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  • Writer's pictureDavid Kieran

Majority of Irish motorists believe personal injury payouts are too high

A survey of 5,000 Irish motorists has found that the majority believe personal injury awards are too high.

The research carried out by AA Ireland in May 2018, found that over half of respondents (57.88%) strongly agree that awards for whiplash injuries were unjustly high.

And a further 21.08% somewhat agreed that compensation payouts for whiplash should be lower.

Almost half of those surveyed also favoured a clampdown on payouts for injuries other than whiplash, with 47.14% strongly agreeing that awards for non-whiplash injuries were too high, while 24.53% agreed somewhat.

Just 1.28% completely disagreed that compensation for whiplash injuries was too high and a tiny 1.60% completely disagreed that compensation for other personal injuries was too high.

Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs for AA Ireland said: "When we think of exaggerated or spurious personal injury claims, most of our minds tend to go to whiplash first, although that’s not to say that legitimate cases of whiplash injury do not occur.

"However, the problem with court awards in Ireland extends far beyond this specific type of injury. In recent years, despite updates to the Book of Quantum which were designed to eliminate such practice, we have seen cases where final court awards for an injury greatly exceed what would have been recommended by the Personal Injuries Board.

“This is by no means the only factor contributing to the motor insurance crisis but it certainly plays a role as insurers and ultimately the consumer are forced to either pay inflated injury costs or significant legal bills in defending claims in court.

"Ultimately we need to reduce the incentive for taking personal injury cases to court and the best way to achieve this is by ensuring consistency between personal injury awards which are offered by the Personal Injuries Board and those offered by the courts.”

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