At the commencement of the system, the main exception to the non-payment of costs was children’s cases. All offers of settlement in children’s cases had to be heard by a Judge in Court. This usually means your Solicitor and Barrister will have their fees paid and the child’s money is lodged in full with the Office of the Accountant of the High Court to be invested on their behalf until the child reaches eighteen years of age. Costs incurred for lodging the claim, to obtaining medical reports and dealing with parent/next friend prior to the ruling should all be listed as an item of special damage and especially any extra expense and ruled on by the presiding Judge. That means the parent/next friend should have no expenses to pay arising out of the claim once it
A second category applies if the injured party is ‘vulnerable’. There is no definition of what a vulnerable client is. Clearly, if you cannot read then you need someone to assist you to lodge a claim, but how do you determine who qualifies. Foreign
nationals with little English – do they qualify? There are cases already decided at showing that they may not. The definition in the legislation setting up the Board is that any costs which are ‘reasonable and necessary incurred’ can be considered for payment. Do not expect to have any Legal costs paid by the Injuries Board as the entire basis of its establishment was to save Insurance Companies money by transferring the cost of legal advice and compensation application onto the injured party.