The number of applications to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) remained almost static in 2018, at 33,371. This represented a 0.8% increase on 2017.
PIAB made a total of 12,112 awards to a value of €298.55 million. 70% of these concerned motoring liability while 18% were for public liability and 12% for employer liability. Motor claims volumes were 18,564 in 2018. Public liability claims numbered 8,666 in 2018 and employers’ liability claims volumes were 6,141.
This compared with 12,663 awards in 2017 with a value of €315.04 million.
The number of PIAB awards accepted by claimants, was also down on the 2017 figure, from 6,788 in 2017 to 6,206 in 2018.
This is the third consecutive year that claim values have fallen, from €315.13 million in 2016, to €315.04 million in 2017, and €298.55 million last year.
The average award came to €24,649 and the highest award reached €980,749.
Average case process time was 7.2 months.
Over half of all PIAB awards were under €20,000 (6,395 cases).
There were 109 awards of over €100,000, and 66 of these were for motor liability, 25 for public liability and 18 for employers’ liability.
Chairman Dermot Divilly says in the 2018 annual report that the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC) led by retired High Court President, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns undertook benchmarking work which means ground-breaking changes have been recommended.
The PIC has said it believes that judicial guidelines, to be issued by the nascent Judicial Council, will provide for greater consistency in awards.
PIAB’s total income in 2018 was 11,792,000. Fee income from respondents, primarily insurance companies, amounted to 87% of total income in 2018.
PIAB’s respondent fee charge is €600 to deal with a claim and the body received €10.4 million through this route in 2018, up from €10.1 million in 2017.
Fee income from claimants
Fee income is also received from claimants, at €45 per case. The claimant fee is refunded to the claimant as part of the award. A total of €1.5 million in claimant fees was received by PIAB last year, similar to 2017 and reflecting the flat volume of applications received.