LAW1507 Tort Law Assignment Sample
1. Please write an answer to the question overleaf. Your answer should be no more than 1500 words long including footnotes (but excluding your bibliography).
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Q1. Sneezy, Bashful and Dopey are old work colleagues. For the last 15 years they have met up once or twice a year for a reunion dinner at a local restaurant. One time, after dinner, Dopey offers Bashful a lift home in her new sports car, joking that it is “at his own risk”. Bashful is reluctant to accept because he knows that Dopey had drunk large quantities of alcohol that evening, but nonetheless accepts because it is raining and he wishes to avoid the very long walk home. As Dopey pulls out of the restaurant car park, she crashes into a passing car. Dopey did not see the car as she was trying to change the channel of her car radio. Bashful, who was not wearing a seatbelt, is thrown through the windscreen, and severely injured. Dopey is killed instantly.
Sneezy, who was in his car just behind Dopey’s waiting to leave the car park sees the accident and rushes to help Bashful and Dopey. The scene is particularly gruesome. He later develops Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Grumpy was driving the car Dopey crashed into. He suffers serious injuries and is forced to take six months off work, losing out on a significant promotion. He becomes depressed. He appears to be successfully managing his condition. However, about a year after the accident, as he is walking home from work he ‘snaps’ and stabs a passer-by. He is later sentenced to 12 months in prison and loses his job.
Advise the parties.
The Government of the UK has legalized so many regulations during the past years in order to prevent road accidents and measure long term recurrence for the driver as well. In the common law justification, Sneezy, Bashful and Dopey were more or less responsible for the tremendous incident that happened with them. Firstly, according to the Road Safety Act 1986, it is clearly stated that a driver is not allowed to drive a car or any type of vehicle if they are over the legal blood alcohol limit. Therefore, it is clearly stated that Dopey, who is one of the victims in this case, had drunk larger quantities of alcohol. As a tort lawyer, it is suggested that it was the responsibility of two other friends who were present at that situation to drop her in another secure way. The UK’s Road act and other vehicle regulations also mentioned that drivers or other members in the same cars must be alert while driving on the road.
As per the statement it is also clearly mentioned that Dopey was unable to see the passing car as she was busy in changing radio channels on the mid-off the road and it clearly indicates that Dopey was driving the car carelessly. Although, she got killed instantly, as most of the UK’s residents are aware of the penalty for careless driving and dangerous driving. For careless driving the nominal fine charge is up to £ 5,000 and the driver license also gets disqualified. According to recent studies, if a person dies due to own driving lack the insurance company of the responsible person must pay the damages. Based on the present situation, Dopey is not alive; the penalty should be paid by her respected insurance company. The name of the driver who was passing on the same road is Grumpy. Grumpy’s car crashed into Dopey’s car while Dopey’s car was pulling back from the restaurant parking zone.
The 1984 Road Tariff Act is the legalization in UK which currently enforces all the limits. Therefore, the last changes in the act occurred in 2015, and the act mentions that limits of large HGVs on single and dual carriageways were raised up to 50mph and 60 mph respectively. It is assumed that the speed of Grumpy’s car must be above 60 mph and due to that reason, he was not unable to see Dopey’s car. Most of the roads which are built nearest any restaurants or hospitals in the UK are under “A” category. Consequently, it is also analysed that Grumpy was not following the preliminary rules of driving in “A” roads. A UK based driver must follow this rule while driving in such roads which is near to a crowd and those are such as taking most of the safety measures while driving in rainy season or on a wet road, keep a check around using the mirrors, lane changing, appropriate signalling and aim high in steerin.
It is also suspected that Grumpy did not use any of these safety measurements in order to alert Dopey or signal her and also, he did not change lanes when he was seeing the car from very far away. Section 3 under the road Tariff act would be applicable for this driver as well and as the driver causes a death to one of the victims the penalty would be charged also under dangerous driving. In this case as the victim of this act did not obey the rules of road tariff and the other driver is seriously injured as well and as per the record after that incident, he had mental illness and is currently in prison for stabbing a co-worker.
The court must understand his mental situation and requested to admit Grumply in a mental health hospital for getting better. However, as per the Law RTOO Arts 49 & 50, the other charge will be penalized from Grumpy as he returned from the prison and further mental hospital, a minimum fine of £ 1,000 would be charged, penalty charge would proceed for next 3 to 5 months and the license would be in Discretionary for a period until the patient is fully recovered.
As per the statement of recent writers, In the UK wearing a seatbelt for the driver and as well as for the other members inside the car is compulsory. Even if a car or any vehicle includes 3 passenger seatbelts a driver is not allowed to have four passengers. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure that everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt and if any passenger or driver did not follow such rules and regulations then the law has full authorization to penalize and take other compensation charges. In this case, while Dobby has taken overconsumption of alcohol it was Bashful’s responsibility to take the charge of driving and as well to ensure that everyone was wearing a seatbelt by then. Due not wearing a seatbelt Bashful got thrown through the wide screen and got severely injured. A driver is only allowed to take off or remove their seatbelts while reversing the vehicle and as soon as it is reversed the driver must put back or wear the seatbelts again.
However, if a person is diagnosed for such medical reasons, they need to provide proper medical certificates and other reports. In this case if Bashful has such medical reasons for not wearing seatbelts at that time he must prove it in the court in order to get free from being penalize. The seat belt wearing law came into force in the UK’s law from 31st January 1983.The act says for preventing risk or accidents in roads and highroads from small vehicles to large vehicles drivers it is compulsory to wear a seatbelt and hence it is proved that almost a quarter of car drivers and passengers got injured or killed for not wearing seatbelts. Depending on the current situation an amount of £ 500 will be charged from Bashful due to seat belt offences and the penalty would proceed for the next three months and it is also suggested that from next time while using a car to wear seatbelt properly and maintain all the safety measurements. The further notification would also provide if in future Bashful did not follow any road tariffs and regulations the court will take strict action against him.
Lastly, Sneezy who’s the only eye witness of this accident and immediately develops a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after seeing the death of his friend. Under the common law of Tort recognizes only those damages for mental harm which were only recoverable under these types of torts such as false imprisonment, battery and assault. Several researchers argue that the court only recognizes physiological injury or any infliction as their own independent cause of actions and even without any accompanying harm to a person or their property. Hence, in today’s situation most of the Tort courts also allow such emotional impacts that do not cause any harm to the owner or the other members who are surrounded by the act. Sneezy who has reported as the patient of PTSD is advised to take proper health analysis and take proper medications. It is also suggested to the family members and friends of him to take proper health care and mental care. The accident had made a serious impact on his mind, as for now the court and other board members of the court would not ask any questions or any other supportive evidence regarding the accident. Sneezy, would be only allows in the court after he is completely recovered and out of the post trauma situation.
Apart from advising, it is a responsibility of a tort lawyer in order to protect the mental health of the client or the victim who suffers from mental dis-balance due to the traumatic situation that has been made in front of them. Tort law also provides the support to prevent the victim from any harm that causes any mental illness or any dis balance. The final judgement or the advice for all the victims in this case who have been survived in different ways and that would be to take and maintain all the secure and safety measurements regarding driving a car or any vehicle on the roads. Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory for the drivers and passengers as well. Do not drive a car, motorcycle or cycle after high consumption of alcohol, follow all the traffic rules and road tariffs. As per the statements of multiple writers, victims of road accidents mentally suffer more than by causing any physical injury and the mental injury hurts more than a victim. The current tort law is focusing on taking safety measurements on the mental health of the victims as it causes and spreads harm to the family members or to the friends of victims.
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