Personal Injuries Board News
The State could save up to 80m a year by processing injury claims through a non-adversarial route like the Injuries Board, a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Careers, Enterprise and Innovation has observed. The Harms Board, an independent statutory physique, makes private reparation awards through fees billed to people who would otherwise be sued through a costly litigation procedure. It relates to personal injuries claims appearing from motor, place of work, and public obligation episodes. Its CEO, Patricia Byron, told the committee the State Promise’s Agency had about 600m to fulfill the expense of Personal Injury* claiming, that around 240m, or 40%, connected to litigation and associated prices. Ms Byron said comparable prices through a non-adversarial path, like the Injuries Board, would be around 60m.
If most of these claims could be processed without judicial proceedings and that’s not realistic it would give rise to overall economies or around 180m, she mentioned. Nevertheless, conservatively, at least one-third of the claims, such as slips, trips and falls, in hospitals and other medical settings could be concluded through the non-adversarial course resulting in savings conservatively of 60m to 80m.
The Harms Board, set up in 2004, was a key element of the then government’s insurance reform programme that sought to drive down the spiraling cost of insurance. Its remit was to eliminate cases from unneeded litigation and reduce processing costs for Personal Injury* claims. The key principle underpinning the board’s model is that early investigation and involvement prevents unnecessary delays, cost, trauma and acrimony. Injuries Board chairman, Dorothea Dowling, stated, 10 years on, as litigation prices in other areas continued to rise, it was clear the theory had more extensive application.
We believe it’s time to take stock and to evaluate the potential for significant savings in other regions of restitution. Ms Byron said vested interests had opposed the establishment of the board, maintaining it’d cost 30m to put in place and that it’d generate claims and raise insurance premiums. Rather the board is fully self-funding; has refunded its initial 7m establishment costs and has eased 1bn in economies. We cannot manage to lose this impetus. Ms Byron additionally said there was no foundation for insurance cost hikes at this time.
Disclaimer: *In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.