15.7% increase in average Circuit Court & 13.5% increase in average District Court personal injury awards from 2015-2018
- “The benchmark Circuit Court award continues to increase highlighting the need for urgent recalibration of our personal injury awards” – Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland
· Majority of litigated personal injury claims settled in the District & Circuit Courts and the average Circuit Court award increased from €16,429 in 2015 to €19,014 in 2018
· From 2017-2018 there were 24% more awards at District Court level than in 2017, with 15.5% more awards at Circuit Court level
- Number of cases, total pay-outs and average amounts in the District and Circuit Courts increase while High Court totals fall
Issued Monday, 8th July 2019. Insurance Ireland has said the continued inflation in the average awards in the District and Circuit Courts highlight the need for the Judicial Council to recalibrate personal injury award levels before the end of the year.
Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland said, “The majority of litigated personal injury awards are settled in the District and Circuit Courts and this report highlights a 15.7% increase in average Circuit Court personal injury award from 2015-2018. In addition, the District Court saw its average award increase by 13.5% in the same period.
“The Courts Service Annual Report for 2018 shows 24% more awards at District Court level than in 2017, with 15.5% more awards at Circuit Court level. There were fewer awards at High Court level, but the vast majority of litigated personal injury cases are for moderate injuries such as soft tissue which usually have compensation awards under €30,000 and these are handled in the lower courts.
“The Circuit Court is the benchmark as the types of injury claims it settles are most directly comparable to the ones settled by insurers and the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, while those in the High Court are for more severe injury types.
“We already know our personal injury awards are a multiple of those in the UK and elsewhere, with up to €54,000 paid for a minor ankle fracture in Ireland versus €14,000 in the UK.
Kevin concluded, “The benchmark Circuit Court award continues to increase highlighting the need for urgent recalibration of our personal injury awards. We are almost 12 months on from the Personal Injuries Commission report which established that our compensation awards are 4.4 times those in the UK. The recalibration of the lower value awards must be the primary focus of the Judicial Council and it is our strong view that this work should be completed by the end of the year.”
Notes to editors: Information taken from the Courts Service Annual Reports www.courts.ie