Personal injury award values drop by 40% following new guidance

Personal injury awards have reduced by an average of 40 per cent following the introduction of new injuries guidelines in April
Personal injury award values drop by 40% following new guidance

James Cox

Personal injury awards have reduced by an average of 40 per cent following the introduction of new injuries guidelines in April.

A report from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) found that 18 per cent of awards are now under €5,000, while 30 per cent are now between €5,000 and €10,000.

Half (48 per cent) of all personal injury claims are now coming in under €10,000, in comparison to just 12 per cent of awards previously.

Average awards by PIAB reduced from April 27th up to the end of September from €23,877 to €14,233, representing a decrease of €9,654 per award.

This was a total reduction of €25.6 million.

The research was based on more than 2,600 assessed claims, with PIAB, the main implementer of the guidelines, saying it has shown the vast majority of claims never made it to court (less than 4 per cent).

The report differentiates between general damages, such as pain and suffering, and special damage which include direct costs to claimants such as loss of earnings. The latter was unaffected by the new guidelines.

Average awards for general damages has decreased by 46 per cent.

Rosalind Carroll, PIAB chief executive, said the report is “good news” for individuals, communities and businesses as personal injury claims have had a big impact on the price and availability of insurance.

“It will take some time to see the full effects of the guidelines, particularly in respect of savings in legal costs and litigation," Ms Carrol said.

“Transparency in the area is critical to the success of the guidelines and insurance reform, which is why PIAB have produced this report today and will continue to provide regular reports on our data.”

She added: “Reductions in award levels create the perfect environment for a reduction in insurance premiums.

“Combined with the overall sharp reduction in the number of injury claims in the last 18 months, this report shows that overall claim costs are falling very significantly.”

The Alliance for Insurance Reform welcomed the report from PIAB but said the findings will be of no value unless they lead to substantial reductions in insurance premiums.

Peter Boland, director of the Alliance said: "While we are seeing some downward movement in motor insurance premiums, the experience of SMEs, voluntary & community groups, sports and cultural organisations and charities is that renewals are actually increasing right now.

"Why aren’t they falling?"

"If the savings in PIAB settlements do not go into reductions in unaffordable premiums, they go directly into insurers’ profits.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more