Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
98. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position with regard to the operation of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; the number of staff recruited to date; the number of claims received to date by the board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28346/04]
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Martin): The Personal Injuries Assessment Board was established by ministerial order on 13 April 2004. From 1 June 2004 all personal injury claims arising from workplace accidents, where an employee is seeking compensation from his-her employer, must be referred to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board before legal proceedings are issued. From 22 July 2004, all motor liability and public liability claims must also be referred to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board before legal proceedings are issued.
The structure and staffing levels of the PIAB have been agreed. The PIAB, when fully operational, will have a staffing complement of up to 85 in addition to the CEO. The PIAB is also utilising an outsourced service centre to assist injured parties in completion of their claim submissions and ensure a comprehensive, fair and independent service is provided.
The recruitment of staff is an operational matter for which the CEO of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board has responsibility. However, I understand that following a significant recruitment campaign, the PIAB has recruited sufficient staff to serve the current needs of its business. While matters relating to the claims received by PIAB is also an operational matter for which the CEO has responsibility, I understand that to date 7,475 telephone calls have been received, 467,359 website hits have been recorded, and a total of 1,347 applications for assessment have been made, broken down as follows: 538 employer liability applications; 374 public liability applications; and 435 motor accident applications.
The establishment of the PIAB will lead to reduced insurance premia to the benefit of both consumers and businesses alike. By eliminating the need for litigation costs where legal issues are not in dispute, the PIAB will significantly reduce the cost of delivering compensation. The PIAB will also offer speedier assessments to the benefit of claimants.
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