Rogers Solicitors Guide to taking a case through “PIAB”
(the Personal Injuries Assessment Board)
What is PIAB?
Every single personal injury case in Ireland must be submitted into PIAB (with the exception of medical negligence cases). PIAB is an independent body which was set up by the Irish Government with a view to bringing about the settlement of personal injury cases within this PIAB process, without having to take cases through the Courts. The whole idea is to settle cases within the PIAB process so that Court is a last resort.
PIAB’s aim is to act in the role of a negotiator /referee between both sides to promote settlement of the case, meaning that cases do not end up in the Courts.
All of the accident types listed below must be submitted with PIAB, with no exceptions:
Road Traffic Accidents
Slips or trips in public places
Defective product injuries
Repetative Strain Injuries
Are there any timescales in which a case must be submitted with PIAB?
Yes, all cases must be submitted with PIAB within 2 years of the date of the accident (3 years for defective product liability cases). For cases involving medical negligence, the “clock starts ticking” 2 years from the “date of knowledge” that a person has suffered from medical negligence. Our advice is to instruct a Solicitor as early as possible so that there is no panic close to the 2 year deadline.
What must be sent into PIAB to start the process?
Rogers Solicitors can take care of all of this. In order to submit a case with PIAB, the following must be done:
A letter before action must be sent to the third party.
Medical evidence in the form of a medical report must be available. This must be submitted along with the PIAB application. A case cannot be sumitted with PIAB without a medical report. All relevant medical records must be requested, and these are strictly confidential between the Solicitor and a client.
The PIAB application must be submitted (along with the medical report) to PIAB within 2 years of the accident date.
Full details of the third party and the circumstances of the accident must be included in the PIAB application form, along with a processing fee of €45.00. Rogers Solicitors will take care of all of the paperwork and are well versed in this process.
What happens next after a case is submitted with PIAB?
A copy of the application form and the medical evidence will be sent to the third party insurer by PIAB, together with a copy of the medical report which outlines the extent of the injuries. The third party insurer is then granted 90 days by which they must decide whether or not they will allow PIAB to assess the value of the case.
What cases settle within the PIAB process?
If a case is submitted with PIAB, the intended aim of the process is to settle the case within the PIAB process. This will only take place if the third party (person or body being sued) is happy to allow PIAB to assess the value of the case. This will only happen if liability for the accident is admitted. An example of this may be where there has been a traffic accident and third party has “rear ended” the person bringing the personal injury claim. It is obvious that the third party was to blame, so it is likely that the third party insurer will have no objections to PIAB assessing the case.
What cases “exit” the PIAB process?
If liability is denied by a third party insurer, this means that they are refusing to pay any compensation, and therefore there is no point in allowing PIAB to assess the value of the case, as they simply refuse to pay out any damages at all. If the third party insurer advises PIAB that liability is disputed, then the case will exit the process and the only option then is to take the case through the court system.
If the third party insurer is admitting liability for an accident, they will allow PIAB to assess the value of the case. To do this, PIAB arranges a medical examintion to ascertain the injuires sustained by an indiviudual, and they will tehn make an assessment as to what the case is worth. If the assessment is “on the money” we would advise the client to accept this. But if either the client or the third party insurer is unhpappy with the assessment, then the case will exit the PIAB process. A case will only settle if both parties are happy with the assessment.
How long does the PIAB process take?
If liability is denied by the third party insurer, the case will exit the PAIB process. This will usually take about 3 months from the date on which the case is submitted with PIAB.
If the third party insurer consents to PIAB assessing the value of the case, it will usually take around 9 months to get an assessment from the date which the case was submitted with PIAB.
What happens if the case settles in PIAB?
Firstly, this can only happen if the third party insurer agrees to PIAB assessing the case. Then, the case will only settle if both parties are happy with the figure which PIAB have assessed the value of the case. If the client accepts the assessment, then PIAB will issue an “Order to Pay” to the the third party insurer, and a cheque should be raised in a matter of weeks usually.
What happens if case exits the PIAB process / does not settle in the PIAB process?
The whole point of PIAB is to settle cases without going through the Courts. But as explained above this does not always happen. A case will exit PIAB for one of 2 reasons:
1. Liability is denied by the third party insurer
2. The PIAB assessment is too low to be accepted
Both of the above will trigger the case to exit the process, and PIAB will grant the client persmission (or an “authorisation”) to go ahead and take the case through the Courts. Court proceeedings cannot be commennced with the the permission of PIAB.
If this happens, we as your Solicitors, will have to decide if the case is strong enough to take through the Courts. Chances are that it will be, otherwise we would not have taken the case on to start with. We then are obliged to submit the case with the Courts. In order to do this we draft what is know as a “Personal Injury Summons” and we take it from there.
We hope that you found this guide to be useful. If you require any additional information on the Process, then please get in touch and a member of our team will do their upmost to help you. Rogers Solicitors specialise in taking cases through the PIAB process and are on hand 24/7 to take your calls.