Personal Injuries Guidelines

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The Judicial Council recently adopted the Personal Injuries guidelines.  These guidelines will regulate the amount of any awards to be made in respect of Personal Injuries claims. This will cover claims in respect of medical negligence and all claims for Personal Injury.  The guidelines commenced on Saturday 17th April 2021 and Judges will be bound by the guidelines in deciding the value of any case before them.  If a Judge wishes to depart from the guidelines they must specifically say that they are so departing and give the reasons why.  The impetus behind the creation of the new Personal Injuries guidelines is the perceived high level of cost of insurance in Ireland.  The guidelines will have an immediate impact on the amount of damages which the Courts may award to a Plaintiff.  It will have an immediate knock-on affect on claims currently before the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.  Under the new guidelines awards will be almost halved.  The Government is adamantly of the view that the reduced level of award will impact on claims currently before the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, however, legitimate argument could be made that this is unfair if the application was submitted to the Injuries Board prior to the new Judicial guidelines taking affect otherwise the guidelines will have a serious impact on the value of any claim currently before the Injuries Board e.g. a whiplash type injury which prior to now would be worth €12,000.00/€15,000.00 will now be worth €3,000.00/€6,000.00 it will now be interesting to see, in fact, do insurance premia fall.