We've talked about Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) before now because it is an important topic. In Scotland, the "normal rule" whereby an unsuccessful claimant for personal injury compensation will no longer have to pay court costs / expenses if the claim fails will have various exceptions. In these situations, the claimant will lose QOCS protection and have to pay the costs of their opponent. The claimant will only be liable for their opponent's expenses in Scotland where they have: made a fraudulent representation or "otherwise acted fraudulently" in connection with the claim or proceedings;behaved in a manner which is "manifestly unreasonable" in connection with the claim or proceedings; orconducted the proceedings in a manner considered by the court to be an abuse of process. We have waited three years for the QOCS regulations to come in. They were enacted from 30 June 2021. In many respects, the regulations mirror those already in force in England and Continue Reading
Avoiding losing money on your personal injury claim
It makes no sense to behave in a way that any claim you have for personal injury is reduced through your own conduct.
The articles listed below deal in some way with things you can do - or should consider - to avoid your compensation damages being reduced below an otherwise "fair" level.
An "innocent third party car claim" is how some motor insurers describe what you have if one of their customers has crashed into your vehicle and it’s not your fault. In other words, the motor insurers in question are the third-party insurers, not your own motor insurers. Their customer was to blame for the accident. The third-party insurers’ offer to you is that you should let them take care of you and your vehicle in sorting things out. This help from the other driver's insurer can include: the repair of your vehicle (or a payment to represent its value if it has been written off), use of a hire vehicle, free of charge, while your own vehicle is being repaired; and help if you have been injured – to include treatment/rehabilitation and compensation. But couldn't you deal through your own insurers? If you have comprehensive motor insurance, one of your options is to deal with a claim for damage to your car through your own motor insurers. This can be an involved process. You may Continue Reading
Tea drinking is a national pastime in Nepal. They have all sorts of teas - sweet, butter, hot, cold, black, white. The ritual with tea is that, when offered tea, you decline it and your host insists that you have some. No matter how much you say no, they still insist that you have it. So you drink it. In other words, it's a situation with drink consumption where "no" means "yes". With personal injury court actions, as the claimant, if your opponent offers you settlement via a Minute of Tender, you want to say "no" (because you always want them to make you a better offer). Unfortunately, you might find that however much you say "no", depending on the level of offer, your legal adviser may have to insist that you say "yes" and accept it. It's one of the situations that can happen with Minutes of Tender. You think your personal injury claim’s worth £20,000 but you’ve got a formal offer (Minute of Tender) in your court action to settle at £10,000. Should you accept the Continue Reading
“The room is full of steam from the kettle but you still make the tea.” These were words of my school chemistry teacher. What was the point? That a small volume of water produces a large volume of steam. If you put water on to boil for a cup of tea but then get distracted by something else, you may return to find the room filled with steam but there will probably still be enough water left to make your brew. This idea that you can forget about something for a while, come back to it and the outcome will still be okay seems to be one that many folk with possible personal injury compensation claims have too. The problem is that personal injury claims are up against a hard deadline. In most cases, that deadline is 3 years from the date of the accident/injury. If you don’t settle your claim by negotiation within the 3-year period, you’ll have to raise a court action to keep the claim alive beyond the deadline - or lose the right to claim forever. It’s inevitable Continue Reading
"Give me 10 men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world," These were the words of Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), long-suffering superior of the hilariously inept Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) in the Pink Panther films of the 1960s and 70s. Another crucial supporting role to Clouseau was that of Cato Fong (Burt Kwouk – pronounced “Kwok”), the Inspector’s Chinese manservant, trained to spring regular surprise attacks on his boss to keep him alert and practised in martial arts. A prime example of Clouseau’s extreme destructive power is in one apartment scene where, with Cato’s assistance, he destroys not only a four-poster bed and a TV set but also inflicts structural damage on the flat below, occupied by the hysterically twitching Dreyfus. We could say that Burt Kwouk’s role was crucial in support of Peter Sellers’ performance. And, because we love a pun, we could also say that, in the context of personal injury claims, QOCS (which is Continue Reading
Water seems a rather boring substance. Ice floats in water, as you'd expect. But is that typical behaviour for substances as between their liquid and solid forms? As you cool water down, it contracts until you get to 4°C. Then it suddenly expands again and its density reduces. So, by the time water freezes to ice, you have a material which is less dense than the liquid that it’s sitting on. There is no other known molecular material which will actually float on its melt. As a comparison, if you look at the olive oil sold in a supermarket, on a relatively cold day, at the bottom of the bottle there is an off-whitish deposit. That is olive oil ice. Olive oil is a 'normal' liquid which, when it freezes, contracts. The frozen stuff goes down to the bottom. Water brainwashes us from a young age to think that when you freeze a fluid it should become a solid which goes to the surface. But water is unique in that respect. With Personal Injury Compensation Continue Reading
Personal injury claims come with stress attached. You have the strain of the pain and discomfort from the injury, the hassle of not being able to engage in everyday activities and possibly also the worry of loss of income through not being able to work. Coping with injury puts added pressure on your relationships. Particularly your closest relationships. This can lead to relationship breakdowns, whether that is splitting up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or separating from your spouse or civil partner. Even the strongest relationships can be undermined. Personal injuries can be physical or mental, or both. As an injured person, you may develop depressive symptoms or changes in personality. In this article, we are going to look at what Scots law says about personal injury compensation in the context of relationship breakdown. We will focus particularly on financial provision on divorce or termination of civil partnership. We'll look at the situation Continue Reading
We get stressed about money, reputation, safety, relationships, life changes… Life changes are a journey. And they’re journeys that usually involve stress. By the end, you're a different person. Both elements – change and stress – play their part in the transformation process. Personal injury claims are stressful. In this article, we’ll look at the nature and causes of the various stresses. Then, having considered these ‘problems’, we’ll list out the ‘solutions’ - the reasons why, nevertheless, you should go ahead with a personal injury compensation claim. Getting injured creates its own acute stress at the time. Often, there’s immediate severe pain. Beyond that, you have a loss of independence – with increased dependence on others. And also fears for the future: will you recover to full fitness? Most people seek legal representation for a personal injury compensation claim after the acute phase of the injury is over. Perhaps after you get out of hospital or after you Continue Reading
When asked about his nationality, legendary Scottish fiddler, Johnny Cunningham, liked to tell people that he was half Scottish and half Irish. This explained, he said, why half of him wanted to drink all the time and the other half never wanted to pay for it. Everyone prefers a free option if it’s realistic… …and cost is one important aspect of personal injury compensation claims. What is it that personal injury clients want? In many cases they will say that it’s about “justice”. It’s the principle of the thing. In practice, what this boils down to is questions about how much your claim is likely to be worth and how long it is all likely to take to get justice for you. From the solicitor’s point of view, the main question tends to be: “Is there a claim?” - Will we be able to prove someone caused your injury by negligence? And, of course, another important question you’ll have is: “How much is it going to cost me to get help from this solicitor? Cost Continue Reading
“Can I buy or sell a house without a solicitor?” Grigor & Young have newspaper cuttings books back to the 19th century, and that’s how one cutting from the mid-1980s is headlined. The body text continues: “In theory, you can do much of the work yourself. In theory, you can also remove your own appendix – given a sharp knife, a reliable textbook and a bit of practice.” Seth Godin picked up on this theme of expertise in a post on his daily blog. He asked: “Okay, how hard can it be? (to be an expert). Actually, it might be very hard. Actually, expertise has value. Actually, just because someone said it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. Or useful.” What’s the chance you’d be able to do such conveyancing or (especially) surgery yourself? Limited, you would think. Less than 10%? Less than 1%? And a small chance is what you would expect to have, in general, if you were hoping to overturn a finding of 10% contributory negligence in a personal injury Continue Reading
When someone is seriously injured in an accident, the effect does not stop with that person. In order to get a person’s life back on track after an accident, their family may need a lot of support too. Problems can pile up quickly. If the injured person is incapacitated – maybe in a coma – the rest of their family may soon be in crisis. How are your bills going to be paid? How are your children going to cope? Particular issues which can cause overwhelming strain include the inability to get access to the incapacitated person’s bank account in order that the day-to-day running of the family household can be maintained. These are problems you can plan for. And, even if you have not planned, there are still things you can do to overcome the difficulties. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do to plan for unexpected events such as this. We’ll then go on to look at what options you have to recover the situation if you need to try to sort things out after such a Continue Reading
Do you know what a thagomizer is? The thagomizer is an arrangement of 4 to 10 spikes on the tails of dinosaurs such as the Stegosaurus. The pointy bits provided a defensive weapon against predators. Stegosaurus was a herbivore. With a toothless beak and small teeth, it was not designed to eat flesh. Legendary cartoonist, Gary Larson, coined the term ‘thagomizer’ in his 1982 image of a caveman giving a PowerPoint presentation to colleagues and telling them it was so-called “after the late Thag Simmons”. Poor Thag. ‘Thagomizer’ has come to be adopted as an informal anatomical term. It’s used on the Stegosaurus display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.. Clearly, Stegosaurus had a mighty sting in the tail, if required. Personal injury claims can have a sting in the tail too, if you don’t watch out. The cruel defence is one of ‘delay’. Wait too long and your claim will become unenforceable and lost forever. As we have discussed elsewhere, the Continue Reading