A Brief History of the Injuries Board Ireland
The Injuries Board was established in 2004 as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) with the aim of reducing the costs associated with making personal injuries claims and also the length of time it took for these claims to get resolved. At the time, the insurance industry blamed the high cost of insurance on the legal costs associated with bringing personal injury claims to court, and the government’s ambition was to put in place a self-funding organisation which could assess how much personal injury compensation a person was entitled to receive without the necessity of court proceedings.
The first Injuries Board claims dealt solely with cases of employer negligence in accidents at work claims, but this was soon extended, once the scheme was seen to be successful, to include road traffic accidents and claims involving public liability. The mandate of the Injuries Board does not permit or require it to determine negligence in claims for personal injury compensation – it merely makes an assessment of damages based on documentary evidence supplied to it by the claimant or, more often, by the claimant’s solicitor.
If the injuries are wholly psychological in nature, the Injuries Board will decline to assess applications for assessment and refer the claimant to the court system to pursue their claim. They will also refer any Injuries Board claims in which either the claimant or respondent rejects their assessment. Despite this lack of adjudication the Injuries Board has been successful in its two original objectives – saving the taxpayer more than 40 million Euros each year in public litigation costs, and reducing the average length of time it takes for a personal injury claim to be resolved from three years to a little over twelve months.
The Injuries Board Process
The basic Injuries Board claims process is not particularly complicated but, at a time when you or a loved one are recovering from an injury and maybe not focusing entirely on the depth of information required, an oversight can be costly and potentially leave you under compensation. This is why it is always recommended to use the services of an experienced personal injury claims solicitor when making Injuries Board claims.
The information you are required to submit when making Injuries Board claims is as follows:-
- Your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, occupation and employee number (if the Injuries Board claims are work related).
- The negligent party’s name and address and, in the event of a motor claim, the registration number of their vehicle, their insurance company and insurance policy number.
- Details of how the accident occurred, what injuries you sustained, who treated you and where. You also have to support the details of your injuries with a medical report from your doctor.
- Details of any special damages you are claiming for (such as expenses for obtaining medical treatment and loss of earnings) together with documentary evidence supporting those expenses/costs, and any “other loss or expense”.
This final question is tucked away just above the area for your signature and fails to advise what “other loss or expense” you may be entitled to. The area provided gives you very little room to write details about your loss of amenity, any psychological injury, costs associated with (for example) child care or travelling to work when you are unable to drive yourself – costs which could contribute a substantial part of your Injuries Board claim.
Issues with the Injuries Board Process
Although the Injuries Board claims process aims to keep the application as simple as possible, the potential for an injury victim to make a mistake on the form and be undercompensated cannot be underestimated. The Injuries Board claims process is only straightforward in straightforward claims and there are many instances in which a claim can be rejected even when you have completed the application form correctly (For example, the Injuries Board claims form allows room for you to submit details of up to three negligent parties.)
The statutory period within which to make a claim is limited to two years. However it is the Board which determines the date upon which it regards an application as being accepted. While there is currently a case before the Supreme Court relating to this discreet issue, as matters currently stand, where Applications are being submitted close to the expiration of the statutory period the claimant runs the risk that the Board will not acknowledge the application as being received as complete within the two year timeframe.
Furthermore, the Injuries Board will assess your injuries against those listed in the Book of Quantum – a publication which lists various injuries and assigns a financial value to them depending on the extent of the injury and the length of time it may take for you to make a recovery. The “Book” makes no distinction between the age of the victim or the long term impact an injury can make on their quality of live and future emotional wellbeing. Additional anomalies exist if your Injuries Board claims relate to children or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident.
Owing to the tight timelines within which the Injuries Board operates, claimants frequently have not fully recovered by the time the assessment is made. In some cases a definitive prognosis might not be available, treatment might be continuing. In these cases the Board will often proceed to make an assessment, which cannot take full account of the injuries received or the true extent of the consequences for the claimant. It is critical in these situations that the claimant avail of Legal advice, to insure that they are adequately and fully compensated for their injuries.
Free Advice for Injuries Board
Because the Injuries Board claims process cannot possibly be 100 per cent suitable for every personal injury claim (the Injuries Board acknowledge this, and that is why they decline to accept medical negligence claims), it is always in your best interests to discuss any Injuries Board claims with an experienced personal injury solicitor prior to making an application for assessment.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a accident for which you were not to blame, you are invited to leave your contact details in the box below and a solicitor will get back in touch with you to discuss the best way to complete the Injuries Board claims form in order to ensure you receive your maximum entitlement to compensation.
We can, if you wish, take over the application and submission of your Injuries Board claims form on your behalf, but you are under no obligation to use this service, or any other service we may offer you once you have spoken with us. We aim to provide you with impartial and helpful advice to make certain you receive an adequate and fair level of compensation within an appropriate time frame.