Damages Bill set to tackle on-going delays, says Dickson

Assembly Stewart Dickson

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has welcomed the introduction of the Damages Bill to the Assembly, commending the Justice Minister for bringing for this “important legislation”.

Speaking after the bill was brought forward on Monday, Mr Dickson said it was needed to tackle on-going delays to personal-injury claims. Once law it will allow those claimants who have suffered serious life-changing injuries to receive the full compensation they are entitled to.

He added: “The Minister for Justice is forging forward, tackling many of the outstanding issues before us, with the Damages Bill the latest in legislation changes aimed at making a real difference to the lives of people across Northern Ireland.

“When it comes to personal injury compensation, the current system sees any lump sum paid subjected to an adjustment by the personal injury discount rate, reflecting the return of what can be earned by investing it. This system is clearly out of date and the current rate not fit for purpose.

“That’s why this piece of work is so vital and I’m delighted to see the Minister urgently legislate for a new legal framework for calculating a new discount rate that neither over compensates nor under-compensates, providing hope for many who need to avail of this service.”