Book of Quantum 2012
Brief Outline of the Book of Quantum 2012
Both the Injuries Board Ireland and the Courts in Ireland use the Book of Quantum 2012 – which was introduced under section 22 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 – to evaluate the amount of damages to be awarded in a personal injuries compensation claim where a negligent party was responsible for injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
The Injuries Board deals only with cases associated with injuries sustained in vehicular accidents, workplace accidents and accidents which happen in public places – medical negligence claims are always excluded.
Some examples where the Injuries Board would refer to the Book of Quantum would be:
- Where the plaintiff has suffered whiplash due to colliding with a distracted driver
- Where a factory worker has broken their ankle as a result of a breach in their employer’s legal “duty of care”
- Where a restaurant customer suffered a skull injury when they slipped on ice that was not cleared in appropriate time
How the Publication Works
The Book of Quantum 2012 has subdivided the various kinds of injury that can be sustained in an accident – head injury, arm injury and leg injury, for example – and it assigns an array of “values” for compensation, which is influenced by whether the plaintiff is likely to recover quickly from their injuries, have a prolonged recovery period or not recover at all (if a limb has been amputated, for example).
The publication has numerous omissions and despite helping the Injuries Board reduce the length of time it takes to process a compensation claim, it is not thoroughly comprehensive in its consideration of possible injuries.
Concerns over the Book of Quantum 2012
No publication can possibly be completely comprehensive in considering every type and level of injury, which explains why there are many situations where the Book of Quantum 2012 neglects to offer an adequate degree of compensation. Work-related strain injuries are common examples of these instances because many of these types of injuries cannot possibly be described as broken “this” or fractured “that”. In addition, if a plaintiff had a pre-existing condition at the time of the accident – deafness in one ear, for example – and the accident resulted in total hearing loss in the other ear, the publication would only evaluate the damage done in the accident and would not compensate for the complete loss of hearing.
The Book of Quantum does not take into account some important issues, such as the victim’s age when the injury was sustained. Whereas it is tragic when a person in their 30’s suffers with a behavioural disorder after fracturing their skull in an accident, surely it is more so for a child of 10 who should be compensated to reflect his very young age. For this reason, you would be well advised to speak with a solicitor if you are thinking about pursuing a personal injury compensation claim after suffering injuries in an accident for which you were not to blame.
Benefits of Engaging with a Solicitor
It would be in your best interests to seek the assistance of a qualified solicitor if you believe that you have a viable compensation claim for a personal injury and if you want your injury to be adequately represented before it is assigned a value by the Book of Quantum 2012.
Even though it is possible to submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board by yourself, and the procedure to do so may seem straightforward, there is the possibility that the compensation settlement suggested by the Injuries Board may not subsequently be to your satisfaction.
An experienced solicitor would be able to enter negotiations with the negligent party’s insurers while the Injuries Board is assessing your claim, which may result in a more accurate representation of your injuries and the effect they have had on your life, and he or she could guide you through the court process if it comes to that stage. It is worth noting that the majority of compensation cases are settled out of court through negotiations between the plaintiff’s solicitor and the insurance company.