Category: General / News
In my previous blogs (Part I and Part II), I discussed the need to establish if there was a duty of care or statutory duty, and if so, was the law broken / duty breached, whether the breach of duty caused any loss and whether the harm was foreseeable
Finally, I will discuss the issue of determining what loss, and types of loss, the negligence caused
5 What loss did the negligence cause?
This is known as “quantum” or how much something should be worth
In personal injury there are legal guidelines set by senior judges as to how much certain injuries should be worth and lawyers will also look at recent cases involving similar injuries to see what the judge in those cases awarded
There are many types of losses that can be claimed such as injuries, financial losses, future work problems, loss of enjoyment of a holiday
If the injuries are minimal however then a principle known as “de minimis” might apply What this means is that the losses are so minor they do not merit an award of compensation This can arise in noise induced hearing loss cases as an…
In my previous blog, I discussed the need to establish if there was a duty of care or statutory duty, and if so, was the law broken / duty breached?
Within this blog I will discuss whether the breach of duty caused any loss, and whether the harm was foreseeable
3 Did the breach of duty cause any loss?
This issue is referred to as “causation”
Sometimes there will be a situation in which although a law was broken, it did not make any difference to the outcome An example would be a doctor who fails to send someone with signs of a serious medical condition to hospital but later, before harm is done, the patient decides themselves to seek emergency care and the problem is detected in time The GP may be held negligent, but the negligence, or breach of duty, did not cause any loss and therefore there is no claim
There is though a subtle division on this point being that sometimes it is necessary to divide causation up into two smaller questions:
a) Did the breach of duty cause the accident (often referred to as “legal causation”)?
b) Did the accident cause…
Recently I observed a relatively senior judge confusing himself regarding the principles of personal injury law I will return to his mistake at the end of this blog but, in working out where he, and it has to be said, many others, became confused, I had to take a step back and break down the principles of negligence and personal injury law, namely:-
- Is there a duty of care or statutory duty?
- Was the law broken / duty breached?
- Did the breach of duty cause any loss?
- Was harm foreseeable?
- What loss did the negligence cause?
I will discuss the points 1 and 2 in this blog, points 3 and 4 in part II, and point 5 and summize in part III
1 Is there a duty of care or statutory duty?
For a law to be broken there must of course be a law; however, not each and every part of our society and daily lives are governed by laws made by Parliament It is true that Parliament makes many laws; examples would include The Defective Premises Act 1972, The Highways Act 1980, The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957, The Manual…
In an article featured in today’s Law Society Gazette it was revealed that personal injury claims have fallen by 20% The Ministry of Justice has confirmed this is the smallest number recorded since 2011 and was 20% below the same period last year
The Ministry of Justice attributed the decrease to a change in the costs rules regarding holiday illness claims as well as changes regarding road traffic accidents injuries
The Gazette reports that these figures are consistent with other evidence which indicates personal injury claims are falling and that this is before the government’s upcoming further reforms are brought into place
I have blogged previously about the government’s upcoming reforms to road traffic accident cases and the potential ramifications upon access to justice
Much of the insurance industry’s rationale behind pressing for the reforms has been the supposed need to halt an alleged ever-increasing rise in personal injury claims The data featured in the Gazette clearly contradicts this rationale however as it can be seen that the number of claims is falling year upon year and it is now at its lowest since 2011
Many legal commentators have been critical of the…
Part 36 Offers – Case Law
In the recent conjoined appeals of Hislop v Perde and Kaur v Ramgharia Board  EWCA Civ 1726 the Court considered the question of whether indemnity costs should be ordered against a defendant who accepts a claimant’s offer late
Part 36 Offers Explained
For those not in the know, Part 36 offers were originally introduced as a way to encourage parties to settle cases wherever possible, thereby minimising the costs of litigation The methodology was that if a party accepted an offer beyond 21 days after the offer was made (well, technically, served upon them) they would face costs consequences The traditional consequence was deemed to be “indemnity costs”, in contrast to the traditional “standard costs”
Rule 44 of the Civil Procedure Rules defines “indemnity costs” as meaning the winning party will receive all of their costs apart from costs which have been unreasonably incurred or unreasonable in amount The difference between that rule and “standard costs” is that with standard costs the Court will also not allow any costs which “have been disproportionately incurred or to be disproportionate in amount”
Essentially, the costs will always be higher on…
The Asphalt Industry Alliance has produced its Annual Local Authority Maintenance survey (ALARM) This provides a detailed picture of the condition of our highways
Whilst it is reported by the Department for Transport that local highway maintenance funding for English authorities is now the highest its been in over a decade, one can arguably question whether it is too little, too late?
Highways teams in England and Wales report that the gap between the funds they received in 2017/18 and the amount they actually needed to keep the carriageway in reasonable order is approaching £556 million which is a shortfall of £33 million for every authority
As a Personal Injury Solicitor based in Bury, we are often approached by those who have suffered unfortunate injuries as a result of potholes in the road Potholes are symptomatic of poorly maintained roads and potential underlying structural issues
Under the 1980 Highways Act, local authorities have a responsibility to maintain the highway so that it is free of danger to road users
A standard defence to those claims is for the local authority to say they repair the potholes once they are reported to them
History of the Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee)
Up until the 2000s the system used to be that if you used a solicitor you would receive a monthly bill for their fees Generally, the loser pays the winner’s costs, so if you won your case you received your compensation (known as “damages”) and reimbursement of your legal expenses as well
Following government reviews in the late 1990s it was appreciated that this system could prevent people less well off from pursuing legal matters because even if they had a good case they could not afford to bring the case A decision was made to introduce a new system being the “conditional fee agreement” or more commonly known as “no-win-no-fee”
With no win no fee, the solicitor does not require you to pay a monthly bill but keeps a record of the costs spent on the case If the case wins the solicitor can recover those costs from the losing party; if the case does not win the solicitor has to cancel their bill and therefore makes a loss
The no win no fee system therefore transfers the risk from the client…
If you have had the misfortune of being involved in an accident at work, whether it be a slip on a wet floor, a fall from height or a lack of training, you may have sustained injuries as a result In some circumstances you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation
At Aston Knight Solicitors, a local personal injury solicitors in Bury, we often get asked what kind or what severity of injury warrants a personal injury claim or what exactly personal injury means?
Firstly, a personal injury can be explained as any injury to an individual, both physical and psychological
A physical injury is not just limited to a fracture of the bone, or a tear of the skin resulting in blood; a physical personal injury can simply be a soft tissue injury, for example a muscle strain in the neck following a road traffic accident commonly referred to as a whiplash injury, or a sprain and/or bruising of the ankle following a slip/trip over a pothole in the road A psychological injury is a fear or apprehension when faced with, or placed within, similar circumstances to when the accident occurred, for…
- The facts
Pain UK, a charity which supports people living with pain conditions, estimates that there are currently 28 million people across the UK living with chronic pain Chronic pain is pain which has been continuous for a long period and which is beyond that which can be explained by other physical injuries or conditions There are different types of chronic pain disorders and they can affect different parts of the body The most common type if chronic pain in the UK is lower back
- Chronic pain in injury compensation claims
At Aston Knight Solicitors, a local solicitor in Bury, we have experience of representing chronic pain sufferers in their personal injury compensation claims arising out of accident at work claims, road traffic accidents, trips or falls or clinical negligence claims Chronic pain issues can be fairly controversial in injury compensation claims with insurers often disputing the veracity of the chronic pain Our experience has shown management of chronic pain in patients with multiple problems is complex, usually requiring specific treatment and often patients do not recover but learn to cope with the condition, becoming reliant on medication A…
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence is an issue which can arise in many personal injury cases It is sometimes called partial fault The concept is based on a Claimant being partly responsible for the damage and essentially it means that the injured party’s compensation may be reduced if they are found to be partly to blame for the accident itself or to have contributed to the severity of their injuries in some way
As a personal injury solicitor specialising in serious injuries and accident and injuries at work claims, I sometimes have to advise my clients on this issue and it can be difficult at the start of a case to advise whether that person’s actions may be subject to a finding of contributory negligence
What is the law surrounding contributory negligence?
The starting point is Section 1 of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 which provides for apportionment of responsibility for loss between a personal injury claimant and defendant if both have contributed to the damage – and when it is proved that the claimant’s own negligence contributed to the damage or loss, a defendant is often…