Claims and Negligence/Personal Injury

Introduction to Claims under Negligence

To establish a claim for Negligence including personal injury a claimant (person making the claim) has to prove three elements

  1. That the defendant owed to him/her (Claimant) a duty of care
  2. There is an actual breach of duty of care
  3. As a result, the claimant has suffered a Loss Caused by the breach of duty of care

Example

  • Ahmad is driving his car. Ahmad is under a duty of care to drive carefully. Ahmad suddenly or due to road rage started driving erratically, his erratic driving will breach the duty of care which he owes to other road users. While driving at high speed he has crashed into Alan’s car, and Alan has also suffered injuries. Ahmad is likely to be held liable for injuries to Alan.

Note

In imposing a duty of care on the defendant the court will always consider whether it is FAIR, JUST and REASONABLE for the court to impose such duty in the light of Policy Consideration with which court is concerned.

  • There is no general duty to rescue another person (except where a prior relationship exists between defendant and claimant, an example is a person cared by a carer)
  • There is no general duty to prevent other people from causing damage except where there is prior special relationship or where there is special relationship between the defendant and wrongdoing party or where someone creates a source of danger sparked off by a wrongdoing party or where someone fails to take reasonable steps to abate a known danger being created by a wrongdoing party

Claims against Local Authority

Local authorities owe a duty of care to its residents, whether it is in regards to schools, hospitals, planning permission, human rights or child abuses under its custody, and any breach of the duty of care which has resulted in damages will likely to result in a claim in negligence. However, in awarding damages court may consider policy consideration and may limit the damages or can exclude the damages on policy grounds. (Policy means, general intention and policy of  the Government)

Claims against Police

Claims against police for losses resulting from police’s negligence in the day to day conduct of their operations will only succeed where there is sufficient “proximity” (nearness in time and space) between the police and the claimant. (Based on Government Policy)

Claims Against Fire Brigade

Fire brigades are not under a duty to answer the call for a help and are not under a duty to take care to do so, if therefore they fail to turn up, or fail to turn up on time, because they have carelessly misunderstood the message, get lost on the way they will not be held liable. Fire Brigade will only be held liable if they make the claimant’s position worse than if they had failed to attend. (Based on Government Policy)

Claims against NHS

NHS owes its patient a duty of care and any breach of such duty, which has caused a damage to a person will result in a breach of such duty and a person can claim for professional negligence.

Examples

  • Frank’s was left paralysed by the misconduct of a junior doctor, NHS owes Frank a duty of care, that duty is breached by the negligence of Junior Doctor and Frank has suffered an injury consequently NHS will be held liable for the negligence.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legalally does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.

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