A new Book of Quantum is to be introduced to Irish courts in the next few weeks, updating an outdated system.
The Book of Quantum is a reference text that is used by judges to assess how much compensation an injured party is entitled to if he or she was hurt in an accident that was not their fault. It is quite comprehensive, considering a series of physical injuries and assigning an estimated value for their compensation, based upon severity and long-term effects.
The publication was first used in 2004, though in recent years it has been criticised by the courts, who claim that it is outdated. In some instances, judges and solicitors have found it best to ignore the publication as they feel it would result in an unjust settlement. If they choose to follow the Book, they will often use the highest value available when calculating settlements. As a result, settlements awarded are often inconsistent.
Ireland’s most senior judges have been discussing the publication of a new book with the Courts Services and Injuries Board Ireland. After analysing around 52,000 claims made in Ireland between 2013 and 2014, they drew up a new Book of Quantum that is due to be published in the coming months. Representatives have commented that they hope the new book will bring greater consistency to the compensation settlements awarded in Ireland.
The Book has been updated such that the financial values awarded based on the physical injuries reflect the current cost of living, and also have more subcategories for severity and permanence. This allows judges, insurance companies and the Injuries Board to award more accurate and fair settlements.
There are, of course, other factors that will determine how much compensation is awarded. The Book of Quantum accounts for physical injuries, but one claiming for personal injuries compensation may also be able to claim for emotional damage, financial loss and affected quality of life.