The Book of Quantum is a lists specific types of injury such as back pain, neck pain, fractured arm, fractured leg, etc and in respect of each specific injury gives an indication of the level of compensation that is likely to be awarded in respect of that particular injury.
The Book of Quantum was compiled by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board following a review of Court Judgements in respect of each injury listed in the book and with a view to giving an approximate indication of the level of damages that the particular injury would attract.
In order to properly use the Book of Quantum it is important to follow the steps set out hereunder:
Identify the correct category of injury (i.e. is it a neck injury or back injury or broken arm etc);
The Book is separated into four main categories:
Note: It is important to note that compensation can be obtained for injuries which are not specifically listed in the Book of Quantum.
Understand the severity of the injury using the medical report from the Plaintiff’s doctor.
There are approximately three substantial categories in terms of severity:
- Substantially recovered;
- Significant ongoing symptoms;
- Serious and permanent conditions.
Note: The Category of the severity of the injury will be determined by the contents of the Plaintiff’s medical report.
Ascertain the range of values for that particular injury;
Lower and upper values are not intended as minimum and maximum values as each case will be determined on its own merits. However, most cases will fall in the ranges indicated for each type of injury.
Where there are multiple injuries consider the value ranges in respect of all injuries.
Where there are multiple injuries, it is not correct to simply add one injury to the other injury. The more correct procedure is to identify the most significant injury and make small adjustments within the value range of that particular injury in order to arrive at an accurate assessment.
How Estimates of Injury Compensation Are Calculated
The Book of Quantum as currently published by the Injuries Board is under review and an updated version will be available shortly. It is expected that there will be a moderate increase in the values of the approximate range of compensation for personal injuries.
It is important to note that the Book of Quantum is an indicator of the approximate minimum and maximum values for particular injuries. It is of crucial significance to note that it is an approximation only i.e. it is not definitive and each case will be judged on its merits.
There are a number of factors which may influence decision makers when making assessments in respect of personal injuries which fall outside the description of the injury itself, for example; impression made by the Plaintiff on the examining doctor. This may be referred to explicitly or indeed implicitly in the medical report and this may be taken into consideration in making the assessment.
Where a personal injuries matter proceeds to a Court hearing and the parties gives evidence, the presiding judge may be entitled to assess the credibility of the witness and the effect that the injury has had on the Plaintiff and the various aspects of his life such as his social life, personal life, work life and leisure activities. The Judge’s impression of the Plaintiff (or indeed the Defendant’s evidence) may well have a substantial effect on the assessment of damages by the Judge.
In addition, matters such as contributory negligence would also have a bearing on the amount of damages that a Plaintiff may be awarded i.e. was the Plaintiff in any way responsible in causing the accident? If he was, then an appropriate deduction would be made from the approximate assessment contained in the Book of Quantum in respect of that injury to reflect the fact that the Plaintiff may well have been contributorily negligent in causing the accident in the first instance.
Issues such as contributory negligence (where the Plaintiff is partially responsible for causing the accident) and its effect in reducing the award of damages are not taking into consideration before the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board is not entitled to consider the issue of liability at all and this is often seen as an enormous disadvantage in the Board’s ability in making an accurate assessment in cases of personal injury.
The Book of Quantum deals only with General Damages ie money damages for pain and suffering to date and into the future. It does not take into consideration items of Special Damages ie out of pocket expenses.
Typical out of pocket expense are medical expenses, travel expenses, material damage to one’s motor vehicle and loss of earnings. If a person is out of work and is not paid by his employer or is in receipt of Social Welfare benefit from the State, then a substantial loss of earnings claim may well arise where a serious injury occurs. A Plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for this specific loss in addition to obtaining damages for pain and suffering.
We have embedded the latest issue of the Book of Quantum below. For further information you can contact our legal team here.