The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

MIB – uninsured drivers

The new Uninsured Drivers Agreement applies to any incident from 1 August 2015 (the 1999 Agreement applies to earlier accidents). 

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Offer – pre-medical

Pre-medical offers are evidentially unsound, unsupported, incapable of accuracy – and probably best regarded as a tactic for prematurely under-settling claims. 

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Costs – J codes

 A new form of e-bill is currently being trialled and is likely to be adopted for all cases. Accordingly, it is recommended that practitioners start to implement the appropriate systems at an early stage in anticipation of that change. Early adoption of these codes will make it far easier to claim for existing work under the new system, assuming it is introduced in due course.

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Damages – Judicial College

The guidelines for the assessment of damages in PI cases are published by the Judicial College (previously known as the Judicial Studies Board). The 13th edition has now been published and is mandatory reading.

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Costs – ex-protocol claims

What if a case is started under the RTA Protocol (ie no more than £25,000) but is then transferred to the multi-track. Do fixed costs still apply?

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Labour market disadvantage – Smith damages

Smith v Manchester [1974] damages are awarded to compensate the claimant for future disadvantage in the labour market. Thus we are dealing with loss of future earning capacity, not future loss of earnings. For instance, if a claimant has returned to work but has a disability that will put them at a substantial and not speculative or fanciful disadvantage in the open labour market, then they will receive compensation for that. The typical Smith award is about two times net annual income. Twenty years ago it would probably have been five times net annual income but the figures have been reducing over the years. In large part, this is because of an advent of an actuarial approach to the assessment of damages through the Ogden tables (first introduced in 1984).

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Costs – assets frozen

 If a client’s assets are subject to a freezing order, then the law firm needs to ensure that any payments it receives do not breach that freezing order.

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Liability – ex turpi causa

What test is applied when deciding whether a claim should be dismissed because
of ex turpi causa? Typically, this will be because the claimant has been engaged
in a criminal act at the time they were injured. The test was defined by Lord

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Damages – interest

The interest rate to be applied to general damages is clear: for general damages in respect of pain, suffering and loss of amenity a rate of 2% applies from the date of issue of court proceedings to the date of trial. That rule has been confirmed in a series of cases since 1982 and is straightforward to apply.

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Small claims – or fast track?

The small claims track is the normal track for claims with an overall value of not more than £10,000 and general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity of not more than £1,000. Above those figures, cases are suitable for the fast track.

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Page 10 of 43

Most-read articles

Court of Protection – trust deputies
Friday, 13 April 2018
How does the CoP approach an application to appoint a trust corporation as a deputy? HHJ Hilder has, in a recent CoP ruling involving 36 applicants and 11 trust corporations, analysed the law on the... Read more...
Professional – update
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A reminder that internal e-mails can result in SRA action; for a case involving sexist, racist and homophobic e-mails sent to a work colleague see [2018] LSG 12 February 2. Read more...
CFA – assignment
Friday, 13 April 2018
The introduction of LASPO in April 2013 caused problems for clients who already had CFAs, but then wanted to move to another firm. Read more...
Agent of change – new builds?
Friday, 13 April 2018
The ‘agent of change’ principle has been hotly debated in planning circles for some time. Indeed, the concept is likely to feature in the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the draft... Read more...
Withdrawing admissions – increase in value?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose a defendant is faced with a low-value claim and decides to admit liability; later, it turns out that there is a significant increase in the value of the claim. At that stage, can the... Read more...
Service charges – estoppel?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that... Read more...
Service charges – code of practice
Friday, 13 April 2018
The RICS has published the proposed changes to its Code of Practice on service charges. The important change is that RICS members must act in accordance with eight core principles; the Code is no... Read more...
Japanese knotweed – nuisance
Friday, 13 April 2018
One of the (potentially) most important decisions last year was a humble county court case in which it was held Network Rail was liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced... Read more...
Adoption – new regulations
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A number of new provisions in relation to adoption are in force (as of 5 January 2018) under the Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018. Read more...
Sickness – on holiday
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A worker who falls ill during annual leave is entitled to take that holiday leave at a later date. This is so whether the sickness commenced before, or during, the holiday. Read more...


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