My husband is thinking about making a compensation claim but I wanted to know do you have to you to court for compensation?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Most personal injury compensation claims are assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland in the initial stages of the compensation process, and on the completion of their evaluation, a compensation value is assigned; however “do you have to go to court for compensation?” is an extremely valid question as this proposed value is often rejected.

The truth is, 80 per cent of all personal injury compensation cases are settled out of court through direct negotiations between the legal representatives of the plaintiff and defendant, and often a settlement between all the parties involved is decided on before the trial date or sometimes on the day of the trial.

However, even though the answer to “do you have to go to court for compensation” is not in the majority of cases, there are instances where it is necessary for a claim to be heard in court. For example, when liability is uncertain you may have to go to court to tell the judge your side of the story. A common occurrence of this scenario would be if there is a lack of evidence to support your personal injury claim or if you possibly contributed to the accident and injuries due to your own negligence.

It may also be necessary for you to appear in court for a personal injury claim if liability is determined but the parties involved cannot agree of the amount of compensation the plaintiff should receive. It should be noted, however, that courts tend to frown on what they see as a waste of their valuable time on financial disputes and the judge may send the parties away to reconsider which often makes a court appearance unnecessary.

In cases where an adult represents a minor as their “next friend”, a court appearance is legally required as all settlements for children under the age of eighteen must be approved by the court before payments can be made.

Your husband would be highly recommended to refer his case to an experienced solicitor who can answer “do you have to go to court for compensation?” In the initial consultation that most solicitors offer without charge, your husband’s solicitor could assess his claim to determine its validity and establish the potential of a necessary or possible court appearance.