In a recent blog entitled Injuries Board: Blowing their Own Trumpet – Speedy Responses to the detriment of Claimants? we outlined some reasons why people should be cautious in accepting early compensation from the Injuries Board following their statement that they have significantly reduced the amount of time it takes to resolve a claim from three years to nine months, in most cases.
In addition to the risks we referred to in our previous blog, the assessment process with the Injuries Board is also a very rigid one. When a personal injuries claim is taken before the Courts you submit your claim at the outset and can then update details and particulars of the injuries and wrongs prior to the hearing of the case. The Injuries Board does not allow this. Once your application is submitted that is that and you cannot update or change your claim at a later stage. This is particularly risky where a claim is submitted before your injuries have settled down as the situation can change very quickly leaving the Board assessing what is not really the full extent of your injuries.
While the Injuries Board are very vocal about how quickly they can award compensation to claimants once a claim has been submitted, they do not appear to be quite so forthcoming in publicising the delays in releasing claims that they cannot assess. Claims cannot be assessed for a number of reasons; because they do not have the power under the legislation or because the defendant refuses to allow them to do so. However, where it is clear at the outset that the claim is not within their power to deal with, the Board still enforces an unnecessarily lengthy process and are slow to release cases they cannot handle.
We would strongly recommend that any person who has suffered a personal injury and is making an application to the Injuries Board firstly seek legal advice.