Most people just go straight to their solicitor. But in the vast majority of cases, there is no need. You can handle most claims directly and quickly and cheaply through the Injuries Board You can only claim if someone else was responsible for the accident. You can't claim if you injured yourself. 1) Apply to the Injuries Board - The application fee is just €50. 2) They will write to the Respondent/Insurance company (We will call them the insurance company for the rest of this post) 3) In straightforward cases, the iinsurance company will usually agree to you having your injuries assessed – this does not involve them admitting liability or agreeing to pay you any money. 4) The Injuries Board will make an assessment as to how much you should get based on their Book of Quantum 5) If you are not happy with the amount, you may go to court 6) If the insurance company is not happy with the amount or if they dispute liability in the case, they may reject the assessment and you will have to pursue them through the courts. This process should take a around 10 months from start to finish. It used to take many years for personal injuries claims to be processed by the courts. You must apply to the InjuriesBoard whether or not you use a solicitor You cannot go straight to court anymore. If you don't accept the assessment of the Injuries Board, then you can go to court. If you use a solicitor, the solicitor must still submit your claim to the Injuries Board. You don’t usually need a solicitor for personal injuries The Personal Injuries Assessment Board was set up to reduce legal costs and to speed up claims. So you do not need to use a solicitor. The website is very user friendly. You can understand the full procedure and you can apply online. Or you can phone them from 8am to 8pm on Lo-Call 1890 829 121. This post is a good description of the administration work done by a solicitor, which you could do yourself Advantages of using a solicitor If you are uncomfortable with filling in fairly simple forms. If you don't have a solicitor, the insurance company may contact you and try to settle it cheaply. If you decide to go for an early settlement, it might be easier for a solicitor to contact the insurance company on your behalf. Disadvantages of using a solicitor Solicitors are expensive and you must pay the expenses out of the award you get. People are often shocked at the bill they get from the solicitors for submitting the claim which they could just have easily done themselves. Case 2 If you use a solicitor, InjuriesBoard.ie is not allowed to deal with you directly anymore. They must go through your solicitor. Some solicitors are inefficient or busy and are slow in dealing with correspondence. Case 3 Some solicitors are not trustworthy. They might negotiate a settlement with the insurance company to include damages and their costs. So if the solicitor asks for €50,000 and the insurance company offers €35,000 + €10,000 costs, what will the solicitor do? In the vast majority of cases, they will, of course, represent your best interests. (Note: In some cases, there may be a saving in VAT if the insurance company pays the solicitor directly.) Any award you get will be paid to your solicitor. There have been many complaints of solcitors being slow to pass on money to their clients. There have also been complaints of solicitors taking excessive fees from awards and passing on the net amount to their clients. You should use a solicitor in the following cases Where the injured person is under 18, as the final award must be approved by the court anyway. Where the driver is uninsured or untraced as you will be dealing with the MIBI. Where there is a fatality as there will be other complicated legal issues around wills and dependents. Where there is a problem with identifying the person to claim against. For example, are you claiming against the tenants of a building or against the landlord? There is nothing to stop you taking advice from a solicitor on a pay as you go basis In the vast majority of cases, you are better off dealing with the matter yourself. It’s quicker and you have no one getting in the way of correspondence, making appointments etc. But that does not stop you using a solicitor for advice. Fill in the form yourself, and ask the solicitor to check it for you. When you get the award, ask the solicitor their opinion on it. If the Respondent rejects the award, you will need a solicitor anyway. It is expensive and cumbersome to have a solicitor acting as your secretary in making appointments with doctors, and replying to letters you could have replied to yourself. But be careful if you go for advice, that you don't get steamrolled into submitting the claim through them, as happened to this poster. You can settle with the insurance company any time. You don't need to wait until the Injuries Board makes their decision. The insurance company may make you an offer in the meantime. Or you can ask the insurance company to make an offer. This used to happen a lot when people had to wait years for the court case to be heard. As the Injuries Board has speeded up the process so much, you have little to lose by waiting.