The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) was set up in 2003 with the express intention of speeding up and simplifying the process for personal injuries claims. At the time the waiting list for court cases was extremely long and complicated and the hope was that PIAB would make things a lot easier.
You must use PIAB for claims under the following headings:-
- Motor accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Public liability accidents
Medical negligence claims will not be dealt with by PIAB and these must go through the normal court system.
While you don’t formally need a solicitor to bring your claim for personal injuries, it’s always the easier route to take. For one thing, a solicitor will be very used to the procedure and will know how to follow the different steps in the quickest time possible so as to ensure your claim is dealt with thoroughly and effectively.
Your solicitor will also be familiar with the likely value of your case – how much it’s worth. So, if an settlement offer is made, a solicitor will be able to tell you whether your case is one where a higher amount of compensation should be offered. This means that you won’t settle your case for less than it’s worth.
Another reason is also important. As you will see from the steps below, you may not be able to finalise your claim through PIAB and it may be necessary to continue into the Court system. At that stage you will need a solicitor to take your case through Court and it would be preferable to have somebody who has been involved with the case from the outset.
That said, you are always free to make your own application to PIAB and the steps are set out below.
MAKING A CLAIM THROUGH PIAB
There are 6 main steps to making a claim for personal injuries through PIAB. In most cases you have 2 years from the date of the accident to make a claim so it is important that the process gets underway as soon as possible.
Fill out an online claim form. You can find this form on the PIAB website site. This provides a full explanation of the accident and who was responsible. You will need to attach a medical report if one has been prepared at that stage. The form can be filled out online or printed out and sent in by post or emailed in. If the form is sent in using the online portal there is a fee of €90 and if a form is printed and emailed in, the fee is €45. In that case you will download and complete a Form 1 (the claim form) and Form 2 (the medical form). You need to also claim for special damages so that they can be included in the file opened by PIAB.
The PIAB will notify the party you are claiming against (the respondent) so they are aware of the claim and the details. In the vast majority of cases, the respondent will be an insurance company.
At this stage, the respondent has 90 days to agree for PIAB to carry out an assessment and they will usually do so within this time frame.
Even though you sent in a medical report at the outset of your claim, PIAB may request an independent medical examination and report at this point.
At this stage PIAB will decide on a figure that they think your case is worth. This is the sum that they think the respondent should pay you to cover your losses under the accident. This figure is decided upon by considering the various injuries that have been sustained was previously determined by reference to the Book of Quantum. This was a book detailing a list of injuries and the amount that had been awarded. The Book of Quantum was replaced in March 2021 with a set of Guidelines, determined after consultations and discussions, and with a view to reforming the insurance sector by reducing the amount of personal injuries offered. Despite the good intentions of those who enacted the Guidelines, there is concern that the new Guidelines will not sufficiently compensate those who have been involved in accidents, there are in place for the time being at least.
Once PIAB has come to its decision regarding an award of damages, they will notify you and the respondent of the amount in question. Both of you must agree to the figure and at that stage the respondent will pay this sum to you and the matter will be at a close. You have 28 days to accept the sum in question.
What happens if you don’t agree with the settlement directed by PIAB?
If either the respondent nor claimant is happy with the sum in question, they can continue the matter by obtaining an authorisation form from PIAB to continue the matter on through the court system.
If you have any questions about the PIAB system or any other aspect of a personal injuries claim, fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.