The events of 2020 will have a long-lasting impact for many years to come but despite the pandemic, there have been some positive changes within the legal industry. Several rulings have been approved and the changes introduced should help those affected by traumatic incidents which were not their fault.
We look back on the year which has touched us all.
Self-drive vehicles made the headlines as Apil asked for a definition of what constitutes an ‘automated vehicle’. There is currently a loophole which will leave injured people having to pursue product liability claims against the manufacturer, rather than a personal injury claim.
Whiplash reforms which were due to be published in April were postponed until August.
We supported Justice Week by providing free advice clinics on personal injury. We continue to offer free advice for anyone who has been involved in an accident which was not their fault.
The COVID-19 outbreak began, and the government introduced The Coronavirus Bill with plans to keep the justice system operating throughout the crisis. However, jury trials were halted in England and Wales to stop the spread of the virus. Solicitors at NV Legal begin to work remotely.
The Department for Transport announced a consultation into electric scooters with plans to legalise them on public roads.
The work of courts and tribunals during the pandemic was consolidated into fewer buildings, maintaining safety in line with public health advice. There were 157 priority court and tribunal buildings open for essential face-to-face hearings.
Whiplash reforms were delayed until April 2021 as the government could not meet the August deadline due to the pandemic.
We supported those with mental health and psychological trauma during Mental Health Awareness week.
MPs asked the government to assess the way bereavement damages are assessed for cohabiting couples.
The High Court refused an insurer permission to rely on a new expert whose evidence reduced the estimated life expectancy of a personal injury claimant.
Trials of electric scooters began, a year earlier than planned.
Courts re-opened with extended hours to tackle the backlog of cases. HM Courts & Tribunals Service produced a recovery plan to help those facing a backlog.
Apil’s Severe Injury Help Hub went live providing vital information for people in the aftermath of a catastrophic injury or death.
The Department for Transport launched National Road Victim month which included a review into roads policing to reduce road casualties following a plateau in recent years.
Personal Injury claims for motor-related injuries fell significantly during lockdown, down by 35%.
The House of Lords made a fresh appeal for a reform in the law of bereavement damages in England and Wales. Proposed changes due in October were announced which would allow a cohabiting partner to claim for bereavement damages if they had been living together for two years before the date of death.
A transport committee gave the go ahead for electric scooters.
A cancer backlog was revealed as patients had missed vital appointments during lockdown. We urged anyone with an appointment to keep it.
Brain rehabilitation units began to re-open providing much needed support for anyone with a brain injury.
We supported Road Safety Week with a focus on speeding along with the message ‘No need to speed’. We witness first-hand the devastating impact road accidents can have.
As the year draws to a close, we are optimistic that 2021 will provide a new beginning and the promise of the vaccine will enable us to return to a more ‘normal’ way of living.
For information on personal injury accidents and injuries contact:
Call: 03330 112 732