Personal Injuries – The MIBI

The MIBI – Questions & Answers

  • What is the MIBI?
  • This is an acronym for the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
  • What does it do?
  • The State is obliged by the European Union Motor Insurance Directive 2009/103 to have a system for compensating the victims of uninsured motorists who have sustained personal injuries. This directive is implemented in Ireland by legislation and by an agreement between the Minister for Transport and the MIBI (“the MIBI Agreement”).
  • How is the MIBI structured?
  • It is a not-for-profit private company limited by guarantee.  All insurance companies authorised to issue motor insurance policies in Ireland must be members of the MIBI. All these companies are bound to contribute to a fund required to discharge MIBI claims each year.
  • What is the precise obligation of the MIBI?
  • The obligation of the MIBI in the case of an identified driver is to pay a judgement obtained against that driver when uninsured which judgement remains unsatisfied within 28 days. In other words, the case proceeds against the identified but uninsured driver and a judgement against the driver must be paid by the MIBI. Where the driver is untraced, the MIBI will be the defendant in your case.
  • How do I make a claim if I sustain personal injuries due to the negligence of an uninsured driver?
  • The MIBI Agreement deals with this by allowing the injured party to apply to the MIBI for compensation.  First of all, the personally injured party must apply to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (“PIAB”).  Where the MIBI offers compensation that is unacceptable to the plaintiff then PIAB will issue an “authorisation” allowing you to proceed with the claim through the Courts.
  • What happens if I sustain personal injuries through the negligence of a driver who had insurance but whose insurer is insolvent?
  • The Irish Court of Appeal has held that the MIBI Agreement was intended to cover such a situation and in such circumstances therefore the MIBI would be obliged to pay the compensation awarded to you against the driver.
  • What happens where the driver of the vehicle who caused my personal injuries is untraced?
  • This is also covered by the MIBI Agreement but strict time limits do apply to the obligation to issue proceedings. Thus it is very important to obtain skilled legal advice as early as possible subsequent to your accident.
  • What happens if my personal injuries were caused by an uninsured driver – not by the negligent driving of the car – but as a result of the vehicle being used as a weapon?
  • In a very recent case of Mongan -v- Mongan and the MIBI which was decided earlier this year, i.e. 2020, the High Court decided that the MIBI was liable for injuries caused in such circumstances as a result of an assault and battery where the vehicle was used as a weapon against the plaintiff who sustained serious personal injuries. The High Court made it clear that people should be and will be protected should they find themselves personally injured and victim of assault and battery where a motor vehicle is used as a weapon.
  • What happens if there is uncertainty as to liability between two uninsured defendants?
  • This is a very good question and can often give rise to difficult legal problems. The short answer to your question is to seek legal advice at a very early stage from an experienced personal injuries solicitor who will guide you through the numerous pitfalls and legal complexities associated with such a set of circumstances.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Personal Injuries – The MIBI”, please contact Daragh Burke, partner, Amorys Solicitors daragh@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

Farming Accidents In Ireland

Farming Accidents In Ireland

There are approximately 137,000 farms in Ireland with an average of 173,000 people employed in the agri-food sector. According to a 2018 Teagasc survey the average size of Irish farms is 43 hectares and employment in the sector accounts for 7.7% of total employment in the country. Farms are inherently busy and dangerous workplaces with the level of fatal accidents being far greater than in any other economic sector given the relatively small proportion of the farming workforce.

How do accidents occur on farms

The level of accidents on farms has been rising. In the ten years up to 2018 there was a 31% increase in farming accidents.  The Teagasc survey indicated that the majority of accidents occur on dairy farms, 42% of accidents involved livestock and 25% involved farm machinery and vehicles. Most fatal injuries on farms involving livestock are caused by cows and heifers followed by incidents involving bulls. Rolling vehicles are also a major cause of farming accidents with many fatal injuries resulting from being crushed, struck, pinned under or falling from a tractor or other type of farming vehicle. Trips and falls accounted for 13% of accidents with chainsaws and incidents in farm buildings accounting for 7% and 6% of farm accidents respectively. Falling objects and falls from a height are also the cause of many farm related accidents. The farmyard is the highest risk area where on average 64% of accidents occur,  19% of accidents occur in fields and 15% in farm buildings. The vast majority of accidents on a farm happen to the farmer or a family member with young children and elderly farmers being particularly at risk due to accidents on the farm.

The Law and Farms as places of work

The Health and Safety Authority (HAS) have published many useful guidelines and codes of practice on how to identify and mitigate the risk of injury in a farming environment. The vital message on farm safety is to ensure that everyone working on a farm is adequately trained, that vehicles and machinery are properly maintained and that safe work practices are put in place and properly enforced across the farm.

Legal duties of a farmer

There are a number of pieces of legislation that aim to protect the health and safety of those who work on farms. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 is the main piece of legislation that sets down the duties and obligations of farmers as employers.

Farmers have a general duty of care to their employees and are obliged to amongst other things:-

  • provide a safe place of work on the farm
  • ensure that safe work systems and procedures are in place
  • provide adequate training for workers
  • ensure that plant equipment and machinery is safe for use on the farm and properly maintained
  • provide personal protective equipment and clothing where necessary
  • provide adequate bathroom and washing facilities

Legal duties of farm employees

Farm employees also have a duty under the Act to amongst other things:-

  • co-operate with the employer so they can comply with the relevant legislation
  • use any personal protective clothing or equipment provided by their employer
  • not engage in any behaviour that would endanger their safety or the safety of anyone else working on the farm
  • attend training and undergo assessment where required

HSA powers

The HSA has the power under the 2005 Act to enter a farm as a place of work at ‘any reasonable time’  to ‘inquire into, search, examine and inspect’ that place of work. The powers of the HSA inspectors are extensive and they can serve an improvement notice on the farmer and also serve a Prohibition Notice requiring the immediate cessation of work where there is a breach of the Act which poses an imminent threat to health and safety. The HSA can also prosecute a farmer for non-compliance with the legislation. It is an offence under the Act to in any way obstruct an inspector in the course of their duties.

Farm Safety statements

Farmers are required as a matter of law to have a safety statement in writing that is made available to all farm employees and is also visible to everyone working on the farm. Farmers are required to identify the hazards present on the farm, assess the risk of injury associated with these hazards and identify and write out a plan to eliminate or control the hazards. The safety statement should be regularly updated as and when new machinery, vehicles or work practices are introduced. Farms with 3 employees or less are not required to prepare a safety statement however they are obliged to comply with the terms of the Agricultural Code of Practice.

Farmers need to be aware of their legal duty of care towards their employees. Legislation has evolved over time to give more protection to farm workers and they now have the same legal status as employees in any other sector of the economy. It is the responsibility of both farmers as employers and all those who work on farms to make themselves aware of the risks involved in any farm work they undertake and to do everything possible to reduce the number of accidents and potential personal injury claims on farms.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Farming Accidents In Ireland”, please contact Daragh Burke, Amorys Solicitors daragh@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

Conveyancing Clients’ Competition

Conveyancing Clients’ Competition

Become one of our next 50 conveyancing clients starting today (1st day of November 2020) (“entry date”) and have a chance to win a super cash prize of€750! Good luck to all participating clients!

Question: What do you have to do to enter the competition?

Answer: Comply with the entry criteria as follows:-

  1. Instruct Amorys to act on your behalf in the sale or purchase of a house, duplex or apartment.
  2. Complete the sale or purchase in the normal way.
  3. Discharge Amorys’ fees and outlay as agreed.
  4. Provide the correct answers to 3 questions which we will send to you by email after your sale/purchase has been completed. All entrants will be asked the same questions.
  5. Await the result of the competition.

Conditions and Additional Information

  • If your sale or purchase does not proceed for any reason, you will not be eligible to participate in the competition.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, there is only one prize of €750. Joint sellers/purchasers will have to share the spoils!
  • The draw amongst successful participants (i.e. everyone who satisfies the entry criteria) will take place 14 days subsequent to completion of the 50th new sale and purchase agreed with clients subsequent to the Entry Date. Your Entry Date will be the date you sign and return your Letter of Engagement to Amorys. For obvious reasons, we cannot give any commitment as to when the draw will take place.
  • The draw will be conducted by one of our solicitors who will randomly pick the name/s of the lucky winner from a box containing the name/s and contact details of all eligible participants. An independent observer will supervise the draw.
  • We will notify the winner by phone and email immediately subsequent to the draw.
  • The prize will be paid immediately by EFT to your bank account or by cheque as the winner may direct.
  • Our Letter of Engagement will contain an opt-out option for any client who does not wish to participate in the competition. All other clients will automatically be entered in the competition in the absence of ticking the opt-out option. By accepting the prize the winner/s grants Amorys the right to use and publish his/her name in such media as Amorys may choose (including but not limited to the internet) for advertising and promotional purposes without additional consideration.
  • A copy of our Data Protection Policy can be found here.
Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Conveyancing Clients’ Competition”, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

Gone Smishing? Credit Card Scams & Cybercrime

Credit Card Scams & Cybercrime

Bank of Ireland recently notified their customers of a smishing scam where some of their credit card customers had received a text message claiming to be from the bank. The text message told customers that their credit card had been automatically blocked for security reasons and asked them to click on a link for further information and to order a replacement credit card. The link brought customers to a phishing website where they were asked to input their security information including their account number, four-digit PIN number and their online banking PIN. Some of the bank’s customers unfortunately lost their money due to the fraudulent scam.

Cybercrime is becoming highly sophisticated and as consumers now conduct most of their banking online this is an area where fraudsters concentrate much of their focus. Banks regularly warn their customers to be vigilant against online financial fraud particularly when any text or email has a link which then requests the customer’s security information for their account. You should never give out this information even if the email or text looks entirely genuine. Any suspected phishing emails or smishing texts should be immediately reported to your bank and deleted from your device. The onus is placed very much on the consumer to be alert to suspected fraud which is understandably difficult for those who have no experience or knowledge as to how to identify potential scams.

It is vital that the terms and conditions under which your online banking are governed are carefully considered and analysed if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of online financial fraud.   Legal advice should be sought to ascertain whether you have any claim against the bank to recoup your financial loss.

How to protect yourself against credit card scams and cybercrime:-

  • Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date on your laptop/computer.
  • There are anti-phishing toolbars included in most internet web browsers, make sure these are also the most up to date version.
  • Do not respond to any emails/texts requesting your personal, financial or security details.
  • Never open a link attached to an email/text that you are not sure about and do not enter your personal/security/financial information if requested in the linked website.
  • Avoid sending your personal/security/financial information in an email.
  • Before transferring money to an online account, ring the account holder to confirm their identity and the account number.
  • If you receive an unsolicited phone call from your bank, do not give your personal/security/financial information over the phone even if they have some basic information on you such as your name and address. Say that you will need to validate their identity and will contact your bank directly, do not use phone number given to you by the caller as this could be fake.
  • The Gardai advise that if you have transferred money to an unknown source as a result of a fraudulent email you should also report it to your local Garda station.
  • The default approach should always be caution. If you suspect anything fraudulent delete and report.

*Smishing – the fraudulent practice of sending text messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

*Phishing – the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “Gone Smishing? Credit Card Scams & Cybercrime”, please contact Daragh Burke, Amorys Solicitors daragh@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

COVID-19 and Data Protection Rights

Data Protection Rights and the Pandemic COVID-19

It was recently reported that the HSE had disclosed to an employer that one of their employees had tested positive for Covid-19 prior to informing the employee of their own test results. The HSE explained in a statement that in “exceptional circumstances”, “if it is considered essential for the public health good”, they would inform an employer of a Covid-19 positive test result prior to informing the employee. The HSE has since requested guidance from the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) and has suspended the practice in the interim. Nonetheless, the issue has provoked serious concerns regarding the protection of employees’ sensitive medical data and whether there are any “exceptional circumstances” wherein the data protection rights of data subjects can be overridden in such a way.

Guidance from the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC)

Mass Covid-19 screening has been taking place across a number of sectors including meat processing plants and nursing homes, and which involves the processing of large amounts of personal data including employee names, addresses and dates of birth and sensitive ‘special category’ medical data over a relatively short period of time and with a high degree of urgency.

The Data Protection Commissioner has issued advice regarding data protection law and the measures being taken by governments, employers in the public and private sector and voluntary bodies in the wake of the pandemic. Firstly, any protection measures implemented as a result of the pandemic that involves the processing of personal data need to be proportionate and necessary. The pandemic does not give organisations the authority to circumvent data protection standards and the applicable law.

  • If an organisation is acting on the advice or direction of public health authorities or other authorities, the processing of personal data and data relating to health is permitted under the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, provided the relevant safeguards are in place to include the deletion of the data under strict time limits, limitations on who can access the data and ensuring that staff are adequately trained regarding the protection of the data rights of individuals.
  • Under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, employers are legally obliged to protect their employees. Personal health data can be processed if it decided it is necessary to do so and it is proportionate under the 2005 Act and the GDPR.  The data should be processed in a confidential manner meaning that if there is an employee who has tested positive for Covid-19, staff should be advised without identifying the particular employee.
  • Organisations must be transparent regarding how they process personal data and sensitive ‘special category’ personal data, why they are collecting this data and how long the data will be retained in plain and clear language.
  • Confidentiality must be maintained and the necessary safeguards put in place to ensure the security of the data. There must be a very strong justification for identifying any individual affected by Covid-19 to a third party or colleagues.
  • Only the minimum amount of data required to implement the objective of preventing or containing the spread of Covid-19 must be gathered and any decision-making process of an organisation regarding their response to the pandemic which involves the processing of personal data should be retained by the data processor.

While the pandemic has rapidly changed the way organisations are functioning, the fundamentals of data protection remain intact.  Organisations must exercise caution when processing personal data and in particular when the data is health-related.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.
For further information and advice in relation to “COVID-19 and Data Protection Rights”, please contact Daragh Burke, Amorys Solicitors daragh@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

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