34k new personal injury claims to Injuries Board in 2015

Nearly 34,000 new personal injury claims were submitted to the Injuries Board in 2015, representing a six per cent increase in new claims compared to 2014.

There were a total of 33,561 new personal injury claims in 2015 and the Government-run Board made 11,734 compensation awards, totalling €278.4 million in value.

In 2014, the Board made 12,420 awards worth €281.2 million.

Based on projections for 2016, the Injuries Board will make an average of 12,000 claims over the period 2014-16, compared to around 1,500 personal injury cases adjudicated in the courts per year.

Figures published in the Board’s 2015 Annual Overview show that the average compensation award has remained consistent at €22,878 (up 1 per cent from €22,642 in 2014).

The breakdown of awards also remained consistent, with motor liability accounting for 75 per cent of awards, employer liability for 8 per cent of awards, and public liability for 17 per cent of awards.

Conor O’Brien, chief executive of the Injuries Board, said: “The Injuries Board continues to offer the lowest cost, most efficient and timely model for assessing significant volumes of personal injury cases.

“Last year alone the Board’s non-adversarial model delivered direct savings of almost €80 million and claim processing costs are now at their lowest ever level of 6.5%.

“The comparable cost of processing cases in litigation can be up to 60% of the compensation awarded. The more cases that can be processed through the Board without the need for litigation, the greater the impact on claim costs.

“In addition to processing efficiencies, we are seeking to ensure continued clarity around compensation values and an independent review of the Book of Quantum is underway for publication later this year.

“A comprehensive understanding of the broader personal injury environment requires the publication of data relating to cases that are settled outside of the Board’s model.

“Bridging this significant information gap should be in the best interest of all stakeholders and an important step in better understanding any claims-related factors impacting on insurance premium increases.”