Personal Injury Assessment Board
The Personal Injury Assessment Board Act 2003 became fully operational on the 22nd July, 2004. The Act applies to most categories of civil proceedings relating to a claim for damages as a consequence of personal injury and injuries and damage to property as damage to property and personal injury have been arisen out of the same incident and alleged wrong.
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board was established following the introduction of the aforementioned legislation. It is an independent body which assesses the amount of compensation due to a person who has suffered a personal injury. Therefore if a person wants to claim for compensation for a personal injury they have to make a claim through PIAB in the first instance.
In order to make a claim an individual must forward to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board a variety of documents.
These include :
- Completed Application Form (Form A)
- Medical Assessment Form (Form B) This document should be completed by the individuals Medical Practitioner. In certain circumstances it may be appropriate for an individual's General Practitioner to complete the form. In other circumstances, for example where injuries are more serious and treatment ongoing, it may be appropriate to obtain a report from a more specialist Practitioner.
- Copies of any correspondence between the individual and the Third Party which you believe is responsible for the injury.
- Payment of €50.00.
The claim for compensation is assessed after consideration of all medical evidence. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board are provided with guidance on the level of compensation by reference to the Book of Quantum. This document contains a wide range of compensation figures for different types of injuries, figures for different types of compensation vary widely, this is normally as a consequence of the severity of the injury. The Book of Quantum only affects compensation which is known as general damages compensation for pain and suffering. An overall assessment however considers a variety of other factors such as specific losses that an individual has sustained such as :
- Past loss of earnings and medical bills.
- Future cost of medical care.
- Loss of earnings into the future caused by the injury.
The Book of Quantum has been compiled on behalf of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board by Independent Consultants.
The aim of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board is to make the process as user friendly as possible. It is open to an individual claimant to seek the assistance of a Solicitor in the preparation and submission of a personal injury assessment board claim, the legal fees for this can be submitted as part of a claim. These claims will be allowed where the Personal Injuries Assessment Board fell that they were "reasonably and necessarily incurred in compliant with the requirement of the Act." Circumstances where it may be felt appropriate to allow legal fees would be in circumstances where for example an individual claimant lacks the intelligent capacity to effectively complete the form or where their grasp of English would make the completion of a form very difficulty indeed.
There are very strict time limits in place for the making of claims for compensation in relation to personal injury claims. The Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004 sets a time limit for most cases of two years from the date of the event which caused the injury. It is however, advisable to lodge a completed application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
Once an individual has submitted an application for compensation they are sent a receipt for the fee and an application number. The Respondent is then informed about the claim and has a period of ninety days in which to consent to PIAB assessing the claim as well as to indicate the fact that they do not dispute liability. If the Respondent does not consent to PIAB assessing the claim and does not accept liability then the Personal Injury Assessment Board proceeds to issue an Authorisation entitling an individual Claimant to proceed to pursue their claim through the Courts.
If both parties agree to an assessment by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board PIAB will then proceed to make their assessment. It is open the Claimant to accept or reject the assessment. Furthermore, the Respondent has 21 days to accept or reject the assessment. If both parties accept the assessment then an document known as "An Order to Pay" is issued. Furthermore, if either party reject the assessment then the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will issue an Authorisation once again entitling the Claimant to proceed through the Court system.
A claim made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board may be withdrawn. It needs to be understood however, that once a claim is withdrawn it can not be resubmitted, nor can a claim through the Courts system be commenced.
Contact Us today to arrange an appointment with our Mr. Don Mahoney should you wish to discuss this matter further.