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Drop in the level of awards for Personal Injury Actions

By: Eamon Harrington | Posted on: 10 Jul 2019

INTRODUCTION

The Courts Service Annual Report for 2018, published on 8th July 2019, shows a notable decrease in the overall level of awards for personal injury claims. The decrease can be seen in the awards of the High Court rather than those of the District and Circuit Courts.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke has commended the Report as “an overview of change for good reason and administration for the common good.”

The Report illustrates various changes by comparing statistics from 2017 and 2018. Its findings are summarised below:

 

DISTRICT COURT

In 2018, the District Court awarded a total of €4,536,733 for personal injury claims. This represents an increase of almost 29.9% on the €3,493,105 awarded in 2017.

The average District Court award for personal injury now stands at €7,987.21.  This is an increase of 4.5% on the average award in 2017.

 

CIRCUIT COURT  

The total amount awarded by the Circuit Court for personal injury claims in 2018 was €23,596,553. This is an increase of 18.7% on the €19,874,648 awarded in 2017.

The average Circuit Court award for personal injury claims now stands at €19,014.14. This is an increase of 2.8% on the average award in 2017.

 

HIGH COURT

In 2018, the total amount awarded by the High Court for personal injury claims, not including medical negligence claims, was €57,523,833. This is a decrease of 31.8% on the €84,337,288 awarded in 2017.

The average High Court award for personal injury claims, other than those including medical negligence, is now €171,201. This is a decrease of approximately 29% on the average award in 2017.

It has been commented that these changes may be as a result of the Court of Appeal reducing awards of the High Court in recent years. It may be the case that the changing level of awards will have an impact on settlement agreements in the future.

 

CONCLUSION

Overall, the above statistics suggest a change in the attitude of the Judiciary towards personal injury awards, particularly those of a higher value.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Eamon Harrington, Partner in Dispute Resolution at Comyn Kelleher Tobin, former Chairman of the ADR and also the Litigation Committees of the Law Society is an experienced Mediator and is a CEDR accredited mediator

 

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