A Government initiative to increase the number of personal injury claims settled through mediation will begin to come into force next week.
Last year, the Government steered legislation through the Oireachtas with the stated aim of reducing the expense and time associated with personal injuries litigation.
Part of the legislation comes into force on 13 February, after it was signed-off by Minister of State Dara Calleary.
As it currently stands, a Personal Injury Assessment Board independently assesses claims for compensation arising from personal injuries sustained in the workplace or a motor incident.
From next Monday, if a claimant litigates to seek a higher amount of compensation – but the court award is lower than the PIAB offer – then they will not recover their costs and will be generally liable for the respondent’s costs as well.
In the coming months, further elements of the legislation will become law, including allowing a Personal Injuries Resolution Board to offer mediation as a means of resolving a claim.
Minister Calleary said he will seek to ensure the remaining provisions of the new Act are introduced at the earliest opportunity.