What do you do if you trip/slip or fall in a public place?
Remember the Location!
It is extremely important in accidents on footpaths, roads or other locations that you are in a
position to identify precisely where the accident occurred. You should ensure that you have
some way of pointing out the accident scene to us and any engineer retained by us to inspect
Should you take photographs?
Yes protect All Evidence
At the very earliest opportunity following an accident, you should take photographs of the
Scene. This is particularly important if you slip on a wet surface of spilt milk in a shop.
Should you approach witnesses who may have seen the accident?
Yes Get Details Of All Witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to obtain their names, addresses and
telephone numbers. Talk to them and see if they will talk to us. Some witnesses can be
reluctant to get involved – particularly where the case involves their employer – so if there is
any reluctance to assist, just give us the details and we will make every effort to put the witness
What other steps should be taken at an early stage?
Do A Detailed Statement Of How The Accident Happened
It is most important that you write down in the fullest detail how the accident happened and
what injuries you suffered. You should set out the time, date and mechanics of the accident
and who you believe is responsible and why you that party is at fault.
It is important that you complete this statement at the earliest date – you should include as
much detail as you can remember, no matter how trivial. You have no way of knowing at an
early stage what will prove to be important as your case progresses.
If you fall in a shop should you report it?
Yes it should immediately be reported to a staff member or the manager.
You should also ensure to take their name. This may become very important and will prevent a shop from arguing that the accident did not occur on their premises
If you have suffered injuries what should you do to assist in your legal case?
Record Your Injuries
After the accident – even if it has only been a minor one – you should always see your doctor
for a check up. This is important. A failure to attend your doctor at an early stage may cause difficulty later on. Make sure you tell your doctor that you were involved in an accident and detail all your injuries, both physical and psychological, no matter how trivial they may seem to you at the time. Make sure that the doctor makes a note of these details.
It is very difficult to remember some months or years after the accident how you felt in the”early days.” Buy a diary and keep a record of present symptoms and from then on, record your condition on a regular basis. You should also keep a note of all your medical examinations, when you went, what was said and any medical opinions offered.
Sometimes an injury is exclusively psychological. Sleeping difficulties, headaches, problems coping with simple everyday situations, constant tiredness, loss of memory, nightmares or flashbacks to the accident are all common symptoms after a frightening accident. injuries, you should go ahead with the referral at the earliest possible date and advise us, so that if necessary, we can obtain a report of that specialist’s opinion. Do insurance companies hire Private investigators to check are injuries genuine?
You May Be Followed By A Private Investigator!
It has become common practice for insurance companies / employers to employ private investigators to carry out surveillance on people taking a legal case following an accident. Usually investigators are hoping to get some video or still footage of you lifting some heavy weights or doing some other strenuous task that they think you might deny being able to do if the case goes to Court. If you are saying that because you have a back or neck injury, you cannot clean windows – they would be delighted to have a photo of you out cleaning your front windows! It is important therefore that we are told accurately how your injury affects you.
Such investigation by the Insurance Company can do no harm to your case once we are in a position to give full and accurate details to the other side of the effects of the injury on you. This issue is all the more important if your case gets to the stage of issuing court proceedings. You will be required to swear an affidavit confirming that the particulars of your accident and the injury you have suffered are true and accurate.
Will an insurance company have a Plaintiff independently medically examined?
The defendant’s solicitors may request that you attend a medical examination arranged by
them. As a general rule the other side’s doctor is not entitled to enquire into how the accident happened but is simply entitled to enquire into particulars of the injuries that you received as a result of the accident.
Make sure that you give the doctor details of all injuries – no matter how trivial. You should note that you are entitled to have someone present with you at these medical examinations if you feel the support would be beneficial.
When someone comes into you after falling in a public place – what do you do?
Phase 1 Gathering Information
The early months of your case will be largely taken up with the process of gathering all the information we need to ensure that we achieve for you the best possible outcome. We also look for CCTV evidence- which our Client is entitled to under data protection legislation.
We will note all necessary details regarding the accident and your injury, talk to witnesses, instruct an engineer if necessary.
At the same time we will be opening communications with the other side, their solicitors and their insurers to ensure that their investigation is also progressing.
Phase 2 Managing your application to the Injuries Board
Since 2004, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) has acted as a filter in all cases involving personal injuries in Ireland.
The Injuries Board does not replace the old Court system, it merely acts as a filter, settling some cases while letting the remainder through to the Court system.
Phase 3 Preparing and Issuing Court Proceedings
If your case is not settled or assessed by the Injuries Board – for whatever reason – we will then commence the court process on your behalf. This process involves taking the information we have on your case and drafting the initiating Court document. This document varies depending on whether your case is to be dealt with in the Circuit Court or the High Court and this decision is based on the seriousness of your injury.
Phase 4 Settlement Talks
At any time during this process you may be invited to settle your case and usually such settlement meetings take place in Courthouses.
Phase5 Preparing for a Court Hearing
We will prepare documents for the Court, try to agree as many aspects of the case with the other side to make the case shorter and make arrangements for the attendance of necessary witnesses such as an engineer, doctors, witnesses to the accident, witnesses to prove your out-of-pocket expenses and any other experts that may be needed to prove different aspects of your case.
Phase 6 Finalising Your Case
When your case has been settled or concluded in Court, there is still a lot of work to be done by us on your behalf. Our first priority is to get your settlement cheque in from the other side and pay this to you without delay. Usually this occurs within three weeks of your case being concluded.
How do you value a claim?
A key difficulty with valuing personal injuries is that we cannot form a clear opinion on a value until we have a clear prognosis for your doctors. For this reason, we will usually not be able to offer more than a general guideline on the value of your injury at the beginning. As time moves on and we get more medical information, that opinion will be revised until we have enough information to value your injury with confidence. Ultimately, it is up to the Court to fix the value of your claim. Should your case go that far, you should bear in mind that judges can vary greatly in the amount of compensation that they award.
Does the case have to go to Court?
As a general rule, the majority of cases are settled without going into Court. However, they are only settled provided that the Client is agreeable to accepting the figure that is offered in full and final settlement of the claim. We will advise Clients fully before they make this decision.