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Personal Injury Law Journal: November 2012

Hannah Saxena takes a look at the recent approach taken in cases where a pedestrian has stepped into the road at the last minute and particular analysis of the Court of Appeal’s decisions in Birch v Paulson [2012] and Rehill v Rider Holdings Ltd [2012]

It is a decade since the Court of Appeal took a firm stance against drivers in the context of collisions with pedestrians: describing vehicles as a ‘potentially dangerous weapon’ and commenting on ‘the destructive disparity’ between them and pedestrians. in Lunt v Khelifa [2002] and Eagle v Chambers [2003]. The Court of Appeal stressed that it would be rare that a pedestrian would be found more to blame than a driver.

Alison Padfield contemplates the reason for delayed implementation

In July 2001, the Law Commission published a report on ‘Third Parties – Rights Against Insurers’, which recommended reform of the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930. The report was accompanied by a draft Bill giving effect to the recommendations, which were accepted by the government in 2002. In the same year, the Enterprise Act amended the Insolvency Act 1986, allowing companies to enter administration without the making of a court order.

Bill Braithwaite QC offers the invaluable benefit of his experience

I started writing and lecturing about the selection of experts in 1993, and I’ve been going on about it ever since. It’s just as important now as it was then, but is complicated by the entry of claims management companies and referrals. The whole process has become ‘streamlined’ and ‘cost-effective’, and my feeling is that it has not necessarily got better. In the work I do, the pressures are different. Because the claims are so large, costs are less intrusive, so that theoretically the selection and use of experts should be more professional. Many, many problems still arise, though, because even at this level many practitioners fail to give this topic sufficient weight.

TCPRichings

John Ludman examines significant changes that will come into effect next April relating to recovery of costs

The idea of costs management was a central pillar of Sir Rupert Jackson’s Review of Civil Litigation Costs and, out of all of the Jackson-inspired reforms to the costs rules, which are due to be introduced in April 2013, it is the rules concerning costs management that are likely to have the greatest day-to-day impact on practitioners, in terms of how cases have to be run in the future.

Dr Ian Yellowlees considers how to approach claims involving pain disorders

Claimants with pain problems are common in the personal injury world. Symptoms often appear at first sight to be out of proportion to the initial injury, and often seem to last much longer than might be expected. Why do some claimants draw simple concise diagrams of the problem (figure 1), and others draw diagrams that can only be described as ‘florid’ (figure 2)?

Jeff Zindani investigates the brave new world that faces personal injury lawyers

Peter Drucker said that ‘the organisations likely to suffer the most are those with the delusion that tomorrow will be like yesterday’.

Robert Dickason discusses what the future has in store

We should perhaps be a little forgiving of a coronial system described in the preface to the draft Coroners Bill 2006 as ‘fragmented… ineffective in part [and] archaic’; most 800-year old things are. That it continues to function at all, albeit imperfectly, is a testament to the devotion of those who work within it. The time for reform of this area of the law is long since past, but in his speech to the Coroners’ Society annual conference on 21 September 2012, the new chief coroner, HHJ Peter Thornton QC, has given us a glimpse of the future (http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Speeches/chief-coroner-speech-coroners-society-conference.pdf).

Daniel Scognamiglio and Chris Deacon report on the alarming rise in the number of injuries to British holidaymakers

There have been 13 recorded incidents (figures from ABTA 15 August 2012: www.abta.com/resources/news/view/512) in 2012 involving Brits falling from balconies abroad. Three of those cases have resulted in deaths and the others in serious, life-changing injuries. The victims will often be male, aged 24-30 and have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For resorts like Magaluf, on the Spanish island of Majorca, ‘balconing’ has become a concerning phenomenon. The term refers to the act of purposely throwing oneself from a balcony, often into the swimming pool below. Some balcony falls are caused by individuals trying to climb from one balcony to the next or from holidaymakers sitting on the edge of the balcony rail or wall.