I have been practicing in Personal Injury law for the last 15 years mainly for Plaintiffs.
I do a variety of cases from catastrophic injury cases to standard injury board claims.
What I’ve noticed predictably, is that assessments from the injuries board have increased and a lot of claims that would in the past have gone to Court now are finalised in the Injuries Board.
Certain claims such as for medical negligence and psychological injury are not handled by the injuries board. I do see that changing over time as the Insurance industry lobby are doing everything they can to cut lawyers and lawyers costs out of this area of law.
Claimants need lawyers as they know the area and claims and identifying who your Defendant is, issues such as causation are complex and the time limit to bring a claim at two years is too short.
Where are we in 2017 for accident victims?
1. I think claims and awards have come down and the Higher Courts have held that even if you end up with life altering injuries you cannot recover more than €450,000 for pain and suffering for the accident both to the date of the award and for pain and suffering into the future.
2. Loss of earnings claims and future medical costs are still claimable as special damages.
3. If you have serious soft tissue non bony injury or no fracture injuries,spent no or little time in hospital or where not out to work the value of your claim is anything from 30%to 50% less than what you would have recovered prior to 2015.
4. Compensation for loss of opportunity loss of hobbies arising out of your accident must be reflected in your award.
5. It goes without saying that honesty of claimants continues to be put in question. Fraudulent claims are an issue and insurance companies will pursue such claims and I do see dishonest claimants going to jail in future.
6.Costs are reducing due to competition so shop around for your solicitor.
These are just some trends I’ve noticed.