The introduction of the new Personal Injury Guidelines has seen the awards for personal injury claims fall significantly since their introduction last year.
The guidelines have been a welcome development for insurers and employers, but injured parties may feel hard done by under the new guidelines.
Changes in process and payouts
As a result of the new Personal Injury Guidelines, former High Court cases are now appearing in the Circuit Court, and many Circuit Court claims are now appearing before the District Court.
The monetary jurisdiction of the District Court is €15,000, while the monetary jurisdiction of the Circuit Court for personal injury actions is limited to €60,000. The High Court may hear all personal injury cases for claims of damage over €60,000.
Personal Injury Assessment Board review of awards
Last week, the Personal Injury Assessment Board (PIAB) released data which revealed that its awards have almost halved since April of last year.
A PIAB review of its awards between April and September 2021 shows the average award was 40% lower than the average 2020 award under the previous Book of Quantum. During the same period, 68% of the claims involved motor liability, 19% involved public liability and 13% involved employers’ liability. Just over 70% of claims were under €15,000. Only 30% of claims were under €15,000 throughout 2020. 18% of claims were under €5,000.
Only 37% of PIAB awards were accepted between April and September 2021 compared to 51% in 2020.
Overall, the number of claims in the area of personal injury has dropped and those who do wish to pursue a claim can expect awards considerably lower than the levels seen before the introduction of the new guidelines.
About the Author: Avril Scally is Head of Medical Negligence and Nicholas Moore is a Medical Negligence Solicitor.