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20 February 2013

PIAB warns against 'Copy Cat' sites as it launches revamped consumer website warns against ‘Copy Cat’ sites as it launches revamped consumer website

20 February, 2012: today warned against the dangers of claims handling websites being mistaken for at considerable cost to consumers. The warning coincides with the launch and redesign of the website where claims can be submitted online for a refundable fee of €45. Using the new website it is much quicker and easier to make a direct personal injury claim online without incurring unnecessary intermediary costs.

Commenting, Ms Patricia Byron, Chief Executive, said:

 “Some claims handling websites claim to offer free online assessments of compensation claims.  As is the only State body that can assess claims and award compensation we are concerned that claimants may not receivetheir full entitlements or incur unnecessary costs in the belief they are dealing with the State agency rather than a commercially fee driven firm.

“No one wants to have an accident but if you do and you need to make a claim don’t be misled by copycat sites as youmay unwittingly end up going through a third party website, incurring fees that are otherwise avoidable and having an unknown party process your personal details.  By going directly to the official website for your personal injury claim you incur no legal fees and receive the same level of compensation. Look for the unique Government Harp symbol, reserved exclusively for State authorities, that accompanies our online logo for comfort that you are on the official website and if you are in any doubt seek confirmation that this is the official website for this State agency.” Ms Byron added. 

The dangers of ‘copy-cat’ websites for consumers include:

·       Unwitting sharing of confidential personal information with a commercially motivated third party

·       Submitting a claim late (after statute of limitations applies), or not at all, on the understanding that a claim has already been submitted

·       Incurring unnecessary legal costs – generally not recoverable - through unnecessary and perhaps unwitting engagement of a solicitor. Typical legal costs for an average claim would be circa €2,000, but legal costs for larger claims can amount to tens of thousands of euro 

To assist consumers the website has been radically overhauled to provide enhanced functionality and a distinctive new look – including the official Government ‘harp’ symbol alongside the logo. Among the enhanced features are real life case studies from previous claimants and the ability to save an application and return to it later.  The website’s user-friendly platform also provides users with quick and easy access to a range of supplementary resources such as videos, user-guides, FAQs, information, news and statistics. 

For more information log on to is an independent statutory body, which assesses the amount of compensation due to a person who has suffered a personal injury. Claims can be made direct via:

·        Phone: Lo-Call helpline - 1890 829 121 between 8am and 8pm from Monday to Friday

·        Online at, 24 hours per day, every day

·        By Post to:, P.O. Box 8, Clonakilty, County Cork.

Ends                                                                            Date:  20 February, 2013

For reference:                              

Stephen Watkins                               

Tel.: 01-4634536 / 087-6477350      


Note to Editors: Illustrative but real life case studies:

‘Jason’: Jason suffered soft tissue injuries and bruising to his neck after a car accident. He made a full recovery and returned to work. He received €8,000 in compensation.

‘Claire’: Claire's car was forced off the road when another driver tried to overtake her. She had difficulty driving after the accident. She was awarded €15,000 in damages for neck and back injuries.

‘Laura’: Laura slipped and fell on a wet floor in her local supermarket and damaged her shoulder. She received €14,000 in compensation as a result of her pain and suffering.

‘Patrick’: Patrick fractured his ankle when he slipped and fell on a wet surface in a leisure centre. He was awarded €19,500 for his injury.

‘Daniel’: Daniel, a keen footballer, damaged his left knee during a visit to a spa in a hotel. He received €28,000 in damages.

‘Deirdre’: A large, unsecured box fell on Deirdre's wrist at work. She was unable to work after the accident due to a fracture. She received €16,000 in compensation and €8,500 in loss of earnings.