Do I need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim? I am not sure if I should try to make a claim for an accident through the Injuries Board without a solicitor.
A frequently asked question by accident victims is do I need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim? The answer to this question is no in the majority of cases, although legal advice should always be sought before attempting to take any legal action.
The creation of the Injuries Board was intended to help accident victims claim compensation in Ireland without a solicitor, and while most accidents are assessed by the Injuries Board, it only resolves approximately a third of personally injury claims in Ireland. You can certainly make a claim for an accident through the Injuries Board without a solicitor, although the majority of accident victims in Ireland still choose to use a personal injury solicitor to prepare and pursue a personal injury claim.
When liability for an injury is denied by an insurance company, or when an Injuries Board claim assessment is rejected, a case must be settled either by direct negotiation with the insurance company or through the courts. It would certainly be ill advised to attempt to claim compensation in Ireland without a solicitor if court action is required, and negotiations with insurance companies are best handled by an experienced solicitor.
There are many other benefits of using a solicitor to make a personal injury claim in Ireland. A claim through the Injuries Board involves costs being incurred. You will need to pay the Injuries Board to assess your case, and also for a doctor to complete the medical assessment form which must accompany your claim.
Most solicitors offer to assess a potential claim free of charge and without obligation to proceed with legal action, and obtaining legal advice from a solicitor does not mean that you have to commit to using their services. Seeking legal advice before the decision is made to proceed with legal action can therefore save money. If it is not possible to take legal action under the circumstances, a solicitor will tell you and this will prevent you from spending money unnecessarily on obtaining medical reports.
Obtaining legal assistance with personal injury claims can make an important difference to the amount of compensation that can be recovered. Insurance companies are renowned for paying the lowest possible settlements to accident victims, and a solicitor will be well aware of the tactics used to undersettle claims. With a solicitor dealing with an insurance company on your behalf, you are likely to be able to obtain a much more appropriate settlement.
A solicitor will also ensure that all available evidence is collected to make sure a strong claim is prepared, which should improve the likelihood of an out of court settlement being reached or a judge ruling in your favour.
In summary, the answer to the question ‘do I need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim?’ is no, although the benefits of using a solicitor to make a personal injury claim in Ireland mean that it is worthwhile using the services of a solicitor to pursue a claim. You can make a claim for an accident through the Injuries Board without a solicitor, but receiving assistance with the preparation of your claim can improve the probability of receiving a favourable case assessment. A solicitor may also be able to help you obtain a settlement more quickly, or at least to receive an advance payment of compensation to assist you with paying essential costs.