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Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019: Important Changes




The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 came into force last week and has made some key changes to the Principal Act of 2003. Here are some the key changes:- Preliminary Notice: Once the Personal Injuries Assessment Board ("PIAB")  has received an application, it will issue a preliminary notice to the Respondent. This will give Respondents a ‘heads up’ to a potential claim against them.  A formal notice will only be issued to the Respondent after the Board receives the following documentation from a Claimant:
  • The Claimant’s application
  • A medical report
  • The appropriate fee
It had been the case that the Respondent received the formal notice once the application was received, now the medical report will also have to be received in order for the formal notice to kick in and the 90 day consideration period begins to run for the Respondent – i.e. whether or not to allow PIAB to assess the claim. Penalties: If cases do not resolve and proceed to court, Judges now have the power to make cost orders against Claimants and Respondents based on their conduct with PIAB.  These cost penalties could arise, for example:
  • If Claimants do not attend scheduled medical appointments.
  • If Claimants/Respondents fail to provide requested documentation to the Board.
  • If Claimants/Respondents fail to assist with experts appointed by the Board.
Book of Quantum: This will be reviewed from time to time and a new version will be published once every three years. Service: PIAB can now serve documents electronically or through a document exchange mail service. That said, at the PIAB conference held on 10 April 2019, PIAB reiterated that they are a paper based assessment facility. Assessments: PIAB will now have a further discretion in certain circumstances to identify claims at an early stage which should no longer proceed through the process but should be pursued through the formal legal system. This discretion will ensure claims are not unduly delayed.  Examples of these circumstances are:
  • If the Respondent notifies the Board of their intention not to accept the assessment and fight the case.
  • If the notice cannot be served on the person whom the Claimant alleges is liable.
  • If the Claimant is a minor or of unsound mind and a settlement would have to be approved by court.
The above changes will give more control to PIAB, provide further procedural clarity to the process and encourage more claims to be settled through the model. For further information on the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 click here.