Road to Reform - The Injuries Board

Driving in the dark

Enhance the powers of the Injuries Board

Creation of the Injuries Board:

  • The Injuries Board (PIAB) was set up by the Government in 2004 to assess personal injury claims where liability was not contested.
  • Claimants can deal directly with PIAB. There is no requirement to have legal representation.

The Objective:

  • The objective was to reduce the cost of claims and improve resolution times.

The Injuries Board today:

  • 13 years on, while PIAB has done some great work, over 90% of claimants attend PIAB with legal representation, & c.40% of PIAB awards are rejected and proceed to litigation.
  • Claimants are within their rights to reject these awards, however there are concerns that the PIAB process is being abused in order to achieve higher awards through the courts. Unfortunately, these higher awards and the legal fees that attach have a significant impact on customer premiums.
  • These abuses include the rejection of a PIAB award and then introducing new case information in the courts. Claimants will then not bear their legal fees in the courts once the Court award is higher than that granted through PIAB.

The Working Group Proposals to address current issues:

  • Assess, within the current review of the PIAB legislation, cases of non-cooperation such as non-attendance at medicals and refusal to provide details of special damages. 
  • Ascertain and set out the measures necessary to implement Pre-Action Protocols for personal injury cases. These procedural steps, which apply to all interested parties, would be focused on narrowing down the issues in dispute, which will in turn encourage alternative dispute resolution or, even where court action still occurs, a more efficient and cost-effective process.
  • Fully assess viable options for referring rejected PIAB assessments into a judicial process on an appeal basis so that the facts established relating to a personal injury in the PIAB process do not require to be re-established.

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