It is widely known and understood that in Scotland there is a different system of law to the system in England. It has been this way for many hundreds of years, partly because of intense political and military conflict during the early formation of what would later become the Kingdom of Great Britain. Unlike Wales, which was fully pacified by King Edward ‘Longshanks’ and had English law and baronial rule forcibly applied to it, Scotland always maintained a degree of at least internal independence, probably as an effort to prevent unrest and ease the concerns of the common people.
A claimant who is currently pursuing the possibility of a personal injury claim Langbank has asked Accident Advice Helpline whether we are able to take on Scottish cases and what the key differences are between the Scottish and English legal system. We were only too happy to oblige on both questions.
1. Can Accident Advice Helpline take Scotttish law personal injury cases?
Accident Advice Helpline are fully able to take on Scots law personal injury cases just like that currently held by the unfortunate injury victim. The personal injury claim in Langbank itself relates to a slip on a poorly maintained stairwell in a public shopping centre, a common enough kind of accident which can easily occur anywhere.
2. What are the differences between personal injury claims in English and Scottish law?
There general system of personal injury law in England and Wales and Scotland are similar, with historical origins which both run back to the important House of Lords case of Donohue v Stephenson, a case heard when the English House of Lords was still the most senior court for both systems of law.
In fact, the successor to the House of Lords – the Supreme Court of England and Wales – remains the senior court of appeal for Scotland for criminal law matters. In respect of civil matters such as personal injury the senior court in Scotland is now the Scottish Court of Sessions, and this distinction has driven some of the differences between Scottish and English law.
In short, Scottish law has evolved a system of civil law known as the law of delict. Delict is different in subtle ways from the English system which is known as the law of tort. Many of these differences relate more to the practical execution of cases in court rather than broad legal rules, although the way in which Scottish law calculates damages is dramatically different than the English system in fundamental ways. A lawyer who takes a case such as the personal injury claim in Langbank to court in Scotland would need to be familiar with more than just English personal injury law. This can be contrasted with a body of law such as that applied in the employment tribunals, where the law is identical in both countries and lawyers can cross the border professionally without hindrance.
And the injury claim in Langbank?
Accident Advice Helpline has accepted the personal injury claim in Langbank on a no win, no fee basis – as we do all our cases. Specialist Scottish personal injury lawyers are now looking into the case, which we expect to be resolves with a healthy compensation payment.
Date Published: 5th October 2013
Author: David Brown