Injuries and the Injuries Board

11th February 2016

Accidents happen and injuries occur. When somebody is injured as a result of an accident, they may be entitled to monetary compensation. In order to determine this, they have to establish who the parties involved in the accident and who caused the accident which led to the injury.

The Injuries Board play an important role in this whole process. A person seeking to make a claim for compensation for their injuries must lodge an application to the Injuries Board within two years of the date of the accident. In order to assess a claim, the Injuries Board require an application form to be completed and a medical report from a doctor verifying the extent of the injury and also how the injury arose.

While every claim for compensation must be lodged with the Injuries Board, they only have the power to deal with claims where the responsibility of the accident is clear cut and where those responsible accept wrong doing.

The role of the Injuries Board is to liaise between the two disputing parties. They assess the claimant’s application form and confirm that an accident did take place and that an injury arose. In turn they will identify who the Respondent is. The Respondent is generally the person that the claimant believes was responsible for the injury as a result of the accident. The Respondent or their insurance company are contacted and they are asked for their view on the allegation made.

The Injuries Board over a number of months liaise between the two parties with a view to bringing the dispute to an end. This occurs if the Respondent accepts responsibility for the accident and further accepts that they will be liable to pay monetary compensation to the claimant for the injuries which that claimant has.

If the Respondent agrees that the Injuries Board can deal with a claim, the Injuries Board will go on to access the level of compensation to be paid. The Injuries Board operate a Book of Quantum which gives broad guidelines as to what amounts of money may be paid for certain injuries.

This Book of Quantum is misleading for many reasons. The same injury can be sustained by two different people and can have varying consequences. A football player can suffer a cruciate ligament injury and be unable to play football for six to nine months. A cruciate ligament injury sustained by a 70 year old lady could potentially mean she becomes housebound and incapable of being operated on.

People should not treat the Book of Quantum as an authority but more as a very general guide.

If the Respondent does not accept responsibility for the accident caused and the injury sustained, then that concludes the involvement of the Injuries Board. They have no further function and will issue what is known as an Authorisation. This Authorisation then allows the claimant to either conclude their claim or go to Court and have the dispute resolved there.

While the process may seem simple, simple mistakes can be made by claimants that can lead to their claims being lost forever. It is important in all circumstances to seek independent legal advice before embarking upon a claim or an application to the Injuries Board.

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