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Personal injury

Anonymity orders - rare

As the name implies, an anonymity order is an order in relation to court proceedings which withholds the name of the parties but not the fact that the proceedings took place. The principle of open justice means that the press will be permitted to attend hearings and report on them in the absence of an anonymity order.

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Fixed costs - the norm

Costs disputes often revolve around whether a case should attract fixed costs or standard basis costs - often the difference between the two can make it a contentious issue. A recent case considered this point within the context of an RTA and whether the situation was sufficiently exceptional to avoid fixed costs.

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Experts - joint statement

CPR 35.12 provides for discussions between experts. These are not obligatory unless directed by the court, but such direction may be given at any stage of the proceedings. The object of the discussion is:

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Exaggeration – or fundamentally dishonest?

A recent case considered the provisions of s57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which provides that, in a PI claim, if, on the balance of probabilities, the claimant has been fundamentally dishonest,
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Fatal accident – benevolence exception

Benevolence exceptions are contributions made by a third party or as part of a disaster fund which cannot be deducted from personal injury settlements. 
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ATE insurer – in liquidation

LAMP Insurance is a leading ATE insurer for personal injury and negligence claims. It has gone into liquidation. A note on its website states that the company’s insurance policies that have not expired remain in force. However, as the company is insolvent it is unable to make any claim payments. Policyholders are advised to immediately consider acquiring alternative insurance protection. Where policyholders have bought policies from the company through an insurance broker, solicitor or other intermediary, they should consult that person to seek advice as to what options are open to them.

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Fixed recoverable costs – payable if £25k limit exceeded

Fixed recoverable costs (FRC) prescribe the amount of damages that can be claimed back from a losing party in civil litigation; they are a way of controlling the legal costs by giving certainty in advance (by reference to grids of costs). FRC give both parties certainty as to the maximum amount they may have to pay if unsuccessful and can ensure that the costs of cases are proportionate to the sum in issue. FRC currently operate in most low-value personal injury cases.

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Psychiatric harm – clarified

The HC has given some welcome clarification in relation to claims involving psychiatric harm. Improvements in clinical understanding of psychiatric harm have resulted in an ever-increasing number of claims for psychiatric harm.

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CFAs – no automatic 100% success fee

In RTA claims, may firms routinely set a 100% success fee and claim the maximum limit of 25% of total damages.

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Interim costs order – when to exercise

The Gazette reports on an interesting County Court case where an interim costs order has been granted to solicitors where the full value of the claim will not be quantified until 2022.
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