15 Aug 2022

Significant reform of the personal injuries landscape in Ireland underway

Reduced personal injury payouts to come into force this month

A new bill has been published which will see significant reforms in the way that personal injury claims are dealt with

The Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy has published the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022. The Minister said the Publication of the Bill is a milestone in the Action Plan for Insurance Reform and in delivering a Programme for Government commitment to enhance and reform the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

Announcing the publication of the Bill, the Minister said: "The legislation I have published today will establish PIAB as a new and enhanced Personal Injuries Resolution Board. It delivers on an important Programme for Government commitment and represents a significant step-change in Ireland’s personal injuries framework. Once enacted the Bill will increase the number of personal injury claims settled through an enhanced Resolution Board and reduce the expense and time associated with personal injuries litigation.”

The Bill will amend the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003-2019 to provide that the:

•               PIRB will offer mediation as a means of resolving a claim

•               PIRB will retain claims of a wholly psychological nature

•               PIRB will have additional time to assess claims where an injury is yet to settle rather than releasing to litigation

•               PIRB will seek proof of identity on application and disclose information to An Garda Síochána to reduce fraud

•               PIRB will deepen its analysis and public information roles

The Minister is also proposing to amend section 51A of the Act to encourage early resolution of claims and minimise costs. The Bill provides that where the claimant proceeds to litigation an assessment that has been accepted by a respondent will have the status of an offer of tender payment, as of the date the respondent accepted the assessment. Where the court award is not greater than the PIAB assessment the claimant will not recover their costs and will generally be liable for the respondent’s costs as well.

The Minister continued: “As part of the Bill I have also decided to include a new provision to strengthen the process by making it an offence to provide false or misleading information to the PIRB. This should increase confidence in, and strengthen the PIAB process, which relies upon accurate and truthful information for its just and proper operation. I wish to thank Senator Rónán Mullen for his contribution to this part of the Bill.”

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