Personal injury compensation settlements in Ireland are soon to be revised with the publication of a updated version of the Book of Quantum.

The Book of Quantum is a guide used to assess how much compensation a plaintiff is entitled to for a physical injury sustained in an accident for which they were not at fault. The guide has been used by the Injuries Board, solicitors, insurance companies and judges in the calculation of personal injury compensation settlements in Ireland since it was first published in 2004.

In recent years, the Book of Quantum has been criticised for being out of date. Judges have sometimes ignored the guide when calculating personal injury compensation settlements in Ireland and, as a result, there have been inconsistencies in how much compensation is awarded for certain types of injury. The Book has also been criticised for not being sufficiently detailed about different grades of injury.

Now, after research into 52,000 personal injury compensation settlements in Ireland – and lengthy discussions between the Court Service, senior judges and the Injuries Board – an updated version of the Book of Quantum is due to be published within the next few weeks. Those with insider knowledge of the discussions say the updated publication is a significant improvement on the current guidelines.

In addition to updating the financial values assigned to physical injuries, the Book of Quantum classifies each type of injury in more detail regarding its severity and permanence. Judges will be able to more accurately assess personal injury compensation settlements in Ireland with the higher degree of granularity – as should insurance companies when compiling early offers of settlement.

An updated version of the Book of Quantum is long overdue and, although it is welcomed, it should be remembered that personal injury compensation settlements in Ireland are not based exclusively on the extent of a physical injury. Plaintiffs are also able to claim compensation for an emotional trauma or a reduction in their quality of life where these factors can be quantified, and sometimes the financial values of these elements are higher than the amount of compensation for a physical injury.

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