Personal injuries awards drop in value by €118 million in two years

ireland
Personal Injuries Awards Drop In Value By €118 Million In Two Years Personal Injuries Awards Drop In Value By €118 Million In Two Years
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Kenneth Fox

There was a €118 million drop in value of personal injuries awards in last two years, according to a Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) annual report.

The report shows PIAB dealt with 21,410 new personal injuries claims and awarded total compensation to accident victims of over €157 million in 2021.

They said the impact of PIAB services as an impartial, independent body to resolve claims and act as an alternative to litigation, resulted in more than €50 million in legal and other costs being avoided in 2021.

This mean direct savings to the cost of claims in Ireland, with opportunities for PIAB to generate many more millions in savings.

There were also major cuts in overall claims costs as a result of a reduction of 18 per cent in the number of personal injuries claims made to PIAB last year.

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This follows a reduction in 2020 of 16 per cent and an overall drop in claims volumes in the last two years of 31 per cent.

The decreased volume in claims combined with the introduction of the Personal Injuries Guidelines in April 2021 resulted in a decrease in overall total award values in 2021 of €49 million compared to 2020 or a huge €118 million compared to 2020.

The 2021 annual report covers the four-month period pre the Personal Injuries Guidelines coming in and the first eight-month period after the introduction of the Guidelines and shows the differences in average awards across the respective periods and award categories.

They said the impact of PIAB services as an impartial, independent body to resolve claims and act as an alternative to litigation, resulted in more than €50 million in legal and other costs being avoided in 2021.

Neck and back injuries are the most common injuries and make up 50 per cent of motor claim injuries with 90 per cent of these being classified as minor soft tissue injuries.

Speaking about the report, PIAB chief executive Rosalind Carroll said: “2021 has been a hugely significant year for PIAB. The introduction of the Guidelines has been the single biggest change in the personal injuries area since PIAB was first established 18 years ago. While there are very immediate impacts in terms of award values, it will take time to see the full impact in terms of reducing the amount of personal injuries litigation.”

“In the interim, the very significant shift in both volume and award values must not be ignored. The total value of awards that PIAB assessed in 2021 was €118 million less than in 2019. This shows major savings that will likely be mirrored outside of the PIAB system, which should translate into meaningful reductions in insurance premiums for consumers and businesses paying for cover.”

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