1. Talk with a solicitor
Starting the Injuries Board process is relatively straightforward; you need to provide your solicitor with:
- Details of the accident
- Evidence and details of the injury (photographs)
- Information on any previous injuries/medical conditions/accidents/claims
- Expenses incurred as a result of the accident (medical bills, etc.)
- CCTV footage, where applicable (Often, your solicitor can acquire this for you)
- Description of the person at fault
2. Request your medical reports
It is crucial to prove your injuries by obtaining a medical report from the practitioner who treated following the accident. Often, you solicitor can request medical reports from your doctor. Similarly, in cases of psychological injury, your solicitor can request reports from the psychologist that treated you.
3. Making the Injuries Board application
Having gathered the necessary information for your personal injury claim, your solicitor will submit an Injuries Board application form on your behalf. Once submitted, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will acknowledge receipt of this and notify the person at fault of your claim. They will also issue a copy of the application form and medical report to the person at fault. Once submitted, they pause the 2-year time limit clock while they assess your personal injury claim.
4. Injury Claim Assessment
The Injuries Board will refer to the ‘Book of Quantum’ when evaluating your case. The Book of Quantum is a record of personal injury cases, specific injuries and for how much they settled. They use this to determine how much compensation you would be entitled.
5. Consideration of Injuries Board Offer
Following their assessment of your personal injury claim, the Injuries Board will return to your solicitor with the suggested compensation amount. This amount would then be paid to you by the party at fault.
You will then need to consider whether to agree to this or not. Your solicitor will provide their best advice to you, but ultimately, you will decide to accept the Injuries Board’s suggestion or not.
Time limit to accept or reject the award
Once Injuries Board delivers their verdict, there are 28 days for you to either accept or reject the suggested award. Failing to respond within these 28 days will automatically reject the decision. The person whom you claimed against has only 21 days to accept the verdict of the Injuries Board.
The two most common outcomes from this stage:
Both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board suggested settlement amount with the party at fault legally obliged to pay this amount to you.
Either you or the party at fault does not accept the suggested settlement amount. Rejecting this would result in court proceedings against the person at fault for your accident/injury.
6a. What happens if you accept the Injuries Board’s decision
If you and the person you claimed against accept the verdict of the Injuries Board, then an order is issued for the person at fault to pay the settlement amount. This settles the case, meaning you will not be able to return at a later date seeking further compensation.
6b. What happens if the Injuries Board’s decision is rejected
If you or the person you claimed against rejects the settlement suggestion by the Injuries Board, the case will move to legal proceedings where a judge will decide the outcome. Now you will work closely with your solicitor, and they will issue legal proceedings to move the case along.
7. Settling a personal injury claim outside of court
Most personal injury cases settle outside of court.
Before heading into a courtroom, your solicitor will likely arrange settlement meetings. At these meetings, your solicitor will communicate with the other side on your behalf.
Your solicitor will be in constant contact with you during this time and keep you updated on settlement offers.
If your solicitor finds an acceptable offer during these meetings, then your case is settled. However, sometimes, these settlement meetings do not result in a satisfactory settlement amount. When this happens, you will attend the scheduled court hearing where a Judge will make the final decision on your case.