Average whiplash award over €20,000

As many as 70.8% of all personal injury motor cases assessed by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board in the first six months of the year were whiplash-related, with the average award topping €20,000.

These figures are among those to emerge from an analysis of approximately 4,500 personal injury motor accident claims published by the Board.

There are two elements to the average awards: general damages for pain and suffering which averaged €18,581, and special damages for items such as loss of wages and medical expenses which averaged €1,456, bringing the total average award to €20,037.

The figures published by the Injuries Board show the average award for a male was €18,126 for pain and suffering plus €1,460 for special damages, bringing the total to €19,586. The average award for females for pain and suffering was €19,016 plus €1,456 for specials, bringing the total to €20,472.

The figures show that motor accidents resulting in whiplash injuries are gender neutral, with awards split almost 50/50 between males and females.

The average award for other injuries which did not involve whiplash were higher than the whiplash average. The average award for non-whiplash injuries was €27,386, of which €25,060 was for injures suffered and €2,326 for special damages.

The analysis was compiled using the World Health Organisation’s system for categorising injuries (known as ICD-10), which is used by the PIAB to code its data. The analysis has been published in response to the recommendation by the Personal Injuries Commission that information in relation to whiplash injuries be published.

For the purpose of the analysis, whiplash injuries are categorised as ones where the predominant injury is a soft tissue one to the neck or upper back. Whiplash injuries include where the primary ICD-10 code is a strain/sprain of the cervical or thoracic spine.

It includes cases with a combination of soft tissue injuries to the neck, shoulder and back. Cases where the predominant injuries are fractures of soft tissue injuries to the lower body or limbs are excluded.

Source: Health and Safety Review