16th Edition Judicial College Guidelines (“The Pink Book”) – Personal Injury

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I access most of my main practitioner texts electronically, but decided to get a copy of the new JC Guidelines, the first update since January 2020. The New 16e edition was published on April 13, 2022 and mine arrived last week.

Many of us using the Guidelines electronically will tend to go straight to the section we need for the injury we are assessing, but with the arrival of the shiny new “pink book” I took a time to leaf through it cover to cover. With that done, I thought it might be useful to note some of the changes from the last edition.

First, and in case you haven’t noticed, the 10% Simmonds the uprising has been removed from all sections where it applied. This is largely because the time that has passed since Jackson’s reforms means that the need to consider pre-uprising numbers is very rare. However, if you need to do this, the JC has helpfully provided a formula to apply. Simply multiply the new increased figure by 0.909 to get the figure before the increase.

A second significant change is found in Chapter 4 and relates to damages for psychiatric and psychological harm. We all know that in this category of injuries, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The JC has now included a third subcategory for those injuries relevant to cases of physical and sexual abuse. In fact, the guidelines for the new subcategory take up almost as much space as the rest of the existing range for psychiatric and psychological injuries in general. The inclusion of aggravating factors including level of breach of trust, post-abuse manipulation and potential involvement in other proceedings reflects the continued need for societal recognition and accountability in such cases to ensure that victims are treated fairly and receive appropriate redress where appropriate.

The third change I draw the reader’s attention to is Chapter 8 which specifically includes a section for “cold injuries”, including injuries from non-freezing cold, but be aware that it is necessary consider the parentheses for chronic pain in Chapter 9, which may also be relevant here. .

Finally, please review the changes to the guidelines regarding injuries to the male and female reproductive systems. The introductions to each of these subsections of Chapter 6 recognize the need for parity between these slices and place importance on factors beyond the physical aspects of loss of fertility or reproductive capacity.

I do not intend to summarize the position regarding tariff-based whiplash pricing, as the note on this in the Guidelines says as much as possible in this regard. Perhaps the most interesting development to watch will be how the court approaches multiple injury cases, including whiplash.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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