The Personal Injuries Assessment Board

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Introduction
In an attempt to deal with the high level of personal injury litigation in the Irish courts and tackle the high cost of insurance the government introduced The Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act in 2003. 2 The act came into effect in June 2004 and established the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). PIAB is primarily governed under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 (amended 2007) the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 and more recently The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011. Its duty is to asses all claims for personal injury as an independent statutory body and “without the need for legal proceedings”1. Its purpose is to streamline what was previously a lengthy and costly process and reduce the length of time taken to receive compensation. If we look at the statics in the annual report we see that in 2011 the total yearly charge for the Labour Courts costs had been €10.68m this compared to ligation fees based on comparable work at as estimated €56.45m. 6

Types of Injuries
PIAB deals with all motor liability, employer’s liability and public liability cases. These are all outlined under section 3 of the act. Motor liability represents the highest cases dealt with by the court seeing 7,521 dealt with in 2011 with 830 employer’s liability and 1,482 public. 7
There is however certain exceptions in which injuries are not governed by PIAB, these are outlined in Section 4 of the act and include such as claims arising out of a medical injury or negligence.3 Garda compensation claims are not dealt with by PIAB and instead are made under the Garda Siochana Compensation Acts 1941-1945. Claims where it is alleged that there has been a breach of a provision of the Constitution, claims where as well as damages for personal injuries there is a bona fide intention to pursue damages in respect of other causes of action such as for example slander and Claims pursued under Section 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights Act,

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