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The Telegraph’s legal expert, Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors is an expert at winning compensation for clients in personal injury cases. This week he spells out how a new Scottish law will simplify court proceedings for personal injury and wrongful death victims.

I am delighted to welcome a new law which the Scottish Parliament has just passed which will limit lengthy legal wrangling over damages claims for personal injury and wrongful deaths.

The Damages (Scotland) Bill will affect hundreds of people every year including those who die from asbestos related cancers like mesothelioma, which still blight Inverclyde from its shipbuilding past.

The bill overhauls the current system and provides a fair method of calculating compensation in cases of personal injury and wrongful death which should reduce the need for unnecessarily long and distressing court cases.

The new legislation means families will no longer have details of their income and expenditure scruitinised and argued over in court in their darkest hour.

Not only was that intrusive and stressful, it often led to the situation where the deceased’s family was deemed to have suffered little or no loss because it took into account the surviving partner’s income.

I am proud to have been able to help MSP Bill Butler frame this groundbreaking piece of legislation.

The new Act clarifies, simplifies and modernises the law of damages for wrongful death.  It is a positive step forward for victims and their families and Bill Butler is to be congratulated for raising it and helping steer it through Parliament.

It is also a testimony to the Scottish Parliamentary system which means that, as in this case, it only takes one MSP to identify an issue to set in train the legal process to change the law.

In Westminster MPs have to win a ballot for the right to insitigate legislation.

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