefits in the matter. The compensator must notify the claimant accordingly and cannot reduce any other element of the compensation, e.g. general damages, on these grounds.

Special care needs to be taken in the following circumstances:

  • Settlement talks on short notice. While it is possible to seek expedition, the Act envisages a four-week period from the request of the statement of recoverable benefit to the delivery of the statement.
  • Where there is apportionment of liability (e.g. contributory negligence). The Scheme does not allow for a pro-rata reduction in the recoverable benefits payable to the State except on foot of a court order confirming the apportionment of liability.
  • Where no loss of earnings claim is pleaded by the Plaintiff.
  • Where there are un-insured co-defendants.

The Department of Social Protection has indicated that it is currently preparing the relevant forms and a guide to the scheme.

- an update on Irish Compensation Law from Kilkenny solicitors Holland Condon

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Accidents at work – a note on Irish Law from Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny

An Employer owes his staff a very high duty to keep them from harm and to ensure they are protected whilst working for them.Your employer is required by law to ensure the health and safety of all workers and to make proper records of any accident that happens in the workplace.

Essentially, we need to show that your employer is to blame in some way for your injury. Perhaps, they are partly to blame, and that’s good enough to launch a legal compensation claim.

Here are some examples of accidents at work =

    • Building Site Accident Claims
    • Construction Accident Claims
    • Defective Work Equipment Compensation
    • Forklift Injury Claims
    • Ladder Fall Claim
    • Manual Handling Injuries
    • Platform Work Accident
    • Defective machinery
    • Defective work practices
    • Occupational injury claims
    • Asbestosis Compensation Claim
    • Repetitive Strain Injury
    • Deafness Claim
    • Dermatitis Industrial Injury
    • Asbestos Compensation
    • Slip and fall whilst working claims
    • Deafness and tinnitus Claims
  • Miners claims
  • Loss of limbs or cuts from work cutting equipment.

It’s important to take legal advice on your work injury claim. More importantly is to be put in touch with leading medical experts to help you get better, or improve your state of health. We can assist on all these fronts.

- a note on Irish Injury claims from Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny

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New occupiers of rated properties – an update on Irish Law from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

The owner of a property is now obliged to advise the local rates office of any change in occupation of a rated commercial property, e.g. sale, new lease. They have 14 days to inform the local authority.

This law was announced to Kilkenny residents via the Kilkenny People newspaper last week. Kilkenny County Council have a specific form on their website that can be used.

Local Government Reform Act 2014

The Local Government Reform Act, 2014 provides for a wide range of reforms to local authority functions, structures and funding, and includes a number of changes in respect of commercial rates.

New duty on owners/ratepayers in relation to a transfer of property

Section 32 of the Act places -

● An obligation on property owners, or their agents, to notify the Local Authority where an interest in a rateable property is transferred and the person liable for rates changes.

● The person transferring the property, either the owner or occupier, must discharge all rates for which he/she is liable at the date of transfer.

Failure to notify Kilkenny County Council of a change in interest within 14 days of the transfer date, may result in a penalty for non-compliance in that, the owner becomes liable for an amount which is equivalent to the level of outstanding liabilities (up to a maximum of 2 years liability).

This obligation comes into effect on 1st July, 2014

– an update on Irish Law from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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Annual Taxes payable on Homes in Ireland 2014 – from a law firm based in Kilkenny Holland Condon

Recently, we have received a number of queries asking if NPPR tax is payable for this year(i.e. 2014). Consequently, we have decided to recap on the current state of play.

NPPR TAX – this tax is payable in respect of residences that are not your principal home or that of a non-paying relative eg rental properties and holiday homes must pay this tax. The tax is now replaced with the LPT tax listed below. NPPR was payable from 2009 -to- 2013 inclusive. If the tax has not been paid, then it should be. For more information visit www.nppr.ie

HOUSEHOLD CHARGE – another tax on any residential properties. It was around for one year in 2012 and has been replaced by LPT tax. The charge is still payable and you can visit www.householdcharge.ie

LPT TAX – this is the only tax currently payable on all residential accommodation and is based on the market value of the property. As a seller, you need to have it paid to date to be able to sell your house. As a buyer, you need to ensure the seller did not undervalue the property in their returns to revenue because if they did, you are obliged to “snitch” on them to revenue to avoid a fine !! Visit www.revenue.ie/lpt

- from a law firm based in Kilkenny “Holland Condon Solicitors”

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Do I need a solicitor to make an injury claim ? – an opinion from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

The straight answer to the question is no you don’t need to use a solicitor to make an injury claim. You can make the compensation claim yourself. In fact, the Irish Government policy is to encourage people not to use solicitors.

At every turn in the injury claim process, the citizen is coaxed to do the claim themselves.

We would contend that this is unwise and that you should employ a solicitor for the following reasons :-

* A personal injury solicitor will know all the different types of losses you can claim. If you attempt to make your own claim, it is very likely you will not include all the losses that you are entitled to claim.

* A personal injury solicitor will be able to obtain more compensation for your injuries. A personal injury specialist solicitor will not only have access to the most recent law on the value of your injury, but in addition will be taken far more seriously than you would be when any offers of compensation are made.

* A personal injury solicitor will know what evidence is necessary to prove your claim.

– an opinion from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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English Land Registry prepares to go paperless !! – an update on legal news from Holland Condon Solicitors in Kilkenny

From Monday 30 June,2014, the English Land Registry will no longer require original documents to be sent when you apply to change the register of a registered property by post or through an electronic channel.

Instead, Land Registry only need certified copies of deeds or documents to be sent with applications.

If you send an original document after June 30, Land Registry will accept it, but it will be scanned and then destroyed.

Land Registry currently returns original documents that are submitted with certified copies. After June 30, this will no longer happen: Land Registry will destroy both the original document and certified copies after scanning.

This change does not apply to first registrations – applications for first registration will need original documents.

Land Registry has made this change to align the registration processes for paper applications and applications made through e-DRS (e-DRS only accepts certified copies).

One wonders how long it will be before the Irish Land registry follows suit.

– an update on legal news from Holland Condon Solicitors in Kilkenny

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Paying Inheritance and/or Gift tax in 2014 – a legal news briefing from Kilkenny solicitors Holland Condon

Extension of deadline for payment of CAT online The Revenue Commissioners issued eBrief 30 on 24 April which confirmed that the pay and file deadline for CAT, where the valuation date arises on or before 31 August 2014, has been extended.

The deadline date where taxpayers, or their advisers, use the Revenue Online System (ROS) to both file a return and pay CAT is now Thursday 13 November 2014.

•View eBrief 30 on the Revenue website = http://www.revenue.ie/en/practitioner/ebrief/2014/no-302014.html

Please note, if either the return or the payment is made manually, the pay and file deadline of 31 October 2014 still applies.

– a legal news briefing from Kilkenny solicitors Holland Condon

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My child has been injured, can they make an injury compensation claim – a legal advice note from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

CHILDREN AND INJURY CLAIMS
A child, who has had an accident, cannot make a claim on their own behalf until the age of 18 years, but an adult can make a claim on that child’s behalf.
This adult is known as “litigation friend” or “next friend” and deals with the everyday handling of the case. Normally a “litigation friend” will be the child’s natural parent. If it is not a natural parent – proof will be required to show that individual is legally entitled to act on the child’s behalf.
A child cannot instruct a solicitor to make an accident claim – no contract signed by child is binding. Once again a “next friend” is necessary and will bound by the contract agreed personally, but on the child’s behalf.

HOW LONG HAS A CHILD TO MAKE A CLAIM
Generally, a child has until their 20th birthday to start a child accident claim and an adult normally has only two years from the date of an accident to start a claim.
The law in the Republic of Ireland has been designed to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society (e.g. children) have every opportunity to claim the compensation they are entitled to.
So if you have an accident on your 15th birthday. You have 5 years to start a claim.

HOW CAN A CHILD’S INJURY CLAIM BE SETTLED
Even though the “next friend” and their personal injury solicitor are acting in the interests of a child neither has the power to finalise a child’s accident compensation claim without the involvement of the court in what is known as an “infant approval case” or a “minor ruling”.
At this hearing, the judge will consider all the evidence in the claim and the offer of compensation made.
The judge will need to see a barrister’s written opinion reviewing all the evidence gathered by the solicitor and confirming that the amount of compensation offered is sufficient.
A “barrister” is a lawyer who specialises in advocacy and legal research.
The judge will look very carefully at the medical evidence and any future complications. The judge will want to see that it is fully known what the future holds – if there is any doubt then the judge will more than likely prefer to wait for an updating medical report than to conclude a child accident claim too early.
Only when the judge is happy will the judge allow the offer of compensation to be accepted and the claim to conclude.
The judge will look very carefully at the medical report, speak to the “next friend”, and sometimes the child, to ensure that any future injury symptoms are known. If in doubt the judge will normally request to see an updating medical report setting out clearly any likely future problems before allowing the claim to conclude.

TO WHOM IS THE CHILDS COMPENSATION PAID
To protect your child from spending the compensation recklessly the compensation paid by the party at fault is invested in the court funds office until your child reaches 18 years of age.
No one can touch the money until your child is 18 years old, but a small amount can be paid out at the discretion of the judge if The judge feels it necessary; for example money for the child’s education, health needs etc.

WHEN WILL THE CHILD GET THE MONEY
After reaching 18years, the child can apply for the invested monies with the interest earned be paid to them.Many parents feel it’s far too young and they don’t tell their child about the court money until the child is in their 20′s.

- a legal advice note from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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Do you know what the current average injury compensation award is in Ireland ? – a commentary on law from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

Over the last few days, we’ve been looking at various Irish websites that promote injury claim compensation services. Some of these firms have indicated average figures for injury claims.

For instance, one site states=
“In Ireland, it would appear that the average Injury compensation award for
**a motor accident is
€ 21,000
**a work accident is
€ 28,000
**a slip, trip or fall is
€ 23,400″

We are not so sure how these figures were arrived at as there is no one source that collates such information. Our guess is that it’s based on the Injuries Board’s annual reports. So, it doesn’t take account of the 90% of cases that are settled before court ( and the public do not know what compensation figure was agreed), or, indeed, the court awards for personal injuries.

The amount of compensation is determined by many factors; including the severity of the injury and the length of pain (timeframe) suffered by the injured person.

– a commentary on law from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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