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€200m bill for injury payouts as claims rise

Compensation claims hit insurers for €200m last year.

The Injuries Board's findings show 25,919 new claims were registered, an increase of 5pc on 2008 figures.

But there was a reduction in the number of successful claims.

Patricia Byron, the chief executive of the independent statutory body, said the rise in unemployment had affected work-related claims.

"Workplace accident claims were down by 6.5pc due to less people at work," she said.

"In the year ahead, we would anticipate that the average award may fall as we deal with less workplace accidents which tend to attract the higher award."

The highest award was €493,902, made following a road accident fatality.

According to the Injuries Board's annual report, the average award was €23,163, which is significantly lower than 2008 figures.

"The average award of €23,163 in 2009 was 6pc lower than in 2008," Ms Byron said.

The Injuries Board added it did not see a huge increase in personal injury claims following the recent big chill.



negligence

"Despite the high number of injuries sustained from falls in recent weeks, the expectation is that few will result in claims, as compensation would only arise [through] negligence by another party," she said.

"Of course, it's early days and we will handle any claims which are made in the normal way."

hnews@herald.ie