Introduction to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board
In Ireland, all personal injury claims must, in the first instance, generally be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). This includes personal injuries caused by road traffic accidents (for example a whiplash injury arising from a car accident), accidents in the workplace and accidents that occur in public places.
PIAB (formally known as “the Injuries Board”) was set up in 2004 under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2004, in order to simplify the process of resolving personal injury claims. PIAB evaluates and assesses personal injury claims.
Are all personal injury claims assessed by PIAB?
Not all claims are assessed by PIAB. For example, if the injury is largely psychological, PIAB will usually decline to assess it. That does not mean that your claim fails, but rather it means that you have to go to the next step of taking Court Proceedings. Also, sometimes the wrongdoer may object to the Injuries Board assessing a claim, and, in those circumstances, the claim will not be assessed. Also, if the prognosis for your injuries is uncertain, PIAB may also decline to assess it.
PIAB does not deal with all personal injury claims. For example, personal injury claims arising from medical negligence or claims which are complex due to pre-existing medical conditions may not be accepted for assessment by PIAB. Please feel free to speak to our experienced team of Personal Injury Solicitors at Cantillons Solicitors in order to establish whether your personal injury claim should be submitted to PIAB, or dealt with in another way.
How can I make an application to the Injuries Board?
If you have experienced a personal injury as a result of the negligence and/or the fault of another person or party, you may be entitled to lodge a personal injury claim with PIAB. Although it is possible to do this without a Solicitor, it is important to note that an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor, such as the team at Cantillons Solicitors, can help you to understand the process and ensure that your claim has the best possible chance of success.
To make a claim to PIAB, you should follow these steps:
Talk to a Personal Injury Solicitor
An experienced Personal Injury Solicitor can help you to make your claim to PIAB, and can help to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Collect your evidence
Your Personal Injury Solicitor will help you to put together the correct documentation to make your compensation claim. This will include all details of the accident that has occurred, including details of the injuries you suffered, details of any pre-existing conditions or prior injuries and details of all expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident. You will need to identify the person or party you consider to be at fault for your injuries, and you should work with your Solicitor to do this.
Obtain medical reports
One of the most crucial parts of your evidence is the medical reports about the personal injuries you have sustained as a result of the accident. Your Solicitor can assist you getting the medical report and also getting your medical records by requesting these from the doctor, hospital or medical professional who treated you, immediately after the accident and on subsequent occasions.
Time limit for submitting a claim
A claim must, generally speaking, be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board within two years of the date of the accident or the date of knowledge of the accident in which your injuries were sustained.
Submit your claim
To submit your compensation claim, your Solicitor will provide your medical reports, details of expenses (such as loss of earnings or the costs of repairs to your car) and a completed application to PIAB. This can be submitted to PIAB online or by post, and PIAB will let you know that your application has been received. You will be provided with a reference number for your application, and the party you have identified to be at fault in your claim will be notified and provided with a copy of your application and medical reports. There is a PIAB fee of €45 for online applications, and €90 for claims submitted by post. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board will then assess your personal injury claim.
How much can I expect from a Personal Injury Claim?
The amount of compensation you are awarded, if your claim is successful, will depend upon the nature of your claim, the personal injuries suffered and the amount of out of pocket expenses you suffered. An injury that has caused you to be unable to work for a period of weeks, for example, may result in a smaller compensation payout than an injury that has left you unable to return to work for a year.
In assessing your personal injury claim, PIAB will refer to the Book of Quantum. The PIAB Book of Quantum contains guidelines regarding the amounts of compensation for personal injury claims. This information is based on previous settlements in personal injury cases, and enables PIAB to identify the category of the injury (according to which part of the body is injured), the severity of the injury and then calculate a suggested compensation offer for the personal injury claim.
When your claim has been assessed, if successful, you will receive a compensation offer, which (if you accept the award), will be paid to you by the party found to be at fault in your case. You will have 28 days to decide whether or not you wish to accept this offer, and failure to respond in this time will result in an automatic rejection of the offer. The party at fault has 21 days to accept or reject the offer. We at Cantillons Solicitors will discuss this offer with you and advise you on whether or it is an appropriate amount of compensation for the personal injuries you suffered. When advising you on this, we will consider the Book of Quantum and also, from our experience, what a Court is likely to award you for your injuries.
At this stage, having consider the assessment, it is open to you to accept or to reject the PIAB assessment.
If both parties accept the assessment, then you should receive your settlement payment, within six weeks usually.
If either party rejects the assessment, the next step, should you wish to do so, is to bring court proceedings, where a Judge will decide the outcome of your case. If the matter is to proceed down the Court road, we will draft court proceedings and represent you in Court. We will obtain the highest award possible in your case, either through settlement, negotiation, mediation or Court award.
How long does a personal injury claim take?
PIAB was set up to reduce the time taken to successfully conclude personal injury cases. Since it was set up, PIAB reports that the amount of time taken to resolve a personal injury claim has been reduced from an average of 3 years to 7-9 months.
PIAB may take up to 9 months to assess your claim. It can request an extension from you and the other party involved in your claim if they cannot do so within this time frame.
How long do I have to make a Personal Injury claim?
There are strict time limits within which personal injury actions must be taken. Generally speaking the time limit is two years but on occasions, the time limits may be shorter or longer. If you have suffered an injury, you should contact a member of the Cantillons Solicitors team as soon as possible.
There are exceptions to this rule, and these include, for example, cases in which a child has been injured. In those circumstances the two year time limit begins on the child’s 18th birthday. It is possible for a representative of the child (for example, a child’s parent) to bring a personal injury claim on behalf of the child before their 18th birthday. It should be noted that any money received in settlement will be held for the child until they reach the age of 18, although part of this may be accessed by parents or guardians prior to this time if it is to be used to care for the child.
An exception to the two year period will also be recognised if you were not immediately aware of the injuries you sustained in the accident or if you were not aware that another person or party was to blame for the accident. The ‘date of knowledge’ rule allows, in some cases, for the time limit to be extended.
Contact Cantillons Solicitors for support with your personal injury claim
Here at Cantillons Solicitors, we can help with you with your personal injury compensation claim. We will assist you during the PIAB process.
We believe that every case is unique, and we take the time to get to know our clients, so that we can ensure the very best outcomes in every case.
We have many years of experience in getting the best compensation possible in personal injury claims (including, for example, a whiplash injury claim arising out of car accident or an injury airing out of a workplace accident).
Cantillons Solicitors are Personal Injury Solicitors in Cork. We do however represent clients from all over Ireland.
Please contact our friendly team on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at email@example.com for more information.