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Personal injury

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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Contrib – drunk pedestrian

Motorists have to anticipate that pedestrians may be careless, and the driver’s burden to be careful will outweigh any burden upon a pedestrian or cyclist. The court’s approach is that all foolishness is foreseeable to some extent.

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Fixed costs – pre-disposal settlement

The CA has given important ruling on the fixed-costs formula for cases that settle ahead of a ‘disposal hearing’. The specific circumstances are very common:

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Costs on account – interim payment

The CPR rules setting out the court’s power to order a payment on account of costs changed in April 2013. Previously, the court ‘may’ order such a payment – whereas the new wording says the court ‘will’ make such an order, unless there is good reason not to do so (44.2(8)).

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RTA Portal – errors

The Portal for low-value RTA claims was set up in 2010. But errors are still made:

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