New law enhancing PIAB role
PIAB has welcomed commencement of legislation
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) has welcomed the announcement of the commencement of the first phase of the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Act 2022.
Minister Dara Calleary, T.D. the Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, has signed a commencement order to bring into operation parts of the new legislation.
This is a hugely significant piece of legislation for PIAB and the personal injuries area. It expands PIAB’s role and enhances the ways in which claims can be resolved by PIAB as an independent and impartial body, for the benefit of all parties.
The legislation which has been commenced by Minister Calleary will enable PIAB to offer a broader range of services - parties to claims will have more options to resolve their claims in PIAB, rather than enter into litigation, resulting in better outcomes for claimants and respondents while also leading to further savings in personal injuries claim costs.
The legislation aims to ensure more cases are resolved through the PIAB which has far lower legal and other expenses and is far quicker for all parties than litigation, which ultimately will reduce the costs of claims for consumers and businesses.
The provisions being introduced in this phase from 13th February will include the following:
• PIAB will be able to resolve more cases through the extension of the time allowed in its process where there is need for the injury to settle and be assessed, and by ensuring that cases of wholly psychological injury can be dealt with.
• If a claim goes to litigation and the court award is not higher than the value of the PIAB assessment, the claimant will not recover their costs and the provisions allow the claimant to be liable for costs of those they are suing.
• It will be an offence to supply false information to PIAB and PIAB is empowered to disclose information to an Garda Síochána to assist its work.
• PIAB will extend its research, analysis, and information awareness role.
Later this year, a further phase of this legislation will enable PIAB to offer a mediation service in a further extension to its services.
When introduced, mediation will allow the parties involved in a claim, led by an independent PIAB mediator to come to a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve their claim using a non-adversarial process. A broad range of issues can be mediated including liability and the total amount of compensation to be paid. Mediation is a quick, flexible and successful way to resolve even complex and sensitive issues.
The mediation service is expected to be introduced from the last quarter of 2023.