Call for judges to receive training in assessing damages in personal injuries cases
Irish Judges are being called on to get extra training should get training on how to assess damages in personal injuries cases.
The situation has been outlined in a new Government report on the cost of insurance recommends.
At the moment, festivals and businesses say they are being threatened with shut-downs over the soaring cost of insurance cover. The latest 'Cost of Insurance Working Report' found that only a small number of prosecutions were secured for perjury in Ireland, despite a large number of fraudulent claims.
The latest report stopped short of calling for a statutory law on perjury. It follows on from last year's study on motor cover and concentrates on public liability and employer liability cover. This type of cover is needed by many different types of businesses, schools and sporting bodies.
Insurance providers also come in for strong criticism in the report, particularly for settling claims without telling the policyholder. It seems ridiculous but policyholders should be notified of claims against them.
Some businesses are saying that the first they know about a claim is when they get a premium renewal notice that is far higher than the previous year's policy.
The report makes 20 recommendations, including a call for the Law Reform Commission to consider the need for a cap on personal injuries awards, stating:
"There is a significant issue in relation to the cost of personal injury awards in Ireland for some commonly occurring personal injuries, particularly those of a less severe nature."
A minor ankle injury can get an award of €54,700 in this country, compared with €12,550 in the UK. As a result of the litigious nature of the system in this country, it means more training for the judiciary is called for.