Personal Injuries Assessment Board in Ireland - February update
The public consultation to reform the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) closed in April 2021.
Following consideration of the responses, the Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy has received agreement from Government to commence drafting the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022.
This is part of the Government’s wider programme of the reform of insurance as outlined in their 66 point Action Plan for Insurance Reform launched on 8 December 2020 In relation to PIAB, action 19, the overarching objective is to reduce the number of cases progressing to litigation with the aim of reducing insurance premiums.
The Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022 will amend the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Acts 2003-2019 and it provides for the following:
- PIAB will seek proof of identity on application and may disclose information to An Garda Síochána to reduce fraud
- PIAB will offer mediation as a means of resolving a claim
- PIAB will retain claims of a wholly psychological nature
- PIAB will have additional time to access claims where an injury is yet to settle
- The court’s discretion regarding litigation costs will be tightened, although some discretion will be retained as the proposed text states that where the claimant has rejected a PIAB assessment and isn’t awarded more in court, the court shall order the claimant to pay all or a portion of the costs of the defendant or defendants unless, for reasons that the court shall state in its decision, so doing would result in an injustice being done
- The Personal Injuries Assessment Board will also change its name to The Personal Injuries Resolution Board
Horwich Farrelly submitted a response to the public consultation in which we suggested that PIAB should be in a position to dealt with wholly psychiatric claims in light of the detailed guidance within the Judicial Council Guidelines, and that PIAB should toughen up on fraud.
Dublin Partner Eva Bashford commented that “ We are pleased to see that these issues have been addressed within the draft legislation, which will believe will go some way to achieving the necessary reform of the personal injury claims arena in Ireland”
For further information on the proposed reforms and implications for insurers, please contact Eva Bashford.