The Cabinet has recently approved new personal injury guidelines tacking high insurance claims, resulting in the amendment of the Judicial Council Act and the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act. Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said she believed that the correct balance had been met with these updated guidelines, referring to the dilemma of high insurance costs and protecting both injured parties and those who need to defend their claims. Personal injury claims solicitors in Dublin are instrumental in helping victims get financial aid and justice for their misfortune. Personal injury solicitors are also keen on advising the best course of action in any related situations.
McEntee said she hopes that the new guidelines will have an impact on personal injuries cases and lower the overall cost of insurance. She added that they would continue to assess the guidelines’ impact and act upon any further course of action.
The new guidelines set the level of damages that may be awarded or assessed in relation to personal injuries. 146 of the 168 judges participated in the voting for the guidelines in a virtual meeting. Eighty-three voted in favour of the new policies, while 63 voted against them.
Courts will still maintain their independence and discretion when awarding general damages, but judges will be mandated to assess damages in regard to the new guidelines and have to justify why they have chosen to depart from them in their final ruling.
The guidelines will be applied to any already made applications to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), except those where an assessment has already been made.
Replacing the Book of Quantum
The focus of the guidelines is to ensure that those who are awarded for lesser injuries are awarded proportionate to the maximum. These will replace the Book of Quantum, which is the generally accepted guide for the amounts that can be claimed or the basis for the assessment of personal injury claims.
The Book of Quantum contains a list of specific types of injuries and indicates the level of compensation that is likely to be awarded for each claim. The PIAB compiled it following a review of court judgements over the years.
Comparison: Book of Quantum to New Guidelines
The approved new guidelines are quite substantial to discuss here, but our qualified personal injury claims solicitors in Dublin will be able to explain these to you in even more detail.
For catastrophic injuries that result in shortened life expectancy, like undiagnosed cancer or terminal illnesses contracted through the negligence of the workplace, the new guidelines set the maximum general damages of €550,000, which is €50,000 higher than the old policy.
For a simple nose fracture that is expected to fully recover, the new guidelines set an award of €500 to €3,000. Meanwhile, the old policies allowed a person to claim anywhere between €18,000 and €22,100 for such injuries.
Minor brain damage or head injuries are quantified by different factors. The new guidelines allow for compensation of €500 to €3,000 if the person has had substantial recovery in six months. If the person recovers in two to five years, the rate increases to anywhere between €12 and €25,000. Additional factors that will be considered are the severity of the initial pain and injury.
In comparison, a person may claim up to €21,800 for any concussion injury under the Book of Quantum. For skull fractures with no loss of consciousness or minor injuries resulting in very little disability, claimants may still be compensated anywhere between €34,700 and €60,200.
For total blindness, a claimant can expect anywhere from €270 to €400,000. Compared to the older guidelines, no figure is set. The Book of Quantum states some factors to be considered, such as age, occupation, and the type of lifestyle the person is living.
For impairment of vision in one eye, the old guidelines allow for claims between €22,500 and €45,400. Meanwhile, the new guidelines allow compensation of €15,000 to €45,000.
When it comes to a soft tissue shoulder injury, depending on how long a person will recover over a period of up to two years, the new guidelines will award claimants anywhere between €500 and €12,000. Book of Quantum, on the other hand, allows a claimant to receive up to €33,500.
For moderate shoulder injuries, like a persistent frozen shoulder, the old guidelines specify that claimants can be awarded €22,000 to €60,000 if it’s a mild sprain caused by a partial tear where a full recovery is expected. If the moderate injury requires operation in the joints and would take longer to fully recover, the claimant can expect anything from €33,000 to €70,600. With the new guidelines, however, all the aforementioned factors can get the claimant anywhere from €18-35,000.
Under the new guidelines, losing a tooth in the workplace due to neglect will award claimants with €3,500 to €8,500 for each front tooth and €1,500 to €3,000 for any of the back teeth. With the old guidelines, €10,300 to €12,700 may be awarded for loss of one tooth and €7,500 to €10,300 for any broken teeth.
Back injuries, neck whiplashes, soft tissue injuries, minor wrist injuries, hand or finger fractures, and leg injuries all have their appropriate revised rates. The general principle for the revision was to match what a person may claim, according to their injury, in the fairest possible means. These were all based on previous rulings made in the country.
Hiring a Reliable Personal Injuries Claim Solicitor in Dublin
If you’re looking to make a claim for an injury you’ve sustained due to negligence, you have to make sure that you hire personal injury solicitors who are trustworthy and have a proven track record.
We at Lalloo Solicitors make sure that you will be given the compensation you deserve. Our team of professional solicitors are highly experienced and have a thorough understanding of the developments in personal injury guidelines. As part of our service, we will explain everything to you in simple and understandable terms so that you won’t be left in the dark in whatever legal situation you may find yourself in. When you hire us, you can rest assured that we will represent you in the best way possible.