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Personal Injury Law Journal: February 2014

Toby Kempster advises how to approach an apportionment of liability

Predicting how liability will be apportioned (if at all) in a road traffic accident often appears to be something of a lottery, but in certain situations themes or presumptions do emerge and which reflect the basis upon which the issue of apportionment of liability is meant to be approached.

Deirdre Goodwin discusses the changing litigation landscape

The Court of Appeal decision in Mitchell MP v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] was described as the most eagerly awaited decision on civil procedure in 2013, being the first definitive and authoritative indication of the extent to which the courts would take a robust approach to non-compliance with its rules and orders, post-April 2013.

Paul Jones examines the shift in costs recovery and potential problems

The Jackson reforms have seen a partial shift in responsibility for solicitor’s fees from culpable defendants to claimants. Success fees are now payable by successful claimants rather than unsuccessful defendants and, as damages are reduced as a result, it is to be expected that there may be an increase in challenges to solicitor’s costs from their own clients. A recent decision regarding the powers of the Legal Ombudsman in disputes of this nature gives a useful insight into this growing area.

Julian Matthews considers the extent to which the court may draw inferences of negligence from the occurrence of commonly arising risks of surgery that a patient has consented to run

The challenge facing all medical practitioners is that the human body is infinitely variable. Despite the astonishing advances in medical technology, this is the primary reason why many procedures carry a ‘recognised risk’ of complications: every surgical procedure is carried out in a truly unique environment. Surgical procedures, in particular, are still associated with a range of greater and lesser risks, most of which have to be explained to patients being obtained. The risks are small, and most patients, having been taken through the nature of the risks, are quite prepared to consent to run these risks, because they will be advised that the complication rate is extremely low, and because of the benefits/necessity of having the procedure performed.

Julie Mackenzie looks at evidential issues in the niche area of equine related injury claims

Horse riding and ownership is a growth area; 3.5 million people (6% of the population) rode a horse at least once in the last year. Indirect consumer expenditure connected with equestrian activity is estimated at £557m.

Highways Act 1980; duty to maintain; section 58 defence

On 19 April 2009 the claimant tripped over a defect in the carriageway of Hargrave Road, in Archway, North London. The defendant was the highway authority for Hargrave Road, which was a residential street with residents’ parking bays on both sides. There were also a number of shops nearby. The claimant said that she fell as a result of a defect on the kerbside part of the carriageway. As a result of her fall, the claimant suffered an injury to her right foot and ankle, which required hospital treatment.