In Ireland all Personal Injury claims, including claims for Whiplash injuries must be firstly submitted to the Injuries Board (PIAB) for assessment. The Injuries Board will look at the claim and will issue, if they think it is a valid claim, an assessment. The assessment is what they believe to be a reasonable figure to settle the whiplash Personal Injury claim.
How does the Injuries Board arrive at their assessment figure?
The simple answer is that there is no hard or fast rule as to how they calculate the figure; but they do publish a document called the Book of Quantum which gives you an idea as to a rough approximation of the amount that they will arrive at. This is how the Injuries Board’s Book of Quantum defines Whiplash injuries;
“The most common type of neck injury is called a “whiplash” injury which is an over extension or sprain often suffered in a motor vehicle accident or high impact slip/trip/fall type of accidents.Whiplash injuries can involve a very minor sprain that heals within days or weeks or they can in extreme cases cause long lasting pain and permanent disability.Sometimes a neck strain can irritate or aggravate a pre-existing condition that mayor may not have been treated before the accident. These can include disc lesions, spondylosis, osteoarthritis, and spondylolisthesis.” The Injuries Board classify a Whiplash Injury in the following way
- Minor – substantially recovered
- Minor – a full recovery
- Moderately Severe
- Severe and permanent
These headings are self explanatory and give an estimate of how much you might expect in your assessment per category. When an application is finally received by the Injuries Board (PIAB), the negligent third party against whom the claim is made will be sent a ‘Formal Notice’ that a personal injury claim has been filed and received by the Injuries Board. The third party must then notify his or her insurance company, and 90 days must be allowed for consent to be provided to the Injuries Board (PIAB) to proceed with the case assessment. If and only if the Injuries Board (PIAB) is granted authorisation by the third parties insurance company to proceed with the case assessment, then the amount of damages can be assessed and both parties are then notified by the Injuries Board that the case can proceed.
Twenty one days are allowed for the third party and claimants get 28 days to decide to agree to the assessment or reject it. Either party can reject the assessment, but if accepted, the Injuries Board (PIAB) issues an “Order to Pay”. The total time taken therefore for awards to be paid in Ireland through the Injuries Board (PIAB) is therefore likely to be between nine and fifteen months. If one of the two parties rejects the assessment from the Injuries board (PIAB) then an Authorisation is issued by the Injuries Board (PIAB), which allows you to issue court proceedings. For certain there is no quick fix to a Personal injury claim, so consult an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor at the earliest opportunity.