Accidents at work – legal guidelines from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

Work injury claim: find out what a workplace accident claim for compensation is, how to start a claim against your employer and why the law only allows you two years to start your claim from the date of your injury before it is too late.

What is a work injury claim for compensation?
Before you find out how to start your claim it is important you appreciate what a work injury claim for compensation actually is.

A work injury claim for compensation is a claim for money to compensate you for injuries you have received – both physical and psychiatric – and expenses you have incurred as a result of an accident at work.

A compensation claim is also known as a damages claim as it is the damage caused to your person and your finances as a result of an accident.

How do you start an accident at work claim against your employer?
An accident at work claim is commenced when you send what is known as a “letter of claim” to your employer, which should include the following details:

1. Your personal details – including your name.

2. A description of how your accident happened.

3. An explanation as to why you believe your employer is responsible for your accident.

4. A description of the law you are relying on to claim your employer is responsible for your accident.

5. A full description of your injuries – both physical and psychiatric. If injuries are ongoing you should state this.

6. A description of your financial expenses as a result of your work accident. Any ongoing expenses should be stated.

As you are making your claim against your employer he will have the details of your lost income, but it is still important to include lost income in your letter.

7. A request that any relevant documents that your employer has should be sent to you. There exists an obligation on your employer to send you copies.

8. A request that your employer send a copy of your letter of claim to his insurers.

Your employer’s insurers will often be reluctant to take your letter of claim seriously unless a solicitor has drafted the letter of claim.

How do your start your work injury claim in court if necessary?
Often a letter of claim will not be enough to force your employer or his insurers to offer you the correct level of compensation, so you will need to take the next step of starting your claim in court known legally as applying to the Injuries Board.

How long after your injury at work do you have to start your claim for compensation?
In Ireland, the law allows you two years from the date of your accident at work to start your compensation which is the same time period for most types of accident claims.

Work Injury Claim Summary
You now know what a work injury claim for compensation is, how long you have to start a claim before it is too late and how to start a claim both in and out of court.

– legal guidelines from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon

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Accidents on our roads – making a claim for compensation – a legal guide from Kilkenny Law firm Holland Condon

Road Traffic Accidents of course account for a great percentage of all accidents in ireland and all drivers of vehicles are required by law to have some type of insurance cover which could be Fully Comprehensive (fully comp) or Third Party Fire and/or Theft.

These types of insurance policies give protection for anybody who might be involved in a crash or other accident and suffer personal injury due to the driver’s negligence and might want to make a traffic accident claim regardless of whether or not the driver was prosecuted by the Gardai. If it’s found that a negligent driver had no insurance or inadequate insurance when the accident occurred, you could still be capable of bringing a road traffic accident compensation claim through the MIBI.

****What if you’re the driver?
A driver can make a road traffic accident claim for loss and injuries if another person or party was responsible for the accident. This is usually another driver. However, under some situations the accident might have been caused due to the negligent actions of a different party. For instance if the roads weren’t gritted so they stayed icy and in a dangerous condition, an accident claim can be submitted against the party accountable for keeping the roads maintained.

In the event the accident also involved a cyclist or pedestrian that were later found to be at fault, an accident claim might still be made despite the fact that the offending party might not have any insurance cover. Nonetheless, in these instances it might not be worth bringing forward an accident claim.

****How do you stand as a passenger?
A passenger who has been involved in a road traffic accident in practically all instances can bring a successful personal injury claim for damages in which they have received injuries.

Passengers are in general considered as blameless casualties that have suffered because of somebody else’s negligence. Even so, failing to conform with the law in regards to the wearing of a seat belt could determine the level of damages received in any accident claims award.

****Cyclists can also make an accident claim
If a cyclist has been involved in an accident in which there has been a third party responsible, an injury compensation claim can be brought.

In addition to getting damages for injuries, you might also be able to recuperate losses for any damages to your bike/motorbike and your clothing together with loss of any earnings.

****What if you’re a pedestrian?
A pedestrian should be able to get compensation by means of a personal injury claim for his or her injuries if they are able to prove that injuries were caused by a third party.

If you are a pedestrian who has been involved in an accident and are to some extent to blame, you could still be eligible to some level of damages.

****What happens if an animal causes an accident on the road?
Unfortunately, animals that find their way onto roads can be the reason for an accident. Owners of livestock like horses or cattle are also responsible towards road users’ safety by having and keeping ample levels of protection as regards to their livestock getting loose.

If it can be found that the owner responsible for an animal involved in an accident failed to manage their animal/animals with regards to the safety of road users, a personal injury claim for any damages (and a claim for vehicle damage) can be brought against them.

– a legal guide from Kilkenny Law firm Holland Condon

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Collecting Debts from other Irish residents – latest news – a legal update from Holland Condon Solicitors

In March, 2014 there were 346 Irish debtors brought to the courts by their creditors. The total value of unpaid debts reached €17.6m with an average debt value of €270k.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd (In Special Liquidation), Dublin obtained the largest judgment for €2.9m. The judgment was against Donal O’Mahony of 17, Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2.

The Collector General registered 133 judgments valuing €4.5m. The highest judgment registered by the Collector General was against businessman Gerard Herwood, Knockdoe, Claregalway, Co Galway for €458k.

ACC Bank plc, Dublin, obtained a judgment of €746k against Brendan Sheridan of 13, Gleann Aras Drive, Grenagh, County Cork, Mark Hornibrook of 14, Lios na Ri, Grenagh, County Cork and Anthony Hornibrook of 44, Beechrise, Crannard, Pike Road, Fermoy, County Cork, all of whom were trading under the name of Elite Properties were held jointly and severlly liable for €746k.

The news isn’t good for PiPs either – who believe that there appears to be no fee income in the area of debt advice !

The designation Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) is not something earned easily or taken on lightly. Individuals seeking the honour must complete a rigorous, formal education, testing exams, to say nothing of fitness and probity examinations, strict systems and compliance obligations and not insubstantial fees to boot: all of this in pursuit of a living that to date has proved something less than lucrative.

But that is to focus unduly on the monetary rewards aspect of the profession. In fact, the most vocal grievance currently being articulated by PIPs is the fact that their actual description – Personal Insolvency Practitioner – is something of a misnomer. As one disgruntled PIP wryly puts it, the designation should be “P-PIP” – Partial Personal Insolvency Practitioner.

The reason for this is that in fact when it comes to actually working with the over indebted, the hands of the PIP are often so tied as to be useless. The principal cause of this state of affairs is the new Central Bank rules on debt management services that came into effect in October of last year.

Anecdotal evidence from PIPs suggest that a majority of individuals approaching PIPs for their services simply do not qualify for any of the three schemes of arrangement on offer. The chronic personal debt difficulties afflicting the country range well beyond those mired in negative equity. That being the case, PIPs are precluded from offering debt management advice unless they have applied to the Central Bank for authorization.

– a legal update from Holland Condon Solicitors

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Buying property – Land Registry reduces its fees – a legal briefing from Holland Condon Kilkenny

Great news for property buyers – the Land Registry for a second time in 3 years have reduced their fees for applcations. Only trouble is, it’s the Land Registry in the U.K..

The Irish Land Registry have, on the other hand, during this recession, increased fees on two occasions !

As they say, “Go Figure!”

– a legal briefing from Holland Condon Kilkenny

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Identity theft of Solicitors firms, a headache for U.K. legal firms – a news update from Kilkenny based law firm Holland Condon

Everyone who uses the internet needs to be vigilant when it comes to revealing personal information.

U.K. solicitors are being advised by the English Law Society of current scams and threats.

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) have discovered that fraudsters have been sending emails to law firms claiming to be from the SRA.

Reports were received from solicitors’ firms saying they had been sent messages purportedly from the SRA, some of which referred to pending investigations. Two of these were sent from an email account that does not end in @sra.org.uk, while another – discovered around St.Patrick’s day – appeared to be from an SRA email account but wasn’t.

It suggested the firm could be at risk of having its authorisation revoked, and directed the recipient to a website designed to look like the SRA’s pages. The SRA have since had this site shut down.

All emails were reported to appropriate authorities for investigation, and SRA have also been conducting their own internal investigation. The information used for the scams was gleaned from sources outside of the SRA !

Firms that receive such emails were advised not to open them, to forward them to fraud@sra.org.uk, and then to delete them. Firms that have opened the attachment were advised to report it to their bank and IT provider.

Email is the profession’s preferred method of communication, and firms were advised to remind themselves of sound IT security practices. The SRA recently highlighted the problems posed by cybercrime in the Risk Outlook update paper, Spiders in the Web.
This deals with the subjects of phishing, malware and identity theft among others, and any firm that uses IT for its business should be aware of these risks.

– a news update from Kilkenny based law firm Holland Condon

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Owning an apartment – the management company – legal newsbrief from Holland Condon solicitors Kilkenny

The Multi-Unit Developments Act, 2011 came into effect on 1 April 2011. It regulates the ownership and management of the common areas of multi-unit developments, and provides for the setting up of owners’ management companies to manage such areas.

The Act provides that an owners’ management company must be set up, and the common areas of the development transferred to it, before the developer sells any units. For existing developments where one or more units had already been sold, the developer had 6 months from when the Act came into effect – until 30 September 2011 – to transfer ownership of the common areas.

**New multi-unit developments
The Act places obligations on the developer of a multi-unit development before the sale of any unit in the development may take place:
•An owners’ management company must be established. The common areas of the development must have been transferred to that management company. This must be done at the expense of the developer.

**Existing multi-unit developments
In developments where a residential unit had already been sold but the common areas had not been transferred to the owners’ management company, the developer was obliged to transfer ownership of the relevant parts of the common areas to the owners’ management company within six months of the date the Act came into effect – that is, by 30 September 2011 at the latest. The developer remains responsible for the completion of the common areas.

### Apartment Owner’s Rights
Each residential unit is entitled to membership of the owners’ management company and is generally entitled to one vote. Where alternative arrangements are already in operation, these may be continued provided they are just and equitable.

In some existing developments, directors appointed by the developer are entitled to remain as directors for life. This is no longer possible since 1 April 2011 and directors in place on 1 April 2011 must cease to be directors by 1 April 2014 at the latest. All new directors will be limited to a term of 3 years.

***Obligations of owners’ management companies
#Owners’ management companies must comply with company law generally and with the specific obligations imposed by this Act. The main specific obligations of an owners’ management company to the members – the owners of the units – are as follows:

#Register of members
The company must supply the buyer with a share or membership certificate and ensure that the register of members is updated. The members are obliged to keep the company informed of any relevant changes.

#Annual report
The company must prepare an annual report and hold an annual meeting to discuss the report. The report must include details of income and expenditure, annual service charges, the sinking fund account, planned expenditure on maintenance and repair, insurance cover and contracts entered into by the company. The members must be given 21 days’ notice of the meeting and be provided with the report 10 days before the meeting. The annual general meeting must take place reasonably close to the multi-unit development unless 75% of the members of the company agree otherwise.

#Service charges
The company must establish a scheme for annual service charges to pay for the maintenance, insurance and repair of common areas within its control and for the provision of common services (for example, security) to unit owners. The initial charge may be set without holding a meeting of the members but, in general, these charges must be approved by a general meeting of the members. If over 75% of the members do not approve the proposed charge, the existing charge must remain in place. The service charge may not be used to pay for matters which are the responsibility of a developer or builder unless this is agreed in writing by 75% of the members of the company. This approval may only be given if 65% of the units are sold and can only come into effect three years after the transfer of ownership of the common areas to the owners’ management company. In the case of unsold units, the owner, including the developer, must pay the service charge. The service charge must be calculated on a transparent and fair basis and expenditure must be properly recorded.

#Sinking fund
Within 3 years of the transfer of ownership to it (or 18 months in the case of existing developments, that is, by 30 September 2012), it must establish a sinking fund for spending on refurbishment, improvement or maintenance of a non-recurring nature of the multi-unit development. Unit owners are obliged to make contributions to it (including developers in the case of unsold units). The Act provides that the amount is to be €200 annually or such other amount as the members agree. Contributions to the sinking fund must be held in a separate account.

#House rules
The owners’ management company may make house rules for the effective operation and maintenance of the multi-unit development. These rules must be agreed by a meeting of members but the first set of rules may be made by the company before the sale of the first unit. Where a unit is let, it must be a term of the letting that it is subject to the observance of the house rules by the tenants.

#Long-term contracts
The company may not enter into contracts with providers of goods and services which are to last for more than 3 years.

#Dispute resolution
Any person affected may apply to the Circuit Court for an order to enforce any rights conferred or obligation imposed under the Act. This includes the owners’ management company, a unit owner, a trustee under a will or other settlement and the developer.

The Court, instead of making an order, may direct the parties to attempt to solve the matter by mediation.

– legal newsbrief from Holland Condon solicitors Kilkenny

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High Court sits in Kilkenny – legal news from Kilkenny solicitors firm Holland Condon

Two High Court Judges are presently sitting in Kilkenny Courthouse. They are hearing compensation claims for injuries sustained in accidents. The majority of the injury claims arise from accidents that occurred in Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford.

Most awards of money exceeded €40,000. The Judges finish hearing cases this coming Friday.

During this week, a retirement dinner is scheduled to honour retiring Supreme Court Judge, Niall Fennelly.

- legal news from Kilkenny solicitors firm Holland Condon

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Compensation money for infant injury claims – lodging money into court – a legal news update from Kilkenny Lawyers Holland Condon

The Irish Law Society’s Litigation Committee’s attention has been drawn to an instance of an award of €74,500 being lodged in court on behalf of a minor plaintiff in August 2012 that, when paid out of court in June 2013, was reduced to €72,825.44.

The reduction resulted primarily from stamp duty totalling €1,683.60 levied on the investment and the payment out, as well as exit tax on the realised gain.

In instances where an award is made in favour of a minor plaintiff who will shortly attain majority, the Litigation Committee recommends that, in appropriate cases, consideration be given to applying to the court to have the moneys paid to a responsible adult to hold as trustee, rather than having moneys lodged in court.

– a legal news update from Kilkenny law firm Holland Condon

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Increase in average injury claim payout by Injuries Board, Ireland – a legal newsbrief from Kilkenny accident claim solicitors Holland Condon

We see that the Irish Injuries Board made 10,656 personal injury awards in 2013, an increase of 5.1% compared to 2012. According to their Annual Review, the total value of these awards by the Injuries Board was €243.5m, an increase of 11.7% on the €218m awarded in 2012.

The number of new claims received by the Board for the whole of 2013 – a useful barometer of future award volumes – increased by 5.8% on 2012 figures, driven by an 8.2% increase in motor claims, which are typically of lower value.

The average award in 2013 was €22,847; this increase from €21,502 in 2012. This is good news for anyone injured at work or in any type of an accident.

Some interesting points in the report were =
 During 2013, it made its highest ever compensation award of
€1.39m
 Three quarters of awards (75%) were for injuries from road traffic accidents while the remainder were split between workplace injuries(8%) and public place (17%) accidents.
 County Limerick had the largest number of awards as a proportion of population with County Kilkenny having the lowest number of awards per head of population.

Kilkenny has been the lowest claimant county for many years now. Good news for the insurance companies and not so good news for lawyers!!!

– a legal newsbrief from Kilkenny accident claim solicitors Holland Condon

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Some good news for next of kin of deceased persons – a legal news update by Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny

The maximum amount of damages for mental distress that can be awarded to dependants/next-of-kin of a deceased person in wrongful death claims has been increased from €25,394.76 to €35,000 with effect from the 11th January, 2014.

– a legal news update by Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny

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