The first step which we usually take in any road traffic accident, workplace accident or slip, trip fall is that we instruct an Engineer to attend at the scene of the accident to take photographs, measurements and sketches. Very often, we find that after the Defendants receive notification of the claim the scene of the accident can be repaired or amended, and by having the engineering and photographic evidence of the scene of the accident puts you in a very strong position when you are proving your case.

Second of all we write to the Defendant seeking an undertaking that they will preserve evidence until such time as it as can be inspected by our Engineer, for example that CCTV is retained and we advise the Defendants that if they fail to confirm their agreement to retain the evidence that we will bring an application to the Court seeking an order that they are directed to retain that evidence.

Next we decide is the most appropriate medical evidence in your case. Whether your GP is best placed to give evidence of the injury suffered by you or whether you were treated by a consultant who may be in a position to furnish a report in relation to the injuries suffered by you and your prognosis.

Next we write to the Defendant advising them of the injuries suffered by you and asking them to admit liability. This letter is sent out as early as possible as it if a requirement under Section 8 of The Civil Liability and Courts Act, which states that as soon as practicable after the accident the Claimant must serve a notice in writing outlining the nature of the wrong committed and the injury suffered.

Once all of the preliminary letters have been sent out and the evidence gathered then an application form is completed namely a Form A. This is then sent to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board together with your medical report and copies of the letters that you have sent to the Defendants together with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board’s fee of €45.

In the Form A, you are obliged to give full details of the accident and it is important that this is correctly completed and your Solicitor can help you with this. You are also obliged to give details of your injuries and this should include the physical injuries as described by your doctor, but also any psychological injuries, sleep disturbance, memory loss, anxiety or depression and also any negative impact that the accident has had on your friendships and relationships and job performance.

Once the claim is lodged with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, the statute of limitations stops running.

*In contentious business a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

**This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by McElhinney & Associates for any action taken in reliance on the information contained herein. Any and all information is subject to change.