The Irish Injuries Board goes to great lengths to convince the public not to use Irish Solicitors in assisting them making an injury claim. They suggest “we will make sure you’re looked after by us”.
Is this credible ? Perhaps, it is, but I doubt it. Obviously, I’m not objective.
Leaving aside that question, let’s put forward the reasons you should engage a solicitor, if you are making a claim for injury compensation :-
*****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 you are entitled to claim.
Take for example a loss known as “loss of assistance in the home”. If as a result of your accident, you are unable to do certain jobs that you would ordinarily do in the home. If someone else has to do these jobs for you, even your partner, you are entitled to make a claim for their time.
Or, did you know you could claim for a top of the range orthopaedic mattress where your suffered a back injury.
The Injuries Board or an insurance company, who may have agreed to pay you some compensation is not under any duty to advise you about all the items, you can claim for NOR will they tell you.
*****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 also they will be taken far more seriously than you would be, when any offers of compensation are made.
For these reasons, a personal injury solicitor is much more likely to negotiate larger sums of compensation than you could if you were making your own claim.
Even with the involvement of an accident solicitor an insurance company responsible for paying your compensation may offer too low a sum of money. Your lawyer will know that by starting your claim in court that insurance company will quickly change its approach and pay the correct sum or be forced by the court to do so.
*****A personal injury solicitor will know what evidence is necessary to prove your claim.*****
Imagine you have been involved in a car crash involving a head on collision with another motor vehicle. In the crash you broke your ribs, suffered severe back pain and you were knocked unconscious.
A specialist personal injury lawyer will know that a consultant orthopaedic report is needed to describe your broken ribs and back problems. He will also know that the fact your were knocked unconscious suggests an injury to the brain – a consultant neurosurgeon report will be necessary to describe any brain injury.
But what about any psychological injuries? A specialist personal injury lawyer will know to discuss possible symptoms such as sleepless nights, irritation, depression etc., which could suggest psychological injury and if necessary have a consultant psychiatric report prepared. Compensation for psychological injury can be quite substantial.
If you slipped or fell, would you think of putting away your shoes as evidence and not wearing them again. I came across a case where the defence suggested the shoes were slippy, in a case where the claimant had continued to wear the shoes for two years after the accident. The shoes at that stage were well-worn, and slippery. What is a court to do in that scenario?
***** Will you sue the right person? *****
Time and again, I’ve come across this problem where a claimant has commenced their own case but sued the wrong defendant. Believe me, this is Fatal. Identifying the correct defendant to sue can be tricky – it’s an experts job.
So, perhaps the accident claim solicitor has an important role to play in the injury claim process !
- legal related opinion by Holland Condon Solicitors Kilkenny