Personal Injury and the Injuries Board

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How Injury Claims Are Assessed

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 was enacted in an attempt by the government to put a stop to increasing insurance costs. Since 22/07/04, all personal injury claims involving motor accidents, public liability and claims by employees against their employers must now be brought to the PIAB (now called “Injuries Board”) for assessment in the first instance, rather than to the courts. We assist and advise the claimant on the preparation and processing of the claim and on the adequacy of the sum offered by the PIAB assessment. We deal with important issues like ensuring the claim is processed on time and that evidence is identified and preserved.

Once an application is submitted to the PIAB, it contacts the respondent to seek their consent to an assessment of the claim. The respondent has 90 days within which to consent or refuse to the assessment. If they refuse to consent, the applicant will be issued with an authorisation, permitting them to begin court proceedings. If they agree to the assessment, then PIAB will begin an assessment of the claim based on written medical and other reports. PIAB may arrange for an independent medical appointment.

The claim will be assessed on the medical evidence with regard being had to the Book of Quantum, which gives a guide to the compensation levels for particular injuries. Normally, the assessment will comprise Special Damages and General Damages. The former covers expenses arising as a result of the injury. General Damages aims to cover pain and suffering sustained as a result of the injury.

Once PIAB have made the assessment and informed each of the parties, the claimant has 28 days to decide whether to accept or reject the assessment sum and the respondent has 21 days to make the same decision. If both parties accept the assessment, PIAB will issue an “Order to Pay” to the respondent, which has the same status as a court award. If either party rejects the assessment, an authorisation to pursue court proceedings is issued.