News & Events

Minister Calleary announces the Injuries Resolution Board’s mediation service for public liability personal injury claims

Mediation service is extended as of 8 May 2024 to include public liability injury claims in addition to employer liability injury claims

Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation,with responsibility for the Injuries Resolution Board,today announced the commencement of mediation for the resolution of public liability personal injury claims.

Announcing the commencement, Minister Calleary said:          

Today sees a continuation in the roll out of mediation as a new service for resolving public liability personal injury claims by the Injuries Resolution Board.

This is part of the work of the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform which set as a primary goal the enhancement and reform of the then Personal Injuries Assessment Board which has been achieved through the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Act 2022.

I commenced legislation to provide for mediation as a service for employers’ liability personal injury claims last December. Already we have seen a very strong initial response to the introduction of mediation for workplace accident claims with almost 40% of claimants indicating that they would be willing to enter into the mediation process.

Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes quickly and in a cost-effective manner. It helps both claimants and respondents to reach a mutual agreement and provides an alternative to litigation which can be costly, time consuming, and stressful for all involved”.

Mediation can address a broader range of issues than those currently considered in the Board’s assessment service, including claim value, extent of injury, and contributory negligence among others. More particularly mediation allows the Board to consider cases where liability is not agreed. This is something that it has not been able to do previously. This represents a step change in the work of the Board as it allows it to take on a significant number of new cases thereby increasing the substantial savings that it has already achieved against the costs of litigation through its work.

Minister Calleary further added:

“The recent Supreme Court judgment in the Delaney case confirmed that the Personal Injuries Guidelines are legally binding and have been correctly applied by the Injuries Resolution Board. This reinforces the authority of the Guidelines and moves us towards a more consistent, certain, and predictable system for personal injury compensation in this county.

The future of the Injuries Resolution Board, celebrating twenty years this year, is positive. The current consent rate to assessing cases for the Board has reached an impressive 70% while the acceptance rate to their assessment awards has recovered from 36% in mid-2021 to a healthy 50% this year. 

I will commence legislation to provide for mediation for motor liability personal injury cases later this year.”

The Board was twenty years old in April 2024. In that twenty years it has received in the region of 500,000 cases which have resulted in almost 180,000 awards in accepted assessments. The total value of those awards is approximately €2 billion. In carrying out this work it is estimated that the Board has achieved €1 billion savings in that time.

Notes to Editors

Personal Injuries Resolution Board Act 2022 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 3) Order 2023

The Personal Injuries Resolution Board Act 2022 was signed into law by the President on 13 December 2022. The Act amends the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003-2019 to increase the number of personal injury claims settled through PIAB and to reduce the expense and time associated with personal injuries litigation. The Act also provides for measures to be taken against the making of fraudulent claims.

Phase 1 of the Act commenced on 13 February 2023 and included provisions relating to the retention by the Board of additional claims and the treatment of costs should cases proceed to litigation.

Phase 2 commenced on 4 September 2023 and provided for the mandatory elements required when making an application to the Board.

Phase 3 commenced on 14 December 2023 and saw the introduction of a mediation service offered by the Board for the resolution of personal injuries claims.

Also under the 2022 Act, the Injuries Resolution Board has been given a new data analysis and reporting function. The Board has embarked on publishing reports designed to utilise the agency’s comprehensive data on accidents, claims and personal injuries.

These reports will provide insights on specific areas of interest, with a view to informing policy, promoting public awareness and supporting the development of accident prevention strategies.

About the Injuries Resolution Board (formerly PIAB)

The Injuries Resolution Board independently assesses claims for compensation arising from personal injuries sustained as a result of a motor, workplace, or public liability incident. Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Acts 2003-2022, all personal injury claims, with certain exceptions, such as medical negligence cases, must be submitted to the Board unless they are settled by the parties involved at an early stage.

The Central Bank’s reporting under the National Claims Information Database shows that claims settled through the Injuries Resolution Board are settled faster and have much lower legal costs than those settled by litigation, despite having similar award levels for claimants.

Insurance Reform

The Programme for Government contains commitments to deliver an insurance system which is both affordable and reliable and one which underpins a vibrant economy. The ‘Action Plan for Insurance Reform’ was launched on 8 December 2020. The Action Plan sets out 66 actions for reform to bring down the costs for consumers and business and to introduce more competition into the market. Approximately 95% of the actions in the Plan have been delivered.

Personal Injury Guidelines and the Delaney case

The Personal Injuries Guidelines came into effect on 24 April 2021. The Guidelines were introduced to bring consistency and certainty to awards across all the settlement channels. Both the Injuries Resolution Board and the Courts must have regard to the Guidelines when assessing claims. This reinforces the benefits of using the quicker and less costly Board process.

Following their introduction legal challenges arose against the Guidelines and the Board. A Supreme Court judgement in a test case (Delaney) was given on 9 April 2024. The Supreme Court found that the Guidelines had been ratified by the Oireachtas and given legal effect by the enactment of the Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2021, which entered into force on 24 April 2021. This means that they are legally binding. The Supreme Court also found that the Injuries Resolution Board had acted properly and in accordance with the law when applying the Guidelines.

This decision is expected to provide the much-needed certainty which will encourage greater acceptance of the Injuries Resolution Board’s assessments creating even greater savings in costs and time.