The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

Road traffic – streamlined claims

The MoJ has watered down its original proposals on PI procedure. The small claims limit will remain at £1,000 for injury claims and £5,000 for others; the fast track limit will be increased generally from £15,000 to £25,000; but the streamlined claims process will not apply to all non-clinical injury claims, only to motor claims under £10,000.

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Aircraft – psychological harm

Some months ago, there was much publicity given to a Qantas flight in which a large hole was blown in the side of the plane; fortunately, the plane landed without difficulty and no-one was physically injured.

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Future care – reminder

The most important PI decision of the year is arguably Tameside v Thompstone [2008], noted in our April issue (p24). In that decision, the CA fundamentally altered the viability of periodical payments as an alternative to lump sum damages.

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Fatals – date of multiplier

The normal rule in PI cases is that a multiplier is fixed as at the date of trial. But, do not forget that with fatals a different rule applies. The multiplier is fixed at the date of death – not the date of trial.

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Ogden – adjustments

The 6th edition of the Ogden Tables came into force in May 2007, and set out a clear methodology for calculating the correct multiplier in respect of future loss of earnings.

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Accidents – no negligence

In 2005 there was much press comment about the existence of a ‘compensation culture’, where every injury must be someone’s fault, and thus give rise to a claim for damages.

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Latex – damages

Latex allergy is permanent. It is a particular risk for nursing staff and accordingly hospitals have to be constantly on guard against such risks.

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Psychiatric injury – forseeability?

A recent case illustrates the problems when claiming for pure psychiatric injury.

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MRSA – liability

An article in the Personal Injury Law Journalsummarises key points when considering claiming for MRSA infection:

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Damages – update

The Judicial Studies Board has issued a new (9th) edition of its PI general damages guidelines (called At a Glance, published by OUP).

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