High Court Average Personal Injury Awards Drop by 29% in 2018

According to Court Service a total of 22,049 personal injury suits were filed in Ireland last year, at all Court levels.

This was a minor decline on the 22,417 filed the preceding year.

Nevertheless, there was an insignificant rise in the sums granted in lower Courts across the state.

The quantity awarded in personal injuries cases rose from €3.5 million in 2017 to €4.5 million in 2018 in the District Court, and from €20 million to €23.6 million in the Circuit Court.

The Circuit Court can make awards of up to €60,000, while the District Court make awards of up to €15,000.

The amount granted in the Circuit Court increased from €19.8m to €23.5m between 2017 and 2018, with the average sum awarded rising by 2.8% from €18,488 to €19,014.

The overall sum granted in the District Court soared from €3.49m in 2017 to €4.5m last year, with the average sum awarded rising by 4.5% from €7,643 to €7,987.

The statistics confirm the assessment of previous High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, who stated earlier this year that: “while the Court of Appeal had recalibrated awards at the higher end, this descending reach effectively immobile in the High Court and was not been seen in courts below it.

Mr Justice Kearns directed the Personal Injuries Commission, which proposed the setting up of a Judicial Council to recalibrate the range of awards for less serious injuries.

Legislation permitting for the Judicial Council was approved by the Dáil in early July 2019.

In addition, Chief Justice Frank Clarke expressed a “little caution” must be applied with the decreases in awards.

However, he contended “all that being said, the fact that there was a considerable drop in the average level of High Court award in ordinary personal injuries actions is a crucial objective set of figures which needs to be taken into account in the present debate.

 

 

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