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Personal Injury Law Journal: June 2015

Bill Braithwaite QC examines whether provisions made to tackle fundamental dishonesty will be effective

Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which came into force on the 13 April (not April Fools’ Day!) is the provision aimed at fundamental dishonesty in personal injury claims. As a claimant advocate, you might expect me to be vigorously opposed, but actually I’m very supportive of the philosophy behind the provision. I have believed for many years that, in the work I do, we should pursue a fair and just result; I have never favoured ‘maximising’ claims.

Shilpa Shah explains how withdrawing a premature case can still lead to a costs order

The 9 March 2015 or ‘Fee-Day’, heralded the commencement of the new court fees structure, which introduced large increases in court issue fees for claims with a value in excess of £10,000. Somewhat predictably, the preceding weeks had seen a huge increase in the number of claims issued as claimants sought to take advantage of the lower fees.

Despite a long history, costs offers remain full of intricacies writes Paul Jones

Of all the parts of the Civil Procedure Rules, none is more critical to the modern personal injury litigator then Part 36 which, in its various incarnations, has moulded the pattern of litigation since its introduction back in 1998. As such, it has generated more than its fair share of case law on its operation and the recent case of Webb v Liverpool Womens’ NHS Foundation Trust [2015] shows that this does not look set to change any time soon.

Charles Bagot analyses a quartet of new cases produced in the period since December 2014

This article looks at some recent secondary victim cases to see what we can learn from first instance judges applying the principles post Taylor v Novo (UK) Ltd [2014].

Public authority; duty of care; acts or omissions

HHJ Cotter QC followed the important line of legal authorities which significantly restrict the circumstances in which a public authority owes a duty of care in respect of omissions (non-feasance). The case was brought against Devon County Council as highway authority. However the principles applied have a broader application.

Christian Taylor explains how to use the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme to get the best award for clients

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme was enacted to provide compensation to victims of crimes of violence. Prior to 1996 victims were compensated in accordance with common law principles. From 1996 the government introduced a tariff-based scheme. Subsequent incarnations of the scheme in 2001, 2008 and most recently 2012 have been designed to reduce the amount which appellants recover, such that the differences between common law claims and claims under the scheme, particularly under the 2012 version, are very significant. Put shortly, a claimant with a valid common law claim against a solvent defendant will recover much more in damages than a comparable appellant under the scheme.

Stephanie Prior and Patricia Begley analyse how a claim can fail because parties have unintentionally made an agreement

Those of us who work within the field of personal injury and clinical negligence know that it is particularly rewarding and challenging. On a daily basis we battle with an ever-changing mix of case law, regulation and statute in order to resolve the real life problems that our clients are facing and ensure that they receive adequate compensation and rehabilitation for the injuries that they suffer as a result of the negligence of another.

Nina Goolamali advises on how to approach chronic pain cases

The 12th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines has an entire category 8 devoted to chronic pain claims which are now a firm feature of the personal injury litigation landscape. They frequently present as an uncomplicated low-value orthopaedic injury which fails to resolve in accordance with the expected prognosis and then develops into a complex constellation of complaints of diffuse pain, psychological problems and a range of functional impairments.