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Personal Injury Law Journal: November 2017

George Davies provides an invaluable insight and his personal view on how fraud cases are currently being dealt with by the courts

Up until a few years ago, allegations of fraud in road traffic claims were taken very seriously by the County Courts. Such trials were invariably allocated to the multi-track and heard before a circuit judge or recorder. Time slots for trials usually started at a day and a half (minimum).

Paul Jones considers the potential conflict between fixed costs and Part 36 offers

The system of fixed costs, which covers a significant proportion of personal injury claims, tends to work very well with the majority of cases. However, it is on the margins, particularly where the rules abut against other non-fixed-costs rules, that friction can occur and the recent case of McKeown v Venton [2017], dealing with the interface between fixed costs and Part 36 offers, exemplifies this problem.

Rushmi Sethi

Rushmi Sethi examines clinical negligence claims concerning childbirth injury

Relatively few childbirth injury cases proceed to a full trial, while most will settle. This article will review some of the main cases that have proceeded to trial and comment on the issues in relation to liability – breach of duty and causation – that often arise in obstetric negligence claims.

Apportionment of liability; psychiatric injury; pre-existing illness

This case revisits the vexed question of divisibility of psychiatric (and other) injury. It is an employment case of wide importance and application.

Charlie Cory-Wright QC and Sadie Crapper summarise government proposals for changing how the discount rate is set

The moment we all were waiting for arrived on 7 September 2017 with the Ministry of Justice’s announcement that the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary would lay draft legislation before Parliament that very day to change the way in which the personal injury discount rate is set, followed shortly thereafter by a long paper entitled The Personal Injury Discount Rate: How it should be set in future, and another, shorter, paper setting out the draft legislation (see reference box on p4). The aim of this piece is to provide the busy reader with a helpful summary of the contents of those papers. It will be followed by a commentary from Charlie Cory-Wright QC setting out his initial response to the announcement.

Helen Gill-Thwaites and Karen Elliott advise what to expect from your expert and assessors

Accurate assessment of a client with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC), to differentiate between vegetative state (VS) and minimally conscious state (MCS), is both critical and challenging. Clarity of diagnosis is essential for litigation cases, to help determine future management, care and resource allocation. More recently, given the landmark ruling by Peter Jackson J in M v A Hospital [2017] that there is now no requirement for cases to involve the courts for the consideration of withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH), when there is agreement between the family and the treating physician, this change only accentuates that accurate assessment is tantamount.