What is the Injuries Board?

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The Injuries Board formally known as PIAB was set up in 2004 on foot of the PIAB Act 2003 and is a statutory body which provides independent assessment of personal injury compensation for victims of workplace, motor and public liability accidents.

If you have sustained injury as a result of a road traffic accident or an accident at work or if you have been injured as a result of somebody’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. All personal injuries claims must go through the Injuries Board process before any Court proceedings can be issued and a claimant must lodge an application with the Injuries Board within 2 years of the accident in question.

Once a claim has been lodged with the Injuries Board, the Board will write to the party/parties responsible for the accident {known as the Respondent(s)} requesting them to give their consent to an assessment i.e. permitting the Board to process the claim. The Respondent(s) have 90 days to indicate its position. If the Respondent(s) decline to have the claim assessed, an Authorisation will issue and the Claimant must then issue Civil Court proceedings in order to pursue the claim further.
If on the other hand consent is given by the Respondent(s), the Board will then proceed to arrange a medical examination for the injured party with one of their panel of doctors following which a decision will be made in relation to the level of damages deemed appropriate for the injury in question. The Book of Quantum is used as a general guideline in terms of the level of compensation which is awarded. The Board has 9 months from the date of consent in which to make their assessment. Once the assessment has been made both the Claimant and Respondent(s) have the opportunity to accept or reject the assessment. If both parties accept an Order to Pay will issue against the Respondent(s) which has the same significance as a Court Order and on foot of which the Respondent(s) must pay out the relevant amount to the Claimant. If either party rejects the assessment then an Authorisation will issue and the Claimant must then issue Civil Court proceedings in order to pursue the claim further.

In some situations even where consent to an assessment has been given, the Board may decide not to make an assessment for example where a Claimant’s injuries are wholly psychological in nature or where the injury is significantly ongoing and a definitive prognosis cannot be given within the 9 month timeframe.

Have you sustained a life changing injury as a result of somebody else’s negligence?

Further to the recent case of Maggie Yang Yun –v- the Motor Insurers Bureau & Others, the cap on general damages i.e. the maximum level of compensation a person can be awarded for pain and suffering has been increased from €300,000 to €450,000? This is very significant in terms of the level of damages recoverable for a catastrophic injury.

In this particular case the injured party, a 20 year old Chinese National was involved in a road traffic accident as a result of which she sustained a serious back injury. She subsequently developed significant Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As a result she was forced to abandon her chosen career such was the level of her injury. Whilst surgery was an option, the risk albeit a small one of paraplegia was significant enough for the Plaintiff to opt against the surgery despite medical advice to the contrary. The Plaintiff was ultimately awarded the sum of €325,000 for her pain her suffering.

When considering the level of damages applicable, the presiding Judge Justice Quirke confirmed that the principle of “restitution in integrum” applied i.e. the Court is required to place the Plaintiff in so far as money can do in the position she would have occupied had it not been for the injury. Justice Quirke took the opportunity to increase the cap on general damages on foot of this case and commented that “An award for damages must be proportionate; it must be fair to the Plaintiff and to the Defendant. It should be proportionate to social conditions, bearing in mind the common good and should also be proportionate within the legal scheme of awards made for other personal injuries”.

Immediate Callback from a Solicitor or Freephone: 1800 93 88 93

C.M. Haughey Solicitors, Christchurch Hall, High Street, Dublin 8, Tel (01) 421 4220, Fax (01) 454 8338

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

*This statement is made in compliance with Reg. 8 of the SI 518 or 2002.