Personal injuries guidelines to be brought into effect through legislation

Helen McEntee
Helen McEntee

Legislative amendments to bring the Judicial Council’s new personal injuries guidelines into effect have been agreed by ministers.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee yesterday secured approval from his colleagues to make the necessary amendments to the Judicial Council Act 2019 and the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003.

The changes will be brought forward through government amendments to the Family Leave Bill 2021, which will extend paid parental leave from two weeks to five, to ensure they can “take legal effect as soon as possible”.

The guidelines are expected to take effect in April and will apply to all applications already made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) which haven’t yet reached the assessment or hearing stage.

Ms McEntee said: “The approach agreed by government today takes into account both the urgency in tackling high insurance costs and fairness for those who have suffered injury as well as those who are required to defend a claim. I believe we have struck the correct balance.

“Government has decided that the new Personal Injuries Guidelines should apply to applications already made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board except where an assessment has been made. The Book of Quantum will continue to apply where PIAB assessments have been made or where a hearing is already before the courts.

“I hope the new Guidelines will have an impact on the award of damages in personal injuries cases and bring down the cost of insurance. We’ll continue to assess the impact of the guidelines and if we need to take further action, we will.”

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