I want to make a DART injury compensation claim for a cut to my hand that was caused by a sharp edge on a seat on the train. Will this be possible and if so, how much compensation am I likely to receive?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
You should be entitled to make a DART injury compensation claim against the train operator’s public liability insurance policy, provided your cut was severe enough to warrant medical attention being sought. If you needed to visit a hospital for stitches or had your cut examined by a doctor, it should be possible for you to recover injury compensation for an accident on the DART.
A claim for an injury on a DART train does not have to be supported by evidence of negligence when your application for assessment is first submitted to the Injuries Board, but it is always advisable to record the contact details of eye-witnesses before leaving the train, apply for CCTV data from an onboard train camera or take photographic evidence of the hazard which caused your cut in case consent for the Injuries Board to proceed with the assessment of your claim is withheld.
If you were unable to collect evidence at the time – which would be understandable given the nature of your injury – it may still be possible to gather evidence, although assistance from a personal injury solicitor may be required. A solicitor could make a request to Irish Rail to identify the train you were travelling on in order to inspect the seat and to take photographs to support your train injury claim, as well as requesting a copy of onboard CCTV camera data. It would be beneficial to have photographs taken of the cut to your hand, as these could be used to establish the severity of your injury along with your medical records.
Although you should be entitled to make a claim for an injury on a DART train for the cut to your hand, whether it will be worth your while to do so will depend on the severity of your injury and the loss of amenity that it has caused. A solicitor is in the best position to advise you if it will be worth your while making a DART injury compensation claim after reviewing your case and being provided with medical information about the extent of the cut to your hand.
It is not possible to tell you how much your train injury claim will be worth without further information on the severity of your cut and the expenses you have incurred. Compensation amounts will be determined by the severity of your injury, if you will be left with a permanent scar and if you will regain full movement in your hand after your injury has healed.
If a claim is possible, an award of injury compensation for an accident on the DART can include recompense for the pain and suffering caused and for any temporary or permanent loss of amenity. You will also be able to recover any costs you have incurred.