The Injuries Board is also called the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. It was established by statute in 2003.
Every person wishing to recover compensation for a personal injury inflicted by wrongdoers must first apply to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the value of the claim.
The Board has issued an article today (26th March 2013) and Patricia Byron, Chief Executive, went on Morning Ireland for an interview.
The upshot of the article and the interview is this; personal injury claims are increasing and this is bad.
This sounds like the resurrection of the jibe about “Compo Culture”. That jibe was the cry of persons who wished to deny to injured persons their rightful compensation when they were injured by the wrongful acts of others.
Those persons were successful in their campaigning because they had political friends in high places. The establishment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board was one of their achievements.
Another was the shortening of the time within which an injured person had to issue proceedings before becoming statue barred from doing so. The time was shortened from three years to two years. (One politician wanted to drop it to one year).
Now the Injuries Board is asserting something is happening that it says is undesirable; that people are being educated to make claims for personal injury.
This is a surprising development. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board has a budget for advertising. Any reasonable person would think that it was part of the job of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board to educate injured persons to make claims for personal injury and to do so to the Board. Clearly, the Board does not think so. It fully approves of the restrictions on solicitors to advertise about personal injury claims. It wants that extended to others; it says those others are “claims agencies”.
Here are some facts:
- PIAB are precluded from examining liability, but do get information on the facts of accidents. if those facts are not credible or reliable, PIAB can decline assessment;
- In addition, respondents can and do decline assessment of false claims;
- Consequently, piab assessments are of valid claims;
What public official can claim to be reasonable when decrying a claimed increase in PIAB claims? These claimants have been injured and want and deserve compensation.
The explanation is this; PIAB is biased against injured claimants.
- It wishes to leave those persons in ignorance of their rights. (Patricia Byron; RTE’s “Morning Ireland” – 26/3/2013). Ms. Byron specifically complained in that interview that “the thought is being put in their mind”.
- PIAB charges claimants for an assessment, but can, and does, relieve respondents (wrongdoers) of their obligation to pay, or even to submit to the PIAB system, before making an assessment (or, as should happen, giving the claimant an authorisation to go to court). (See Section 14 (b) of The Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003).