The number of claims is up.

33,371 claims were made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board last year, an increase of 0.8 per cent.

However, the number of payouts has dropped.

According to the latest annual report by PIAB, there were 12,112 awards paid out in 2018 – a decrease of 4.4 per cent.

The average award last year was €24,649, down just 1 per cent from 2017, while the highest single award was €908,749.

The total value of awards was €298.55 million.

The PIAB said 7 out of every 10 awards related to claims for motoring accident injuries, while 18 per cent of cases were public liability claims and the remaining 12 per cent employer’s liability claims.

The average award for a whiplash injury in Ireland is 4.5 times the average price in Britain.

The Irish Examiner reports that the latest figures show people living in Longford are the most likely to make a successful claim, while people living in Kilkenny were the least likely to receive a compensation payout from PIAB.

Ireland’s compensation culture has been in sharp focus this year.

Fraudulent claims are leading to rising insurance costs, meaning many small businesses are being forced to close down.

There have been calls for a dedicated Garda insurance fraud unit to deal with bogus claims.