Injuries Board awards of compensation have increased by more than 8 percent during the first six months of the year according to a report published on the government body´s website.
Both the total number of applications for assessment (16,162) and the average value of Injuries Board awards (€22,349) increased in relation to the corresponding period in 2012, but Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – commented that the higher volume of claims and increased value of accepted compensation assessments did not provide an excuse for insurance companies to increase the premiums they charge.
She said that, as the Board´s processing fee for respondents had been reduced from €850.00 to €600.00, the savings made by insurance companies should counter the increased value of Injuries Board claims and added that early indications from the third quarter of 2013 show a general decline in the number of applications for assessment being received by the Injuries Board.
The highest proportion of Injuries Board awards were made for traffic accident compensation claims (75.5 percent), with claims for injuries sustained in public places (public liability claims) accounting for 16.4 percent of accepted Injuries Board assessments and the balance (8.1 percent) being made up of awards of compensation for accidents at work.
One figure understandably not highlighted by the Injuries Board is that the percentage of accepted assessments (Injuries Board awards that plaintiffs agree to) fell from 37.2 percent in 2012 to 32.7 percent in 2013 – a statistic that would indicate a higher proportion of claims for personal injury compensation are being settled outside of the Injuries Board process.
However, it should be noted that – even if you are in advanced stages of negotiating a compensation settlement with an insurance company – an application for assessment should still be submitted to the Injuries Board. If your negotiations are unsuccessful, and court action is required to resolve your claim, you (or your solicitor) will require that an Authorisation” is issued by the Injuries Board before court action can proceed.
Please also note that the Injuries Board does not accept applications for assessment when plaintiffs have sustained a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to medical negligence, and it is always recommended that you seek the advice of a solicitor in these circumstances.