The Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary TD welcomes the publication by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) of their third report on average award levels under the Personal Injury Guidelines.
Minister of State with responsibility for PIAB, Dara Calleary TD, said:
"The Personal Injury Guidelines were just one measure brought forward under the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform, and I thank PIAB for their continued analysis of awards levels since their introduction in April 2021. The data shows that average general damages as assessed by PIAB have decreased by 44%.
“We saw in previous reports that the introduction of the Guidelines had a dampening effect on the acceptance of PIAB assessments. I am pleased to see acceptance rates are now up from 36% to 48% and approaching pre-Guidelines levels as claimants and respondents adjust to the new level of awards.”
“PIAB assesses personal injury claims in a fair, consistent and transparent manner. I am committed to progressing a programme of legislative reform to strengthen PIAB. Legislation I am currently bringing through the Oireachtas will facilitate an increase in the number of personal injury claims that may be resolved through the Board and without recourse to litigation.
“I am determined to progress this legislation to enactment in 2022. I am confident that these reforms will increase the number of personal injury claims resolved through the PIAB process which offers a faster and more cost-effective resolution of personal injuries claims than litigation.”
Notes for editors:
Personal Injuries Guidelines
The Personal Injuries Guidelines were adopted by the Judicial Council on 6 March 2021. The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, appointed Saturday 24 April 2021 as the commencement date of the Personal Injuries Guidelines.
The Guidelines set out the level of damages that may be awarded or assessed in respect of personal injuries. The Guidelines reduce award levels for most categories of personal injury and will be used by both the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and the courts to assess compensation in such claims.
The Personal Injuries Guidelines deal with a wide range of injuries in terms of General Damages, they do not change Special Damages, which are costs like medical or travel expenses or compensation for loss of wages.
The Book of Quantum will continue to apply where Personal Injuries Assessment Board assessments have been made or where a hearing is already before the courts.
The Guidelines are required, under the terms of the Judicial Council Act 2019, to be reviewed within three years of being adopted and every three years thereafter.
PIAB is a state agency under the aegis of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It was established in 2004 and is Ireland’s independent State body which assesses personal injuries compensation in a timely and cost-efficient manner. PIAB assesses claims for compensation arising from personal injuries sustained as a result of a motor, workplace or public liability incident.
Since its establishment the PIAB model has delivered major benefits by providing a low-cost, quick and fair option in injury compensation. The PIAB system annually saves tens of millions of euro which would otherwise be paid in processing costs by the parties, and ultimately by policyholders.
On August 2nd, 2022, the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022 was published and Minister Calleary is currently progressing the Bill through the Oireachtas with the aim of enactment before year end.
The policy objective of the Bill is to facilitate an increase in the number of personal injury claims that may be resolved through the Board’s process and without recourse to litigation. The Bill amends the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act in several ways including:
- PIAB will be given a new function – to offer mediation as a means of resolving a claim.
- PIAB will retain claims of a wholly psychological nature.
- PIAB will promote public awareness and conduct public information campaigns.
- PIAB will have additional time to assess claims where an injury is yet to settle rather than releasing to litigation.
Committee Stage of the Bill was completed in the Dáil on October 26th 2022.