New personal injury claims guidelines
On April 24th, new guidelines were approved by the PIAB regarding the payment levels for claims, with reductions across the board. While this is good for market compensation, what does it mean for individuals and claimants? In this article, we break down the claims process and the updates to payments.
In March 2021, new guidelines were introduced regarding the amounts paid to claimants in personal injury cases. As reported by the Law Society Gazette, the guidelines have been approved to be used by the PIAB and courts (Law Society 2021). These changes have been implemented in response to rising insurance premiums due to perceived inflated awards being paid. It is hoped that this will benefit the insurance market and consumers by boosting competition.
What is the PIAB?
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board or PIAB is the independent state body in Ireland, responsible for assessing and regulating the damages paid for personal injury claims. In clear-cut cases where the person in the wrong is clearly identifiable and both parties are happy to proceed with the PIAB’s approach, the Book of Quantum comes into play. The Book of Quantum, which can be found at PIAB.ie was established to create benchmarks for injury claims payments in straightforward cases.
What is the difference in personal injury claim payments?
New amounts of payments made for a variety of injury types are drastically reduced when compared with the previous schedules in the Book of Quantum. An example of a case that would come under the Book of Quantum guidance is a road traffic accident where a party sustains physical injuries. A typical injury in this type of accident is whiplash. A medical report is provided to the PIAB as part of the application. The claim can also include the costs of physiotherapy, medical costs and any loss of income. The PIAB then issue an assessment with their recommendation for the award to the applicant
This recommendation is then sent to the insurer to payout. At that point, the insurer and claimant both have to be happy that this is a fair and reasonable settlement. If both parties are satisfied then the matter concludes with the payout to the claimant. Otherwise, Authorisation issues allowing the claimant to commence legal proceedings.
What does that mean?
In a recent interview with Kilkenny City Community Radio, Laurie Grace highlighted the change in payments being made. While previously a personal injury claimant who may have received €15700 for a minor whiplash claim, could now receive between €500 to €3000.
What will be interesting to monitor is if this affects the cost of our insurance premiums. As Laurie shared on the radio show, it will be difficult for insurance companies to continue to charge these large premiums if the level of awards decreases. Laurie also highlighted that there has been a significant reduction in the number of car accidents during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the majority of the population worked from home.
Got a claim, get in touch
While there are guidelines, it is recommended that if you do find yourself in a situation where there is a personal injury claim, to speak to your solicitor for advice. We would advise this for either party involved. We can help you with the application and further advise you once you receive an assessment or authorisation from the PIAB.
For information on this check out the Personal Injury Claims website at www.piab.ie.