Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1031)

Michael McGrath


1031. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if there are penalties within the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 and amending legislation for giving false, misleading or fraudulent evidence to the PIAB; if there are penalties within other legislation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34064/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) independently assesses claims for compensation arising from personal injuries, where both parties, claimant and respondent, consent to an assessment.  It is a matter for the parties concerned whether or not they wish to accept the assessment. PIAB does not address the issue of liability. 

Upon receipt of a completed claim, PIAB notify the respondent and provide him/her with a copy of the material that has been furnished by the claimant.  The respondent has 90 days to carry out an appropriate examination of the claim before deciding whether to proceed with the PIAB process or not.

By proceeding with the PIAB process, the respondent would have considered the claimant’s case and satisfied itself of the merits or otherwise of it.  Where liability is an issue, the respondent, generally an insurer, will refuse an assessment by PIAB of the claim so that he/she can investigate the matter.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, as amended, does not contain penalties for giving false, misleading or fraudulent information to the PIAB.

Section 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004 provides that any party to a personal injuries action who has falsely sworn an affidavit is guilty of an offence.  Section 25 creates an offence for anyone to knowingly give or adduce false or misleading material evidence in a personal injuries action. Section 26 requires a court to dismiss any personal injuries claim where the plaintiff knowingly gives or adduces evidence that is false or misleading in any material respect, unless the dismissal of the action would result in an injustice.  Section 29 sets out the penalties for persons found guilty of such acts, including fines of up to €100,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.

The investigation of insurance fraud is a matter for the Garda Síochána.  Any individual or company who believes that they are the victim of a fraud should report it to the Gardaí.