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Personal injury

Highways – lack of resources

The CA has confirmed that a highway authority’s lack of resources is irrelevant when considering its defence under s58 HA 1980.

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Highways – irregular inspections

It is not uncommon in highway cases for the frequency of inspections to be challenged by a claimant who says the highway ought to have been inspected monthly, but with the highway authority having only done so every three months. If the court decides that a monthly inspection was required, then the s58 ‘reasonable care’ defence is unlikely to be available to the highway authority.

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Holiday claim – rape

A holiday maker was raped by an employee in an Indian hotel, so she sued the tour operator that had organised the package holiday.

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Horse – rare victory

There are relatively few examples of successfully establishing negligence following a horse accident. Such cases are notoriously difficult to win, with the risk of injury being viewed by many as inherent in riding.

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Dependency – valuing loss of services

A dependency claim under Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is based on a valuation of the loss of services that would otherwise have been provided by the deceased. Thus, it does not cover all losses that might flow from the death.

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MIB – property damage

The Motor Insurance Bureau’s (MIB) untraced and uninsured drivers agreements have been revised in relation to accidents on or after 1 March 2017. Now, a victim will be able to claim against the MIB for property damage, notwithstanding that they were uninsured.

 

Aviation – emergency evacuation

An emergency evacuation claim may be contemplated if a client is involved in an emergency escape from an aircraft. Particular problems arise if the client suffers purely psychological injury, without any physical bodily injury.

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Damages – welfare benefits

For most means-tested benefits, the general rule is that the client must have less than £16,000 in capital to receive the benefit at all. If the client holds more than £6,000 then there will be a reduced level of benefit. Any income they receive in addition to benefits is taken into account when calculating entitlement, and usually reduces them.

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Damages – vulnerable clients

  A vulnerable client may have sufficient capacity to give instructions on the conduct of the claim (and any settlement offer), but that does not necessarily mean that the client has the capacity needed to manage large sums of money. This can particularly be the case for clients with head injuries, learning disabilities or mental illness.

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Costs – disposal hearing

The CA recently gave judgment on whether listing for a ten-minute disposal hearing amounted to listing the claim for trial when deciding the level of fixed costs in a claim under the Employer’s Liability Protocol.

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