Since 2003, persons injured in road traffic accidents, accidents at work, trip and fall accidents etc., who wish to claim compensation, must, in the first instance, lodge a claim with the Injuries Board [PIAB] except in limited circumstances. You cannot go directly to Court for compensation without an Authorisation from PIAB. It can take up to a year for PIAB to assess the compensation or issue an Authorisation. PIAB does not pay compensation – it just assesses it. Either party can accept or reject the assessment – only if it is accepted is it binding and payable.
The Insurance Company will have a raft of advisors advising them on acceptance or rejection. It is important, therefore, that the injured person also has proper legal advice on whether or not to accept the assessment.
The following are the critical questions the injured person needs to consider before accepting:
– Have you ongoing pain or dicomfort arising from your injury?
– Are you still receiving medical treatment?
– Are you likely to need further scans, surgery other medical intervention?
– Will you have future care or medication needs and what will they cost?
– Has your injury affected your ability to work and/or your social/home life?
– Has the Insurance Company accepted liability for your accident?
The PIAB system is weighted totally in favour of the Insurance Companies whose aim of course is to minimise compensation payments. Legal advice on filing the PIAB claim and considering its assessment is vital. There is only “one bite of the cherry” as insurance payments are in full and final settlement, regardless of how the injury may pan out!
Never accept without advice