- Created: Friday, December 02 2016 14:48
The Injuries Board’s Book of Quantum was revised in October 2016. It is the first "update" since 2004 and was based on an examination of a representative sample of over 51,000 personal injury claims concluded during 2013 and 2014. It is intended to reflect the reality of existing award and settlement levels.
In compiling the Book of Quantum, the Injuries Board analysed its own data and data available from:
- Court compensation awards
- State Claims Agency cases
- Insurance company settlements
It aims to have a stabilising effect on compensation awards, which can be notoriously inconsistent.
Commenting on the revised Book of Quantum, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly stated:
"the new Book of Quantum will provide important data to all of those making awards or agreeing settlements in personal injury cases. The fact that the publication has been updated, covers more injuries and greater detail, is very positive. While all cases are considered individually, judges will find the revised Books of Quantum very useful in informing decision making in relation to the value of damages."
Whilst claims will continue to be assessed on the basis of their own individual circumstances, judges are required to “have regard” to the Book of Quantum, when making awards.
The Book of Quantum is separated into six categories namely head, neck, back and spinal, upper limbs, lower limbs and body and internal organs.
The severity of the injury is divided into four broad category ranges namely minor, moderate, moderately severe and severe permanent conditions.
The updated Book of Quantum will be a helpful reference guide, in quantifying damages in personal injury claims. It reflects the trend in recent judicial awards and goes into considerably more detail than its 2004 predecessor, which was vague and largely ignored by the judiciary and practitioners.
However, as with any guide, it has its limitations and account must also be taken of a range of recent Court of Appeal decisions, which provide guidance in determining how general damages are to be assessed.