Preliminary figures from InjuriesBoard.ie, the operating name of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, show that it awarded €200m to 8,645 personal injury claimants in 2009.
The body said the average award of €23,163 in 2009 was 6% lower than in 2008, but 5% up on the 2007 average.
Nearly three quarters of awards (72%) were for injuries from road traffic accidents while the remainder were split between workplace (11%) and public space (17%) accidents. The average workplace award was €32,000 in 2009, almost 48% higher than motor awards which averaged €21,800.
New claims made to the board in 2009 rose by almost 5%. Workplace accident claims were down by 6.5% due to fewer people at work, while motor claims and public liability claims rose by 7.5% and 6%, respectively.
Chief executive Patricia Byron said the volume of new motor and public liability claims submitted to it had picked up in the last quarter of 2009, but she said there was 'little evidence yet' of a sustained surge in personal injury claims arising from the recession, as some had forecast.
Ms Byron also said that there had been no rise in claims to date arising from the bad weather conditions at the end of 2009 and in the first half of January 2010. 'Despite the high number of injuries sustained from trips and falls in recent weeks, the expectation is that few will result in claims as compensation would only arise if the injury arose from negligence by another party,' she said.
The PIAB was set up in 2004 with the aim of allowing certain classes of personal injury claim to be settled without the need for the costs associated with the courts.
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