Pat McDonagh: Personal injuries board needs immediate reform

Honest claimants, fair process and equitable outcomes must be facilitated

Under the current system everyone loses – the person who pays the premium, the injured party and the whole economy. But lawyers do really well.

Under the current system everyone loses – the person who pays the premium, the injured party and the whole economy. But lawyers do really well.

Last week’s statement by the Central Bank’s national claims information database highlights once again that reform of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) needs to be the number-one priority of the Government if it is to deal with the issue of insurance costs.

The data showed there was little or no financial benefit for injured parties going the legal route in the vast majority of employers’ and public liability cases, which settled for less than €150,000. However, the legal costs were a multiple of cases settled through PIAB. Legal costs for a litigated settlement averaged €35,268, compared with €902 for the PIAB route. The reality is that under the current system everyone loses – the person who pays the premium, the injured party and the whole economy. But lawyers do really well.

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