15th April, 2021
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has confirmed that the Personal Injuries Guidelines will come into effect on Saturday 24 April. The Book of Quantum will apply to all cases until the commencement date. After it is commenced, the Book of Quantum will continue to apply to all court proceedings issued before the commencement date, and also to all cases where PIAB awards have been made and not accepted prior to the commencement date, whether or not proceedings have been issued. The new guidelines will apply to all other claims, including those still before the PIAB.
What are the new Personal Injuries Guidelines?
The Personal Injuries Guidelines were recently published by the Judicial Council which is a body composed of all judges in Ireland. They set new guideline levels for personal injury compensation awards in Ireland.
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has announced the commencement of the Personal Injuries Guidelines. The Minister stated that the Guidelines will come into effect on Saturday 24 April, 2021.
The new guidelines from the Judicial Council will change the amounts of General Damages to be awarded by the Courts and by PIAB.
That will help bring about greater consistency across personal injuries awards. The guidelines will support greater use of the independent, transparent, fair and efficient service provided by PIAB.
The Personal Injuries Guidelines deal with a wide range of injuries in terms of General Damages, which are the amounts awarded for pain and suffering in relation to an injury where someone else is at fault. They do not change Special Damages, which are costs like medical or travel expenses or compensation for loss of wages.
How will these new Guidelines work?
The Personal Injuries Guidelines are a new set of personal injury compensation guidelines that will replace the Book of Quantum in all personal injury claims following the commencement date. The new Personal Injuries Guidelines must be used by PIAB and the Courts in awarding compensation if a person successfully pursues a personal injury claim. If PIAB or the Courts do not follow the guidelines in any case, they must give reasons.
I currently have a claim going through the PIAB. What do these new guidelines mean for someone currently making a claim or someone a claim is made against?
PIAB is currently continuing to assess claims based on the Book of Quantum and will assess claims under the new guidelines following the commencement date detailed above. Where a claim is assessed before the commencement date of the new guidelines it will be assessed based on the Book of Quantum. Where a claim is assessed after the commencement date it will be assessed based on the new Personal Injuries Guidelines. This will be stated on the correspondence which issues from PIAB.
Do these new Guidelines mean lower awards for personal injury claimants?
The Personal Injuries Guidelines reset award levels for Ireland from the date they become operative and for a significant number of injuries the new levels are substantially lower than previous levels, while they are higher in a small number of categories. The new guidelines also have more detail on compensation amounts with the inclusion of a broader range of personal injury types.