Understanding Mediation in Personal Injury Claims

Arbitration

19 December 2023

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), now rebranded as the Injuries Resolution Board, introduces a significant update in handling personal injury claims in Ireland. Starting from 14 December 2023, the Board is offering mediation as an option for resolving employer liability claims, with plans to expand this service to public liability and motor liability claims in 2024.

What is Mediation in Personal Injury Claims?

Mediation is a dispute resolution process where parties involved in a personal injury claim, aided by a mediator, aim to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. This confidential and voluntary approach allows parties to opt-out at any stage, and the mediator’s role is solely to facilitate dialogue, not to decide on the claim.

However, it’s crucial to note that mediation is not a straightforward process. The insurer you’re facing in mediation will likely be well-versed in these negotiations, while you, as the claimant, may not have similar experience. It’s essential to consider that mediation can be intense and isn’t for everyone. As such, it’s highly advisable to seek assistance from a service like the Irish Claims Board for guidance and support.

Benefits of Opting for Mediation

  1. Mediation offers a chance for a quicker, mutually agreed-upon resolution.
  2. It potentially avoids the risks and costs associated with court proceedings.
  3. The process is confidential, and information shared cannot be used in subsequent court proceedings if mediation fails.

Consenting to Mediation through the Injuries Resolution Board

The Board’s application forms now include an option to choose mediation for employer liability claims. Respondents or their insurers have 90 days to consent to mediation, and failure to respond will be considered consent to the assessment process. Engaging in mediation is cost-free, and resolutions are typically achieved within three months.

How Mediation Works in Personal Injury Cases

Upon mutual consent for mediation, parties are assigned a mediator and an appointment is set, usually conducted via telephone. Parties sign a confidentiality agreement and may fill out a pre-mediation form. The mediator facilitates the discussion, aiming for a solution agreeable to both parties. If successful, a legally binding agreement is drafted post-mediation. Should mediation not resolve the issue, the case proceeds to assessment if consented, or court proceedings if not.

Conclusion

The introduction of mediation by the Injuries Resolution Board marks a significant expansion in resolving personal injury claims. Mediation allows for a comprehensive exploration of all issues related to a claim, offering an alternative to the assessment process. The success of this service’s rollout and its acceptance rate are eagerly anticipated.

A Word of Caution

Remember, entering mediation without proper representation can be daunting, given the experienced nature of insurers. We at the Irish Claims Board strongly recommend availing of expert services like ours to navigate these waters effectively. Stay informed and protected with the right support.

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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