The Injuries Board has 3 different names; these are the Injuries Board, the Injuriesboard.ie and the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. They are all one and the same and for the purpose of this article we will simply refer to the Injuries Board.
To proceed with a claim for an accident in Ireland, an application must be made to the Injuries Board strictly within 2 years from the date of the injury or 2 years from your 18th birthday or 2 years from the date of knowledge of an injury. The last category can be complicated and may be open to argument, so it is safer to rely on the first two if at all possible. The application must be accompanied by a medical report and you need to know it has arrived within the 2 year period, so sending it by registered post is preferable.
Once the application reaches the Injuries Board, they will write to each respondent and ask them to revert within 30 days to agree to the Injuries Board process. If a respondent does not agree, then an ‘authorisation’ is issued which is basically a ticket to start off formal court proceedings which we will come to later. If the Injuries Board receives agreement from the respondents to proceed with an Injuries Board assessment, then the Injuries Board will request details of out of pocket expenses known as ‘special damages’ and it will often obtain its own medical report. It has an initial time limit of 9 months (extendable by a further 6 months) from the time it commences its assessment process (which starts after the first 30 days are over) to come up with its assessment. The assessment is essentially a figure that the Injuries Board is saying the case is worth. It is broken down into various out of pocket expenses plus an amount for general damages which is in essence an amount for the injury.
An applicant has 28 days to accept the assessment and respondents have 21 days. If all parties accept this then a formal order of the assessment is made which has the same weight as a court order and compensation is paid over.
If a party rejects the assessment, then an authorisation is issued which we described above as the ticket to start formal court proceedings. Strict time limits restart which are essentially 6 additional months plus the balance of the 2 years left under the first time limit in going to the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board will also issue an authorisation in cases of psychiatric injury. The process is complex and really needs the involvement of an experienced solicitor.
Issuing formal court proceedings for an injury is for another day….
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© Philip Vint & Co solicitors 2018