PIAB legislation- important change notice

10/08/2023 09:54:43

The Law Society Litigation Committee has published a guidance note on changes to personal injuries legislation.

As you may be aware PIAB legislation and rules are going to change significantly from the 4 September 2023. The main impact of these important developments is that claims are now more at risk of being statute barred.

The main concerns arising here for practitioners are as follows:

Currently Section 50 operates to ensure that once the Board receives a completed application, they issue an acknowledgement that has the effect of pausing limitation periods for the duration of the assessment by the Board. Until now, if a claim is close to the limitation period, PIAB issues a s. 50 acknowledgment and asks for a medical report to be provided later. This is no longer the case.

  • Now, after sending either a Postal Application or a Solicitor Portal Application (and upon the review by PIAB) the solicitor and/ or claimant will be updated on the status of the application.

  • PIAB will review applications as quickly as possible with a target time of three working days. This is only a “target time”, not a statutory time limit.

  • Following review, if the application is complete and valid, and all the information as required under Section 11 is provided, the application will be confirmed as complete for the purpose of acceptance by PIAB and for the purpose of the section 50 acknowledgement being issued with the effect from the date the complete application was received.

  • If, following review, any information is missing for the purpose of s. 11 (and this includes the provision of a medical report), PIAB will give 28 days to supply the missing information and if same is not provided, PIAB will close the file.

  • Once the missing information is provided to PIAB and the application is deemed complete and valid, the effective date for the purposes of the section 50 acknowledgment will be the date when the last piece of missing information is provided to PIAB and not when the application was originally filed.

The Law Society recommends extreme caution with claims being filed with the Board following the commencement of these changes, particularly where the limitations period is close to expiry.