Ireland's state bodies are paying double the amount of payouts in personal injury claims than they paid four years ago. The Irish Times reports that state bodies paid €20 million last year for personal injury claims. These figures do not include personal injury claims related to the healthcare industry.
The report suggests that the settlements for those injured have increased rapidly in the last seven years.
General claims, those paid out by the state bodies, are different from healthcare claims, which are significantly higher due to the uncertainty of long-term complications. State bodies paid €9.7 million in general claims in 2010 and €20.2 million in claims in 2017. The figure was just from €14.5 million in 2015.
Ireland's Prison Service paid €4 million in claims last year while An Garda Siochana paid €3.5 million. An Garda Siochana has paid out more in general claims in the last seven years than any state body aside form healthcare groups. The body has paid €28 million in general claims in the last seven years.
Defence Forces has paid out the second-largest number of claims since 2010, with payments of €23 million during this time span. The state body regularly pays out €2 million to €3 million per year in claims and paid €3.2 million last year.
The Child and Family Protection Agency has seen the largest increase in payouts in the last two years, with payouts quadrupling between 2015 and 2017. Payouts in injury claims were €4.2 million last year, up from €3.4 million the year prior and just €856,700 in 2015.
Ireland's Office of Public Works has paid out €5.6 million in claims since 2010, with €743,000 paid out last year.
Healthcare bodies are also suffering from large payouts with the body paying €77.7 million in 2010 for personal injury claims and €118 million by 2013. This figure has since doubled to €248 million in 2017. The figure includes the total payouts to individuals including expenses, legal fees and professional fees.
Courts Services posted the lowest payouts of all state bodies with €951,445 paid out by Courts Services.
Noeleen Coakley, a 45-year-old woman, is a prime example of Ireland's rise in personal injury claims. Coakley is a woman that many judges claim has attracted misfortune after she has been in six different road accidents throughout the year.
Her most recent accident resulted in a €28,000 award for her injuries.
The accident involved another motorist hitting Coakley's vehicle from behind. She had already obtained an estimated €60,000 in previous settlements.
"It’s important to remember that insurance companies are not in the business of getting you a maximum recovery for your damages. They are in the business of settling quickly and protecting their bottom lines. Additionally, most insurance companies do not consider the individual merits of each accident. Rather, they use rigid formulas to determine the value of a case," states attorney Bogdan Martinovich.
The defendant's attorney believed that Coakley's history of accidents would have a negative impact on her case. The Judge asserts that Coakley is an honest and innocent lady that has a history of bad luck.Updated Date: 11 June 2020, 07:03