PIAB stands for the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. It was established by the State in 2003 and since July 2004 all personal injuries claims, apart from medical negligence cases, have to go through PIAB to set a figure of compensation before a person can go to Courts.
The first step to be taken in any personal injuries case is filling out the PIAB (Personal Injuries Assessment Board) application. This is a form that sets out the information about your injury and the accident that caused it. We will complete this application at the earliest possible date so that the sorting out of your case will not be delayed.
To complete this PIAB application, we will need at least one medical report from your doctor and this can sometimes take a few months. When we get the medical report, we can send this, with any other necessary paperwork, to PIAB and your application is then logged by them. PIAB will then send the defendant (the person you say was responsible for your injury) a copy of the application and the medical and will ask them if they consent to allow PIAB to put a value on your injury and make an offer.
This process can (and usually does) take 90 days. If the other person refuses to allow the PIAB to deal with the case, that is the end of the PIAB process. PIAB will end their involvement in your case by issuing us with an ‘authorisation’ which is, in effect, a permission to issue Court proceedings.
If the defendant consents to PIAB assessing your case, PIAB will send you to be examined by a doctor on their panel of doctors. They will also look for details of your out of pocket expenses and loss of earnings if you have suffered such losses.If there are no psychological or psychiatric injuries, PIAB will decide on a value for the injury and make you an offer.
We will then consider that offer against our knowledge of how similar injuries are valued in the Court system and advise you on whether to accept or reject the offer. If you decide to accept the offer, then the compensation will be paid and the case is at an end. If you decide not to accept the offer, PIAB will not make an improved offer. They will issue an authorisation so that the Court proceedings can be issued and the PIAB process is then at an end.
A key difficulty with valuing personal injuries is that we cannot form a clear opinion on a value until we have a clear picture of your injuries. For this reason, we will usually not be able to offer more than a general guideline on the value of your injury at the beginning. As time moves on and we get more medical information, that opinion will be revised until we have enough information to value your injury with confidence. Ultimately, it is up to the Court to fix the value of your claim. Should your case go that far, you should bear in mind that judges can vary greatly in the amount of compensation that they award.