A TOTAL OF €210 million was paid out by Ireland’s Injuries Board in compensations during 2011.
More than 9,800 personal injury claims received monetary awards. The average award made by the board, which was established in 2004, was €21,339.
About three quarters of awards were for injuries from road traffic accidents, while the remainder were split between workplace liability (8.4 per cent) and public liability (15.1 per cent) accidents.
A record compensation payment of €829,444 was granted during the year – over double the highest made in 2010.
Overall, there was a 3.8 per cent decline on the average award when compared with 2010 but Byron attributed this to a reduction in work-related claims and reduced loss of earnings as a result of lower salaries across the economy.
The board was set up to stem excessive personal injury processing costs – a significant driver of high insurance premiums – and to expedite assessments.
The organisation has made over 50,000 awards since its inception, exceeding a total of €1 billion.
Chief executive Patricia Byron noted that motor insurance is now 22 per cent cheaper than it was a decade ago. Claims that previously took three years to resolve, now take about seven months to complete, she said.
Byron also claimed that savings of over €500 million have been made because of the Injuries Board. The organisation remains self-funded and original establishment costs of €7 million have been repaid to the Exchequer.
The board is self-funded through a fee on those who are responsible for injuries arising from motor, workplace and public liability accidents, as well as a €45 charge to claimants. This is recoverable where an award is made.