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Death and The Injuries Board

Since 2004 the limitation period within which an injured person must issue personal injury proceedings, before being barred from bringing such a claim, is two years.

Because such a person is [generally] obliged to apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the value of the person’s claim before proceedings may be issued, time is suspended from running under the limitation period while the Injuries Board is considering the application (and, possibly, corresponding with the guilty respondent or his/her insurance company). Not only does time not run during that period, it does not commence running again for six months after the Injuries board issues its authorisation to the injured applicant to issue legal proceedings.

There is an exception to this regime; if the guilty respondent dies at some point the injured applicant has two years to issue legal proceedings from the date of the death of the guilty respondent. This time period, it appears, does not cease to run because the applicant has lodged an application to the Injuries Board.

It is very possible for an injured applicant to know nothing of the personal circumstances of a guilty respondent. Even the Injuries Board may know nothing of those circumstances; the Board will carry on correspondence with a lawyer or an insurance company acting for the respondent (who, in their turn, may also not know of the state of health of the respondent).

The Injuries Board claims to process applications, on average, within approximately seven months of an application. Depending on the facts of the case this may not be fast enough.

The risk of loss in these circumstances lies with the injured applicant, not with the Injuries Board.

Like all institutions, it is insulated from the effects of death.