On the Morgan McManus website in the section “Why Instruct a Solicitor” the Injuriesboard.ie process is explained. I detailed the necessity to file the Application Form (Form A) together with the medical report from the claimant’s GP and other documents and explain that Injuriesboard.ie then subsequently formally acknowledge the Claim and notify the respondent of the claim. They allow the Respondent 90 days within which to formally decide whether it will allow Injuriesboard.ie to assess the claim.
If Injuriesboard.ie asses the claim there is then an opportunity for the claimant and the Respondent to decide whether they wish to agree to the Assessment issued (ie the amount of recommended compensation) and this brings an end to the claim.
If however the Respondent does not consent to the claim being assessed by Injuriesboard.ie then Injuriesboard.ie will issue a form known as an Authorisation. It is this Authorisation form which enables a Claimant to issue court proceedings through the courts process. In fact, the Plaintiff in a Personal Injuries action cannot issue a Personal Injuries Summons until this Authorisation issues.
In the normal course, it would be expected that a Respondent /his Insurers would agree to the Assessment of the claim by Injuriesboard.ie where liability is admitted and the only matter which remains to be assessed is the compensation to be paid to the claimant. Where however liability is not admitted and there will be a court dispute over the circumstances of the accident it is normally expected that the Respondent will not consent to the Assessment by Injuriesboard.ie and in those circumstances Injuriesboard.ie will then issue the Authorisation. This will at least then allow the Plaintiff to proceed with his Claim through the Courts process without further delay.
I had a case where the Plaintiff was involved in a road traffic accident on the 27th November 2009 but, due to delays in obtaining the medical report from his Consultant, it was necessary for me to submit the client’s Application to Injuriesboard.ie on the 22nd September 2011 without the Medical Consultant’s report. My concern to lodge the Application at that time was to ensure that the Application was not lodged in excess of 2 years after the date of the accident. Had the Claim been lodged in excess of 2 years later, the claim would have been statute-barred. When Injuriesboard.ie subsequently wrote to me for the medical report I responded by informing them that the medical report had not yet been received and I subsequently wrote to them asking them to proceed to issue the Authorisation as, in this instance, it was known that there would be a dispute on liability (ie, the Respondent did not accept that she was responsible for the accident) and, rather than delay the matter any further, I requested Injuriesboard.ie to issue the Authorisation at that time in the knowledge that the Respondent’s Insurers would not consent to an Assessment. I explained to Injuriesboard.ie that we were anxious to get Court proceedings issued without further delay.
Injuriesboard.ie responded by letter dated 01/11/11 stating that they were prepared to acknowledge receipt of the claim as formally received on the 26th September 2011 but stated that the Claimant was still obliged to submit a medical report. Ultimately we received the medical report and this was submitted to Injuriesboard.ie on the 31st January 2012. The report was returned to us on the 3rd February 2012 as Injuriesboard.ie had noted that the Consultant had not signed the report. The signed report was returned to Injuriesboard.ie on the 14th February 2012 and subsequently on the 27th February 2012 Injuriesboard.ie acknowledged receipt.
Without too much surprise, we subsequently received a letter dated 23rd May 2012 from Injuriesboard.ie informing us that the Respondent’s Insurers had declined to have the claim assessed by Injuriesboard.ie and consequently they issued an Authorisation. Therefore, some 8 months later after the submission of the Application, Injuriesboard.ie issued an Authorisation which, had common sense prevailed, really should have issued in September 2011.
This is yet another example of delays which are caused by the Injuriesboard.ie process. The PIAB Act 2003 states that Injuriesboard.ie must receive a Claim form and a medical report. It seems that no one in Injuriesboard.ie in this instance was prepared to use their discretion to issue the Authorisation despite the fact that it was well known that liability was in dispute.
Had Injuriesboard.ie used their common sense the Authorisation could have issued some months earlier and the Claimant would not have been delayed in pursuit of his Court proceedings.
While Injuriesboard.ie like to tell the public about how they expedite claims and reduce costs, the example given in this Blog will demonstrate that regrettably the Injuriesboard.ie process can often unduly delay the Claimant in the pursuit of his compensation claim.