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Personal Injury Law Journal: November 2016

Paul Sankey examines the issues in Dr Sido John v Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The recent case of Dr Sido John v Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016] is a further recent example of a claimant establishing causation and recovering in full despite not being able to show that but for negligence he would have avoided injury. It rejects the notion that only one mechanism of damage or apportionment between the negligent and non-negligent causes is appropriate.

Anthony Gold

Adam Dyl highlights the importance of foreseeability in the context of determining liability following the recent decision from the Court of Appeal in Scott v Gavigan [2016]

Drivers rightly have a high burden placed upon them to be careful in their actions towards other road users. Vehicles do, after all, pose great potential risk towards more exposed road users such as cyclists or pedestrians. It is against this background that we often see defendant drivers, and riders, found liable for damage, injury and loss against their more vulnerable counterparts. There was surprise therefore when the Court of Appeal took the decision to award an injured pedestrian nothing for his injuries on grounds of foreseeability in the recent case of Scott v Gavigan [2016].

Negligence; contribution to loss; multiple injuries

Assume an accident involving a neck injury to a blameless claimant led to a complete spinal cord injury that with proper treatment would have been far less serious. Historically the insurer paid out, and if the hospital had been negligent, well, that would be no concern of the claimant’s, and the insurer’s view would be that it wouldn’t be cricket to seek a contribution from the NHS. But no longer.

Nicholas Lee discusses the issues surrounding payments on account of costs

In April 2013 the provisions within the CPR setting out the court’s power to order a payment on account of costs changed. The previous provision provided that the court ‘may’ order an amount to be paid on account whereas the new wording (CPR 44.2(8)) provides that the court ‘will’ make such an order, unless there is good reason not to do so. With the emphasis having shifted, most assumed that the only real argument left to be had was as to whether there was good reason not to order a payment on account, but that may not necessarily be the case.

Charlotte Robinson-Jones provides practical advice on making applications

Whether it is agreeing to extend a deadline by consent, asking for permission to rely on expert evidence or that unfortunate situation when something goes wrong, applications will be required in a significant percentage of issued cases.

Rushmi Sethi

Rushmi Sethi considers the association between trauma and chronic widespread pain

The High Court case of Murphy v Ministry of Defence [2016] clarifies how the courts approach the issue of chronic widespread pain. The analysis of the claimant’s expert evidence was accepted by the court, including their view that the claimant’s symptoms arose from the original work accident.

Paul Jones explains the interrelationship between the capped costs of provisional assessment and Part 36 offers

One of Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms that doesn’t generally create much excitement outside the legal costs profession is provisional assessment. This paper based assessment of bills up to £75,000 was intended to streamline the costs assessment process and bring more certainty and lower costs to all parties. However, the costs of matters that proceed to provisional assessment can still be worth arguing over and the recent case of Lowin v W Portsmouth & Co [2016] provides a good example of the kinds of issues that can arise.

Andrew Nicoll offers advice for quantifying earnings and planning the future career of an injured client

In many personal injury cases the most significant financial issue in dispute relates to a loss of income. It is essential for the parties in the case that the employment issues, short and long term are identified, and if there are potential financial effects then they are quantified as accurately as possible. Whether a solicitor is acting for the claimant or the defendant it does not serve the client that their advice and decision making is based on a lack of information or wishful thinking. Should the matter of financial loss have to be resolved by a judge then each party will be required to produce their evidence in a detailed and persuasive form.