Tel: 020 8520 1021. Email: david.dolties@cch-solicitors.com

Tel: 020 8520 1021.
Email: david.dolties@cch-solicitors.com

Road traffic accidents can be stressful and confusing, especially when it comes to determining who is at fault. In the UK, the concept of liability is central to the legal process following an accident. Whether you're a driver, pedestrian, or electric scooter user, understanding how liability works is essential. This guide will help you navigate the intricacies of liability in road traffic accidents, ensuring you're well-equipped to handle any situation.

The Fundamentals of Liability

contributory negligence in road traffic accidentsAt its core, liability is about who is legally responsible for an accident. In the UK, the law relies on the principle of negligence to determine fault. Negligence occurs when someone fails to take reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person.

Duty of Care and Breach of Duty

Every road user has a legal obligation, known as a duty of care, to act responsibly and avoid causing harm to others. This means following traffic laws, staying alert, and making safe decisions. When a road user fails to uphold this responsibility, they may be considered negligent and liable for any resulting accidents.

Real-World Scenarios: Navigating the Complexities

While the principles of liability may seem straightforward, applying them to real-life situations can be challenging. Let's explore a few common scenarios:

  1. Multi-Vehicle Collisions: Assigning Blame in a Chain Reaction
    When multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, determining who breached their duty of care can be tricky. Consider a situation where one car suddenly stops, causing the vehicle behind it to rear-end it. In most cases, the following car would be considered at fault for not maintaining a safe distance. However, if the first car stopped abruptly without a valid reason, the liability might be shared between the two drivers.
  2. Pedestrians and Electric Scooters: When Two Worlds Collide
    Accidents involving pedestrians or electric scooter users can be particularly complex. If a pedestrian steps into the road without looking and is hit by a car, they may be found partially liable for the accident. Similarly, if an electric scooter user is riding recklessly and causes an accident, they could be held responsible for any resulting injuries or damages.
  3. Special Circumstances: When External Factors Come into Play
    In some cases, factors beyond the control of the road users involved can contribute to an accident. For example, if poor road conditions or inadequate signage played a role in the collision, liability might extend to the local council or the body responsible for maintaining the roads.

Proving Liability: Building a Strong Case

Establishing who is at fault in a road traffic accident involves several key steps:

Evidence Gathering: The Foundation of a Solid Claim

Collecting evidence is crucial to building a strong case and proving liability. Some essential pieces of evidence include:

Legal Interpretation: Navigating the Nuances of the Law

Determining liability often comes down to how the law is interpreted in light of the available evidence. This is where the expertise of a skilled legal professional can make all the difference. A knowledgeable solicitor can:

Shared Fault and Contributory Negligence

In some accidents, more than one party may be at fault. This is known as contributory negligence. For instance, if you were speeding when another car collided with you, you might be found partially responsible for the accident.

Understanding Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence occurs when the actions of the injured party (the claimant) contribute to the accident or their resulting injuries. In such cases, the court will assess the degree to which each party's negligence contributed to the accident.

Apportioning Liability

The court will assign a percentage of blame to each party based on their level of negligence. For example, if the court determines that the claimant was 25% responsible for the accident, they will be considered to have contributed 25% to their own injuries.

Impact on Compensation

When contributory negligence is a factor, it can significantly affect the amount of compensation you receive. The court will reduce your compensation by the percentage of responsibility attributed to you. So, if you are found to be 30% responsible for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by 30% to reflect your share of the blame.

Comparative Negligence

In some cases, the court may apply the principle of comparative negligence instead of contributory negligence. Under comparative negligence, the court compares the fault of each party involved and apportions damages accordingly. This means that even if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you may still be entitled to receive some compensation, although it will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Mitigating Your Losses

Even if you are found partially at fault for an accident, you still have a duty to mitigate your losses. This means taking reasonable steps to minimize the extent of your injuries and damages. Failure to do so could result in a further reduction of your compensation.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the complexities of liability in UK road traffic accidents can be challenging, but understanding the basics is essential. By familiarizing yourself with the principles of negligence, duty of care, and breach of duty, you'll be better prepared to handle any situation that may arise.

Remember, every accident is unique, and the specific circumstances of your case will play a significant role in determining liability. Seeking the advice of an experienced legal professional can help you build a strong case and ensure that your rights are protected.

If you find yourself in a situation where contributory negligence may be a factor, it's crucial to work closely with your solicitor to gather evidence and build a compelling case that minimizes your share of the blame. By doing so, you can help ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and damages.

In the end, the key to successfully navigating the complexities of liability in road traffic accidents is to stay informed, gather evidence, and seek expert guidance when needed. By taking these steps, you can protect your rights and increase your chances of achieving a fair and just outcome. If you have doubts or need assistance, just call CCH Solicitors.

Navigating the Timeline of Road Traffic Accident Legal Claims

When an unexpected injury disrupts your life, understanding the legal aspects might not be your immediate priority. However, in the UK, personal injury law is governed by specific time limits that are crucial to any claim. This guide aims to provide a clear, step-by-step understanding of these time limits, ensuring you're well-informed about this critical aspect of personal injury claims.

The Essence of Time Limits in Personal Injury Claims

Time limits for road traffic accidentsDefinition and General Rule: In legal terms, the 'time limit' or 'limitation period' is a set duration within which you must initiate legal proceedings. In the UK, for most personal injury claims, this period is three years from the date of the accident or the date you first became aware of your injury.

Date of Knowledge: Sometimes, the injury or its severity isn't immediately apparent. In such cases, the three-year countdown starts from the moment you become aware of your injury – this is known as your 'date of knowledge'.

The Rationale Behind Time Limits

Time limits in legal claims aren't arbitrary; they serve several key purposes:

Preserving the Integrity of Evidence: As time passes, evidence can deteriorate or become lost, and memories can fade. Time limits help ensure that claims are made while the evidence remains robust and reliable.

Protecting the Defendant: These limits also prevent the unfairness of a claim hanging indefinitely over someone’s head. It ensures that defendants don't face the stress of potential legal action many years after an event.

Exceptions to the Standard Time Limit

While the three-year rule is widely applicable, there are notable exceptions:

For Minors: If the injured party is under 18, the three-year period doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.

Mental Capacity: If someone lacks the mental capacity to manage their legal affairs, the time limit might be extended until they regain capacity.

The Criticality of Prompt Action

Despite the seemingly generous three-year period, it's advisable to begin the legal process promptly:

Complexity of Case Preparation: Building a strong case involves gathering detailed evidence, which can be time-consuming.

Seeking Early Legal Advice: Consulting with a legal professional early on can provide clarity on your claim's viability and any specific nuances that might affect the time limit.

Illustrative Scenarios

Scenario in the Workplace: Imagine sustaining a back injury at work in January 2021, but the pain and implications only become evident in June 2021. In this case, your three-year window may start from June 2021.

Road Traffic Incident Example: If you're involved in a traffic accident in May 2022 and immediately realize your injury, you would typically have until May 2025 to initiate legal proceedings.

 Time, a Crucial Factor in Your Claim

In the landscape of personal injury law, being aware of time limits is essential. These limits ensure that your claim is made within a legally acceptable timeframe, safeguarding your right to seek compensation. If you find yourself nursing an injury due to someone else's negligence, remember that the law offers you a window of opportunity – but it's one that gradually closes with time. Seeking prompt legal advice can be the difference between a successful claim and a missed opportunity. Remember, in personal injury claims, time isn't just ticking – it's a defining factor.

The Motor Insurers' Bureau: A Comprehensive Insight into the UK's Automotive Safety Net

Not Your Hollywood MIB

When you hear 'MIB' in the UK, don't expect Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones to show up in snazzy black suits. Our very own MIB might not deal with extraterrestrial encounters, but the Motor Insurers' Bureau is certainly a guardian in its own right. Established in 1946, this pivotal entity plays a crucial role in the UK's automotive world, offering a safety net to those affected by accidents involving uninsured or untraced drivers.

This article delves deep into the MIB's mission, history, and the significant impact it has on motorists across the UK.

The Motor Insurers' Bureau: A Vital Safety Net for UK Motorists


The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) serves a critical function that many motorists are unaware of. Established in 1946, this organisation was created to protect victims of accidents caused by uninsured and untraced drivers. In this article, we will provide an overview of the MIB's history, purpose, and ongoing relevance.

Historical Backdrop

The MIB emerged in response to a growing crisis of uninsured driving in the UK. In the 1930s, over 30% of drivers were estimated to be without insurance at a time when motor vehicle use was accelerating. This created an urgent need for a solution to aid the many victims of crashes involving uninsured motorists. The MIB was established as an industry-funded effort to fill this void.

Incremental Evolution

Since its founding, the MIB has continually updated its policies and procedures to adapt to changing conditions. Revisions in the 1980s addressed complex multi-vehicle crashes. Further changes aligned operations with European Union regulations in the 1990s. Most recently, the MIB added online claims filing and provisions for victims of terrorism. This flexibility has kept the MIB current.

Quantifying a Persistent Problem

Despite being mandatory, around 1 million UK drivers remain uninsured. These motorists are involved in a disproportionate share of hit-and-run accidents. For insured drivers, the cost of uninsured driving is estimated at £33 annually per policyholder, amounting to over £500 million UK-wide. Though enforcement helps, these figures confirm that uninsured driving remains a substantial issue requiring the MIB's assistance.

The Human Impact

It is important to recognise that real lives are affected by the reckless behaviour of uninsured motorists. Sharon Wells' story vividly illustrates the turmoil uninsured driving can cause. In 2015, an uninsured driver caused Ms. Wells to lose her unborn child and endure years of medical procedures. She credits the MIB with providing vital compensation when the at-fault party evaded responsibility. Others echo similar experiences of the MIB's aid making recovery possible.

Legal Framework

The MIB is empowered through two key agreements between insurers, government, and the MIB itself:

Injury solicitors are also critical in helping claimants navigate the often complex MIB claims process to obtain entitled compensation.

The Role of Personal Injury Solicitors

Firms like CCH Solicitors in London are essential in guiding victims through the MIB claims process. These legal experts ensure that the victims' rights are protected and that they receive the full compensation they are entitled to. Their expertise is particularly crucial in complex cases involving serious or catastrophic injuries, where navigating the legal and procedural aspects can be overwhelming for the victims.

Alternative Approaches

While the MIB is tailored to the UK, examining similar programs worldwide provides useful perspective. France's program is funded by fees from insured motorists rather than via insurers. Some Canadian provinces use public funding. Comparing models highlights the MIB's strengths and weaknesses.

Ongoing Challenges

Though invaluable for over 70 years, the MIB still faces challenges. Approximately one in 25 UK drivers remain uninsured. New vehicle technologies will also require adaptation. But the MIB has proven its ability to evolve to meet the needs of British motorists for generations. As long as uninsured driving poses risks, the MIB's safety net remains essential.

The MIB's Enduring Significance

The Motor Insurers' Bureau is more than a financial compensator; it is a cornerstone of the UK's motoring community, embodying a collective commitment to responsibility and support. Its role is vital in ensuring that victims of accidents involving uninsured or untraced drivers are not left to face their challenges alone.

Have you been involved in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver?

If you have give CCH a call and we will help you assess your options and see how we can assist with a claim through the MIB. Call us today on 020 8520 1021 and ask to speak to David Dolties.

Personal injury claims can be a lifeline for those who've suffered due to someone else's negligence. However, the process is fraught with complexities, not least of which is the timing of your claim. While you might be tempted to settle quickly for immediate financial relief, doing so could cost you in the long run, especially if your medical issues worsen over time.

This article aims to guide you through the intricate landscape of personal injury claims in the UK, focusing on the crucial aspect of timing. We'll also delve into the often-overlooked factors of legal fees and medical evidence, which play a significant role in the success of your claim.

The Double-Edged Sword of Timing

Timing is a critical factor that can make or break your personal injury claim. In the UK, the law generally allows for a three-year window from the date of the accident or from when you became aware of your injury to file a claim. While this might seem like ample time, it presents a unique set of challenges.

The Risks of Settling Too Soon

Imagine you've been involved in a car accident. Your car is totalled, and you've suffered what appears to be a minor back injury. An insurance company approaches you with a seemingly generous offer, tempting you to settle the claim quickly. The immediate financial relief is alluring, especially if you're facing medical bills and car repair costs. You accept the offer.

Fast forward a few months, and you start experiencing chronic back pain that limits your ability to work. Medical experts inform you that your injury has long-term implications, requiring ongoing treatment. Unfortunately, since you've already settled your claim, you're left with limited options for additional compensation.

Industry Statistics: According to a 2020 report, approximately 30% of personal injury claimants in the UK settle within the first six months, potentially missing out on adequate compensation for long-term issues.
Subsection: The Pros and Cons of Waiting

On the flip side, waiting too long to file a claim comes with its own set of challenges. Let's consider another scenario: you slip and fall at a shopping centre but decide to wait to fully understand the extent of your injuries. As you approach the end of the three-year window, you realise that you've developed complications that require surgery. While you may still file a claim, the delay could raise questions about the validity of your injuries, making it harder to prove your case.

Industry Statistics: Data shows that only about 10% of personal injury claims in the UK are filed in the last six months of the three-year window, often leading to increased scrutiny and a lower success rate.

The Trap of Quick Settlements

Insurance companies are businesses, and like any business, their primary goal is to minimise costs. One way they achieve this is by offering quick settlements to claimants, often within weeks of the accident. While the immediate financial relief can be tempting, especially if you're facing mounting bills, it's crucial to understand the long-term implications.

Hypothetical Scenario: The Quick Settlement Trap

Let's say you're a construction worker who has suffered a fall from scaffolding. Your initial medical evaluation suggests minor injuries, and you're soon approached by an insurance adjuster offering a quick settlement. You're tempted to accept, especially when you consider your immediate financial needs. However, what the insurance company doesn't tell you is that injuries like yours often have delayed symptoms, which could lead to long-term disability.

Industry Statistics: A study found that insurance companies save up to 40% when claimants accept early settlements, often leaving the injured party with insufficient funds for future medical expenses.

Navigating Legal Fees

Legal fees can be a significant concern when filing a personal injury claim. The good news is that many solicitors in the UK offer "no win, no fee" arrangements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs). These arrangements can limit your financial risk, but it's essential to understand the terms clearly.

Hypothetical Scenario: The "No Win, No Fee" Dilemma

Imagine you're a cyclist who's been hit by a car. You're considering filing a claim but are concerned about the legal fees. You find a solicitor who offers a "no win, no fee" arrangement. While this seems like a win-win situation, it's crucial to read the fine print. Some CFAs have clauses that could still leave you responsible for certain costs, like court fees or expert witness fees, even if you lose the case.

Industry Statistics: Around 75% of personal injury claims in the UK are made under "no win, no fee" arrangements, but a significant number of claimants are unaware of potential hidden costs.

The Role of Medical Evidence

Medical evidence serves as the backbone of any personal injury claim. Without it, even the most skilled solicitor will find it challenging to prove your case. In the UK, medical evidence often includes general practitioner records, specialist reports, and even psychological evaluations, depending on the nature of the injury.

Hypothetical Scenario: The Importance of Comprehensive Medical Records

Consider you're a factory worker who has developed respiratory issues due to prolonged exposure to harmful chemicals at your workplace. Initially, you only experience mild symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. However, as time progresses, your condition worsens, leading to severe respiratory problems. If you've kept comprehensive medical records, including regular check-ups and specialist reports, you'll have a stronger case when claiming for both immediate and future medical expenses.

Industry Statistics: A 2019 study indicated that claims supported by comprehensive medical evidence have a success rate of over 85%, compared to just 50% for those with inadequate or incomplete medical documentation.

Final thoughts

Navigating a personal injury claim in the UK is a complex process, with timing playing a pivotal role. Whether you're tempted to settle early for immediate financial relief or considering waiting to understand the full extent of your injuries, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Coupled with the need to understand legal fees and the importance of robust medical evidence, making a well-informed decision becomes all the more critical.

Actionable Advice

  1. Consult a Qualified Personal Injury Solicitor: Always seek professional advice before making any decisions about your personal injury claim.
  2. Keep Comprehensive Medical Records: Regular medical check-ups and specialist consultations can strengthen your case.
  3. Read the Fine Print: Whether it's an insurance settlement offer or a "no win, no fee" agreement, always understand the terms clearly before committing.

Additional Resources

In the ever-evolving world of law, it's crucial to keep our fingers on the pulse. Especially when it comes to personal injury law, where a single change can impact our rights as claimants. In this article, we'll journey through the most recent shifts in the legal landscape, ensuring you're well-equipped and informed.

Personal Injury claims for worksite injuriesFrom the early days of the legal system, personal injury law has been about protecting individuals from harm caused by others. Over the decades, as society and its challenges have evolved, so too has the law. It's adapted to new types of injuries, from industrial accidents in the 20th century to tech-related injuries in the 21st. But the core principle remains: if someone's negligence causes harm, they should be held accountable.

[Note: This article should be read in conjunction with our article titled: "Changes to Personal Injury Law: How Will They Affect You", as it further explains some of the changes to expect]

Key Changes in the Last Year

The world of personal injury law is like a river, constantly flowing and changing its course. Over the past year, several key changes have come into play, reshaping the landscape for claimants and legal professionals alike.

Redefining the Small Claims Limit

Previously, the small claims limit was set at a lower threshold. But from January 2023, there's been a notable shift. The limit has been increased to £5,000 for general damages and a whopping £20,000 for special damages. What does this mean for you? Well, with this change, more claims might fall under the 'small claims' category, potentially affecting legal costs and the claims process. Source

Adjustments to the “Loser-Pays” Costs Scheme

The UK courts have always had a unique approach to legal costs, especially in personal injury cases. A significant change this year has been in the rules governing liability for these costs. The aim? To increase the amount of costs that can be recovered, ensuring a fairer system for all parties involved.

Introduction of the New FRC (Fixed Recoverable Costs)

Change isn't always about subtraction; sometimes, it's about addition. Come October 2023, a new FRC will be introduced, applying to personal injury claims where the cause of action accrues on or after this date. This is particularly relevant for disease-related claims, ensuring a more streamlined and transparent approach to costs.

Changes in the Claims Process for Low-Value Injuries in RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents)

Road traffic accidents, unfortunately, are a common occurrence. But from 31 May 2021, the claims process for those suffering from low-value injuries in such accidents underwent a transformation, aiming to make the process more efficient and claimant-friendly.

These changes, while technical, have real-world implications for anyone considering a personal injury claim. It's always a good idea to stay informed and, when in doubt, seek expert advice. After all, knowledge is power, especially when navigating the intricate world of personal injury law.

Understanding the 'Duty of Care' Revisions

Injured construction site worker lying on ground, co-worker attending to himThe concept of 'duty of care' is foundational in personal injury law. It's the responsibility one person or entity owes to another to prevent harm. But like many legal principles, it's not static. Over the past year, there have been some pivotal changes to how 'duty of care' is understood and applied in the UK.

Justice Committee Inquiry on 'Duty of Care’

In February 2023, the Justice Committee took a deep dive into the world of 'duty of care'. They announced an inquiry to assess the impact of recent changes. The goal? To determine if the reforms are on track to achieve their intended outcomes, such as reducing insurance costs for consumers. This inquiry is a testament to the importance of 'duty of care' in the legal landscape.

Case Law Examples

Case law often provides clarity on legal principles. Here are some recent examples.

Lewin v Gray [2023]

Overview: This case revolved around a builder, contracted by the defendant, to work on a barn with a fragile roof. The key issue was whether the defendant owed a duty of care to ensure the builder's safety.

Outcome: The court's decision in this case provided clarity on the responsibilities of property owners when contracting workers for potentially hazardous tasks. It emphasised the importance of ensuring safety measures, especially in environments with known risks.

Implication: For individuals hiring contractors or workers, this case underscores the importance of being proactive in ensuring safety, even if one is not directly involved in the work process.

Employer's Duty of Care in Giving Instructions

Overview: Another case touched upon the duty of care employers have when giving instructions to their employees. The crux was whether the manner of instruction could inadvertently create a risk, leading to potential harm.

Outcome: The court's decision emphasised that employers must be mindful when providing instructions, ensuring they don't inadvertently place employees in harm's way.

Implication: This case serves as a reminder for employers to be clear, precise, and considerate when directing tasks, especially in potentially risky environments.

Sports Injury Claims and Negligence

Overview: A case discussed in the New Law Journal provided insights into how negligence is determined in sports injury claims. It revolved around the duty of care sports organisations and fellow participants owe to ensure safety during sporting activities.

Outcome: The court's decision shed light on the fine balance between the inherent risks of sports and the duty of care owed by organisers and participants.

Implication: For anyone involved in organising or participating in sports, this case emphasises the importance of adhering to safety protocols and being aware of the responsibilities towards fellow participants.

These cases provide a snapshot of how the concept of 'duty of care' has been interpreted and applied in various scenarios in 2023. They serve as valuable precedents, offering guidance for both legal professionals and the general public.

The 'duty of care' might seem like a simple concept, but its implications are vast. With these recent changes, it's clear that the legal system is striving for clarity and fairness. Whether you're a claimant, a legal professional, or just someone curious about the law, understanding these shifts is crucial. After all, the law is not just about rules; it's about people and the relationships they share.

Shifts in the QOCS (Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting) Regime

April 6th marked a significant turning point for personal injury litigation. The QOCS regime underwent fundamental changes, which have both practical and tactical implications for claimants and their solicitors. QOCS is all about who bears the legal costs in a claim, and these changes could influence how claims are pursued in the future.

Adjustments to Compensation Amounts

When we talk about compensation in personal injury claims, it's not just about getting a payout. It's about justice, ensuring that victims are adequately compensated for the harm they've suffered. Over the past year, there have been some significant adjustments in how these amounts are determined.

Raising the Small Claims Limit

Female tourist on holiday with broken leg on a beachStarting from January 2023, there's been a notable increase in the small claims limit. Specifically, the limit has been raised to £5,000 for general damages and an impressive £20,000 for special damages. So, what does this mean for the average Joe? Well, with this change, a broader range of claims might now fall under the 'small claims' category. This could influence the legal costs involved and the overall claims process.

The Personal Injury Discount Rate

The discount rate plays a pivotal role in determining compensation amounts, especially in serious, life-changing injury cases. It's a percentage figure that helps calculate how much defendants must pay in damages. There have been adjustments to this rate over the years, with the most recent changes aiming to ensure a fairer system for both claimants and defendants.

Guidelines on Compensation Amounts

Compensation isn't just pulled out of thin air. There are specific guidelines that outline accepted compensation amounts for various injuries. These guidelines have been refined to provide clarity on the monetary values for different injury severities, from moderate to severe. For instance, a minor wrist injury might have a different compensation range compared to a severe head injury.

Trends and Future Risks

The landscape of personal injury law is influenced by societal trends and potential future risks. Factors like technological advancements, changes in transportation modes, and even societal behaviours can impact compensation amounts. Being aware of these trends ensures that the compensation system remains relevant and effective.

Compensation adjustments might seem technical, but they have real-world implications for anyone considering a personal injury claim. Whether you're a claimant, a legal professional, or just someone curious about the law, understanding these shifts is essential. After all, it's about ensuring that justice is served, and victims are adequately compensated.

The Introduction of New Claim Procedures

Whiplash injury regulation changes 2021Navigating the legal maze of personal injury claims can be daunting. But the good news is that recent changes aim to make this journey smoother and more transparent for claimants. Let's explore these new procedures and understand their real-world implications.

Extension of QOCS (Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting)

One of the standout changes in 2023 has been the extension of QOCS to cover all personal injury claims, regardless of how they're funded. In simpler terms, QOCS is a protective measure that ensures claimants don't have to bear the defendant's legal costs if their claim is unsuccessful. This change offers greater protection to claimants, making the claims process less financially risky.

Real-World Impact: Consider the case of Tom, who suffered an injury at a local park due to poorly maintained equipment. Tom was hesitant to file a claim, fearing the financial implications if he lost. But with the extension of QOCS, Tom could proceed with his claim with greater confidence, knowing he wouldn't be burdened with the defendant's legal costs if things didn't go his way.

Changes in the Claims Process for Low-Value Injuries in RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents)

Since 31 May 2021, there's been a transformation in the claims process for individuals suffering from low-value injuries in road traffic accidents. This change aims to streamline the process, making it more efficient and claimant-friendly.

Real-World Impact: Imagine Lucy, who had a minor car accident resulting in a sprained wrist. Previously, Lucy might have faced a lengthy and complex claims process. But with the new procedures, Lucy experienced a more straightforward journey, with clearer guidelines and faster resolution.

Introduction of the New FRC (Fixed Recoverable Costs)

Another significant change is the introduction of the new FRC, which will apply to personal injury claims where the cause of action accrues on or after 1 October 2023. This is particularly relevant for disease-related claims, ensuring a more transparent approach to costs.

Real-World Impact: Take the hypothetical case of Alex, who developed a respiratory issue due to workplace conditions. With the new FRC in place, Alex had a clearer understanding of the potential costs involved in his claim, allowing him to make more informed decisions throughout the process.

The introduction of these new claim procedures is a testament to the evolving nature of personal injury law. By streamlining processes and offering greater protection to claimants, the legal system is striving to ensure justice is both accessible and fair.

What These Changes Mean for You and Concluding Thoughts

Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of personal injury law can feel like charting unknown waters. But understanding these changes isn't just about legal jargon; it's about knowing your rights and ensuring you're equipped to seek justice.

Breaking Down the Practical Implications

The recent shifts in personal injury law have both broad and nuanced implications. For potential claimants, clearer guidelines and streamlined processes can make the claims journey smoother. However, the nuances of new regulations can be tricky to navigate. For instance, while the extension of QOCS offers more protection, understanding its boundaries is crucial.

Tips on Navigating the New Landscape

Seeking Professional Guidance

While it's essential to be informed, personal injury law's complexities often require expert insight. Every individual's situation is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Engaging with a knowledgeable solicitor can provide tailored advice, ensuring your claim's best possible outcome.

Reiterating the Importance

The world of personal injury law might seem distant until you or a loved one is directly affected. These changes, while technical, impact real lives, real claims, and real outcomes. Understanding them is not just about legal preparedness; it's about ensuring justice is served.

Empower Your Claim: Seek Expert Guidance

If you're considering a personal injury claim or are simply curious about your rights, don't navigate these waters alone. Consult with a Personal Injury solicitor at CCH Solicitors, to get personalised advice tailored to your unique situation. After all, in the intricate dance of law and justice, having the right partner can make all the difference.

Many of the rules associated with Personal Injury Law are complex and restrictive, and over time the Government has sought to improve their efficiency and accessibility to claimants. In this article we will review many of the changes and proposed changes to these rules.

Personal injury law is a branch of civil law that deals with cases where someone suffers harm due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity. Personal injury law covers a wide range of situations, such as car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, defective products, workplace injuries, and more.

Changes in personal injury law in 2023If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, the process of pursuing a personal injury claim can be complex and challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the legal system and the applicable laws.

That is why it is important to be aware of the changes to personal injury law that will become prevalent in 2023 and some of those that were introduced in 2022. These changes are designed to benefit both personal injury law firms and their clients by simplifying the procedures, reducing the costs, and increasing the efficiency of personal injury litigation.

Here are some of the main changes that you need to know about.

The increase of the small claims limit for personal injury claims.

The small claims limit is the maximum amount of compensation that can be claimed through the small claims court, which is a simpler and cheaper way of resolving disputes.
Currently, the small claims limit for personal injury claims is £1,000 for general damages (such as pain and suffering) and £10,000 for special damages (such as medical expenses or lost income).

From January 2023, the small claims limit will be increased to £5,000 for general damages and £20,000 for special damages. This means that more personal injury claims will be eligible for the small claims court, which will save both claimants and defendants from paying legal fees and court costs.

For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor at a supermarket that causes you a broken arm and a sprained ankle, you can claim up to £5,000 for your pain and suffering and up to £20,000 for your medical bills and lost wages through the small claims court.

The new tariff system for whiplash injuries - a reminder.

Whiplash injuries are one of the most common types of personal injury claims, resulting from sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head and neck in a car accident. However, whiplash injuries are also one of the most difficult to diagnose and prove, as they often do not show up on medical scans or tests. This has led to some fraudulent or exaggerated claims that have increased the cost of insurance premiums for everyone.

To address this issue, the government introduced a new tariff system in 2021 that set fixed amounts of compensation for whiplash injuries based on their severity and duration. The tariff system ranges from £240 for an injury lasting up to three months to £4,215 for an injury lasting up to 24 months. The tariff system applies to all whiplash injuries caused by road traffic accidents, regardless of whether they are claimed through the online portal or the small claims court.

For example, if you suffer a mild whiplash injury that lasts for six weeks after being rear-ended by another car at low speed, you can expect to receive £450 in compensation under the new tariff system.

Changes to Qualified One-Way Cost Shifting (QOCS).

Changes to qualified one-way cost shifting (QOCS) are expected came into force in April 2023, as part of the Civil Liability Act 2018. These changes will affect how personal injury claims are handled and funded, and will have significant implications for both claimants and defendants.

QOCS is a system that protects claimants from paying the defendant's costs if they lose their case, as long as they have not acted fraudulently or unreasonably. QOCS was introduced in 2013, following the Jackson reforms, to encourage access to justice and reduce the use of conditional fee agreements (CFAs) and after-the-event (ATE) insurance.

The main changes to QOCS that are proposed are:

These changes are intended to reduce the costs and complexity of personal injury litigation, and to discourage fraudulent and exaggerated claims. However, they also raise some concerns for both claimants and defendants, such as:

These are some of the questions that need to be answered before the changes to QOCS are implemented. It is important for both claimants and defendants to be aware of these changes and how they will affect their rights and obligations in personal injury claims. If you have any questions or concerns about QOCS or any other aspect of personal injury litigation, please contact our expert team today.

Rules currently under consideration by the government.

The following are a range of personal injury law rules currently under consideration for change by the Government and Civil Justice Council, as many are complex and restrictive. The aim is to make them more efficient and accessible to claimants.

Changes to the limitation period for personal injury claims in England and Wales.

The proposals are still under review, and it is not yet clear whether they will be adopted. However, if they are, it would be a significant change to the law on personal injury claims.

Here are some of the reasons why the Civil Justice Council is considering extending the limitation period:

Changes to the discount rate.

The discount rate is a percentage used to calculate the present value of future losses in personal injury claims. This means that it is used to estimate how much money is worth today in comparison to what it will be worth in the future. The current discount rate in England and Wales is 2.5%. However, the government is considering proposals to increase the discount rate to 3.5%.

If the discount rate were to be increased to 3.5%, it would mean that claimants would receive less compensation for their future losses. This is because the present value of their future losses would be lower.

For example, if a claimant is awarded £10,000 for future losses at a discount rate of 2.5%, they would receive £8,703.70 today. However, if the discount rate were to be increased to 3.5%, they would only receive £8,196.30 today.

The government is considering increasing the discount rate in order to reflect the fact that interest rates have been rising in recent years. However, this would have a significant impact on claimants, who would receive less compensation for their future losses.

Changes to the rules on pre-action disclosure.

Pre-action disclosure is a process that allows claimants to request that defendants disclose documents that are relevant to their claim before they issue a claim. This can help claimants to gather evidence and make a stronger case for their claim.

The current rules on pre-action disclosure are complex and time-consuming. This is because they require defendants to disclose a wide range of documents, including documents that are not necessarily relevant to the claim. This can be a burden on defendants, and it can also delay the resolution of claims.

The government is considering proposals to simplify the rules on pre-action disclosure. This would make it easier for claimants to obtain the documents they need, and it would also reduce the burden on defendants.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering simplifying the rules on pre-action disclosure:

If the rules on pre-action disclosure are simplified, it would make it easier for claimants to obtain the documents they need, and it would also reduce the burden on defendants. This would help to speed up the resolution of claims and ensure that claimants receive the compensation they deserve.

Changes to the rules on third-party funding.

Third-party funding is where a third party, such as a law firm or investment company, provides funding to a claimant to bring a personal injury claim. This can be helpful for claimants who do not have the financial resources to bring a claim on their own.

The current rules on third-party funding in England and Wales are complex and restrictive. This is because the government is concerned about the potential for abuse of the system.

For example, there is a risk that third-party funders could pressure claimants to settle their claims for less than they are worth.

However, the government is considering proposals to relax the rules on third-party funding. This would make it easier for claimants to access funding, which would help to ensure that they are able to bring claims and receive the compensation they deserve.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering relaxing the rules on third-party funding:

  1. The current rules make it difficult for claimants to access funding. This can prevent claimants from bringing claims and receiving the compensation they deserve.
  2. The current rules are complex and restrictive. This can make it difficult for claimants to understand their rights and options.
  3. The current rules are not always enforced. This can lead to third-party funders abusing the system.

If the rules on third-party funding are relaxed, it would make it easier for claimants to access funding. This would help to ensure that claimants are able to bring claims and receive the compensation they deserve.

However, it is important to note that there are still some risks associated with third-party funding. For example, claimants may have to pay a share of the proceeds of their claim to the third-party funder.

If you are considering third-party funding, it is important to speak to a lawyer to understand your rights and options.

Changes to the definition of "serious injury”.

The definition of "serious injury" is used to determine whether a claimant is eligible for special damages, such as loss of earnings and care costs. The current definition is complex and difficult to apply. This can make it difficult for claimants to qualify for special damages, even if they have suffered significant injuries.

The government is considering proposals to simplify the definition of "serious injury". This would make it easier for claimants to qualify for special damages, and it would also help to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering simplifying the definition of "serious injury":

If the definition of "serious injury" is simplified, it would make it easier for claimants to qualify for special damages. This would help to ensure that claimants receive the compensation they deserve, regardless of the severity of their injuries.

However, it is important to note that there are still some risks associated with simplifying the definition of "serious injury". For example, it could lead to more claimants being eligible for special damages, which could increase the cost of personal injury claims.

Changes to the rules on conditional fee agreements (CFAs).

A conditional fee agreement (CFA) is an agreement between a lawyer and a client where the lawyer agrees to work on a case for a success fee, which is only payable if the case is successful. This means that the client does not have to pay any legal fees if the case is unsuccessful.

CFAs are a popular option for personal injury claimants because they offer the opportunity to recover compensation without having to pay any upfront legal fees. However, the current rules on CFAs in England and Wales are complex and restrictive.

The government is considering proposals to simplify the rules on CFAs. This would make them more accessible to claimants and would also help to reduce the cost of legal fees.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering simplifying the rules on CFAs:

If the rules on CFAs are simplified, it would make them more accessible to claimants and would also help to reduce the cost of legal fees. This would help to ensure that claimants are able to bring claims and receive the compensation they deserve.

Changes to the rules on ATE insurance.

After the Event (ATE) insurance is a type of insurance that covers the cost of legal fees if a claimant is unsuccessful in their case. This means that the claimant does not have to pay any legal fees if they lose their case.

ATE insurance is a popular option for personal injury claimants because it offers the opportunity to pursue a claim without having to worry about the cost of legal fees if they are unsuccessful. However, the current rules on ATE insurance in England and Wales are complex and restrictive.

The government is considering proposals to simplify the rules on ATE insurance. This would make it more accessible to claimants and would also help to reduce the cost of legal fees.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering simplifying the rules on ATE insurance:

If the rules on ATE insurance are simplified, it would make it more accessible to claimants and would also help to reduce the cost of legal fees. This would help to ensure that claimants are able to bring claims and receive the compensation they deserve.

Changes to the limitation period for personal injury claims.

The limitation period is the time limit within which a claimant must bring a personal injury claim. The current limitation period in England and Wales is three years. This means that claimants must bring their claim within three years of the date of the accident or the date on which they became aware of their injuries. The government is considering proposals to extend the limitation period to five years. This would give claimants more time to bring a claim, but it would also increase the risk of claimants forgetting about their injuries and missing the deadline.

Here are some of the arguments for and against extending the limitation period:

Arguments for extending the limitation period:

Arguments against extending the limitation period:

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to extend the limitation period is a complex one. There are both pros and cons to consider, and the government will need to weigh these carefully before making a decision.

Changes to the rules on apportionment.

Apportionment is the process of dividing the blame for an accident between the claimant and the defendant. This is done to determine how much compensation each party should receive.The current rules on apportionment in England and Wales are complex and difficult to apply. This is because they take into account a number of factors, including the blameworthiness of each party, the relative importance of each party's actions in causing the accident, and the policy of the law.

The government is considering proposals to simplify the rules on apportionment. This would make it easier for claimants to understand their rights and options, and it would also help to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering simplifying the rules on apportionment:

If the rules on apportionment are simplified, it would make it easier for claimants to understand their rights and options, and it would also help to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Changes to the rules on costs.

The rules on costs determine who is responsible for paying the legal fees in a personal injury case. The current rules on costs are complex and can be unfair to claimants. Under the current rules, the loser of a personal injury case is generally responsible for paying the legal fees of the winner. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule, which can make it difficult for claimants to recover their legal fees.

For example, if a claimant loses their case because they failed to comply with a procedural rule, they may be ordered to pay the defendant's legal fees even if they were not at fault for the accident.

The government is considering proposals to simplify the rules on costs and make them fairer to claimants. This would help to ensure that claimants are able to recover the legal fees they have incurred, even if they lose their case.

Here are some of the reasons why the government is considering simplifying the rules on costs:

If the rules on costs are simplified, it would help to ensure that claimants are able to recover the legal fees they have incurred, even if they lose their case. This would help to encourage claimants to bring claims and receive the compensation they deserve.

In summary

The personal injury law landscape is changing rapidly, and these changes are expected to benefit both personal injury law firms and their clients. However, it is important to be aware of these changes and to adjust your expectations and strategies accordingly.

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, it is important to consult with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer who can advise you on your rights and options under the new laws. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the new online portal or the small claims court, negotiate with the other party or their insurer, gather evidence and witnesses to support your claim, and represent you in court if necessary.

Here are some additional tips for claimants who are considering bringing a personal injury claim in 2023:

We hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions about personal injury law or your rights, please do not hesitate to contact CCH Solicitors’ Personal Injury team.

This article is for information only and the information contained within is likely to change. It should not be considered as legal advice, speak to our personal injury law team for the latest information.

When a family member or loved one is suddenly lost in the aftermath of a fatal accident, the tragedy of it can be overwhelming. Those left behind often have to cope with both their grief and the practicalities that come with it – such as making funeral arrangements and seeking compensation for their loss. In the UK, there are several ways for people to seek help after such an event. In this article, we’ll look at some of those options and the considerations you can make in moving forward.

The first step is to make sure that any dependents are taken care of financially. This includes checking if the deceased had life insurance and whether or not you’re entitled to any death-in-service benefits they may have been entitled to through their job. If this isn’t available, then you may be able to claim certain state benefits such as bereavement allowance or widowed parent’s allowance if you were financially dependent on them.

Fatal accident claimsIn addition, those who weren’t married, in a Civil Partnership or the child of the deceased can make a fatal accident claim on behalf of the Estate which will allow them to recuperate funeral costs and related expenses such as medical bills. It also helps provide closure for those who weren’t covered by other areas of law following their death.

If a criminal act was involved either directly or indirectly in the death, you could also seek help from Victim Support charities which provide specialist services including emotional support and advice about legal options available to you. They can also explain your rights under The Victims’ Code and help with any applications for criminal injuries compensation, alongside providing access to trained counsellors and support groups throughout your recovery process.

Another option individuals can consider is counselling or therapy sessions, which can help those struggling to cope with grief after a sudden bereavement. Many organisations offer free support services where people can speak openly about their feelings in private settings with professionals trained in bereavement counselling techniques. This can provide much needed relief during difficult times and help individuals move forward positively with life after loss.

Finally, it is important that people affected by a fatal accident don’t suffer unnecessarily because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing; getting access to free legal advice through agencies like Citizens Advice Bureaux or Citizens Advice Scotland could prove invaluable when considering whether you should pursue a civil claim against liable third parties responsible for causing death due to negligence.

In conclusion, there is no single pathway towards finding solace after someone suddenly passes away; however there are numerous forms of assistance available from both public organisations and charities dedicated specifically towards offering vital support services throughout this difficult journey so that victims don't have to face it alone.

Financial assistance that may be available

Depending on your circumstances, the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 may be of assistance, particularly if the death of the loved one means you have now fallen on hard times.

What is the Fatal Accidents Act 1976?

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is a key piece of legislation that provides financial support to the dependents of an individual who has died as a result of an accident or negligence. The aim is to help prevent them from suffering additional losses due to their bereavement. Under the act, dependents may be able to claim compensation for loss of earnings and other damages, such as funeral costs. This compensation can be paid in addition to any other benefits they may be entitled to. In order to make a successful claim, there are certain criteria that must be met:

  1. It must be proven that the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or breach of duty — for example, if someone failed to take proper care on the road and this resulted in an accident causing death.
  2. It must also be shown that the person who died had dependents at the time of their death — this could include close family members such as a spouse or children, but also extended family members depending on specific circumstances.
  3. Finally, it must be established that the dependents have suffered financial losses because of their bereavement.

To help ensure that claims for compensation are made quickly and efficiently, the court will appoint a personal representative (or ‘administrator’) for each case. The administrator will manage all relevant paperwork and provide advice on how best to proceed with any claims made by dependants under this act. In addition, it’s important for claimants to understand their rights when making a claim — they should always seek legal advice before proceeding with any action related to this law.

The aim of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 is ultimately to provide financial security during difficult times by providing compensation for bereaved families — helping them cope with additional losses which can often come with bereavement. Making sure that those affected get access to adequate support and guidance can help them through this difficult period whilst allowing them some peace of mind knowing that they are receiving appropriate recompense for their losses.

What consideration in regard to losses should the dependents of a deceased loved on make?

Claiming a Bereavement Award

A Bereavement Award is a financial payment made to the spouse, civil partner, or parent of someone who has died in a fatal accident or due to a violent crime. The award is set by statute at a flat rate of £12,980 and is intended to recognize the emotional trauma caused by the death of a loved one.

It is impossible for any amount of money to ‘compensate’ for such an immense loss, but this award can provide some financial relief during an incredibly difficult time. This can be especially beneficial when there are funeral costs and other expenses associated with the death.

The Bereavement Award also makes provision for certain dependent relatives, such as grandparents and step-parents that would have been financially supported by the deceased prior to their death. This means that people outside of core family members can still receive financial aid after a bereavement.

The award may also be available upon conviction in cases where the deceased has been killed as a result of criminal activity or negligence. These awards are generally lower than those paid out in cases where there has been no conviction because it is assumed that some justice has been done.

In any case, claimants must prove that they were living with or financially dependent on the deceased, and proof of both must be provided to receive payment under these circumstances. Additionally, claimants must demonstrate that they are entitled to receive bereavement damages through either probate or as part of an existing will.

For many people dealing with tragedy and grief, receiving this Bereavement Award may be their only source of income at a very difficult time in their life. It may not bring back their loved one but it can go some way towards helping them through this traumatic period and ensure that their immediate needs are met financially during this difficult time.

Intangible Benefits

After a fatal accident, surviving family members not only have to deal with the emotional and psychological shock of losing a loved one, but also with the financial burden that comes along with it. Intangible benefits are losses suffered by the family that cannot be calculated in monetary terms. These losses cannot be easily quantified or replaced, and they can include such intangible elements as love, companionship, parental guidance, protection and care - all of which are essential components of a happy home environment.

The lack of these intangible benefits can lead to significant suffering for the surviving family members. For example, after the death of a spouse or parent, those left behind may experience a profound sense of emptiness due to losing the strong emotional bond shared with their beloved family member. They may also suffer from guilt or regret over not having been able to protect their loved one from harm, or feeling like they could have done something differently to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Sometimes surviving children can also be affected by this type of loss if they were particularly close with their parents and rely on them for guidance on important life decisions. The absence of a parent’s support and advice can leave these young people feeling helpless and directionless as they try to navigate through life without them. This is why it is so important for families who suffer the loss of an intimate family member to seek help from mental health professionals who specialise in grief counselling in order to help process their feelings and cope better during this difficult time.

In addition to these emotional losses, families may also lose out on physical benefits such as economic stability provided by their deceased family member’s income or medical/dental coverage resulting from his/her employment-based insurance plan. Aside from coping with immediate expenses related to funeral arrangements or other necessary costs associated with closing out affairs for the deceased person, in some cases there may be long-term costs such as college tuition for minor children left behind that will now have to be shouldered by remaining family members instead.

Ultimately, there is no way to truly quantify the value of these intangible benefits lost after experiencing an unexpected tragedy but understanding how such losses can affect those left behind both emotionally and financially is essential in order for them receive adequate compensation for all aspects of their suffering when seeking justice through legal channels following a fatal accident.

Financial Support

Loss of Dependency for Financial Support after a fatal accident can be an extremely difficult experience for those who were financially dependent on the deceased. It can be especially hard for younger adults and children, who have not yet had the opportunity to build up their own independent financial security.

When a loved one dies in a fatal accident, the financial dependency they provided can be lost. This could mean that there is less money coming into the family or household, leaving those that depended on them without access to vital income. In certain cases such as when a partner dies in an accident and they were the primary earner of the family, the remaining partner will suddenly be without any source of income. In other cases, it could mean that someone has now lost their ability to pursue higher education or take part in activities or hobbies due to lack of funds.

It is important to note that these types of losses can also impact an entire family's quality of life if there is no longer enough money coming into the home to cover basic day-to-day living expenses such as food, housing and utilities. In some cases, this could even lead to homelessness if not addressed quickly and appropriately.

Financial support claims can also provide necessary aid for funeral costs or medical bills due to injuries sustained in accidents. This can be especially helpful for families who don't have enough savings or resources available at the time of death.

At its best, a claim for financial support after a fatal accident can help ensure that those left behind are able to maintain their standard of living and fulfill obligations in order to make sure they are taken care of during this difficult time.

Dependent on services and support

If a loved one has been taken from you in a fatal accident, then the sense of loss can be overwhelming. Loss of dependency on services is an important aspect of this bereavement process, as it can involve a whole range of activities that were once performed by your beloved. These tasks may have included shopping, cooking, DIY jobs around the home, cleaning and gardening to name but a few.

Loss of dependency on services is an area of law where damages can be claimed for care, assistance and other services that would otherwise have been provided by the deceased prior to their death - had they not died. This includes any kind of domestic help or assistance that was associated with day-to-day living, such as shopping and preparing meals, cleaning and maintaining the home or garden and any other activities that were part of their routine.

When considering loss of dependency on services after a fatal accident, it’s important to understand how much support was provided by your loved one and how reliant you were upon them for these various activities and tasks. This information will form the basis for any claims for damages being made to cover the financial costs associated with replacing these services since the death occurred.

The actual value of the compensation will depend upon many factors including:

It’s also useful to remember that along with financial losses due to lack of dependent service there may be personal losses associated with no longer having someone perform those duties for you. This could include day-to-day companionship or advice from a spouse, professional guidance from an accountant or lawyer or even personal touches like preparing special meals during holidays or birthdays. Ultimately these all form part of the overall equation when accounting for loss of dependency on services after a fatal accident.

Why use CCH Solicitors to help you through the aftermath of the accidental death of a loved one?

The aftermath of an accident resulting in the death of a loved one is a difficult and traumatic process to go through, and it's important to make sure that you have the right support when doing so. It's essential to use a specialist personal injury solicitor, such as CCH Solicitors, to help with this process, as they understand the legal complexities associated with these cases.

We can provide advice on how to access compensation, as well as providing emotional support throughout the process. Furthermore, we will ensure that any compensation awarded is fair, and will be able to represent you in court if you wish.

Ultimately, choosing a specialist personal injury solicitor is essential for helping you through the aftermath associated with the death of a loved one due to an accident- it can be a long process, filled with emotional stress and difficult decisions; having the right lawyer by your side can make all the difference.

You can call us on 020 8520 1021 if you are using a mobile phone. Alternatively email us on office@cch-solicitors.co.uk or complete our Free Enquiry Form online and one of our team will be happy to discuss your circumstances.

With the UK building industry back in full swing, and with new initiatives to boost home building, work related accidents on building sites are and have always been a serious concern. So if you are a contractor and have sustained an injury, what compensations options are open to you?

The UK construction industry is big business, contributing around £120 billion to the UK economy in 2020. To help bring some perspective of the size of the industry here are a few more statistics:

construction site accident claimsAs with any large industry, there are many incidents of work related accidents and injuries. tis is probably not surprising given  the nature of the construction industry and the high risk of injury through the extensive use of large machines and dangerous working conditions.

If you are a construction worker or a contractor supplying workers to a larger construction firm, it’s essential that you understand the risks involved and the circumstances that can lead to injury and have a plan in place to cover such inevitabilities.  In the construction industry, it’s not a case of ‘if’ an accident happens, it’s just a matter of when. Even with the best accident prevention measures in place, humans make mistakes, as is borne out by the following accident statistics:

What should you do if you’ve been involved in a construction related accident?

As with any critical injury, you should first consult your doctor or have attended a local hospital to understand the nature and seriousness of your injury. If your injury was critical or life threatening, then you’ve undoubtedly been admitted to hospital and be under the care of a specialist. It’s at times like these that seeking legal recourse seems a distant prospect, and for good reason, your health comes first.

However, time is important, as details of the accident and those involve tends to fade quite quickly, especially if the fault is likely due to the negligence of others. For instance, the scene of the accident, been a place of work or part of a construction site, is likely to change and the elements involved in the event moved or removed and those involved, moved on. Essential then, just as soon as you can, or through the help of others, is to have somebody working for your own interests, to assess those events and ensure details are accurately recorded, especially if the construction firm involved is an SME.

This is something the specialists at CCH & Co. can assist you with. Our team will investigate the circumstances of your accident and compile the necessary evidence for use in a claim agains those responsible. You can find more information about making a claim for an injury at work here:

Making a claim for an injury at work

Site owners responsibilities and you

It’s important to note that the operators of the site should have an emergency response plan for serious or fatal injuries. For large construction companies and the clients they work for, this is almost certainly the case. Under these conditions, such accidents will be reported and investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (and the police, if there has been a fatality). 

For smaller companies though, while they may have adequate insurance, practices maybe less well defined and those injured may not receive fair treatment as the building company operators seek to limit the damage to their company and investigations may not be as thorough as those in the larger national construction companies.

Under these circumstances, you or a family member should contact us as soon as possible to we can take necessary steps to preserve the details surrounding your injury. 

Is there time limit on claiming for a construction related injury?

The short answer is, yes, there is. In most cases the there is a limit of three years of the accident event. Tis is important to consider because for many accidents where somebody walks away without sustaining serious external injury, other injuries may take time to appear, particularly if the event was traumatic - physically and emotionally. For some, even physical injuries take time to show themselves, particularly muscular/skeletal injuries and trauma to these aspects of the body can have a significant impact on the quality of life in years to come. 

However, this definitely doesn’t mean that you should simply accept and offer of compensation if one is presented by the responsible party’s insurance company. It can be tempting, especially if your ability to earn an income has been affected. This is why it is essential to have a firm like Romain Coleman working for you. We have had a great deal of experience negotiating settlements for clients that greatly outstrip the original sums offered.

Also be aware that in circumstances where a catastrophic injury has occurred, perhaps due to a head, brain or spinal injury, you may be able to obtain a longer period in which to make you claim - we will be able to advise you or your family about this.

CCH & Co. is a highly experienced work related injury claims solicitors

We have many years of experience in these types of claims, so contact us now for a free review of your claim. You can call us on 020 8520 1021 if you are using a mobile phone. Alternatively email us on office@cch-solicitors.co.uk or complete our Free Enquiry Form online and one of our team will be happy to help with your construction injury work claim.

Have you ever been out walking your dog or simply walking a long a public footpath, perhaps through a field of livestock, as can often happen? Have you thought about what happens if you are injured by an animal, perhaps a cow, bull or horse? Whether or not you stray from the well-worn public footpath, you may want to think about the consequences.

While many of our activities were reduced or suppressed during the pandemic, one activity that did increase, substantially at times, was the number of people out walking. Whether that was walking the dog or rambling alone or with close family, the shear number of people out in the countryside increased significantly.

Countryside personal injuriesThis put a lot of pressure on the country’s more popular public footpaths and bridleways, and introduced many unaccustomed people to the quirks of using them. Experienced walkers are all too familiar with how protective land owners and farmers can be when a public right of way passes through their property. Many landowners and farmers have provided positive support and guidance to members of the public that frequent the paths that traverse their property by fixing signs and notices that alert the public to any local dangers, such as grazing cattle, free roaming horses or areas protected because of endangered wildlife or nesting birds. Despite this though, the public often forget that dangers lurks, often just a short distance away, especially if small children and pets are involved.

A typical scenario is a dog that’s off its lead when signs alert the public to grazing animals. Dogs are curious animals and often chase after cattle. Cattle then panic and a variety of accidents can happen, from trampling walkers, killing the dog or breaking through fences and causing mayhem to passing motorists. If you are injured as a result of wandering off a publicly marked track and into private property and causing the problem through your own negligent actions, you may be held accountable for that injury, and potentially, the damage caused.

Personal injuries resulting from the public’s interaction with animals either on private or public land, as set out in the Animals Act of 1971, often requires detailed consideration of the exact circumstances of the incident and the nature of the animals involved.

The central tenants of the act which must be examined in each case often relate to interactions with species of animals generally regarded as ‘non-dangerous’, such as livestock, horses, sheep, etc. These are as follows:

Non-dangerous Species – Section 2(2):

Where damage is caused by an animal which does not belong to a dangerous species, a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, except as otherwise provided by this Act, if:

Section (b) in bold is important to understand. It is an area of the act that has caused most debate and confusion. It's worth reading just how contentious this clause has been in the past by reviewing the case of  Mirvahedy vs Henley. While livestock, such as cows and horses, generally don’t attack people or give a cause for concern, if they are panicked, it is known that they can stampede and present a threat of injury. Similarly, during calving season, mothers will protect their young and likely become aggressive. This puts a farmer in a tough position, as he may be responsible if you are injured and he hasn’t taken reasonable precautions to protect you.

But of course, it’s not a simple at that either, as your role in the events as a walker are potentially a significant factor here. If you have been warned about the danger and neglect to heed the warning signs and an incident occurs, you may find yourself entirely to blame for any injury caused and possibly the damage too, particularly if you strayed of the marked path and wandered into the areas considered private property. Contributory negligence pays its part here.

As a walker enjoying the many public footpaths and bridleways traversing the glorious countryside we find in the UK, you have a legal responsibility too. Take heed of any warning notices. Farmers and land owners generally have enough on their plates to deal with and don’t put these up lightly. They are simply trying to protect you and themselves from injury and potential legal action, often due to the carelessness of individuals wandering around their land. Most footpaths in this country are well marked and those that traverse private property, especially so, as the land owners generally don’t want you to be there.

Luckily, for most of those walking, hiking or rambling, personal injuries are few and far between. A little common sense goes a long way, such as staying on marked footpaths, keeping dogs on a lead where livestock are present, and indeed firm control over children. Kids are more curious and sometimes more disobedient than the family pet and when combined with normally docile domesticated livestock, unexpected events can happen.

However, in case where you have sustained an injury while out walking and believe the fault to lie with the landowner or and animal’s keeper, the experienced personal injury solicitors at CCH & Co. is here to help you.

This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

If you're in the process of starting to make or making a compensation claim for a traffic accident that resulted in whiplash, then it's good to know about the latest whiplash regulations from 2021 and how they will affect your claims – for the better or the worse.

We should make it clear at this point that CCH & Co. is here to help you with serious and critical injury claims. While whiplash can certainly cause short term concerns and complications later on, we work with clients to pursue claims based on the more serious injuries that result from car accidents, rather than whiplash alone. Also, as you'll see from the following article, new regulations and the lower sums involved mean it less likely that claimants can use legal representation and will be forced down the small claims track or use of the online claims portal.

These new rules will have an affect on how much money you can claim from whiplash injuries. Both good and bad has surrounded the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 that come into place on 31st May 2021. The good news for claimants is that the minimum payments for whiplash claims are due to increase over the old guidelines, and the new approach looks to make claims move much more smoothly.

However, there are also worries that these new changes are going cause problems that could actually hamper the whole process – with claimants being the ones who will be left to suffer. We're here to give you a rundown of what these new regulations bring to the table, what difficulties may lay ahead and how they could affect your whiplash claim going forward.Whiplash injury regulation changes 2021

What is whiplash?

As the name suggests, this is when your body (specifically your neck) is whipped back-and-forth from its natural position. This is something that can, of course, happen during car accidents – mostly if a person has been rear-ended – but it can also happen if you have a fall, a sporting accident or have been physically attacked.

Symptoms can often range from pain and stiffness in the neck area to headaches, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus and many other related conditions. Generally, people can expect to get better in just a few weeks but this isn't always the case. The effects of the injury can hurt someone for months or even years, possibly causing even chronic pain and permanent changes to a person's lifestyle.

What to expect from the whiplash claims process

Over half a million people make a compensation claim for whiplash in the UK each year. You have three years from the incident to make a claim on a whiplash injury and you can even claim on behalf of any kids who were also involved in the accident too. Additionally, passengers can also make a claim. You needn't worry about this necessarily ruining friendships either as the insurance company will pay on behalf of them.

The main purpose of compensation claims are to compensate you for time off work, any discomfort you may have experienced and any medical bills. It's all about gathering evidence to present a case so it certainly helps for you to take your own photos of an incident or even take the names of witnesses who may be able to help your claim.

Due to the high amount of people making whiplash personal injury compensation claims every year, it's a market saturated with questionable claims management companies (CMCs). Legislation was introduced in 2018 to try and stymie many unscrupulous CMCs who were not above getting claimants to exaggerate their injuries.

You may be offered an out-of-court settlement by the insurers of those responsible for the accident which you can choose to accept or turn down which will, of course, pave the way for a court decision. However, things can get tricker if the other party was not insured or could not be found. In this instance, you may be able to get compensation from the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The size of the compensation you can be rewarded really does depend on the effect that accident had on your life. On average, before these new guidelines, the payout was generally somewhere between £1,000 and £3,000. However, it's not unheard for there to be close to six figure payouts if the injury and its after-effects have been quite severe.

What the new regulations introduced

The new regulations changed not only the amount of money that can be claimed as part of the whiplash portion of any compensation, but also changed the way in which cases are handled. These changes were welcome on many levels not just because they are, overall, positive for the claimants, but because they change the whole process and even make it possible, in less severe cases of whiplash, to consider taking a route that requires no legal representation or fees.

For example, there has been an increase in the small claims track (SCT) limit from traffic accidents to £5,000; previously, it had been just £1,000. A tariff has also been implemented that means that the maximum that can be claimed for an injury that lasts less than three months is £240. This scales all the way up to injuries lasting up to 24 months where the maximum tariff is £4,215.

While this may not seem like great news – as it was not uncommon for some whiplash claims to offer double that maximum tariff – it means that whiplash claims are going to be less attractive to predatory claims management companies as the tariff will not be payable by the defendant.

There is, however, a 20% tariff uplift in play for any case meeting certain circumstances where there has been a high amount of suffering or pain incurred. It should be noted that there are some methods of transport that are not subject to these new SCT limits – primarily cyclists, pedestrians, children and motorcyclists.

Additionally, the reforms also save motorists across England and Wales approximately £35/year on their insurance premiums. This is thanks to the savings created from these changes which are thought to total close to £1.2 billion.

Lastly, as aforementioned, there is now a route for claimants without legal representation. While it is still advisable to seek legal support in more complex personal injury cases involving vehicle accidents, an area CCH & Co.  specialises in and has successfully assisted claimants with, many people will be able to make use of an online portal that is simple for users to navigate. This not only saves the hassle and cost of organising legal support, it reduces the need for court appearances and removes the loss of any compensation to CMC fees.

One final plus point is that you can expect to receive less nuisance calls from firms looking to help you claim for whiplash on a 'no win, no fee' basis!

Potential problems with new regulations

There are, however, some concerns about this new system and how it may affect both claimants and legal representation. Many of these concerns relate to the online system itself and its ability to cope with the possible demand from whiplash claims. While there is an expectation that less claims will be made, problems with the system could drive people to continue using CMCs to check claims.

There have been concerns that a lack of testing on the system could cause problems and lead to delays for claimants. Some industry figures have criticised the portal, and the documentation surrounding it, as being too complex for most users. While a helpline will be in place to deal with problems, this is also lacking in any rigorous testing.

Additionally, there is a worry that some claimants may end up with less than they expected. As we previously mentioned, claims that would have been able to provide damages worth up to £7,000 prior to the guidelines are now worth just over £4,000. Granted, the lack of need for legal representation means you don't need to spend money paying fees, and the time saved by itself is worth some money too, but it nevertheless casts doubt over the system.

How CCH & Co. can help

It's clear that while the new system is for less serious whiplash injuries is looking like it could potentially end up being a win for insurance consumers and most whiplash claimants. Our suggestion then, is that for less serious cases involving whiplash only, is to pursue the small claims track and the online portal.

However, if you have a more serious personal injury as a result of a car accident, such as a head injury, damage to your back, legs or arms, don't waste time – get in touch with the CCH & Co.  professional claims advice team right away on 020 8520 1021.

Serving the whole of the UK, they can talk you through your options, what the next best step is for you, help you gather evidence and even represent you in the courtroom. We know how traumatic the experience of a car accident can be and you can rest assured that we will not give up on you as we seek to have justice served in your favour.

To get your claims advice today from our professional solicitors, simply call us on 020 8520 1021. or use our Quick Online Enquiry form.

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Cartwright Cunningham Haselgrove & Co is a long-established firm. In 2022 we were proud to announce the acquisition of local personal injury specialists Romain Coleman Solicitors who were established in 1964.

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