Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD has expressed concern that the Government’s most recent Bill on insurance does not go far enough in reforming the personal injuries process in Ireland.
Commenting Deputy McGrath said, “The latest bill from the Government is designed to deter people from using the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) as a mere rubber stamp when seeking damages. However, I do not believe it goes far enough.
“PIAB offers an alternative process to going straight to court where legal fees can escalate dramatically. However, some people are treating PIAB simply as a rubber stamp as they feel they can get larger awards from the courts. Typically in cases like these, individuals will not even turn up for independent medical assessments.
“Under the current law, there is no disincentive for those people who just want to skip the PIAB process and go straight to court. This practice is among the many reasons why personal injury claims are so high this country. The end result is that other policyholders foot the bill by way of higher premiums.
“On behalf of Fianna Fáil, I introduced a Bill in the Dáil last month that would make it tougher to ignore the PIAB process. Unfortunately, the Government have chosen a softer route and I fear it will be ineffectual in the end. It is also hard to fathom why the Government introduced this Bill without first publishing the report from the Personal Injury Commission (PIC).
“The PIC report was intended to bring forward recommendations on PIAB and how best to reform it, yet the Government seems to have ploughed ahead anyway. This is strange given that the Government have the second report from the PIC yet they have failed to publish it so far,” concluded McGrath.