Claims in NI and ROI – Benefits of Using an All Ireland Law Firm
Your solicitor should advise you that if you are making a claim for personal injury or medical negligence, proceedings can be issued either where the accident happens or where the defendant resides. Thus, if you have been treated negligently in a hospital in the Republic of Ireland you will make a claim for compensation in that jurisdiction.
Similarly, if you are involved in a road traffic accident in the south that is where you will issue proceedings. What many solicitors may negate to do, however, is advise you on the merits of issuing proceedings in the Republic of Ireland. If, for example, a road traffic accident happens in Northern Ireland involving a driver or vehicle registered in the Republic of Ireland it is always more beneficial to our clients to issue proceedings in the South.
This is simply because the scale of damages payable in the Republic of Ireland is almost 3 times as much as in Northern Ireland. What bars most solicitors in Northern Ireland from taking this course of action is the fact that they are not qualified to practice in the Republic of Ireland. In these circumstances the case will usually be transferred to another solicitor who can provide these services. However, in our experience this can dilute the solicitor-client relationship.
At PA Duffy and Company our solicitors are qualified in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and can issue proceedings in both jurisdictions. Our personal Injury solicitors have developed extensive knowledge of how the different legal systems operate and can advise our clients accordingly on common pitfalls that can render a claim null. The key factor to consider when issuing proceedings in the Republic of Ireland is that the Statute of Limitations allows two years to bring a claim, as opposed to the three-year limitation in Northern Ireland. This means you have to move quickly.
The first step is to submit an application to the Personal injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), they assess all personal injury claims registered in the Republic of Ireland. Notice of assessment is then sent to the respondent, if they do not accept this the applicant is entitled to issue proceedings.
If the respondent consents to the assessment the Board will investigate the claim and send the applicant an offer, if both parties accept this an order to pay will be issued. If either party rejects this then legal proceedings can be initiated. Our expert personal injury solicitors can advise on whether the PIAB offer is adequate or if our clients would receive a more appropriate award in the courts. In the event of a serious accident which has caused significant injury or heightened the complexity of a case, PIAB may refuse to carry out an assessment and instead allow legal proceedings to take place.
At PA Duffy and Company we have the expertise to help you make a claim for compensation in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, our advice is often to issue proceedings in the south because of the possibility for much greater damages being awarded. Circumstances may also dictate that we reclaim vehicle damage in Northern Ireland for our clients and issue proceedings for personal injury in the Republic of Ireland.
Our solicitors tailor our services to the needs of our clients. Solicitors should be aware of the jurisdictional differences and the possibility that failure to advise on the option of issuing proceedings in the Republic of Ireland could give rise to a professional negligence claim due to the large disparity in personal injury awards north and south of the border. We advise our clients that the option of issuing proceedings in the Republic of Ireland is essentially a ‘no brainer’.
Our personal injury solicitors also conduct such cases in a swift and effective manner to ensure they are not statute barred by the two-year limitation.