the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

No sudden outburst of honesty by under-compensated miner

The Court of Appeal has recently upheld a County Court Judge’s decision to award damages to a former miner who complained that he had been under-compensated in an industrial injury scheme.  One of the reasons given was that the Defendant’s explanation for the Claimant’s conduct was implausible in relying on a steady state of dishonesty interrupted by a brief “outburst ... [More]

Drug dealer’s injury damages bonanza

In a result which the judge acknowledged had scope to cause some serious head-scratching among ordinary members of the public, a drug-dealer has recently succeeded in a damages claim against the UK government because domestic legislation denied him the ability to obtain compensation from a motor insurer after he suffered injuries in a road traffic accident. The claimant had previously failed at t... [More]

The icing on the cake: proximity needed to establish a duty

The Court of Appeal has just overturned a decision in which a surveyor was found jointly liable for personal injuries suffered by some members of the public who were struck by part of a shop sign which fell onto the pavement on Putney High Street. The Court has reversed the trial judge’s finding that the surveyor owed a duty of care to the injured claimants, stressing the need for proximity,... [More]

Crash for Cash fraud justifies imprisonment

The Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal yesterday upheld a 15-month prison sentence for a personal injury fraudster involved in a staged accident.  The Defendant had been a member of a gang carrying out multiple staged RTAs claiming modest sums for alleged whiplash injuries.  The ringleader had already been sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment for the wider conspiracy.  ... [More]

No liability for kart accident: duties of care & vicarious liability

In an interesting survey of the principles giving rise to duties of care and vicarious liability, Mrs Justice Swift has handed down a liability judgment in a catastrophic injury case brought against various categories of defendant.  The claimant was injured when her scarf got caught up in the rear axle of a 4-stroke engine go-kart.  She had been one of a party of six friends in their twe... [More]

Under-settlement: first VWF Scheme professional negligence case reported

Former miners who had worked for British Coal were offered a tariff-based government compensation scheme from 1999 if they could show they had developed symptoms of vibration white finger (VWF – now more commonly referred to as hand arm vibration syndrome or HAVS).  The scheme was the result of extensive negotiations between ex-miners’ representatives (principally claimant solicit... [More]

Criminal joint enterprise denies injured party damages

 Ex turpi causa is one of those doctrines which we learn when we study law but rarely get to use in anger.  But in a judgment published today the Court of Appeal has upheld a judge’s decision to deny the claimant any recovery against his uncle whose dangerous driving caused him a serious head injury. The claimant and the driver, his uncle, had carried out a theft of some ladders ... [More]

Rare s 33 success for defendants

Cynical defendant lawyers regard applications under s 33 of the Limitation Act to extend time for bringing personal injury proceedings as invariably going the claimants’ way.  Some see it as effectively a statutory abolition of the limitation period.    However, the High Court has this week refused an extension for a claimant with lung cancer allegedly caused by his his... [More]

ABI takes on the Senior Judiciary over 10% double whammy

On 27 July Simon Readhead QC – always vigilant, always at his desk (even in the vacation) – posted on these pages news that the Court of Appeal had slipped a surprise judgment through at the start of the summer holiday season in which they announced a 10% increase in general damages awards across the board with effect from next April.  This change was intended to dovetail with t... [More]

Why did the pedestrian cross the road?

Motor insurers are keen to keep up the pressure up on the courts to exonerate drivers or at least to ramp up the findings of contributory negligence in cases where pedestrian claimants wrongly walk into the road in front of approaching vehicles.  However, three recent decisions show the pace of change, if any, to be glacial.   First, there was a set back for motor insurers in Smith v Chi... [More]