Some recent articles from the Injuries Board attempt to highlight what a success this body is.
The Injuries Board claims “we were set up to reduce the cost of insurance” and that €1 Billion has apparently been saved using this system. However many premiums are on the rise. Where have the savings gone one might ask?
It is our view having worked within this system from its beginning is that the Injuries Board is simply not the success it claims to be. From its inception it had to be brought before the Courts as they refused to correspond with Claimant’s Solicitors. Why are they so obsessed with wishing for a “Lawyer free” zone? Our view is that their awards are simply not reflective of the injuries and losses claimants suffer.
We have acted in a number of cases where Assessments have been proved to be totally inadequate and the Courts have awarded significantly higher amounts. In a recent High Court personal injuries action, Mr Justice Kevin Cross stated: “the compensation guidelines by the government body which makes personal injury awards, the Injuries Board, were out of date and, therefore, not relevant in this case”.
We note that its is deemed a non adversarial system. This is not correct. If the Injuries Board was established to reduce the costs of Insurance, we must question the methods of how the Injuries Board meets this aim without impacting on the entitlements of claimants. When a claim is submitted, the Respondent (which the Injuries Board admits is generally an Insurance Company) can contact claimants directly from the information contained in their Injuries Board Form to start negotiations to settle the case. A claimant is reduced to trying to negotiate against a seasoned and experienced claims negotiator.
We would always recommend a Solicitor is retained in any personal injury matter. A Solicitor can advise you on the true value of the case, the Injuries Board cannot offer any claimant any “advice”. Its not their role to assist a claimant that way. They cannot tell a claimant what is allowable for out of pocket expenses and on numerous occasions, submissions as to out of pocket expenses made by claimants directly are rejected on Assessment with no reason provided.
Sometimes cheaper and faster is not the always the best option for a claimant!