McEntee urges insurance firms to reduce premiums

Guidelines set out level of damages that may be awarded or assessed for personal injuries

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee: “I hope the new guidelines will have an impact on the award of damages in personal injuries cases and that the insurance companies will follow through and bring down the cost of insurance.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee: “I hope the new guidelines will have an impact on the award of damages in personal injuries cases and that the insurance companies will follow through and bring down the cost of insurance.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has urged insurance firms to “follow through” on new personal injury guidelines and bring down costs.

New guidelines for damages in personal injury cases came into effect this weekend and reduced award levels may now apply for any cases that have not yet been assessed by the State’s awards body.

The personal injuries guidelines came into effect on Saturday after Ms McEntee signed a commencement order to give effect to the changes.

The guidelines set out the level of damages that may be awarded or assessed for personal injuries.

Book of Quantum

They will apply to all new cases that have not yet been assessed by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

Litigants who have previously refused offers from PIAB and opted to go to court will have their claims processed in line with the Book of Quantum, a list of types of injury that gives an indication of the level of compensation likely to be awarded in respect of that particular injury.

Ms McEntee said the new guidelines would take into account “both the urgency in tackling high insurance costs and fairness for those who have suffered injury as well as those who are required to defend a claim”.

‘Desired effect’

“I hope the new guidelines will have an impact on the award of damages in personal injuries cases and that the insurance companies will follow through and bring down the cost of insurance, which is important for individual consumers, businesses and community groups across the country.”

She said the Government would “closely monitor” the implementation and impact of the guidelines “in order to ensure they are having the desired effect”.

The guidelines reduce award levels for most categories of personal injury, and will be used by both the PIAB and the courts to assess compensation in such claims.

The Book of Quantum will continue to apply where PIAB assessments have been made or where a hearing is already before the courts. The Judicial Council adopted the guidelines in March.