What Happens If I Reject a PIAB Settlement Offer?
If you reject the PIAB’s assessment of your claim, the PIAB issues a document called an authorisation. This allows you to bring legal proceedings against the respondent. Your solicitor will then negotiate directly with the other side in an attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement.
The PIAB’s assessment
Most personal injury claims in Ireland must be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). There are some exceptions, such as medical negligence claims and claims in which all (or most of) the damages relate to psychological injuries.
The PIAB assesses the claim and determines how much compensation the claimant should receive, if any. This settlement offer is the PIAB’s opinion. However, it is not sacrosanct. If you’re making a claim then you can reject the PIAB’s assessment, as can the respondent.
You can reject the PIAB’s assessment
You should reject the PIAB’s assessment if the offer is not fair and reasonable. As the claimant, you have 28 days to make a decision and tell the PIAB in writing. The respondent has 21 days.
It is worth noting that if you, as the claimant, do not respond within 28 days, then the PIAB assumes that you have rejected the assessment. Conversely, if the respondent does not respond within 21 days, then the PIAB assumes that the offer has been accepted.
What happens if I reject a PIAB offer?
If you reject the offer, then it is not the end of your claim. Far from it. What happens next is that the PIAB issues a document called an authorisation. This authorises you to bring legal proceedings against the person or organisation you consider at-fault for your damages.
Your solicitor will issue court proceedings. However, this does not necessarily mean that your case will go to trial. Instead, your solicitor will negotiate directly with the other side. The aim is to reach an out-of-court settlement that both parties are happy with.
How long does a PIAB authorisation last?
Once the PIAB issues an authorisation, you have six months to bring the claim to court. During this time, there will be a lot of back and forth between your solicitor and the other side’s legal representatives. Offers and counter-offers may be made in an attempt to settle the matter.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will eventually go to court. If the other side insists on defending the claim, there will be a trial. A judge will then determine the outcome, including the settlement you should receive.
Should I reject the PIAB’s offer?
You should only reject the PIAB’s offer is there is a very realistic prospect that you will ‘beat’ the assessment, whether through negotiation or in court. The risk is that if your claim goes to court and you don’t better the PIAB’s original assessment, then you will not be entitled to your costs.
Even so, you should not accept the PIAB’s assessment if it is not appropriate. You only get one chance to make a claim for your damages, so you need to get it right. That is why you should ask a solicitor for advice before accepting or rejecting the PIAB’s assessment.
Do many people reject the PIAB’s offer?
According to an article published in the Law Society of Ireland Gazette, claimants reject PIAB offers in almost half of cases. Figures from 2017 show that claimants rejected €146.18 million, or 46.4 per cent of the total award money offered.
Therefore, it is common practice to reject a PIAB offer. However, we don’t recommend rejecting the offer until you have spoken to a solicitor. You need to be confident that you will better the original assessment during legal proceedings.
Is your PIAB offer reasonable?
If you have not yet engaged a solicitor and you’re wondering whether your PIAB offer is reasonable, please contact us at Mullins & Treacy Solicitors. The majority of claimants are entitled to a greater settlement than the one offered by the PIAB – but you must make sure this applies to your case before taking decisive action.
We can look at your claim and the offer made by the PIAB. Afterwards, we’ll provide our professional opinion as to whether or not the PIAB’s assessment is fair and reasonable. We specialise in personal injury claims. We are client focused and results driven.
Call us on 051 391 488 or email email@example.com for a no obligation enquiry.
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