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Overview of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board

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If you have sustained an injury at work, a public space, or in a road traffic incident, you will need to process a claim via the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), if you wish to apply for compensation. In this short guide, we explain what it is and how the process works.

What is the Personal Injuries Assessment Board?

In short, it’s a statutory body established to assess personal injury compensation for victims of workplace, motor, and public liability accidents. Its primary aim is to provide a fair, independent, and efficient assessment process, reducing the need for litigation and thereby speeding up the compensation process. By offering an alternative to going through the courts, PIAB helps to lower legal costs and simplify the claims process for personal injury compensation in Ireland.

How does the claims process work?

To initiate a claim, the claimant will need to submit an application via their website, along with a medical report detailing their injuries. PIAB then notifies the party alleged to be responsible for the injury (the respondent), who can consent to or decline the assessment by PIAB. If consent is given, PIAB assesses the claim and issues an award based on the injuries and losses. The claimant and the respondent can either accept or reject this award. If either party rejects the award, the claimant can then pursue the matter through the courts.

Is there a cost to submit a claim?

Yes. There is a processing fee of €45 for online applications and €90 for applications submitted via email or in the post.

Is mediation with the respondent part of the process?

Yes, mediation can be part of the process, although it is not a mandatory step for either party. When submitting an application online, PIAB offers a checkbox for their mediation service which the claimant can either accept or decline. The purpose of this service is to facilitate a resolution of the claim without court proceedings. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process where an independent mediator helps both parties reach a mutually satisfactory settlement. If both parties agree to mediation and successfully reach an agreement, it can provide a quicker and less adversarial resolution to the claim.

What happens if the respondent does not consent to the claim or to mediation?

If the respondent does not consent to the claim, PIAB cannot proceed with the assessment. In such cases, PIAB will issue an authorisation to the claimant, allowing them to pursue their claim through the courts. This authorisation is necessary for the claimant to initiate legal proceedings against the respondent for their injuries. The move to court proceedings means the claim will be resolved through the judicial system, which can involve more time and potentially higher costs compared to the PIAB assessment and mediation process.

How long does the process take?

If both parties agree to mediation, the process can be relatively fast. If an agreement is reached using an independent mediator, there is a 10-day cooling-off period after the agreement is signed. During this period, either party can change their mind. After 10 days, if everyone is still happy, the agreement becomes legally binding. If an agreement can’t be reached, or if the respondent refuses to engage in mediation, then the process will likely take much longer and may require court intervention.

How is the compensation award assessed?

PIAB assesses compensation based on the medical evidence provided by the claimant, any financial losses incurred, and the circumstances of the accident. The assessment considers the severity and impact of the injuries, including pain and suffering, loss of earnings, medical expenses, and any other costs related to the injury. PIAB uses guidelines established by the judiciary in Ireland, known as the “Personal Injuries Guidelines”, to determine the appropriate amount of compensation for various types of injuries. This ensures consistency and fairness in the assessment and award of personal injury claims.

What is their Notice of Assessment?

The Notice of Assessment is a document issued to both the claimant and the respondent after the assessment of the claim is completed. This notice outlines the amount of compensation PIAB has determined is appropriate for the injury and losses sustained, based on the evidence and guidelines. It also includes information on how to accept or reject the assessment. Both parties have a specific period to respond; if either party rejects the assessment or fails to respond, the claimant may then proceed to pursue the matter through the courts with PIAB’s authorisation.

Do I need a solicitor when making a claim through PIAB?

No, it’s not mandatory to hire a solicitor. The PIAB process is designed to be accessible and straightforward, allowing claimants to apply without the need for legal representation. However, many claimants choose to engage a solicitor for advice or assistance with the process, especially in complex cases or when seeking guidance on the legal aspects of their claim. Having a solicitor on your side can provide valuable support and ensure that the claim is presented effectively to maximise the potential compensation awarded.

Require some assistance with submitting your claim to PIAB?

If you have sustained injuries due to the negligence of a third party, and you are considering filing a claim with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, feel free to get in touch with our experienced personal injury team here at McCarthy + Co. We will be happy to provide free and impartial advice on the validity and likely outcome of your claim. Send us a message now and a member of the team will get back to you.  

Liam Crowley

Liam, with his expertise in litigation and court work, primarily supports John in handling personal injury and medical negligence claims. His passion for criminal law stems from his initial years in a bustling Dublin city centre criminal law practice, where he gained ample experience appearing before the District and Circuit Courts in the Criminal Courts of Justice and Clover Hill, in Blanchardstown and Tallaght District Courts and in High Court bail and judicial review matters.

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