- ISME launched its ‘Fair Book of Quantum’ on Thursday 23rd January
- The current level of general damages for soft-tissue (‘whiplash’) injuries in Ireland is 4.4 times to that of England and Wales
- The Personal Injuries Commission sought an ‘urgent’ reduction in quantum in its final report published in July 2018
ISME launched it’s Fair Book of Quantum’ at 2 pm on Thursday 23rd January in Buswells Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2. The Personal Injuries Commission (PIC), chaired by Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns, issued its final report in July 2018. The PIC included representatives of the Law Society, the Bar Council, and the insurance industry among its members. In its unanimously agreed conclusions, the PIC found that the level of general damages for soft-tissue (‘whiplash’) injuries in Ireland runs at a multiple of 4.4 times that of our nearest neighbours England and Wales. It found this differential with awards in the UK, (which are themselves very generous by international standards) to be unjustified and said that excessive awards encouraged fraud.
The PIC called for ‘a response that is effective and achievable in the shortest possible time.’ It sought urgent action before the end of 2018. Nothing material has happened to recalibrate awards levels in the meantime.
The Personal Injuries Guidance Committee of the Judicial Council is now considering suitable levels of general damages to supersede those in the Book of Quantum.
It is important, therefore, while this consideration is underway, to show people what reasonable and fair general damages would look like in Ireland if the values in the Book of Quantum were recalibrated to more realistic levels. Using the 4.4 times multiple noted by the PIC as a benchmark adjustment factor, ISME has revised the range values in the 2016 Book of Quantum using the following convention for most awards:
Minor injuries Discounted by 80%
Moderate injuries Discounted by 75%
Moderately Severe injuries Discounted by 65%
Severe and Permanent injuries Not Discounted
While lowered quantum will not, on its own, represent the complete solution to reducing insurance costs in Ireland, there will be no solution to the insurance crisis in Ireland that does not involve lower quantum for minor injuries. Even at the revised levels proposed by ISME, Ireland will still be a very generous jurisdiction by international standards in the award of general damages.
ISME should be referred to as the Irish SME Association
A link to a pdf version of the Fair Book of Quantum is available HERE.
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