Book of Quantum 2016 – Introduction
Simply put, the Book of Quantum 2016 is guide book that the Injuries Board Ireland use when they assess applications for personal injury claims compensation. In fact, the law requires the Injuries Board and the Courts to refer to this publication in all of their evaluations for personal injury claims. It is used like an instruction manual as to the amounts of compensation that may be assessed in respect of quantified types of injuries and is influenced by their severity and how long it may take to heal – if at all.
In some regards, this publication is not an exactly accurate guide as to the amount of compensation an individual may be entitled to for a personal injury, as the Book of Quantum handles only compensation for pain and suffering. It must also be remembered that some of the value categories displayed are extensive and are subject to alteration to account for the injured party’s age, sex and general state of health before the accident in which the injury was sustained, in order to reflect the fact that the extent of an injury can vary significantly – even within the categories listed. Additionally, the same injury – a fractured cheek bone, for example – can have very different effects on different people, and some accident victims may sustain multiple injuries.
Although compensation claims for the pain and suffering experienced is the most obvious category, it must be said that a potential plaintiff may also be able to claim for:
- Medical costs
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of amenity
- Loss of income
- Out of pocket expenses
- Vehicular damage
Therefore, it is clear to see how difficult it is to evaluate the correct value of all aspects of an individual’s claim by referring only to the Book of Quantum.
How to Make a Claim to the Injuries Board
Most personal injury compensation claims (medical negligence is an exception) must go through the Injuries Board Ireland, who then refers to the Book of Quantum 2016 to evaluate how much compensation the plaintiff should receive.
This can be done either online or by post and to make a claim on a client’s behalf, a personal injuries compensation solicitor would have to complete and submit the following documents:
- The completed Application Form A
- Form B (a medical assessment that has been filled out by the medical practitioner who has treated – or is still treating – the plaintiff)
- An application fee (€45 for the postal application, €40 for those submitted online)
It is possible to submit your application form and the accompanying documentation without the help of a solicitor but it is advised that you engage with the services of a solicitor who can complete the application process on your behalf. Although it may seem straightforward, in order to receive the best possible result from your personal injury compensation claim, the circumstances of your case must be adequately presented. An experienced solicitor would be able to advise you on all aspects of the case. He or she would make sure that a suitable medical report is compiled, that the application forms are properly completed and that the application is submitted within the appropriate time period.
Benefits of Aid from a Solicitor
A solicitor would be in a good position to determine whether or not the compensation amount that is recommended by the Injuries Board, under the values suggested by the Book of Quantum 2016, is a correct assessment of the compensation that their client should qualify for. Having considered the medical reports commissioned on their client’s behalf – and knowing all of the additional facts of the case – if a solicitor believes that the figure recommended is too low, he or she can advise their client to reject it and initiate court action.
As mentioned above, the Book of Quantum publication can be unclear and inaccurate with regard to the extent of the injury sustained by the plaintiff and may not sufficiently represent the true value of the pain and suffering experienced. Solicitors generally believe that a personal injury is not something that can be evaluated precisely by referring to an instruction manual.
An important note to remember is that no two cases are ever alike, even if the injury sustained and the circumstances of the accident are similar and all cases should be assessed based on their individual merits. If you have recently sustained an injury in an accident for which you were not to blame and believe that you may have a viable compensation claim, you would be well advised to discuss all of the points mentioned in the above article with a solicitor at the first moment possible.