Considerations Of Having A Personal Injury Scotland
If one has suffered an injury, or has unfortunately become the victim of negligence
when obtaining medical aid within the time frame of the last three years in Scotland, then they may be allowed to make a claim of personal injury, in order to receive compensation against the people responsible. While this may be applicable in places like England and Wales as well, there are a few significant differences when it comes to Scotland.
When it comes to Scotland, the names used for the parties involved, are slightly different from those that are used in England. The person who is making the claim is called the 'Pursuer', and the person accused of the wrongdoing is known as the 'Defender'. The actions are usually raised in a local court, commonly known as the Sheriff Court. Sometimes the actions could also be raised in Edinburgh in the Court of Session. In the case of a Sheriff Court, it will most probably be at a court close to where the injury has taken place. There is a disadvantage to the pursuer in such a case, as a limit of 750 pounds sterling for damages, is fixed. In case it goes below this limit, then the court will not support any legal cost incurred by the pursuer. In cases such as this, actions are best pursued by claimants personally.
Actions dealing with medical negligence are usually raised in the Court of Session, as they are extremely complex in nature.
A pre-trial discussion is not a requirement when it comes to Scottish jurisdiction. Another disadvantage is that the case is not ready to be proceeded the day it enters court, and thus speedy resolutions will not occur. In Scotland, the investigation is usually carried only after the action has been raised, so there is a great deal of delay and it can be very frustrating for the claimer.
Paying for the Claim
Legal aid for the pursuer is available if they meet certain requirements. In case the requirements are not met, then other funding options may be made available to them.
Once an action has been raised, a pursuer will have to show that the defender owes them a duty of care, and that it was the defender's failure in that duty, which resulted in the accident occurring. The injuries suffered by the pursuer should be a consequence of the failure of duty by the defender.
What can be claimed?
The main claims are past and future wage loss, Solatium, and services.
Past wage loss refers to the earnings of the pursuer, which were lost due to missed work as a result of the injuries stated in the claim. For the future wage loss, the Ogden Actuarial tables are used.
Solatium refers to the compensation that is to be paid to the pursuer for pain and suffering. This means that this covers any non-financial loss incurred by the pursuer. This is decided based upon the extent of the injury suffered, pain awareness and any pain that could realistically be expected in the future, and loss of any amenity, which means in case the claimant can no longer participate in some sports or enjoyable pastimes.
In cases of medical negligence, an expert would be needed to give a report stating that there has been negligence. It is not easy to prove negligence, so the courts need to use more complex tests, as compared to other injury cases.
by: Lawrence White
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