Changes to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board

Niamh O’Connor reviews the changes brought in by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is Ireland’s independent state body which assesses personal injury compensation claims.  All personal injury claims (save and except medical negligence claims) must be made through PIAB, unless they are settled early between claimants and insurers/respondents.  The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019, which commences on 3 April 2019, amends the existing legislation the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 and 2007.

Key Changes:

1. Updating the Book of Quantum

The Book of Quantum which provides general guideline to the level of compensation which someone may be awarded in a personal injury action, will be reviewed from time to time and updated at least once every three years.

2. Preliminary Notification of Claim to Respondent

The Injuries Board is now allowed to issue a preliminary notice to the Respondent(s) that a claim against them has been received.

3. Clarity on Statute of Limitations When Joining Additional Respondent(s)

When an application has been lodged with PIAB, and a further respondent(s) are later added to this claim, the date upon which the “clock” stops is the date that each individual respondent is added to the claim and ending 6 months from the date of issue of the authorisation from PIAB.

4. Non-Compliance with a Request from PIAB

Section 51C provides that a court has discretion to deny an award of costs or to pay all or a portion of the other side’s costs if a party has defaulted in providing additional documents at the request of the PIAB, co-operating with experts or attending a medical examination.

Conclusion:

These new changes aim to provide the following:

  • To give more control to the Injuries Board and to encourage more claims to be settled within the PIAB process
  • To reduce costs and shorten delays in personal injuries litigation by introducing new costs consequences. A court will now be in a position to take into account any default by either party and determine where costs should lie.

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