The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), last week published data on its whiplash-related injury assessments for road traffic collisions. The data derives from an analysis of approximately 4,500 awards made in the first six months of 2018. The analysis predominantly relates to soft tissue injuries to the neck, upper back and shoulders.
PIAB is the State body that assesses damages in non-liability personal injury claims arising from road traffic collisions, slips, trips and falls, accident at work and accidents in public places. PIAB considers the available medical evidence and assesses the injuries of claimants. It then suggests what it feels is a suitable award of damages (PIAB Assessment) which suggested award is open to either party to accept or reject. It is a recommendation only.
In deciding on the suggested level of award PIAB relies on a Book of Quantum which lists and assigns values for specific injuries graded according to the severity of the injury, expected length of time it may take to recover and other factors.
Reviewing the data, PIAB noted that the average suggested whip-lash injury award in the first half of 2018 was €18,500. In 55% of cases the suggested awards ranged from €10,000 to €20,000. Suggested awards for injuries not classified as whip-lash type injuries were €25,000 on average.
For further information of the PIAB Book of Quantum, visit http://PIAB.ie
The Book of Quantum, the guideline which PIAB and Irish Courts are obliged to consider when making awards has a range for whiplash/soft tissue injuries from €15,700 (where a claimant has substantially recovered) up to €77,900 (where the condition is severe and permanent.
It seems however from the data produced that PIAB tends to suggest awards which are very much on the low side when delivering assessments for consideration by the parties to a road traffic accident. Despite this, insurance companies are complaining that PIAB awards are too high. The same insurance companies which called for the setting up of PIAB in the first place.