PIAB | FAQs Personal Injuries Assessment Board
FAQs – PIAB Assessments for Personal Injury Cases
All your PIAB Questions Answered
If you have decided to make an application to the Board yourself, but now feel you need the services of a solicitor, we will be happy to arrange a consultation with you to look at the paperwork and advise as to whether or not we believe that the Board has made a fair assessment of your claim. Here, we answer your frequently asked questions about the PIAB claims process. Our team will provide expert advice throughout the entire process and ensure that each and every client receives our full care and attention. We ensure that the Board adheres to the time limits imposed on it and deal with all queries from the Board on your behalf.
What is PIAB?
PIAB was set up under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003. It is a statutory body that was set up to provide assessments of personal injury claims such as road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. This means that PIAB will assess your injuries and put a value on your case. PIAB do not handle medical negligence matters.
How long does a PIAB assessment take?
When an application is made to PIAB they will provide what is commonly called, a Section 50 Letter. This letter informs you that PIAB will put the respondent (the person or company you are suing) on notice of your application and that they require a written response from the respondent within 90 days. The 90 day time limit does not begin to run until such time as PIAB have actually written to the respondent.
How does PIAB calculate the value of claims?
When an application is made to PIAB, it will include a medical report from your treating doctor (Form B). This medical report will outline the injuries that you sustained in your accident, all treatment provided, and if possible, a diagnosis and prognosis for your future recovery. PIAB will go through your medical report, and they will then arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical expert. Depending on the injuries sustained, PIAB may decide to have you examined by more than one expert.
Once PIAB are in receipt of the relevant medical evidence they will be able to put a value on your case. This assessment will be made using the Personal Injury Guidelines.
Do PIAB pay legal fees?
No they do not.
In some cases, PIAB may award a small contribution towards legal costs. This contribution does not come close to covering the cost of the legal services provided.
This is in stark contrast to cases where court proceedings have been issued. If your case is not resolved in PIAB and you choose to issue court proceedings, if you are successful in these court proceedings, you will be awarded your legal costs.
It should be noted that as PIAB does not award any costs, your legal fees must come out of the figure assessed by them. The foregoing is a very brief synopsis of the workings of PIAB and needless to say, there are all sorts of diverse situations which can and do arise, and we will of course fully advise you in relation to your particular circumstance. Read more about legal fees >
The issue of legal costs was one of the biggest failings of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act of 2003. Before this Act came into being, all claimants/plaintiffs were entitled to their legal costs. If the claimant has had more than one accident within a short period of time, the Board will not be in a position to make an assessment.
Does PIAB provide legal advice?
PIAB do not provide any legal advice.
They will lead you to believe that the claims process is simple and hassle free, which is simply untrue. There are a number of common pitfalls that all claimants should be aware of when dealing with PIAB.
Do I have to accept an assessment made by PIAB?
No, you do not have to accept a PIAB assessment.
If you are not happy with the assessment made by PIAB you are free to reject the assessment and issue court proceedings. Sometimes a claimant may feel that the assessment is too low or PIAB have not taken certain matters into account when making the assessment. There is absolutely no obligation on a claimant to accept the assessment.
It is best to seek advice from a solicitor when you receive an assessment from PIAB. The same rings true for a respondent, they do not have to accept an assessment made by PIAB.
What happens if the respondant consents to the PIAB assessment?
Just because a Respondent consents to PIAB making an Assessment, does not mean that they have accepted liability.
We are often contacted by clients wondering why a respondent would consent to PIAB making an Assessment, in some cases even accept the assessment, and then deny liability when we issue court proceedings.
Firstly, a respondent may consent to PIAB making an assessment in circumstances where it is the cheapest option for them, and they are hoping to avoid litigation. This in no way means that they are accepting that the accident was their fault. Consenting to an assessment may simply be the cheaper option.
If PIAB makes an assessment which is accepted by the respondent, they can still deny liability.
What is a PIAB medical report?
In order for our firm to put your claim through PIAB we must first take up a medical report from your treating doctor. This report will outline all of the injuries sustained by you as a result of your accident. This report is very important as PIAB will base their assessment of your claim solely on the contents of your medical report along with the report of an independent medical practitioner. Once we have received the report from your doctor we will send a copy of it to you along with a Form A. The Form A is the application form which must be completed and signed by you in order for the Injuries Board to deal with your claim.
Once we have obtained the necessary medical reports, we will present your case to PIAB on your behalf. Contact us to help you with your PIAB Application.
What is a Section 50 letter?
When your application is received by the Board they will issue a letter called a ‘Section 50 Letter’. This letter confirms that PIAB has received your application. Once this letter is issued the Statute of Limitations stops running against you. Under the Statute of Limitations a claimant has two years from the accident date within which to bring an injury claim.
Once the two year term has expired the claim becomes statute barred, meaning the claimant is no longer able to claim for the injuries sustained. The application must be received by PIAB before the expiration of the two year time period. The Statute then stops running while the claim is being assessed by the Board. If the claim does not settle at the Injuries Board stage, and the claimant is issued with an Authorisation by the Board, the claimant is given a further six months within which to issue proceedings.
What if the case is complicated?
If a claimant’s injuries are in any way complicated or complex PIAB will not be in a position to make an assessment. If a claimant has been involved in previous accidents, wherein they sustained similar injuries, PIAB will not be in a position to make an assessment.
In this situation, it will be necessary to obtain the medical records of the claimant in order to ascertain the injuries sustained in those previous accidents. Contact us if you have a query on a complicated claim – tel: 014537890.
What makes an injury case complicated?
Complicated cases include:
- If you have been involved in an accident where it may be necessary to bring your claim against more than one person/company.
- If you have been involved in previous accidents, wherein you sustained similar injuries, the Board will not be in a position to make an assessment. Usually, where the claimant has been involved in previous accidents, it will be necessary to obtain the medical records of the claimant in order to ascertain the injuries sustained in those previous accidents. These records are usually requested by the respondent/defendant during a process called ‘Discovery’, this process cannot be dealt with at the Injuries Board stage.
- If your injuries are serious and no final prognosis has been given
- If you are suffering with psychological injuries or if you were suffering with previous injuries or illness it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced solicitor before making an application to PIAB.
- PIAB can only make an assessment where there is a final prognosis available to them from a doctor i.e. the Board needs to be provided with a specific time-frame within which the claimant is expected to recover from their injuries.
PIAB and the Other Side
PIAB will notify the other side, or more usually their Insurers, of the application. The other side has the option of consenting to the The PIAB Assessment Procedure, or of declining. If they decline, then The Board take no further part, and we will then issue Court Proceedings for your injuries, loss, damage and expense. If the other side consent to the The PIAB Assessment, then they will consider the medical reports furnished by both sides, and possible, (any independent reports commissioned, and it will produce a valuation of the claim, usually within 9 – 15 months.
There is no oral hearing. If you are willing to accept the Assessment and provided the other side are willing to pay it, then this is the end of the matter. However if either you or the other side does not accept the Assessment, then the claim will proceed under the former system of Court Litigation.
What is a Schedule of Special Damages?
Once the Board is in receipt of the completed Schedule of Special Damages, This is a Certificate of Loss of Earnings (if appropriate) and the medical report, they will proceed to make an assessment. We (the Solicitor) will be notified in writing of the award being made by the Board.
Does PIAB issue court proceedings?
If one or both parties reject the assessment, the Board will issue an Authorisation, allowing the claimant to issue court proceedings. But, just because court proceedings are issued does not mean that the claimant/plaintiff will end up in court. If we do end up issuing proceedings on your behalf, in the majority of cases the claim settles before going to trial.
Do I need a Solicitor for PIAB?
YES. PIAB will lead you to believe that you do not need a solicitor, the simple reality is that now, more than ever, you do.
Will I get more if I hire a solicitor?
You will greatly increase your chances of receiving a better financial outcome by availing of the services of a solicitor, for several reasons.
Here are some additional resources related to PIAB that may be helpful:
Got a question about Starting a Claim for Personal Injury or Medical Negligence?
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