In order to make a personal injury claim for a herniated disc, the injury must have been caused by someone else’s negligence. This does not require their physical proximity to the scene of the accident: so long as they had a reasonable duty if care towards you, they can be considered at fault for the herniated disc.
Additionally, you need not claim against just one person. Personal injury compensation may be recovered from organisations, government agencies, local councils and employers that have been negligence and failed in protecting you from foreseeable risks. Once it has been shown that the accident could have been prevented by such a third party, you should be able to claim compensation.
Evidence to Support a Claim for Compensation
Providing your herniated disc allows it, you should start collecting evidence for your personal injuries claim as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Naturally, you should not put yourself at further risk to gather such evidence: the first priority should always be seeking medical attention.
Evidence that you may be able to collect by yourself includes photographs of the scene of the accident, statements from eyewitnesses or testimonies from others who may have sustained a similar injury because of the same fault or danger.
However, if your injury prevents you from collecting evidence, there may still be ways of supporting your claim. For example, if you sustained your herniated disk during a work accident, the Health and Safety Authority may conduct an investigation that will support your allegations. In other instances, there may be CCTV footage to document the accident.
The majority of claimants will be able to provide some form of evidence when making his or her claim. If unable to do it yourself, ask a family member or friend to do it for you. Additionally, contacting a solicitor can also facilitate and ease the collection of evidence.
How to Make a Claim
In Ireland, making a claim for a herniated disk is the same as making a claim for any other type of injury. First, the claim is submitted to the Injuries Board Ireland for assessment. Provided the claim is not being made on a child’s behalf, this can be done online (otherwise, it requires a hard cope of “Assessment Form A”). The application should also contain a copy of your medical record concerning the herniated disk (“Assessment Form B”), in addition to any receipts showing the various expenses incurred.
After receipt of consent from the negligent third party, the Injuries Board requires that you undergo further medical examinations to assess the exact nature of the herniated disc. Once this has been completed, a “Notice of Assessment” will be issued, informing you of the result of their assessment. If both sides agree to the figure, the Injuries Board will issue and “Order to Pay” and the insurance company of the negligent party will settle the claim.
Contributory Negligence and Herniated Disc Claims
One reason why it is essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident has occurred is that it can prevent some allegations of contributory negligence from being made. This is because the failure to seek treatment could worsen your injury, and any assessments made b the Injuries Board would not be able to distinguish this from the course the injury could have taken had it been treated.
Contributory negligence can also be assigned if it can be shown that you were in some way liable for causing the accident or your injuries. Being assigned contributory negligence essentially means that any compensation settlement paid out by the negligent party will be reduced.
Contributory negligence also complicates proceedings with the Injuries Board: they will often be unwilling to process a claim for personal injury compensation if it is likely that the claimant is somewhat at fault. Instead, they may authorise you to pursue the claim through the court systems. Alternatively – with the assistance of a solicitor – you may enter negotiations with the third party.
Statute of Limitations on Herniated Disc Claims
Under the Irish Statute for Limitations, you have two years “from the date of knowledge” (i.e. the date on which you discover that you have a herniated disc) to make a claim for the injury. This is not necessarily the date on which the accident occurred in some situations, the diagnosis is made at a later date.
There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the settlement is being made on behalf of someone who is mentally incapacitated and, as such, cannot represent themselves in court. If your injury was caused by a faulty product, and there are conflicts with the Consumer Protections Act, this can alter the Statute of Limitations. Additionally, complications may arise if the injury was caused by air or sea travel (and, as such, would be dealt with under the Athens and Montreal Conventions).
Herniated Disc Claims
As with any personal injuries claim, it is strongly recommended that anyone with a suspected herniated disc that came about as the result of an accident should seek legal counsel as soon as possible after the incident. He or she will be able to offer the best advice on how to proceed with the claim, as well as guiding you through the collection of evidence and the paperwork required to file with the Injuries Board.