We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

PI body can offer mediation under new bill

03 Aug 2022 / personal injury Print

PI body can offer mediation under new bill

The Government has published a bill that aims to increase the number of personal-injury claims settled through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

The bill provides for the renaming of the PIAB as the Personal Injuries Resolution Board (PIRB).

The Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022 will allow the board to offer mediation as a way of resolving a claim, and also sets out the procedures to be followed under the process.

The bill also contains several amendments to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act that are aimed at enhancing the board’s role in promoting its work, and facilitating the prevention of fraud.

Additional two years

It expands the types of claims that will be considered by the PIRB, by removing its discretion not to make an assessment for claims of a psychological nature.

Under the proposals, claimants who reject a PIRB assessment could be liable for the respondent’s costs, as well as their own, if they fail to achieve a bigger award in court.

“The bill provides that, where the claimant proceeds to litigation, an assessment that has been accepted by a respondent will have the status of an offer of tender payment, as of the date the respondent accepted the assessment,” the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said.

The bill also gives the PIRB up to an additional two years to settle claims in cases where a long-term prognosis has not become available within the normal nine-month statutory timeframe.

Concerns expressed

Solicitors have expressed concern about increasing the time limit for the consideration of claims.

“Some injuries are simply not appropriate for assessment, and must proceed to the court process,” personal-injury litigation solicitor Stuart Gilhooly SC said earlier this year.

He warned that increasing the time within which a claim must stay inside the PIRB process meant that it would take even longer to conclude when it reached the court stage.

Collecting information

The proposals also give the board some new functions – including the collection and publication of information on awards made under the Personal Injuries Guidelines.

Another section of the bill states that the provision of false or misleading information to the board by a claimant, respondent or third party will be an offence.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland