Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003
Assessments to be made expeditiously.
49.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Board to ensure that assessments in respect of relevant claims are made as expeditiously as may be and, for that purpose, to take all such steps as are open to it to ensure that, in so far as is practicable, there are no avoidable delays at any stage in the making of assessments.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) , it shall, subject to subsection (4), be the duty of the Board to ensure that every assessment is made within a period of 9 months beginning on (without prejudice to subsection (3))—
( a) if there is only one respondent as respects the relevant claim concerned, the date on which it receives the respondent's consent to an assessment being made under section 20 in relation to that claim,
( b) if there are 2 or more respondents as respects the relevant claim concerned—
(i) where only one of them consents to such an assessment being made in relation to that claim (irrespective of whether there is a failure of the kind mentioned in subsection (3) on the part of the other or others), the date on which it receives that consent,
(ii) where 2 or more of the respondents consent to such an assessment being made in relation to that claim (irrespective of whether there is a failure of the foregoing kind on the part of the other or others), the date it receives those consents or, if the dates on which it receives those consents are not the same, the earlier or earliest of the dates on which it receives one of those consents.
(3) If a failure of the kind referred to in section 14(1)(b) occurs on the part of the respondent or, if there are 2 or more respondents as respects the relevant claim concerned, on the part of each of them the period of 9 months referred to in subsection (2) begins on the expiry of the period specified in F14 [ the notice served under section 13 (1)(b) ] on the respondent or, as the case may be, each of the respondents.
(4) Where it appears to the Board that it would not be possible or appropriate, because of the particular circumstances of the relevant claim concerned, to make an assessment in respect of it within the period referred to in subsection (2), the Board shall, by notice in writing served on the claimant and the respondent or respondents before the expiration of that period, inform each of them of the reasons why it would not be possible or appropriate (as the case may be) to make the assessment within that period and shall specify the date before which the Board intends that the assessment shall be made; the date so specified shall not be a date that falls more than 6 months after the end of the period referred to in subsection (2).
(5) Where a notice has been served under subsection (4), the Board shall take all such steps as are open to it to ensure that the assessment is made before the date specified in the notice.
(6) If the assessment is not made before that date, then unless the claimant consents in writing to the Board's continuing to deal with the matter, it shall be the duty of the Board, as soon as may be after that date, to issue to the claimant a document that contains the statement and operates to have the effect mentioned in subsection (8) .
(7) Such a document is also referred to in this Act as an “authorisation”.
(8) An authorisation under this section shall state that the claimant is authorised to, and operate to authorise the claimant to, bring proceedings in respect of his or her relevant claim.