Personal injury claims under the Human Rights Act 1998
Personal injury claims under the Human Rights Act 1998

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Personal injury claims under the Human Rights Act 1998
  • Introduction
  • Prerequisites for a claim
  • Defendant is a public authority
  • Claimant is a victim
  • Defendant has breached a Convention right
  • Claim has been brought in time
  • Causation
  • Just and appropriate to award damages
  • Cases of anguish or distress
  • More...

Introduction

A claimant may be able to pursue a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) against a public authority for a breach of their convention rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The court has a discretion to award damages.

Claims under the HRA 1998 are of potential relevance to personal injury practitioners particularly where the claimant would be left with no remedy unless they bring a claim under HRA 1998.

There are certain circumstances in which claimants will have no valid claim arising from personal injury unless they bring a claim under HRA 1998. In light of that fact, and the tight deadline for bringing such claims (the primary limitation period is just one year), all personal injury practitioners should at the very least familiarise themselves with the basics of how these claims operate.

HRA 1998 claims are different in a number of significant respects from traditional legal claims.

Prerequisites for a claim

A claim under HRA 1998 can only succeed where all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. the defendant is a public authority (see: Defendant is a public authority, below)

  2. the claimant is a victim (see: Claimant is a victim, below)

  3. the defendant has acted in breach of one of the claimant’s rights under the ECHR (see: Defendant has breached a Convention right, below)

  4. the claim has been brought in time (see:

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