The new Personal Injuries Guidelines commenced on April 24 2021. Published by the Judicial Council, they set new guideline levels for personal injury compensation in Ireland. The objective was to bring greater consistency across personal injuries awards and to support greater use of the services provided by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).
As we approach the 12 month mark since the introduction of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, we review the impact of the new guidelines.
- There has been a reduction in the average award made by PIAB of almost 50% in the past year
- Consumers have not seen a similar reduction in insurance premiums during that time with the average reduction in motor premiums of approximately 10%
- In contrast FBD insurance have reported higher than expected profits before tax for 2021 of €110 million while Aviva saw its profits for homes and motor cover rise by 34% to €43 million
- At a time when inflation is at a record high, customers are being denied a legitimate expectation that their insurance premiums should reduce in line with the reduction in the awards made by PIAB since the new Guidelines came into effect
- With widespread coverage of the reduction in the number of claims and the level of the awards there is concern that that the genuine claimant will be deterred from making a legitimate claim
- The main change in the new guidelines relate only to soft tissue type injury
- It is important for the general public to note that PIAB now assess psychological injury whereas previously it did not. People may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with symptoms like reliving the incident, flashbacks, low mood, loss of concentration etc. and this will now be assessed by the injuries board
As yet, we do not know how judges will interpret the guidelines when assessments made by PIAB are rejected by claiments and come before the court for adjudication. Our recommendation is that if you are involved in and accident that has resulted in injury you should immediately seek advice from a solicitor.