Statutory Limitation in Personal Injury Sexual Assault Cases

Statutory Limitation in Personal Injury Sexual Assault Cases. In the pursuit of justice for victims of sexual assault, legal frameworks play a crucial role. However, statutory limitations often stand as barriers, restricting the timeframe within which survivors can seek legal recourse. In the UK, these limitations have long been a point of contention, particularly in cases of sexual assault. Statutory Limitation can be complex in personal injury cases within the UK legal system however in some situations they can be disapplied to sexual assault cases to ensure justice is served.

Understanding Statutory Limitations

Statutory limitations, also known as limitation periods, are legal timeframes within which legal action must be initiated. In personal injury cases, including those of sexual assault. In the UK, the Limitation Act 1980 sets out the general rules for time limits in civil cases, including personal injury claims. Generally speaking any claim must be brought within 3 years of the wrongful act (or from the date of knowledge). As such any victim of a sexual assault should bring legal action for personal injury within this short time frame.

Challenges in Sexual Assault Cases

Sexual assault cases present unique challenges compared to other personal injury cases. Survivors often face significant emotional trauma, shame, fear, and societal stigma, which may deter them from reporting the assault immediately or seeking legal redress within the prescribed timeframe. Additionally, in cases of sexual assault, evidence collection and disclosure may be more complex, further delaying the legal process.

Recognising the distinct nature of sexual assault cases, there have been calls for the disapplication of statutory limitations in such instances. Disapplying limitations means that survivors of sexual assault would not be restricted by time constraints when seeking legal action against their perpetrators. This approach acknowledges the complexities involved in reporting and recovering from sexual violence and aims to prioritise the interests of survivors.

There are several compelling reasons as to why the disapplication of statutory limitations should be allowed in sexual assault cases:

Trauma and Delayed Disclosure: Survivors of sexual assault may require significant time to process their trauma and muster the courage to come forward. Imposing time limits can unjustly penalise survivors who are unable to report the assault within the prescribed timeframe due to the psychological impact of the experience.

Power Dynamics and Coercion.

Perpetrators of sexual assault often exploit power differentials and exert coercion over their victims, leading to delayed reporting or reluctance to seek legal recourse. Disapplying limitations acknowledges the inherent power dynamics in sexual violence and empowers survivors to seek justice at their own pace.

Societal Attitudes and Stigma: Societal attitudes towards sexual assault survivors, including victim-blaming and disbelief, can further deter individuals from coming forward within the statutory timeframe. Disapplying limitations sends a clear message that survivors will be supported and that their experiences are valid regardless of when they choose to disclose.

Disapplying Limitation

Unfortunately, within the current legal framework certain hurdles have to be overcome to be able to escape the 3-year time frame in personal injury cases. The court does have discretion in personal injury cases to disapply the limitation period. The court will only allow this to occur where it is equitable to do so and after taking into consideration whether disapplying the 3 year time frame would prejudice the Claimant and Defendant.

The Court will consider the full circumstances and will pay particular attention to:

  • The length and reasons for the delay.
  • The effect of the delay on any evidence.
  • The conduct of the alleged perpetrator/Defendant after the assault occurred.
  • The duration of any disability of the Claimant following the assault.
  • The extent to which the Claimant acted promptly once they knew they had a potential claim against the perpetrator/Defendant.

Any steps taken by the Claimant to obtain legal and/or medical advice or evidence.

Every case will be considered on its own facts and merits and therefore there are no guarantees that a claim will be able to proceed after the limitation period. However with the right legal guidance a case can be made to persuade the court that disapplication is in the interests of justice and a claim being brought out of time should be allowed to proceed.

In the pursuit of justice for survivors of sexual assault, the disapplication of statutory limitations in personal injury cases is a necessary step. By recognising the unique challenges faced by survivors and prioritising their interests, the legal system can ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions, irrespective of the passage of time. We have a fair way to go yet to reform the Limitation Act and the restrictions applied in the UK, however, with the right legal advice, there are steps to be taken to overcome these strict time frames.

How We Can Help With Your Claim for Rape and Sexual Assault

To see how we can help get in touch today:

For the Quality Legal Service You Deserve.

Kelly Prydderch – March 2024


No-Fault Evictions

No-Fault Evictions. It is likely that there will ultimately come a point for every landlord where they will need to evict a tenant from their property, irrespective of whether the tenant has committed any wrongdoing. How should a landlord approach this? Arise Section 21 Notice! A Section 21 Notice is the first step for a landlord in regaining possession of their property and can sometimes act as the much-needed trigger to force the tenant to vacate the property without the need to bring formal possession proceedings.

Section 21 Notices: What Are They?

A Section 21 notice is a legal instrument used by landlords in England and Wales and is the first step in regaining possession of their properties without the need to specify a particular reason for the eviction. This process is often referred to as a “no-fault” eviction and falls under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

Before serving a Section 21 notice, several conditions must have been met:

  1. The tenancy must be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).
  2. The fixed term of the tenancy must have expired, or it should be periodic.
  3. The landlord must not be in breach of any legal obligations regarding the property.
  4. The tenant must have received the necessary legal documentation, which includes, but is not limited to, the Energy Performance Certificate, a copy of the government’s “How to Rent” guide, and if applicable, tenancy deposit certification and the gas safety certificate.

The Process for Serving a Section 21 Notice

Form 6A should be used when serving a Section 21 Notice upon a tenant. It is vital that the Notice has been correctly served on the tenant and the necessary documentation has been drawn up to evidence this service. Furthermore, the correct dates and notice periods must be provided within the Notice as failure to do so can be fatal to any subsequent possession proceedings.

The Possession Proceedings

If the tenant does not vacate the property by the date specified in the Section 21 Notice, the landlord may apply to the court for possession using the accelerated possession procedure, which involves submitting an N5B claim form to the court.

The Court will then issue the claim and afford the tenant 14 days to file a defence. Depending on their response, the Court will then decide whether or not to make an Order for possession without a hearing.

Ensuring the N5B form is as comprehensive and accurate as possible is crucial in bringing a successful claim for possession and any discrepancies could be fatal to its success.

The Renters’ Reform Bill: Proposed Changes

The Renters’ Reform Bill, set to be introduced in England, contains several key provisions:

  1. Abolition of Section 21 Notices: The bill aims to abolish Section 21 notices, effectively ending “no-fault” evictions. This change is designed to enhance tenant security and create a fairer rental market.
  2. Enhanced Tenant Protection: The legislation is expected to introduce stronger tenant protections and additional safeguards against eviction.
  3. Increased Notice Periods: The bill may extend the notice period for Section 21 notices to six months in certain situations, offering tenants more time to find alternative housing.
  4. New Grounds for Possession: To regain possession of a property, landlords may need to rely on specific grounds, such as selling the property, using it for themselves, or redeveloping it.

Landlords should be starting to consider the potential impact of the Renters’ Reform Bill on their circumstances and planning should be well underway in readiness for its implementation.

How can we help?

With the heavily anticipated ‘Renters Reform Bill’ currently making its way through Parliament, landlords may wish to start considering their options now. Understanding Section 21 notices is crucial for landlords to effectively manage their rental properties while respecting their legal obligations. By following the correct formalities, landlords can navigate the “no-fault” eviction process smoothly and successfully.

At Cohen Cramer, we can oversee the entire process on the landlord’s behalf, from the early stages of drafting and serving the Section 21 Notice up until possession proceedings are concluded. Our unparalleled expertise in no-fault evictions equips us to meet the unique needs of landlords, offering them peace of mind and a seamless service.

Contact us

If you want to discuss your matter further, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our disputes team today either by:

Alternatively, you can add your contact details into the box below and a member of our team will contact you.

No-fault evictions

Firework Injury Compensation Claim

Firework Injury Compensation Claim. It’s that time of year again when we all don our winter wardrobe and head out to various organised events to celebrate all that Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas, and New Year have to offer. Whilst we sit back and enjoy the fireworks we should spare a thought for the event organisers and the work and effort which is required to put on these types of events.

Don’t play with fire

Depending on the complexity of the event and whether or not any attractions could be considered risky or dangerous will depend on what actions the organiser will have to take to ensure the event runs safely and adheres to all health and safety guidelines. Whilst this could be voluminous, one of the big parts of running an event is to ensure your staff are well trained and aware of all the processes required during the running of the event in addition to their day-to-day job role.

Despite measures taken every year, there are still incidents whereby employees sustain an injury whether from an ill-prepared event or from some colleague who decides to engage in some tomfoolery!

Understand the risks

When asked to assist or supervise an event as part of your employment your employer should be making sure that you are fully trained to deal with the task provided to you, they are also obligated to ensure you understand the risks and to make sure your fellow employees are safe and competent.

If training has not been given and employees are not aware of the requirements of their role or if simply a colleague is ‘messing around’ and not called upon their actions then the employer could be held responsible for the negligent actions of their staff. Where an injury is sustained as a result of this negligence then the employee has every right to pursue a claim against their employer for personal injury and loss.

Safety First

Imagine trying to run or work at a firework display or bonfire where a colleague is unruly and unsafe. We often hear of people throwing highly flammable items on a fire or setting off fireworks without any proper skill. Although the gunpowder plot was foiled had Guy Fawkes succeeded then a full-on catastrophe would have ensued!

The same can be said for an organised event, you want to make sure that you are safe whilst conducting your duties and this responsibility predominantly lies with your employer. If you are operating in an unsafe environment with untrained or unsupervised colleagues, especially when around hazards such as fire and fireworks this too could end in disaster and possibly injury.

If you find yourself in this situation ensure you speak up, and report issues to your superior immediately to try and avert any danger. If you are unsure of your job role and need advice then you should seek assistance. Remember it is their responsibility to train you and keep you safe.

How we can help  with your firework injury compensation claim

If you have been on the receiving end of some negligent actions whilst at work and have suffered an injury we may be able to assist.

To get your claim started or to have a chat to see what we can do to help, get in touch with us today:

  • call us now on 0113 224 7830/ 07793 821361 (eve- w/ends)
  • email us at
  • complete the contact form at the bottom of this page
  • book a call back at your convenience

For the Quality Legal Service You Deserve.

Kelly Prydderch – November 2023

Firework Injury Compensation Claim

Causation in Injury Claims

Causation in Injury Claims. After submitting a claim and receiving an ‘admission of fault’; to a Claimant the next step in the claim process is to quantify their claim and receive a settlement. It can, therefore, be somewhat confusing when a Defendant raises the issue of causation. An explanation of ‘they have admitted they were negligent, however, they deny that your injury and loss was as a result of their negligence’ can be difficult to comprehend.

One of the most common discussions I engage with my clients is that of causation. For legal professionals dealing with injury claims daily, it is a relatively simple concept. However, for many clients, it is the first time that they have encountered this phrase, especially in a legal context.

The ’Burden’ of Proof

In a nutshell, we simply have to prove that any injury and loss incurred has been ‘caused by’ the negligent act of the Defendant. Simple right? Not always.

As a starting point, when looking at causation we consider the ‘but for’ test. But for the breach of duty by the Defendant would the Claimant have suffered the loss and damage? If this cannot be established, then the claim is not likely to succeed.

Causation Issues can arise when medical attention has not been sought promptly when the Claimant already has preexisting medical conditions or injuries or when the incident itself has not been reported. This is not an exhaustive list however it gives us an idea of the problems which can be encountered.

Preexisting condition

If a Claimant is already suffering from a preexisting condition or is recovering from an injury when an accident occurs, then this can cause complications. This does not mean that a claim cannot succeed, however, it will be required to prove that any condition has been made worse as a result of the new injury.

A Defendant in this circumstance will be looking for inconsistencies in evidence and may challenge the injury on the basis that symptoms were present prior to any negligence.

It is therefore important to ensure prompt medical advice is sought. Any increase in medication or the requirement for treatment should be logged and any evidence obtained should be retained. Expert evidence will be required to establish any link between the accident and the new or increased symptoms.

Prompt reporting and medical attention

An especially common issue that arises in accident claims occurs when a Claimant has an accident but fails to report the accident or their injuries for a period of time. Without a contemporaneous report of the accident, it is easy for the Defendant to challenge a claim.

By reporting the accident as soon as possible there will be an evidential log which will assist in proving the accident occurred. Similarly, when seeking medical attention this should be done as soon as possible. If injuries are not recorded in medical notes for a period of weeks after the accident occurred then it makes proving they occurred as a result of the accident difficult.

Often a Claimant will seek advice from their GP and may focus on the main area of concern. For example, if you fall over an abandoned box in a supermarket and injure your arm, leg, and face, with the facial injury being the most painful and obvious injury it is easy to only refer to this when talking to your GP/medical practitioner. However, it will follow that only this area of injury will be recorded. When it then comes to submitting your claim problems may be encountered when claiming for all 3 areas of injury.

As you can see proving causation may not be as straightforward as it seems, however as explained above there are simple, logical steps that can be taken right from the start to make pursuing a claim a little less complicated.

Kelly Prydderch – October 2023

Why chose Cohen Cramer Solicitors?

We pride ourselves on our personal service; we don’t have banks of receptionists putting you on hold. As our client, you will have direct access by telephone and email to the person who is acting on your behalf.

Our solicitors and lawyers have the expertise, experience, and knowledge to ensure that you receive every single penny that you are due.

To get your claim started or to have a chat to see what we can do to help, get in touch with us today:

  • call us now on 0113 224 7830/ 07793 821361 (eve- w/ends)
  • email us at
  • complete the contact form at the bottom of this page
  • book a call back at your convenience

For the Quality Legal Service You Deserve.

The Health and Safety at Work Act.

The Health and Safety at Work Act. This piece of legislation is vital and applicable to all workplaces regardless of their size. It is in place to help ensure that all employers provide a safe working environment for their employees and that they look out for their health and safety.

This blog will outline and explore what makes you eligible to claim compensation in such circumstances.

What are my employers’ duties?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out that employers must take reasonable steps to remove or reduce any risk of injury which may be posed to their employees. This is known as the employers’ duty of care to their employees.

In order for an accident at work claim to be successful, you must prove that your employer has been negligent which involves them breaching their duty of care which has resulted in your injuries. Each workplace will have different steps they are required to take to minimise these risks, but your employer should perform regular risk assessments to address any potential threats to the safety of their employees.

Here are some of the common accidents which may occur in a workplace:

  • Receiving no training resulting in performing part of your job incorrectly
  • Manual handling injuries
  • Faulty or inadequately maintained work machinery
  • Slipping on a wet floor or tripping over a hazard that should not have been there in the first place

What obligations does the Act place on employers?

The Act itself is a very large piece of legislation and it is very easy to get lost down a rabbit hole when researching into this, therefore the following points highlight the main aspects of the Act.

A safe place of work

Your employer is under an obligation to provide you with a safe physical environment whilst at work. This includes things varying from cleanliness, fire safety, and perhaps the handling of harmful substances.

Some working environments such as construction sites will have more factors to consider than those of an office building.

Safe equipment

Any equipment that you need to use at work needs to be maintained to ensure that it is safe to use. Employers may undertake periodic reviews and checks on the equipment to ensure that it is safe.

Staff training

Employees must be provided with relevant training to ensure that they are responsible and competent when it comes to their job roles. Training may include manual handling or training on how to use a particular piece of work equipment.

Risk assessments

This piece of legislation outlines that the employers should protect ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ the safety of their employees. One way in which they can evidence that is by undertaking risk assessments and identifying any risks that may pose a threat to the safety of their employees. Once these have been identified, preventative action can then be put in place.

Evidence is key!

As solicitors working within this area, we would always recommend that you seek medical attention for any injury that you have sustained as a result of an accident. This will later form part of your evidence within your compensation claim.

Another element of evidence that is very important if you have been involved in an accident at work is to ensure that you complete and file an accident report with your employer confirming all aspects of the accident.

Other evidence which is very useful in these circumstances may include:

  • Photographs of your injury
  • Photographs or information surrounding the hazard
  • Any independent witness information

All of the above evidence will help your solicitors gather enough information that may support your claim and assist in proving negligence on the part of your employers.

Time limits.

The Limitation Act 1980 sets out that the general time limit for starting a claim for an accident at work is three years. This time begins from the date of the accident itself or from your date of knowledge which means the date that you became aware that the negligence of your employers caused your injuries.

There are some exceptions to this rule, which include someone who is making a claim, and they are under 18, or that they are mentally incapable of making a claim themselves.

Compensation for Health and Safety at Work Act Claims.

The Judicial College Guidelines are used by Solicitors to assist in valuing your claim for the injuries that you sustained due to the accident.

Along with this, you will be able to claim for the following costs which have been incurred:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Care costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses

Our team of solicitors at Cohen Cramer will be able to provide advice and please get in touch with an advisor from our team should you need further information.

Jordanna Gee – October 2023

Get in Touch

To get your claim started or to have a chat to see what we can do to help, get in touch with us today:

  • call us now on 0113 224 7830/ 07793 821361 (eve- w/ends)
  • email us at
  • complete the contact form at the bottom of this page
  • book a call back at your convenience

For the Quality Legal Service You Deserve.

The Health and Safety at Work Act.

Negligent Medical Treatment in military cases

Negligent Medical Treatment in military cases. What happens when a person has an injury that is made worse by subsequent treatment?

The High Court recently considered the case of Jenkinson v Hertfordshire Council 2023 EWKC 872(KB) which concerned a public liability accident involving a fractured ankle that required surgery Mr J made a claim against his local council that was responsible for maintaining the highway after he sustained an injury when his foot went down an unguarded manhole cover. The council accepted they were at fault and were liable to pay Mr J compensation.

Mr J subsequently had surgery which went terribly wrong, and he required six additional surgical procedures. The council argued that the negligent treatment by the surgical team broke the chain of causation and that their liability for any injury and subsequent financial liability, caused by the original fall came to an end when the negligent surgical procedure caused further and far greater problems for Mr J. When proceedings were issued, the council sought to bring in the Health Trust to argue their liability was limited. 

At first instance, District Judge Vernon considered the High Court guidance in the case of Webb v Barclays Bank and Portsmouth NHS Trust 2001. This case stated that the negligent medical treatment had to be regarded as “grossly negligent” before the party who caused the original injury could escape liability. The Court of Appeal in Webb found the doctor’s negligence did not.  absolve W’s employers of their responsibility and financial liability for causing the injury in the first place. It was reiterated for any treatment (or failure to treat) to break the chain of causation against an original defendant, then this would have to be so bad as to constitute “gross negligence”.

How does this apply to military claims?

The question may of course be academic if we are dealing with the same defendant who caused, through their negligence, not only the original injury but then went on to provide negligent medical treatment. Where treatment is provided outside of the military, then consideration may need to be given to bringing in those providing the treatment where there is evidence of “gross negligence” in the provision of said treatment. 

The starting point in determining whether the medical treatment was carried out in a ‘grossly negligent’ manner will be the claimant’s expert evidence. The writer is of the view that where there is evidence of negligent treatment, it is, if at all possible, preferable to seek to recover all damages against the party responsible for the original injury.

Legal help with your military claim

For a full assessment and overview of your claim get in touch with us today.

Your claim can be dealt with under a conditional fee agreement. This means that if your claim is not successful then, subject to compliance with our terms and conditions, you will not have to pay for the work we have done on your behalf.

Negligent Medical Treatment in military cases

Diane Askwith August 2023

Social Media #HelpOrHindrance

Social Media #HelpOrHindrance .There is no escaping that we now live in a world full of social media and digital communications. There are now so many social media platforms that it is unusual for someone to not have at least one account. Many of us are guilty of sharing details of our private lives, posting our whereabouts, and detailing exploits for friends, family, or the whole online population to see.

Even with tight security settings, a social media profile picture or a comment on a public site can potentially provide someone with information about you that you may not want them to know.

Putting Social Media on Trial

You may be wondering how this is relevant to pursuing a claim for personal injuries.

Traditionally, especially in higher-value cases, Defendants could use surveillance techniques to film those pursuing a claim to ensure that the claim being pursued was genuine and/or not exaggerated. Whilst this is still an occasional practice, social media has opened up an easy, cheaper way to ‘spy on’ or ‘monitor’ a Claimant’s actions.

Cases have been unwound after screenshots from social sites have been used as evidence. For example, a Claimant who suffered a serious leg injury and could no longer ride a bike was exposed for cycling up and down mountains. Other Claimants who have pursued claims for loss of holiday have been shown enjoying their dream cruise whilst ‘checking in’ at every port.

Even a simple picture can potentially be damaging. A person with facial scarring who is embarrassed by the way they look might regularly change their profile pictures. This could be used by a defendant to argue that posting photographs for all to see are not the actions of someone embarrassed by their looks.

Pulling at Social Threads

Whilst a snapshot of your life may not actually represent your factual position (what if you were supporting friends who had been biking and you were simply posing with your bike?), once the evidence has been obtained it casts an obvious doubt onto your claim. This could cause the Defendant to dig deeper for any inconsistencies and they could use this evidence to discredit you.

Social Media can be a key aspect of someone’s potential downfall. There are examples of this in the public eye, such as former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose WhatsApp messages have been called as evidence in the COVID enquiry. Similarly, in the United States, former President Trump has faced accusations of witness intimidation for comments made on his Truth Social platform in the wake of several indictments.

It isn’t however all bad. Being aware of the impact social media can have and demonstrating caution when posting whilst pursuing a claim for personal injury should ensure that no controversial evidence is obtained.

Supporting your Claim

Social media can even help with pursuing a claim. If you were injured whilst out somewhere not local, photographs taken and uploaded could come in useful. Historical posts might also demonstrate that you regularly took part in an activity that has since become impossible post-injury.

The key message when it comes to social media use, after submitting a claim for personal injury (or in fact at any time whether pursuing a claim or not) is to look at what you are posting. Could it be misconstrued, who can see the post, and what meaning can be discerned from its content?

In January 2023, there were 57.1 million active social media users in the UK (source: Statistica). Multiply that by a typical number of posts per year and it would stretch easily into the billions. That’s a huge amount of content and a potentially endless source of evidence either to help or hinder your case. Think before you act and consider the consequences. It could be the difference between a successful case or a less-than-savoury result.

Kelly Prydderch – August 2023

Failing to comply with a court deadline

Failing to comply with a court deadline. When you instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf you place your trust in them. You expect them to do their job correctly and for the end result to match your expectations. Occasionally mistakes are made; we are all human, but this does not mean that you should just accept the error and shrug.

If you believe your solicitor has failed you then you need to seek expert advice from, ironically, another solicitor.

Missing a court deadline

One of the more common errors made within the legal profession is missing a court deadline. By this, I mean that your solicitor failed to comply with the timeframe put in place by the court. It could be a failure to serve a document in time, to respond to questions, or adequately prepare for a hearing.

As in life in general, missing a deadline is never a good thing. Missing a court deadline can lead to a sanction; at best a written reprimand; at worse your action can be struck out with the double whammy of a costs order being made against you. Essentially you pay for the privilege of having your claim struck out due to your solicitors’ negligence. This can have an impact on your finances, reputation, and well-being. When this happens, it is important to seek immediate legal advice from a firm that specialises in professional negligence claims.

Bringing a professional negligence claim

To be successful in a claim for professional negligence, you must first provide evidence that the solicitor breached their duty of care. This can be challenging, as you will have to show that no reasonable solicitor would have acted in the same way under similar circumstances. It is not enough to show that you didn’t win your case; in litigation, someone has to lose. Showing negligence is not always straightforward and you will need a solicitor with expert knowledge of the area of law relevant to your original action as well as expertise in pursuing negligence claims.

In addition, you will also have to show that your solicitor’s negligent actions caused you loss, this is usually in the form of financial loss or reputational damage. Again, instructing a solicitor with the appropriate expertise is crucial to establishing your losses and ensuring that such is recovered from the offending solicitor. On this note, all solicitors are required to carry insurance for such eventualities so there should be no trouble in being paid out when your professional negligence claim is successful.

Having already been prejudiced by the actions of one solicitor you may be wary of launching another claim that you believe will be time-consuming and expensive. This is where we step up. Our dispute resolution team can review the matter and advise you as to whether you have a claim and if so, what it may be worth.

Get the professional help you need.

if you believe that your claim has been prejudiced by your solicitor missing a court deadline, then get in touch with us today. We can offer flexible funding arrangements including fixed fees and “no win no fee” funding subject to your claim meeting our risk assessment criteria.

To see how we can help:

James Colvin July 2023

Pot Holes – Jog on

Pot Holes – Jog on. Running. It’s just one foot in front of the other, right? It is difficult to remember the last time I walked (or ran) down a pothole free street. Maintaining a straight line is getting more and more difficult. Instead, it’s a merry dance of side-stepping, leaping and generally trying to keep your eyes peeled for hazards.

As a runner (or a cyclist), hitting a pothole while on a run can be a painful and dangerous experience. Not only does it break the pace and momentum of the run (or ride), but it can also cause serious injuries that can set back a runner’s training for weeks or even months. Potholes are a common sight on roads and footpaths, and they pose a significant risk to any runner.

The most common injuries from potholes are twisted ankles, sprains, and joint pain, however, sometimes a more serious injury can occur. When a runner lands on a pothole, the sudden jarring impact can lead to an unbalanced landing, which can result in ankle twists, knee sprains, or hip pain.

Although the law cannot assist you with maintaining your training schedule it may be able to assist with rehabilitation and compensating you for an injury that has been sustained through no fault of your own.

What is the Law?

In order to be successful in pursuing a claim for injury for this type of accident, we have to show that the Defendant was negligent in failing to monitor and repair the pavement or road in accordance with their obligations. Once this hurdle has been overcome, we are required to show that the defect was dangerous and required repair. This is what the Local Authority would refer to as an ‘actionable defect’.

The Law does not require Local Authorities to keep the pavements and road surfaces completely level and free from defects. This would be near on impossible and to do so would not be cost effective.  Instead, they have a duty to have in place a reasonable system of maintenance, inspection, and repair. If the Local Authority can demonstrate this, then they may be able to avoid liability. As part of the system of inspection, the Local Authority will have a set classification for what they consider to be an ‘actionable defect’. It is accepted in the Courts that for a defect to be actionable on a footpath the defect must measure a depth of at least 1 inch. This is increased to 2 inches on the road.

If the Local Authority have not kept up with inspections or has not repaired defects that they have been notified of then it could be that they have been negligent and therefore responsibility for any injury arising from a fall from the negligence would rest with them.

What action should I take?

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a tripping accident due to poorly maintained pathways or road surfaces, you should make sure that you document your injury and the specific defect and area. Note the street name and any identifying buildings/places it is near. It is always useful to take several photographs of the area from various angles and differing distances. A photograph measuring the depth and width of the defect is really helpful especially when it comes to demonstrating that it exceeds the threshold as mentioned above.

You can then either report the matter to the Local Authority or contact a Solicitor for further advice on pursuing a claim.

Kelly Prydderch – May 2023

Solicitor missed the limitation period

Solicitor missed the limitation period. Individuals can often face a premature end to their claim because their solicitor has failed to issue before the expiry of the limitation period. But what exactly is the limitation period and what actions can you take if your solicitor has missed the limitation date to issue your claim?

What is a ‘limitation period’?

In England and Wales, an individual seeking to issue a claim must do so within a certain time period, also known as the limitation period. As a general rule, the limitation period for breach of contract is 6 years.

The limitation period begins to run from the date of the “cause of action”. A cause of action can sometimes be simple to determine, such as when an individual has breached a term in a contract. However, it can often be difficult to establish the cause of action in more complex cases.

What happens if my solicitor missed the limitation period?

Once the limitation period has expired, the claim could become statute barred meaning it is no longer possible to issue the claim. Even if you were to instruct another solicitor to take on your matter you would still be unable to issue the claim.

What action can I take if this happens?

If your solicitor fails to issue your claim within the limitation period and your claim has become statute-barred, then you may have grounds for bringing a professional negligence claim against the solicitor.

In order to prove professional negligence, you must show that the solicitor owed you a duty of care, that this duty was breached by the solicitor’s failure to issue the claim within the limitation period, and that this breach caused you to suffer loss or damage.

Establishing loss or damage can sometimes be fairly simple, for example if you are bringing a personal injury claim and your solicitor fails to issue the claim within the limitation period, you may be unable to recover any compensation for the injuries you have sustained. However, the majority of cases are not as clear-cut as this, and you may find it necessary to seek expert legal advice.

How can we help?

Bringing a professional negligence claim against a solicitor for missing the limitation deadline can be a complex and costly process. Straightforward cases, such as in the examples provided above, are rare and there are many complexities and complications which must be considered before bringing a professional negligence claim of this nature.

We at Cohen Cramer possess a wealth of experience and knowledge in bringing professional negligence claims in respect of missed limitation dates and can provide you with the necessary expertise to ensure your claim is managed competently and professionally.

Contact us if your solicitor missed the limitation period

If you want to discuss your potential professional negligence claim further, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our disputes team today either by:

Alternatively, you can add your contact details to the box on this page and a member of our team will contact you.

Luke Holden – May 2023

Solicitor missed the limitation period