Personal Injury claims rise by 15%

The Court Services annual report for 2016 published last July, confirms an increase in personal injury claims by 18%.

Concern has been stressed by the Minister for State Michael D’Arcy that this will lead to further hikes in insurance premiums into 2018 and 2019.

The jurisdiction of the Courts increased in 2014. The Circuit Court has a jurisdiction limited €60,000 in personal injury matters and the High Court retains unlimited jurisdiction. The District Court’s jurisdiction was raised from €6,335 to €15,000, but many claims are still initiated in the Circuit Court, despite the fact that they may ultimately be disposed for District Court money.

The increase in jurisdiction means that awards have increased slightly in 2016 when compared with awards of 2015. The High Court dealt with 8,510 cases in 2016. Just over 1,000 of these cases related to medical negligence actions. That is an 18% increase in the amount of cases dealt with by the High Court in 2015.

The High Court awarded damages up to €60,000 in 146 cases, compared with 192 in 2015. 158 cases led to awards between €60,000 and just under €200,000, compared with 179 in 2015. There were 36 awards made by the High Court between €200,000 and €500,000 which was down from 48 in 2015.

The highest award made in Ireland in 2016 was €9 million. The total amount in personal injuries actions awarded by the High Court for 2016 was €147.1 million. In Circuit Court cases, awards were up by 15% in 2016 compared to 2015. In 2015, €10,631 were dealt with by Circuit Courts throughout the country, when compared with €12,230 in 2016. The average award by the Injuries Board was €24,305 in 2016.

For queries about personal injuries please contact Niamh O’Connor on (021) 239 0620.