The revised Book of Quantum was published in October 2016. It is the first "update" since 2004 and is based on an examination of a representative sample of over 51,000 closed personal injury claims during 2013 and 2014, including:

  • Court compensation awards
  • Insurance settlements
  • State Claims Agency cases
  • PIAB data

It claims to be the most comprehensive publicly available analysis of this kind carried out in Ireland. It aims to reflect prevailing compensation rates in the market and to have a stabilising effect on compensation awards.

Conor O'Brien, Chief Executive of PIAB noted that "the updated guidelines are published against a backdrop of a lack of data identifying precise causes for increasing motor insurance premiums".

Mr Justice Peter Kelly, President of the High Court welcomed the publication of the updated guidelines stating "the new Book of Quantum will provide important data to all of those making awards or agreeing settlements in personal injury cases. The fact that the publication has been updated, covers more injuries and greater detail, is very positive. While all cases are considered individually, judges will find the revised Books of Quantum very useful in informing decision making in relation to the value of damages."

The guide cautions that every claim will continue to be assessed on the basis of its own individual circumstances.

The Book of Quantum is now separated into six categories namely head, neck, back and spinal upper limbs, lower limbs and body and internal organs.

The severity of the injury is divided into four broad category ranges namely minor, moderate, moderately severe and severe permanent conditions.

Comments

  • The revised Book of Quantum will be a helpful reference in quantifying medical negligence claims, as it is up to date and goes into more detail than the 2004 version in terms of the range of injuries described. However, the increased range does not extend to cover the full extent of injuries we see in clinical negligence claims, such as the effect of a delay in cancer diagnosis.
  • The update comes shortly following recent Court of Appeal decisions setting out how general damages are to be assessed. See our separate briefing note on these decisions here. The revised Book of Quantum will therefore be a guide to judges deciding on the amounts of general damages but who are nonetheless bound to follow the dicta of these recent appeal decisions.