In recent days existing clients have been asking what will happen to their ongoing personal injury cases. New clients have also been asking if it is possible to bring a case for Personal Injuries currently?
Is the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) operating?
Yes, PIAB is continuing to operate and it is possible to lodge a claim for personal injuries if you have been injured in a Road Traffic Accident or at work. In fact, PIAB has recently introduced new measures to assist Solicitors when submitting personal injury applications on behalf of clients.
Ordinarily a Claimants Solicitor submits the Claim form along with a medical report from the clients Doctor in order that PIAB can assess the level of compensation payable. PIAB has acknowledged that Solicitors may face difficulties in getting reports now from Doctors given the current situation with COVID -19.
PIAB have confirmed that they are willing to waive this requirement and instead have requested that a letter in lieu of the medical report should be provided confirming that a medical report has been commissioned and will in turn be provided to PIAB once received.
Therefore, we are able to lodge claims on behalf of clients on an interim basis without a medical report through the online PIAB Solicitors portal. This is a welcome development.
Are the Courts open for personal injury cases?
While the Courts have not formally closed, they are dealing with urgent matters only given the guidance from Government on social distancing. There is some uncertainty as to when the Courts will formally reopen to hear cases listed for the coming months or to give dates to cases ready for hearing. If you have any queries on a case please contact the office through the normal channels.
Are the time limits the same for bringing a claim?
The law governing the amount of time a person has to bring a personal injuries claim has not changed. Therefore, claims must be brought within two years of the accident happening. If a claim is not lodged within the two years, the time will have expired and bringing a claim thereafter will be very difficult. If you are concerned about the time running out on a claim please contact us.
Healy O’Connor Solicitors LLP