The Government have released statements that address the growing tension between the legal profession and the insurance industry, with the latter holding victims who sustained personal injuries culpable of the rise in insurance premiums. The proposals by the Government are to engage a commission to study personal injury* awards, the effect of which will allow them to analyse the compensation awarded for injuries within Ireland compared to other jurisdictions.
Legal professionals who specialise in personal injury* are of the opinion that this is an attempt to undermine and abolish the book of quantum that has recently been updated in light of recent economic developments within Ireland. However, it has been ascertained that the judiciary and the book of quantum will still hold the authority when valuing victim’s cases.
The rationale and ethos of this working group who is attempting to administer this new commission is that of transparency, with them declaring that the personal injuries process lacks the ‘required’ transparency that ought to be prevalent within the personal injury* legal sector. With these proposals, insurance companies are evidently enthusiastic about them, regardless of whether this undermines the judiciary and the Injuries Board which they claim will purportedly assist. The sheer resilience by insurer’s against personal injury* claims echoes contamination that those of us who pay for insurance, regardless of the price of premiums, expect a fair and just legal approach to obtain compensation if and when we are entitled to it.
It is apparent that this commission primary focus will directed towards soft tissue injuries, namely, ‘whiplash’ claims. The rationale for this is that whiplash injuries equate to approximately 80% of all personal injury* claims. As a result of the latter, it seems that rather than having justice at the forefront of this new commission, it appears that it is a means for the insurance industry to restrict victims of road traffic accidents from obtaining the compensation they deserve.