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Book Review: Personal Injury Practice (Sixth Edition, Bloomsbury Professional) by Andrew Buchan, Jenny Kennedy and Eliot Woolf

Book review by Tim Kevan

Personal Injury Practice is a truly excellent and comprehensive guide for the personal injury practitioner. The first section of the book deals with case preparation and covers such matters as case management, pre-trial procedure and the gathering of both expert and non-expert evidence. This is then followed by a section whose chapters take the reader from the issuing of a claim all the way to trial. This includes guidance on pleadings, disclosure and evidence as well as the trial itself, costs and any appeals. Finally, there is a section entitled 'Special Problems' which covers the following issues: limitation, fatal accidents, claimants under a disability, disease cases, stress at work cases, liability for products and premises, motor drivers and owners and criminal injuries. This is then rounded off with some extremely useful appendices which include specimen correspondence and specimen schedules of special damages.

Yet despite the fact that it covers such a huge amount of ground and comes in at over 600 pages the quality of each particular chapter is not compromised in the slightest. The writing is clear and understandable and not only covers the detail of the law but also does so in a way which would be of real practical use to a practitioner.

But perhaps what is most impressive about this book is the scale of the updating which has been undertaken since the last edition was published back in 2008. Since then the personal injury world has undergone enormous change and a trap which books can risk falling into in such situations is trying to update simply by tacking onto the old chapters when in fact sometimes a re-write of a particular chapter would be a lot more appropriate. The latter approach is the one taken by the authors here. So not only do we see a new chapter on the Portal but also significant changes to other chapters when incorporating the various Jackson reforms as well as recent case law on issues such as funding, mediation, relief from sanctions, disclosure, costs and not forgetting the new CPR 6.7. Other new issues which are covered include the abolition of civil liability for breach of statutory duty by section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and also the 2012 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

Written by high quality and experience practitioners, this book is both a useful source of reference and an incredibly helpful guide to this ever-developing and increasingly technical area of law and should be of use both to those just starting out in this field right through to those who are already experienced and knowledgeable in the area.

Tim Kevan is the co-editor of the Personal Injury Brief Update Law Journal.

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