Members of An Garda Síochána must frequently put themselves in harm’s way as part of their job. Where this results in injury due to criminal behaviour, such as violent assaults, Gardai can be left needing medical treatment, including surgery and physical and psychological therapy.
In such cases, applying to the Garda Compensation Scheme can be essential to help Gardai get the best possible support for their recovery.
Gardai injured in the line of duty due to criminal behaviour may be left permanently affected. As well as physical injuries, stress, anxiety and social isolation can impact all areas of a victim’s life, including their employment, social interactions and hobbies.
The Garda Compensation Scheme is specifically for members of An Garda Síochána who sustained personal injuries maliciously inflicted upon them in performance of their duties, or acting in their general capacity as a member when off duty, or merely because of their being a member of An Garda Síochána.
The scheme is also open to dependants of deceased members of An Garda Síochána who were fatally injured while on duty, or while acting in their general capacity as a member, or merely because of their being a member.
Who is eligible to apply for the Garda Compensation Scheme?
As mentioned above, applicants must be members of An Garda Síochána. The Scheme is also open to dependants of deceased members who were fatally injured.
In order to qualify for the Scheme, these injuries must have been maliciously inflicted upon the member in the course of their duties, or acting in their general capacity as a member when off duty, or because of their being a member of An Garda Síochána.
Is there a time limit on applications to the Tribunal?
Under the terms of the Garda Compensation Scheme, applications must be made within 3 months of the date of the incident.
What happens when I submit my application to the Garda Compensation Scheme?
Once an application is filed, the member must submit all relevant medical reports from their treating doctors to the Garda Authorities, including reports from any treating specialists and radiology reports, together with a final prognosis.
Once the reports have been submitted, the member is placed on a waiting list to be examined by the Garda Chief Medical Officer who will provide a report on the member’s condition and prognosis.
The report of the Garda Chief Medical Officer and information from the member’s Divisional Office regarding the incident are forwarded to the Garda Compensation Section of the Department of Justice & Equality and applications are processed by the Minister for Justice & Equality in the order that the reports are received by the Department from the Garda Authorities.
The Garda Commissioner confirms to the Minister that the incident was not the result of wilful default or negligence on the member’s part and also confirms whether the member was assigned to duties involving “special risk”.
It is also open to a member of An Garda Síochána to take a standard personal injuries claim against the person responsible their injuries, however they cannot be compensated twice for the same injury.
How much can you claim from the Garda Compensation Scheme?
Once proceedings have issued in the High Court, the case progresses to a hearing before a judge to assess the amount of compensation to be awarded in respect of pain & suffering and out-of-pocket expenses such as medical expenses and loss of earnings.
Claiming for “minor” injuries under the Garda Compensation Scheme
The Minister may refuse an application by a member in circumstances where the injuries were not maliciously inflicted (such as instances where a member trips and falls in the course of their duties) or where the injuries sustained by the applying member are minor in nature.
Generally, an injury is considered “minor” if the member recovered within three months with no adverse medical sequelae anticipated in the future. There is no appeal available where the Minister refuses an application except by way of Judicial Review.
How Lavelle Partners injury solicitors can assist with Garda compensation claims
- Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases of criminal injury for members of the public, including Gardaí, caused by the negligence of another party.
- Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 16 years’ experience in personal injury claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
- We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by individuals and their families following such events.
- Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes, and managing the submission of your personal injury claim.
By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
Speak to our criminal injury solicitors in Dublin about making a Garda compensation claim
If you’re a Garda or a family member of a Garda looking for further information on making a claim for criminal injury in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on +353 1 6445800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]