Women accounted for seven out of 10 public liability insurance claims last year, according to new figures released by the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board is the independent statutory body which awards personal injury compensation after motor, workplace and public liability accidents. It is self-funded predominantly through fees charged to those who are responsible for such injuries.
In previous years, women have accounted for a far higher proportion of awards made than men. This trend continued last year with women accounting for 71.4 per cent of total awards made, as opposed to 28.6 per cent for men.
Slips, trips and falls were the most common accident type, accounting for 67 per cent of total awards. They included accidents on wet floors/surfaces, uneven/broken pavements, drains and manholes. The resulting injuries included fractures, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and lacerations. They resulted in awards of under €38,000.
More than 1,700 public liability awards were made during 2013, with compensation totalling €44 million awarded. The average public liability award rose year on year by almost 11 per cent to €25,120. The average award for men was €25,664, while women received an average award of €24,902. In addition, over a two-year period, the number of awards of more than €100,000 increased from two in 2011 to 18 in 2013.
Other accidents included burns and scalds, which accounted for 2.5 per cent of awards, while accidents involving falling/flying objects accounted for 5 per cent. Two per cent of public place accidents involved animals, including dog attacks and bites, bull attacks, being trampled by a horse and collisions between cyclists and dogs.
More than 40 awards were made for accidents which occurred in supermarkets, including injuries from trolleys and baskets, while almost 100 accidents occurred in leisure-type facilities such as sports clubs/gyms, cinemas and hairdressers. Nearly two-thirds of public liability awards were to people in the 25-to-64 age group, but 18-24-year-olds were the least likely to receive compensation, with the group accounting for just 8.3 per cent of cases.
For the third consecutive year, Saturday was the most common day for public place accidents while the fewest number of accidents occurred on Tuesday, as was the case in 2012. Taking the last three years into account, January has been the safest month while July has seen the highest level of accidents throughout the year.
Some 17 per cent of all awards made by the Injuries Board in 2013 related to public liability, with motor liability representing 75 per cent of awards and employer liability 8 per cent. The average processing time of seven months was four times faster than the prior adversarial system, with a “substantially lower” administration cost.
Article courtesy of the Irish Times, written by Colin Gleeson