Navigating The Personal Injuries Assessment Board Process

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (“PIAB”) is an independent state body which assesses personal injuries claims. It is necessary to submit an application to PIAB in the event of a personal injury arising out of a motor, employment or public liability accident. It is not possible to circumvent the PIAB process and go straight of court in the event of such a claim arising. 

PIAB assess claims based on an application form, which is accompanied by the medical report, and their own medical assessment of the claimant. As the application form is a crucial element of the assessment, it is important that this form is completed with great care.  For example, it is essential to name the correct entity or entities as the Respondent or Respondents in the form. If the Respondent is named incorrectly or if a particular Respondent is omitted from the application form, this could be detrimental to the claim. 
The medical report which accompanies the application form must be sought from an appropriate doctor who has detailed knowledge of the injury. 

PIAB will nominate an appropriate specialist (or specialists) to carry out an independent medical assessment of the claimant. Having examined the claimant, and perhaps, having sent them for additional investigations such as an x-Ray or MRI scan etc, the specialist will prepare a medical report for PIAB. 

Prior to the 24th of April 2021, PIAB referred to the Book of Quantum when assessing the level of damages that may be awarded for personal injury claims. However, the Judicial Council approved new guidelines, known as the Personal Injuries Guidelines, which must be used by both PIAB and the courts, since that date, when assessing compensation for general damages in personal injury claims. The Personal Injuries Guidelines reduce the amounts which can be awarded for many categories of injuries. The Guidelines cover a more extensive list of injuries which were not covered by the old Book of Quantum including psychological injury, pain disorders and valuations for scarring. 

When the PIAB assessment is complete and forwarded to the claimant, the claimant has the option to accept or reject the assessment sum.  It is more important than ever that a claimant obtains legal advice on the adequacy of the assessment sum. There are several factors to consider when adjudicating whether the assessment adequately compensates a claimant or not.  At Tormeys Solicitors LLP we have advised many claimants on the new Personal Injuries Guidelines and the adequacy of their individual PIAB assessment.  If you need advice on navigating the PIAB process, contact Tormeys Solicitors LLP today.  

*The above article consists of general recommendations and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You should  contact a Solicitor to secure advice specific to your individual requirements. In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. 

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