What is the Injuries Board (formerly known as PIAB)? And how does it affect YOU?
The Injuries Board, formerly known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), is an independent statutory body set up under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003. All personal injury claims in Ireland (except for cases involving medical negligence) must be submitted to the Board.
Before the Injuries Board was introduced a person could initiate legal proceedings directly to the Courts. With the introduction of the Board this process has changed and a compulsory intermediate step was introduced: an application to the Board.
There are exceptions where the Board may grant an authorization to proceed directly to the Courts. For example if the applicant has sustained complex and serious injuries, the claimant may be dying, the claim arises out of trespass to the person or the claim consists partly or wholly of psychological damage.
Summary of the Injuries Board process
1 - The applicant completes an application form and submits it with his/her medical reports and the €45 application fee.
2 - The respondent has 90 days to decide. If the respondent agrees to the assessment he will pay a €1,050 fee and PIAB will proceed to assess the application. If the respondent declines then the applicant will be given an authorisation and may go to court.
3 - If the respondent agrees to the assessment The Board makes its assessment
4 - The claimant has 28 days to decide whether to accept or reject the award. If they accept it, they must acknowledge this in writing to InjuriesBoard.ie. If they don’t reply within 28 days, it is deemed that they have rejected the assessment.
5 -The respondent has 21 days to accept or reject the assessment. If the respondent does not reply within this time limit, it will be deemed he/she has accepted the assessment.
6 - If both parties accept the assessment, the Board will issue an Order to Pay to the respondent. If either you or the respondent rejects the assessment, the Board will issue you with an Authorisation allowing you to take your claim to court.
Areas to be aware of
The Board was created with the intention of reducing costs and creating an effective method of processing claims with a faster timeframe and the same levels as provided by the Courts.
It is a matter of ongoing debate as to whether these goals have been achieved.
In our practice we find that my of our clients are aware of the Board but the still feel they would prefer a trained solicitor to protect their interests. The main reasons they come to us are:
• Difficulty in understanding the process and the legalities; such as Statute of Limitations and exceptions to the Act. Remember the Injuries Board cannot assist you complete the form and you cannot go back a second time if you get it wrong
• The date of the accident must be correct
• Difficulty in completing the application and identifying the respondent (the person who is responsible for the injury). It is very important that the application form is completed correctly, and especially important that the defendant is correctly identified. Accordingly companies office searches should often be undertaken prior to completion of the form.
• Often the price of the application combined with the medical report is prohibitively expensive for many individuals. We help out where we can. The Board does not award costs. However a successful plaintiff before the courts will normally be entitled to the costs excluding the cost of making the initial application to the Board (€45) and the costs of dealing with the Board.
• Many of our clients feel they are not able to assess the value of their claim or the Board’s assessment.
• Insurance Companies try to settle for as little as possible to reduce their outgoings
• Don’t rush into accepting an offer. Allow time for your injuries to resolve or be sure of a prognosis.
• You may need Specialist advice before settling your claim
If you have been involved in an accident ring us on 1800 661234