Ireland has a reputation for being a country where people will resort to legal action in order to try and claim compensation for accidents or medical negligence.
Every week the papers seem to have at least one story of large settlements paid by insurance companies or the state for compensation for injuries received in car accidents, slipping on wet pavements or toilet floors – the list is endless. .
For example – a nurse in her thirties was involved in a single vehicle accident when the vehicle is which she was a passenger hit a wall. She sustained serious injuries, including multiple fractures. She had two periods of hospitalisation and missed work for a year due to her injuries. She was awarded a total of €125,000
In Ireland – there are regulations in place that prevent Solicitors from advertising “No Win No Fee” arrangements. This is to try and reduce the number of claims being brought.
While a solicitor may include the words “personal injuries” in adverts or on his website, he may not refer to personal injuries claims nor the possible outcome of such claims, nor encourage anyone to make a personal injuries claim. Phrases such as “no win no fee” or “free first consultation” are banned, as are expressions like “most cases settle out of court”, “insurance cover arranged to cover legal costs” or similar statements. Solicitors are also forbidden to offer hospital or home visits.
The Injuries Board was established in 2004 – it is a statutory body set up to provide independent assessment of personal injury compensation for victims of Workplace, Motor and Public Liability accidents in Ireland.
This assessment will be provided without the need for most of the current litigation costs, such as Solicitors fees, Barristers fees and Experts fees, associated with such claims. All claims for compensation must now be referred to the Injuries Board
In 2013, the Board made 10,656 Awards to the value of €243.46 million.
In 2012, the Board made 10,136 Awards to the value of €217.94 million.
An Award is the value of compensation payable to an individual in respect of a Personal Injury claim where liability is not disputed. It includes General Damages for pain and suffering caused by the injury both to date and into the future. An Award may also include Special Damages for financial loss both to date and into the future e.g. loss of wages, cost of medical care etc.