Glossary Of Terms

Group of businesspeople having a meeting.
A solicitor or barrister presenting a case on for a client before a court or tribunal.

Article 75
Where a motor insurer can exempt itself from certain Road Traffic Act obligations due to a breach of contract under the terms of the insurance policy.

A lawyer who specialises in the representation of clients before a court or tribunal.

Burden of Proof
In criminal law the burden of proving a case lies with the prosecution which must prove guilt “beyond reasonable doubt”.. In civil cases including compensation claims, the claimant must prove negligence or breach of statutory duty on “the balance of probabilities”, ie more likely than not.

Civil Procedure Rules
Rules used in civil cases by the courts in England and Wales.

Common Law
Law created by the decisions of judges.

Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU)
The section within the Department for Work and Pensions responsible for recovering from insurance companies, social security benefits and hospital fees for emergency treatment paid as a result of an accident, injury or disease, where a compensation payment has been made.

Contributory Negligence
An agreement or finding that a claimant was partly to blame eg for an accident.

The legal costs of pursuing a claim. Usually the loser pays the winner’s costs.

Conditional Fee Agreement
Otherwise known as a “NO WIN/NO FEE AGREEMENT”. An agreement between a solicitor and a client that the solicitor will not claim their costs if the claim is lost. If the claim is won, the solicitor will claim a “SUCCESS FEE” in addition to their basic costs. Both the basic costs and the success fee are usually claimed from the other party.

A claim brought against a claimant by his opponent.

The financial award received upon the successful conclusion of a claim. For example “PAIN, SUFFERING AND LOSS OF AMENITY”, Loss of Earnings, Future Loss of Earnings, Cost of Care, Cost of Treatment etc.

Payments made by solicitors on behalf of their clients including, medical record fees, medical report fees, court fees and travelling expenses.

Duty of Care
An obligation imposed on an individual or organisation, requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.

A condition characterised by chronic widespread pain, a greatly heightened and painful response to physical pressure, fatigue and other symptoms.

General Damages
Compensation for the non-monetary aspects of harm suffered.

Interim Payments
Payments on account of damages made before a claim has settled.

Letter of Claim
The initial letter that is sent to the party that the claimant alleges is legally responsible for causing their injury, setting out the basis on which the claim is being made.

Litigation Friend
A claimant who is under 18 years of age, or who lacks mental capacity, must bring their claim through a Litigation Friend, usually a parent or guardian.

Limitation Period
The limitation period is the time limit you have to make a claim for compensation. It is usually three years from the date of the accident for those over eighteen years old or three years from the date of diagnosis for industrial disease cases. For children injured under the age of 18 the limitation period will start from their eighteenth birthday although a parent or guardian can represent the child before that time.

Law Society
The representative body for solicitors in England and Wales.

Legal Expenses Insurance
Insurance to indemnify a claimant against legal costs. Such a policy may be taken out either “Pre-Accident” or “Post Accident”.

Loss of Congenial Employment
A claim for damages where the claimant’s injuries have forced him to give up enjoyable work.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome
A condition characterised by chronic and sometimes severe pain, associated with referred pain through very painful muscle contractures known as “trigger points”.

Breach of a legal “DUTY OF CARE” owed by one party to another, which may give rise to a claim for damages.

Neuropathic Pain
A condition resulting from problems with signals from nerves, so that pain signals are sent to the brain, often where there is no obvious damage to the tissues.

Pain Mangemenet
Also called pain medicine is the medical discipline concerned with the relief of pain .

Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity
The legal term for the type of damages awarded to a claimant to compensate them for injury, as opposed to other types of damage (for example, damages for loss of earnings).

Part 36 Offer
An offer to settle a case made in accordance with Part 36 of the “CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES”.

Personal Injury Protocol
The written protocol introduced to encourage parties to reach a negotiated settlement without having to issue court proceedings.

The value of a claim for damages or part of a claim for damages.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurences Regulations (Riddor)
A 1995 Statutory Instrument requiring the reporting of deaths at work, major injuries caused by accidents at work, injuries to persons not at work that require hospital treatment, injuries arising from accidents in hospitals, and dangerous occurrences.

A legally qualified person who advises on matters of law.

Solicitors Regulation Authority
The regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales.

Somatoform Disorder
A condition characterised by physical symptoms that mimic physical injury or disease for which there is no identifiable physical cause

Special Damages
A claimant’s quantifiable monetary losses.

Degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis ) of the spinal vertebra and related tissue. Whilst there is no evidence that an accident can cause spondylosis, it is accepted that an accident may accelerate the progress of the condition.

Statutory Duty
A “DUTY OF CARE” created by legislation as opposed to a “COMMON LAW” duty created by judges.

Success Fee
The costs award that a solicitor is entitled to claim in successful claims pursued under a “CONDITIONAL FEE AGREEMENT”, in addition to their basic costs. Most success fees are now fixed.

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