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Do I need a solicitor to make an injuries board claim?

We explain why you should use a solicitor when making an injuries board claim.

Recently, the Injuries Board (formerly known as PIAB) have sought to reduce or even remove the involvement of solicitors acting on behalf of their clients who have been injured and are seeking compensation. However, it has been proven that in cases where there is a solicitor acting on behalf of the claimant, the compensation is greater compared to when people make a claim on their own.

This is just one of the many reasons you should use a solicitor when making an injuries board claim.

The Injuries Board was set up in 2004 to value claims and make assessments. While they are independent, the injured person is up against another party which is usually a hugely experienced insurance company that knows the system inside out and will seek to take advantage to save money wherever possible! The aim of the injuries board is to make it easy for people to make a claim themselves. According to them, it can be done by following 3 steps:

1. Send a warning letter to the person who caused the injury
2. Get a medical report
3. Fill in the injuries board form and send this along with an application form

While this may seem straight forward and easy, having a solicitor on your side helps with the steps that aren’t so obvious to follow. Listed below are five steps that the claimant and his/her solicitor should undertake:

1. You need to correctly identify the respondents. Quite often, there will be more than one respondent you are claiming against (e.g. a company). To ensure your application is correct, you must include all of the names on the form. Your solicitor will know who exactly to put on the form which will make your submission process quicker and smoother.

2. You must ensure you have sufficient documentation. Remember, there is no oral hearing involved when making a claim to the injuries board. Therefore, it is vital you get the right paperwork from a medical professional and that it details the entirety of the claim from the very beginning. Your solicitor will know exactly what this paperwork should be, which will contribute to a likelier successful application.

3. Helping you understand the assessment of damages. A solicitor will be able to provide advice on whether the offer made is reasonable or not. They will have experience dealing with settlements and can make an educated call on whether the offer is fair or not. They will also advise the implications of accepting or rejecting an assessment.

4. A solicitor can help you through a rejected assessment. If you decide to reject the assessment, you have to decide whether or not to pursue this through the court system. Having a solicitor by your side will help you with this decision but also will issue your court proceedings on your behalf should you go down this route.

5. General stress-relief! Having a solicitor fight your corner through an injuries board claim will not only help with the overall result, but also provide some stress relief as you can assure they are fully informed and experienced in dealing with such cases.

Should you decide to make a claim to the injuries board, Flanagan and Co can help you! Get in touch with us here.


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