By: Liam Lee | Posted on: 17 Apr 2019

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is Ireland’s independent state body which assesses personal injury compensation claims.  All personal injury claims (save and except medical negligence claims) must be made through PIAB, unless they are settled early between claimants and insurers/respondents.

What has changed?

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 (2019 Act) recently came into force.  The 2019 Act makes a number of changes to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003.  Some of the key changes include:

1. Preliminary Notification of Claim to Respondent
PIAB is now allowed to issue a preliminary notice to the respondent(s) that a claim against them has been received. This will give a respondent a tip off of a potential claim early on.

2. Requirement for Claimant to file Medical Report
A formal notice will only issue when an application is accompanied by the necessary medical report and the requisite fee.  The respondent will not be obliged to consent to an assessment being made in the absence of the medical report and/or the fee.

3. Clarity on Statute of Limitations When Joining Additional Respondent(s)
As most will know, the Statute of Limitations is the statute prescribing a period of limitation for the bringing of actions of certain kinds.
In circumstances where an application is lodged with PIAB, and a further respondent(s) are later added to this claim, the date upon which the “clock” stops is the date that each individual respondent is added to the claim and ending 6 months from the date of issue of the authorisation from PIAB. 

4. Non-Compliance with a Request from PIAB
In circumstances where a claimant or respondent(s) fails to comply with a request from an assessor to provide (i) more information or, (ii) assistance to expert witnesses, or if a claimant fails to attend an arranged medical examination, the Court may take into account any non-compliance and exercise discretion when awarding costs in favour of a plaintiff or defendant(s). 

5. Updating the Book of Quantum
The Book of Quantum i.e. the general guideline to the level of compensation which someone may be awarded in a personal injury action, will be reviewed from time to time and an updated version published at least once every 3 years.

6. Service of Documents
PIAB is now allowed to serve a notice or document(s) electronically or by a way of a document exchange service where the person concerned has given their prior written consent for the notice or document(s) to be served in this way.

7. Amendments to Section 8 and Section 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004. 

(a) The claimant must serve a notice in writing, before the expiration of one month from the date of the cause of action, on the wrongdoer stating the nature of the wrong alleged to have been committed.  Failure to do so will result in the Court drawing such inferences as appear proper and penalising the plaintiff on costs, where the interests of justice so require.

(b) In a personal injuries action, a plaintiff must swear an affidavit verifying any assertions or allegations made 21 days after the service of the pleadings.  Failure to do so will result in the Court drawing such inferences as appear proper and penalising the plaintiff on costs, where the interests of justice so require.

Key Contact:

Anne O'Driscoll

This information is for general guidance and it is not intended to be professional legal advice.  For further information or advice in relation to any personal injury queries you may have, please contact Anne O’Driscoll or a member of our litigation team.

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