New PIAB guidelines reported to be regulating the level of awards
A 2nd report published today by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) shows average general damages have decreased by 47%. average PIAB award is now €13,825 compared with €24,000 in 2020. 72% of awards are now €15,000 or less compared to 30% of PIAB awards in 2020.
While it is good news to see the level of awards decreasing or maintaining it is important now that insurance premiums follow suit. The cost of insurance is just one facet that is putting increased cost pressures on small firms.
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.
On 9 February, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy TD published the General Scheme of the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022. The policy objective of the General Scheme 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 Scheme 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.
Pre legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme by the Joint Committee commenced on 30 March.