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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Limitation Periods in Personal Injury Actions

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Michael A. JonesSolicitor and Professor of Law, University of Liverpool

ISBN13: 9781854312860
ISBN: 1854312863
Published: March 1995
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

Every practitioner who conducts personal injury litigation will come across cases involving a limitation problem. Actions in respect of personal injuries or death are subject to special rules on limitation periods, which may postpone the date on which the three-year-period starts to run, and confer a discretion on the court to allow an action to proceed notwithstanding the expiry of the limitation period. The effect of this discretion is that it is always open to a plaintiff, even with a very stale claim, to argue that his action should be permitted.;This book provides the practitioner with a comprehensive account of the law on limitation periods in personal injury actions. In particular, it discusses in detail the court's approach to determining a plaintiff's date of knowledge, which is the crucial factor in the commencement of the limitation period, and it provides a full analysis of the principles applied to the Courts' exercise of discretion when considering whether to ""disapply"" the limitation period.;Michael Jones is the author of ""Textbook on Torts"", ""Medical Negligence"" and co-author of ""Blackstone's Statutes on Medical Law"".

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Part 1 Introduction: rationale for limitation periods - history; outline of the legislation; meaning of ""personal injuries"" - loss of the chance to obtain compensation for personal injuries, ""wrongful birth"" actions, breach of contract, can the plaintiff choose?; which cause of action?; burden of proof; pleading the limitation issue - late pleas of limitation; repeal of earlier legislation.
Part 2 The primary limitation period: the three-year period; accrual of the cause of action - trivial damage, progressive or cumulative damage, damage accruing after the issue of the writ; the plaintiff's date of knowledge - meaning of ""knowledge"", section 14(1)(a) - that the injury in question was significant, section 14(1)(b) - that the injury was attributable in whole or in part to the act or omission which is alleged to constitute negligence, nuisance or breach of duty, section 14(1)(c) - the identity of the defendant, section 14(1)(d) - if it is alleged that the act or omission was that of a person other than the defendant, the identity of that person and the additional facts supporting the bringing of an action against the defendant, ignorance of the law; constructive knowledge - facts observable or ascertainable by the plaintiff, plaintiff fails to seek expert advice, the proviso to section 14(3) - errors by the experts; stopping the running of time - issuing the writ - which court?, serving the writ; extending the validity of the writ of service - when must the application be made?, the grounds for extending the validity of the writ, ""good reason""; procedural issues.
Part 3 The court's discretion.
Part 4 Fatal accidents.
Part 5 Specific issues.
Part 6 Dismissal for want of prosecution. Appendices: extracts from statutes; extracts from rules of the Supreme Court. (Part contents)