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More about the Injuries Board

  1. The number of applications to the Injuries Board has increased steadily over the last five years. However, the rate at which the respondents are agreeing to an assessment (by paying the required fee) is not keeping pace with this increase. In short, the respondents are not engaging in the Injuries Board system with the same enthusiasm as time passes.
  2. Each year the Annual Report of the Injuries Board tells us the Fee income from applicants and from respondents, respectively. It also tells us, somewhere, what the fees are for each.
  3. So, for 2010, we can calculate that there were 25,767 applications to the Injuries Board. (The Board claims there were 26,964). In that year, only 12,732 respondents paid a fee. (The fee was €1050; it was reduced in 2011). That means that 13,035 applicants, more than half, were left without an assessment. (They get a certificate of authorisation instead).
  4. The Injuries Board persists in using the word “award” when it means “assessment”. We know this because it also refers to “accepted award”. This use of language is misleading.
  5. Taking this into account, we can see that the figure for acceptances in 2007 is almost the same as the figure in 2010, despite a substantial increase in total claims and a substantial increase in participation by respondents. There were 5,038 acceptances in 2010.
  6. Interestingly, the figure for assessments for those two years is almost the same. (8,208 in 2007 and 8,380 in 2010).
  7. That implies that there are more problematic cases appearing in the Injuries Board case load; or, that the Injuries Board is becoming more discriminating as to the complexities of personal injury claims.
  8. Or, that the medical profession is not keen to run the risks that the Injuries Board system is potentially transferring to it. Errors in assessment (barring a constitutional action yet to come) cannot result in a liability for the Injuries Board, but that is very likely not true of the doctors working for the Injuries Board/respondents. Unlike the Injuries Board, they are not statutorily licenced to make mistakes with impunity.