PIAB Claims

This section applies only to Claims in the Republic of Ireland

Claims to PIAB

When a person suffers a personal injury in the Republic of Ireland and is claiming compensation in that jurisdiction they must first submit a Claim through InjuriesBoard (known also as the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)). PIAB is an independent body which was set up under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003. It provides assessment of Personal Injury compensation for victims of Workplace, Motor and Public liability accidents. It does not assess personal injury laims Personal-Injury-Claim-Formthat are the result of Medical Negligence.

An Authorization must be issued by PIAB before you are entitled to issue Proceedings in Court. PIAB will only assess a claim for compensation if the other party does not dispute liability. The other party – known as the respondent – must first consent to the assessment before it can be assessed by PIAB. PIAB assess claims for compensation that is awarded for particular injuries. This is known as assessment in accordance with the PIAB Book of Quantum.

If either party (known as the claimant and the Respondent) is dissatisfied with the Assessment made by PIAB, the Claim can then be transferred to the Courts.

How does PIAB work?

As explained in our Compensation Guide, a Claimant in the Republic of Ireland has in the normal course only 2 years from date of the accident to institute proceedings, in accordance with the Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004.

Letter before Action

Section 8 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 states that a letter before action/letter of claim must be written to Respondent within a period of two months of the cause of action or as soon as practicable thereafter.

There is no absolute obligation on a Solicitor to provide the letter within the two month period. The caveat is “as soon as practicable.” However, a prudent Solicitor will endeavour to initiate the letter before action within the two months period, assuming the Solicitor is instructed in time. There is an obligation to set out in detail the allegations made in the letter before action. It is no longer acceptable simply to state that an accident occurred. You must set out the type of accident and the cause of action. It is extremely important that cause of the accident is set out carefully in that letter as this letter could be referred to at the Court Hearing at a later date. It is extremely important therefore that you take legal advice before sending such a letter and indeed before submitting your InjuriesBoard.ie Claim. For more information on this subject read our article Personal Injury Accident Claims 2011 You still need a Solicitor

The letter before action must be sent by registered post to the proposed Respondent.
Considering the wording of Section 8, if there is an inordinate delay, there are likely to be cost penalties.

Medical Report for Accident Claims

Medical-AlertIt is necessary to obtain a Medical Report prior to submitting an application to PIAB. It is expected that this will be sought from your treating doctor. Factual inaccuracies and incorrect medical assessments in the Medical Report must be corrected. It is extremely important even at this early stage of the Claims process that all details must be accurate and that there is no exaggeration of the Claim : otherwise the Claimant runs the risk of offending the provisions of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004. Again, this is why it is so important that your take legal advice at this early stage. Do not assume that you require a Solicitor only if you fail to resolve your Claim through the PIAB  process. For more information on this subject read our Article Personal Injury Accident Claims 2011 You still need a Solicitor

PIAB Form A – the Application

The PIAB Application Form is known as Form A. It is essential that the Application is properly and carefully completed as information on this Form  may be used in evidence by the Respondent in a future Court action. We will ensure that the Respondent is properly named / identified in the Application Form and, more importantly, ensure that PIAB have correctly recorded the name of the Respondent properly. This is particularly important where it needs to be ascertained whether the Respondent trades personally or under the legal status of a limited liability company.

The circumstances of the accident section of the Form should always be completed by a Solicitor, who should obtain detailed instructions and complete in brief, the circumstances of the accident, prior to the form being signed by the Claimant. This is particularly important in view of the provisions of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004.

The completed PIAB Application Form is lodged with the €45 fee, a Medical Report, details of Special Damages (that is, out-of-pocket expenses) where appropriate, a letter from the Claimant to PIAB confirming that Solicitors are instructed on their behalf and copies of the letter before action and other party / party correspondence. The Application Form together with supporting documentation must be sent by Registered Post to PIAB ; although it is now also possible to submit a Claim online.

The Claim is not properly registered for the purposes of stopping the clock in relation to the limitation period that applies in your particular case. This is a good reason for seeing a solicitor as soon as you think you may have a claim for compensation.</p> ">limitation period, until a Section 50 letter is received by your solicitor on your behalf from PIAB, stating that the Claim has been received and completed for the purposes of Section 50 of the 2003 Act. If such a letter has not been received then the Claim is not properly registered and the Statute of Limitations will continue to run.

Once a Claim has been registered, received and complete, the Statute of Limitations stops running. The Statute will not begin to run again until after the Claim is released by way of Authorisation under Section 14, for a further 6 months.

From notification of the Claim the Respondent has a period of 90 days within which to accept or decline PIAB assessing the claim. If the Respondent consents to PIAB assessing the Claim, then PIAB has a period of 9 months from then on to assess the Claim. This period may be extended by a further 6 months on notification to the parties. If the 9 nine month period has elapsed and no notification has been received in relation to an extension, then you, the Claimant, are entitled to an immediate Authorisation to commence Court Proceedings.

Authorisation

Legal Services for BusinessIf after the 90 days the Respondent declines to have the claim assessed by PIAB, then PIAB will issue an Authorisation enabling the Claimant to commence Court Proceedings if they so wish. This is a Section 14 Authorisation.

PIAB also has a discretion not to make an Assessment under Section 17 of the Act, which entitles PIAB to decline to deal with the Claim where it involves a Medical Negligence Claim, Psychiatric Injury Claims or various other types of claims. It is important to bear in mind however that an Application Form must be submitted in all instances to PIAB and then PIAB decides whether Section 17 of the Act applies to the Claim.

Suspension of Operation of Statute of Limitations

The Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 provided for a reduction in the general Limitation Period within which Civil Proceedings must be issued, after the cause of action in a Personal Injuries case arises, from three years to two years; but the period will stop running on the making of the completed and registered Application to PIAB and, where ultimately the PIAB process does not bring about an Assessment acceptable to both Claimant and  Respondent(s), or where a Respondent does not consent to an Assessment being made, and in consequence PIAB  issues a written Authorisation to the Claimant permitting the Claimant to issue Court Proceedings against such Respondent(s), the suspended Limitation Period does not again begin to run until six months after the date of the PIAB Authorisation.

PIAB Assessment

In due course PIAB will issue an Assessment, which represents its valuation of the Claim. PIAB will not consult with either Claimant or Respondent before issuing its Assessment. It is extremely important that you do not accept the Assessment without first contacting your Solicitor.

If the Assessment is acceptable to the Claimant and the Respondent then PIAB issues an Order to Pay to the Respondent. The Respondent has a period of 28 days to issue the cheque to the Claimant. If either the Respondent or the Claimant declines the Assessment PIAB issues an Authorisation enabling the Claimant to commence Court Proceeding if the Claimant so wishes.

One must consider with their client the cost implications in refusing an Assessment. See paragraph 10 of “Disadvantages of the PIAB Process” in relation to the Personal Injuries Board (Amendment) Act 2007.

No Legal Costs on PIAB Claims

PIAB does not cover legal costs. The Respondent will pay a contribution to the cost of the Medical Reports.

PIAB Order to Pay

PIAB will send out a copy of the Order to Pay, the original being sent to the Respondent.

Statute of Limitations

If the Assessment is rejected by the Claimant or Respondent, PIAB will issue an Authorisation, entitling the Claimant to commence court proceedings, and the Statute of Limitation will recommence within 6 months from the date of the Authorisation.

Calculating the Statute Date for Accident Claims

The following dates are essential dates for calculating the Statute of Limitation.

1.Date of the accident.
2.Date of expiration of the two-year period from the date of the accident.
3.Date of lodged the InjuriesBoard.ie form A.
4.Date of the Section 50 acknowledgement letter.
5. The InjuriesBoard.ie Authorisation.
6.Six months date from the Authorisation.
7.Balance of two-year period for the issue of Court Proceedings.

For example, assume that an accident occurs on the 1st of June 2007. An Application to PIAB is deemed received and complete on the 1 September (3 months after the date that the accident). The Claim remains in PIAB until the 1st of September 2008 when it is released by way of Authorisation. The Limitation Period will expire on the 30th of November 2010 (being the day before 1st of December 2010;that is, 1 year and 9 months from the 6 month period).

Reception-SignIn relation to the Statute of Limitations it is important to be aware that there are certain cases where the submission of the PIAB claim does not stop the clock running in relation to the Limitation Period. Again, you need to take immediate advice on this from a Solicitor in order to ensure that you do not run foul of the Statute of Limitations Act. This could be a very expensive mistake.

In respect of Motor Insurance Bureau claims in Ireland it is necessary to submit an Application to PIAB prior to issuing Court Proceedings against the MIBI. Please refer to our Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland page for further information on the very strict procedures which apply in Ireland in relation to MIB claims. PIAB will not carry out an investigation on your behalf immediately after an accident to ascertain if the other driver was insured; whereas a prudent Solicitor will, thus ensuring that you do not run foul of the very strict rules which apply to MIB claims. This could be another very expensive mistake

As will be noted, and if you need convincing then read our article Personal Injury Accident Claims 2011 You still need a Solicitor if you are involved in an accident and you are considering submitting a Claim to the InjuriesBoard.ie you should consult a Solicitor first.

For further information on Accident Claims contact Brian Morgan Solicitor at:

Email: bmorgan@morganmcmanus.ie

In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.