Can a tourist claim injury compensation? My young cousin from America was hurt in a traffic accident in Dublin and does not know if he is entitled to compensation under Irish law.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

In answer to your question “Can a tourist claim injury compensation”, the answer is “yes” although the process may be complicated as your cousin lives so far away and – if he or she is under the age of eighteen – may have to be represented by a “next friend”.

Generally, the process for claiming tourist injury compensation for somebody living overseas would be the same as if a citizen of Ireland had been injured in an accident for which they were not to blame – an application for assessment is submitted to the Injuries Board with a Medical Assessment Form (Form B) completed by the medical practitioner who treated your cousin and receipts for any expenses he or she has incurred attributable to their injury.

Provided that the negligent party gives their consent for the Injuries Board to proceed with an assessment of your cousin´s claim for an injury to a tourist, the Injuries Board would complete their calculations based on the information provided to them and issue a “Notice of Assessment”. Provided that the Injuries Board´s calculation is accepted by your cousin and the negligent party, an “Order to Pay” will be issued and your cousin will receive their compensation settlement.

Should the negligent party deny their consent, or one party not agree with the Injuries Board´s assessment, then the process for claiming tourist injury compensation becomes more difficult.

The question “Can a tourist claim injury compensation” then has to go before the courts unless a negotiated settlement can be agreed beforehand. With this in mind, it is advisable to engage the services of a solicitor at the very beginning of a claim for an injury to a tourist, so that evidence of negligence can be collected, the strongest possible claim can be compiled on your cousin´s behalf and there will be no issues surrounding liability when the Injuries Board ask the negligent party for their consent to complete an assessment – indeed, a strong case prepared before the Injuries Board application for assessment is submitted may even result in a settlement of compensation before the assessment of your cousin´s claim for an injury to a tourist is completed.

It would be in your cousin´s best interests if he or she were to discuss the nature of their car accident in Dublin with an Irish solicitor as soon as possible. If your cousin is under the age of eighteen, you, a parent or legal guardian should speak with a solicitor on their behalf to establish that your cousin can claim injury compensation for a tourist and that claiming tourist injury compensation is an action that is worthwhile pursuing.