Injury or illness in Ireland compensation claims

In the following article we explain everything you need to know about making an injury or illness compensation claim in Ireland.

How much can I claim?

Please note

Our panel of solicitors are no longer able to assist with compensation claims for accidents abroad.

Where did the injury or illness occur? Time Limit
On a flight, in a hotel, or during a pre-booked trip to Ireland that was booked through a UK-based package holiday company 3 years
During a holiday that was not booked through a UK-based tour operator 2 years (see the claim time limit calculator for more information)
On a flight that was not booked through a UK tour operator to or from international airports in the Republic of Ireland, including:
  • Cork Airport, Cork
  • Dublin Airport Dublin
  • Galway Airport, County Galway
  • Kerry Airport (Farranfore Airport), County Kerry
  • Ireland West Airport Knock, County Mayo
  • Shannon Airport, County Clare
  • Sligo Airport, County Sligo
  • Waterford Airport, County Waterford
2 years

Please note that the time limits listed in the table above are for reference purposes. There are a number of factors that can affect how long you have to make a claim, and for a more accurate assessment, you should contact a specialist solicitor.

Our network of solicitors do not currently have the capacity to take on holiday-related injury and sickness claims outside the UK. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury specialist solicitor to discuss your options as soon as possible, as some jurisdictions have limitation dates of less than the three year limit that is standard in the UK.


FCO travel advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) reports that most visits are trouble free, but there reportedly remains an low-level threat of terrorism in parts of the country.

Although Ireland, along with the UK, is a member of the Common Travel Area - meaning British nationals travelling from the UK do not need a passport to visit Ireland - most airlines and other transport providers will not carry passengers to and from Ireland unless they have seen satisfactory photographic ID, so travellers should check with their carrier in advance.

Irish immigration officers also check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality. It is therefore advisable to carry a British passport if possible.

Who to contact after an emergency incident in the Republic of Ireland

Phone either 112 or 999 to speak to the Irish emergency services.

The national police service in Ireland is called An Garda Síochána, or Gardaí.

With more than 550 police stations throughout the Republic, among its key functions are:
• The detection and prevention of crime
• Ensuring national security
• Reducing the incidence of fatal and serious injuries on the roads and improving road safety

The priority for anyone involved in a road traffic accident in the Republic of Ireland is to ensure that those affected receive any necessary medical treatment.

Call the Gardaí, who will assess the seriousness of the collision and if they feel they do not need to attend, they will advise you of this.

Be aware that the crash scene is a potential crime scene and the Gardaí will want it preserved - even if the crashed vehicles are obstructing the road. It is a duty in law not to move them unless instructed to do so by the Gardaí. If that is simply not possible, ensure good clear photos of the locations of the vehicles before they are moved are obtained and ideally make a sketch of the position of all vehicles on the road.

To improve your chance of making a success claim, gather as much information as possible:

  • Registration numbers of all vehicles. This is vital as most other information can be gathered later once the registration numbers are correct.
  • Insurance details for all vehicles. If this is refused, ensure the Gardaí have attended and that they have the details.
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers for all drivers
  • Names and contact details for any witnesses who saw the collision or came on the immediate aftermath.
  • Names, station and contact details for the attending Gardaí.
  • Photos of the position of and damage to each vehicle involved in the collision.

Medical treatment following an accident

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 or 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

The UK and Irish authorities have an agreement where UK residents do not need their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare services if they are on a temporary stay in Ireland. Proof that you are ordinarily resident in the UK, such as a driving licence, passport or similar documentation that shows your NHS number or its equivalent is generally sufficient.
Make sure you are treated by a state-funded healthcare provider. You should be particularly careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are not refunded.

If the illness is not an emergency you should seek treatment from any of the 2,000+ general practitioners (GP) contracted to the Primary Care Reimbursement Services (PCRS) scheme. Details are available from the local health office.
If you are unsure whether the GP is a PCRS doctor, tell him that you are seeking treatment under EU regulations.
Any required prescription medicines must be dispensed by a GP in the public system who will use a special prescription form to indicate to the pharmacist that the medicine is to be provided free of charge

Dental treatment

Emergency dental treatment for the relief of pain and urgent denture repairs is available to those eligible under EU regulations from a dentist contracted to the Local Health Office. Other necessary dental treatment is provided through local Health Office clinics as well as by contracted dentists.

Road traffic accidents in the Republic of Ireland

Self-drive holidays in the ROI are very popular, but travellers should be aware that the incidence of road deaths is 46% higher than that of the UK with 4.1 per 100,000 of population in 2013.

Since 2010 the Gardaí has been tackling road safety through the use of safety cameras to reduce speed related collisions, lessen injuries and save lives. The success of the project has led to its expansion and from 27th May 2016 there will be more than 1,000 cameras located nationwide.

New drink drive limits were introduced in October 2011 and anyone exceeding these may be heavily penalised or even imprisoned.

The new limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (0.05%) for fully licensed drivers, and 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (0.02%) for professional, learner and novice drivers. The police conduct random breath-tests on drivers.

Holding and using a mobile phone whilst driving is banned.

Insect and tick bites

Insect and tick bites are relatively common in travellers and usually only cause minor irritation. However some may result in skin infections and a number of diseases can be transmitted by these vectors.

Lyme disease or Borreliosis is a potentially debilitating disease caused by bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi and is currently the fastest growing vector borne infection in the world. It is transmitted to humans by infected ticks that attach to the skin to feed on blood. Whilst the ticks are feeding the bacteria are released into the bloodstream; the longer the tick is attached, the higher the risk of infection. It can take weeks or months before the symptoms appear and the disease sometimes crops up years later following an illness or period of stress.

Research has shown that ticks collected in the areas of County Kerry, Galway, Connemara and Wicklow do carry the Borrelia bacteria, therefore people in these areas are at risk of contracting Lyme disease.

Early symptoms of a Lyme infection may include headaches, chronic fatigue and flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, neck stiffness and muscle aches. Symptoms can vary from day to day and from person to person sometimes making it extremely difficult to diagnose. It is commonly misdiagnosed as other illnesses such as C.F.S (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or M.E.), Multiple Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia.

Approximately 50% percent of those infected develop the classic 'bull's eye rash' known as an erythema migrans (EM) within 3 to 30 days of being bitten. This may be in a place where is goes unnoticed like the scalp, and some people never develop this rash.

Useful contact details

British Embassy Dublin
29 Merrion Road
Dublin 4
Telephone +353 (1) 205 3700

The embassy is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, except for embassy holidays.

Meet our team

Our nationwide network of solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of compensation claim and have a wealth of expertise with short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Chosen for their track record in winning claims, QLS's solicitors have years of dedicated experience.

Click here to meet more of the Quittance Legal Services team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert

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