On the 6th March 2021 the Judicial Council (made up of all judges in the country) voted to adopt new guidelines which are aimed at reducing general damages awards for some personal injuries particularly the injuries which they describe as “minor injuries”. Prior to this, the guidelines in relation to personal injuries could be found in the Book of Quantum which gave general guidelines as to the amount of compensation to be awarded or assessed for personal injuries. This Book of Quantum is now to be replaced by the Personal Injury Guidelines. The proposals are to be brought to cabinet tomorrow the 9th March and will take affect once the minister commences Section 99 of the 2019 Judicial Council Act.
Once the guidelines come into effect the guidelines will apply to any personal injury action which is currently with the Injuries Board. The guidelines will not apply to any action which is no longer with the Injuries Board (having not been assessed or either party having rejected the assessment). Whilst judges retain their discretion in these particular actions it is envisaged that they will have regard to the recommendation in the judicial guideline.
At the moment it appears that the guidelines relate to “minor injuries” and does not as yet appear to relate to other types of what are described as “more severe injuries”. A definitive list of the guidelines will be published and we will include this on the website. The link below highlights examples of the type of changes to the awards being proposed.