Firstly, let’s take a look at what litigation is:
Litigation (n.) is the process of taking a case through court
Personal injury claims, commercial disputes and large debt collection make up the vast majority of litigation matters.
Personal Injury Claims
In most cases these are now progressed through the Injuries Board (PIAB). The Injuries Board which was set up in 2004 by the Irish government to assess claims for compensation for anyone who has been in an accident and suffered an injury. The Injuries Board encourage claimants to submit claims without the use of a Solicitor. Any person making a claim to the Injuries Board would be well advised to consult their Solicitor. The making of such an application, whilst on the face it may seem simple in itself, is in fact a very detailed matter and needs the assistance of an experienced person familiar with such matters. Complying with time limits and naming the correct defendant are crucial issues. In our view the expertise of a Solicitor is absolutely essential in making the application and in advising on any offer made by the Injuries Board.
If a Claimant’s case is not resolved through the Injuries Board, the case is then progressed through the Courts system by the issuing of legal proceedings in the appropriate Court.
The jurisdictions of the Courts were increased on the 3rd of February 2014.The District Court has increased its jurisdiction from approximately €6,000 to €15,000 and the Circuit Court from €39,000 to €60,000. For commercial cases this has increased to €75,000. The High Court as always has un-limited jurisdiction.
If you suffer an accident or a personal injury that wasn’t your fault you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
We will help you through this entire process, keeping you fully advised at all times, and particularly in relation to the cost of such work.
Barry M O`Meara & Son Solicitors have experienced personal injury Solicitors who will advise you on all aspects of your claim, starting with an application to the Injuries Board. We will talk you through the entire process, advise you on any assessment made by the Injuries Board and if the matter is not concluded at Injuries Board level we will proceed to issue proceedings in the relevant Courts and process your claim to conclusion.
The following are examples of the types of claims we process on behalf of clients:
- Road traffic accidents
- Pedestrian accidents, including slips and trips,
- Factory related accidents and diseases arising out of Occupational hazards, i.e., asbestos, asthma, deafness,
- Medical Negligence (IE A hip replacement)
We will assess your claim, advise you of your options, advise you in relation to legal costs and also advise you on the level of compensation you may achieve.
If you are being sued by a Third Party we recommend that you immediately see your Solicitor. We will assess the case against you and advise you as to whether you should settle the case or fight the case in court.
If it is a case where liability will attach to you, and you find yourself as a defendent in a case, thousands of euros could be saved by settling the case at an early point and thus avoiding a large amount of costs. Such costs will comprise of : – your own costs and the plaintiffs costs if you are unsuccessful in your defence. Alternatively, if you have a good defence you may be successful, and you are likely to obtain an Order for costs against the Plaintiff. Should such an outcome be achieved, a judgement call has to be made as to whether or not the Plaintiff who has sued you, is financially good for any such award against him/her.
For large commercial matters either relating to property, money or intellectual property, early advice is the key for both claimants and defendants to managing the case in your best interests.
Our advice will always be to avoid the Courts as much as possible as it is an expensive place to go. In that respect we may well advise an alternative dispute resolution such as Arbitration or Mediation. This may be a cheaper and less stressful option to have your case determined.
A REAL Case
A case in point was where we acted for a Defendant in a Commercial dispute in relation to manufactured goods. The Plaintiff had issued legal proceedings in the High Court against our client and we persuaded the Plaintiff’s representative to agree to mediation. The mediation took place within six weeks and was satisfactorily resolved for both parties which resulted in both parties continuing in business and re-establishing the relationship that had broken down because of the Legal proceedings and the matter that led to such proceedings.
This was a very successful outcome for all parties particularly in resolving the dispute quickly at a far reduced cost and importantly they moved on and continued to do business with each other afterwards.
- Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013. (Increased Jurisdictions). www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/act/32/enacted/en/pdf
- Fatal Injuries:Safety Health Welfare at Work (biological Agents) Regulations 2013. www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/si/572/made/en/print
- Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 (SI.291). www.hsa.ie/eng/Legislation/New_Legislation/SI_291_2013.pdf
- PIAB Injuries Board. www.injuriesboard.ie
Written by John Purcell, Managing Partner