By Eoin P. Campbell LLB, Solicitor
The Role of InjuriesBoard.ie
Since 2004, any person seeking compensation for a personal injury has been obliged to make an application to InjuriesBoard.ie – formerly known as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). InjuriesBoard.ie deals with personal injury claims that relate to injuries sustained as the result of car accidents, workplace accidents and those which occur in public places. It does not deal with cases involving medical negligence and, prior to the issue of court proceedings, personal injury claims must first be assessed by the InjuriesBoard.ie.
What is the Injuries Board Book of Quantum?
The Book of Quantum is quite simply a guide book or instruction manual that is used by the InjuriesBoard.ie when assessing compensation for personal injury claims. It is a general guide as to the amounts that may be assessed in respect of specified types of injuries depending on their severity and the length of time they may take to heal – if at all. The law requires InjuriesBoard.ie and the Courts to have regard to the Book of Quantum when assessing personal injury compensation claims.
In some respects the book is not a realistic guide to how much compensation you may be entitled to for a personal injury: The Book of Quantum deals with compensation for pain and suffering only. Moreover, although the Book of Quantum contains a guideline of injuries and related values, it must be remembered that some of the value ranges displayed are quite wide and are subject to adjustment to account for the plaintiff´s age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident in which they sustained a personal injury.
This reflects the fact that the severity of injury, even within the categories listed, can vary considerably. In addition, the same injury can have different effects on different people or some people may suffer multiple injuries.
A claimant may also be entitled to claim under other headings such as:
- Medical expenses
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of amenity
- Loss of earnings
- Out of pocket expenses
- Vehicle damage
It is therefore difficult to assess the true value of all parts of your claim by referring only to the Book of Quantum.
How is a Claim Made to InjuriesBoard.ie?
To make a claim on behalf of a claimant, a personal injury solicitor will complete and submit the following documentation:
- A completed application form
- A medical assessment form that has been completed by the doctor who has treated (or who is currently treating) the claimant
An application fee of €45.00 has to accompany a postal application to the InjuriesBorad.ie. Those which are completed online attract a fee of €40.00.
Can I Make my Application to InjuriesBoard.ie Without a Solicitor?
The simple answer is yes; there is no obligation to engage a solicitor and the claimant can deal directly with InjuriesBoard.ie. It is, however, in your interests to engage a solicitor to deal with the case on your behalf. Although the application process as described above may seem straightforward, it is still advisable to use the services of a solicitor. A solicitor is an experienced professional who will advise on all aspects of the case, ensuring that an appropriate medical report is commissioned, the InjuriesBoard.ie application forms are completed correctly and that the application is submitted within the relative time period.
Most importantly of all, however, a solicitor – having considered the medical reports commissioned on behalf of the client – will be in a position to assess whether or not the compensation figure that is suggested by InjuriesBoard.ie is an accurate assessment of the compensation that the client should be entitled to, given the injuries sustained and all of the circumstances of the case. If a solicitor feels that this figure is too low, he or she will advise the client to reject it and to proceed with court action.
As explained above, the ‘Book of Quantum’ which is used by the InjuriesBoard.ie can be vague and imprecise with regard to the severity of your injury and the true settlement value of same. We feel that a personal injury is not something that can be accurately assessed by referencing a guide book or instruction manual and we endeavour to give each of our clients the personal service that they deserve.
It is important to note that each case is unique. If you have recently suffered an injury that was caused by the negligence of another and feel that you have a potential personal injury claim you are advised to discuss all of the points raised in the preceding article with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
Copyright © 2009-2019 Eoin Campbell
About the Author
Eoin P. Campbell is an honours law graduate (LL.B) and qualified solicitor whose primary professional experience is the area of litigation and in particular personal injury claims. Eoin P. Campbell is currently lecturing in law at two universities in Lyon, France.