New judicial guidelines for personal injury claims have been recommended as “a matter of urgency” by an official report.

Compensation for ‘whiplash’ claims here are running at 4.4 times the level in Britain according to the Personal Injuries Commission.

The Commission found that the average soft tissue award is €17,338 compared to just €3,984 in Britain.

Commission chairman Justice Nicholas Kearns stated in his second and final report, that while genuine claimants need adequate compensation, the negative impact of high premiums on businesses and consumers had to be recognised.

Justice Kearns said awards here are a “stark multiple” of that in other countries.

He said “the multiple that has emerged in the benchmarking process is so significant that the Commission is satisfied that it calls for a response that is effective and achievable in the shortest time”.

Responding to the report, Insurance Ireland said an urgent policy response is needed as the cost of the average award is continuing to “spiral” with the average Circuit Court award rising by nearly 50% from 2013 to 2016 – from €11,941 to €17,722.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this story, please visit our Personal Injury Claims page.

Source: RTE