Accident claim handling firm reports lukewarm profits

After having no choice but to issue a profit warning recently, the wheels may be falling off Helphire, an accident claim handling firm.

The company, based in Bath, has declared that both its full-year profits and its revenues will face significant losses.  The announcement sent its shares into a tailspin, resulting in a closing figure of £21.50.  The total loss was a 28 per cent drop.

The company mostly pointed to a combination of good weather and high petrol garage prices, which have led to fewer crashes being suffered by motorists.

Providing services for road accident claims, Helphire supplies so-called ‘blameless’ motorists involved in an accident with interim cars while it handles the repairs on any pranged autos.  Helphire additionally offers legal help for preparing any personal injury claims that may have been incurred during the accident.

However this is not the first time the firm has been in hot water.  At the height of the credit crisis two years ago, the company nearly shuttered as it reeled from the loss of its largest customer, Saga and AA owner Acromas.Saga.

Since that date, 1,200 employees have been made redundant, two instances of rescue fundraising efforts have been attempted, and two chief executive officers have come and gone as well.

Despite successes related to the firm’s efforts to undergo major overhauls earlier in the year, business has still been bleak for the traffic accident claim help provider.  Recently company head Martin Ward stated that he had hopes that business would become more brisk, as the seasons turn to the winter, which traditionally has been a period of the year when crashes tend to happen more often.  Pre-tax profits for the firm however are estimated to be approximately £13.9 million, which compares unfavorably to the £21 million predictions made by analysts.

Bristol lighting company ordered to pay £20,000 to employee

One Bristol lighting company has recently been ordered to pay £20,000 in damages to one of its employees by the Health and Safety Executive after the worker brought a work accident claim against the company.

The incident, which occurred this past February, involved a personal injury at work sustained by Mr Rolf Weber in the course of his normal duties at a factory for fabricating light fixtures.  Mr Weber had entered a machine’s working area and suffered a minor head injury after a cutter’s rotation continued at its standard speed.

Factory owner Darren Wing was found in breach a regulation in regards to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment rules, the Magistrates Court at Weston-super-Mare declared recently.  Mr Wing was not only fined a total of £20,000 but he was also ordered to foot the bill for £1,800 worth in court costs as an additional punitive measure for neglecting to ensure that the particular piece of machinery that caused Mr Weber’s injury was guarded properly.

Christine Haberfield, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, remarked that it was only through pure luck that Mr Weber’s injuries were not more severe.  Ms Haberfield stated that small head wound suffered by Mr Weber could have resulted in much worse if not fatal injuries since the cutter was spinning at a rate of 18,000 revolutions per minute at the time of the initial injury.

While many health and safety experts agree that employers must take precautionary safety measures in order to offset the risks inherent in injury claims, others also stress the benefit of proper insurance cover as a financial safety net in the event of a catastrophic event does indeed happen whilst on the job.

Landscape gardener in Walsall files work accident claim

A landscape gardener from the town of Walsall in the West Midlands has recently filed a work accident claim against his employers after an accident left him without the use of his sight.

When the accident claim occurred, 25 year old Ashley Brabbin was operating a ride-on mower whilst trimming a verge at Erdington’s Wyrley Birch Allotments.  While Mr Brabbin states that he made sure to check for any debris before begging to mow the lawn, he received a blinding injury to his right eye by a flying piece of metal shortly afterwards.

Due to his injuries, not only has Mr Brabbin been left without sight in his eye but he may need to be fitted with a glass eye as a result of the extensive damage he sustained whilst on the job.

Mr Brabbin’s personal injury claim against his employers is based upon the failure of the green services provider, based in Chorley, to provide for his safety in an adequate manner.  Since his employer failed to provide protective eyewear to Mr Brabbin as he conducted his work-related tasks, he has decided to hold them liable for the incident that may have left him permanently without sight in one eye.

Should Mr Babbin be awarded damages from his compensation claim, the company’s insurance company will be responsible for paying him whatever the courts decide the loss of his vision is worth.

Mr Babbin’s personal injury lawyer commented on the case’s progress by stating that while settlement may still be quite some time in the future, the admittance of liability is a clear step in the right direction.

Industry experts agree that without further knowledge of the facts of the case, it is simply too early to determine Mr Babbin’s chances of reaching a settlement from the green services company that had employed him at the time of the accident.

New campaign hopes to reduce motor accident claims by shock

A new anti-reckless driving campaign hopes to reduce the incidence of car accident claims by shocking its audience in its use of posed pupils in mock-ups of accidents.

In order to highlight how dangerous speeding and parking outside schools can be, several fake accidents were mocked up using real emergency services in the Carmarthenshire town of Llanelli.

The tableaux will be turned into postcards and posters to be left on the windscreens of any cars parked badly nearby area schools as a reminder that the prospect of being contacted by a personal injury lawyer is not the only consequence of a bad car accident.

Organisers of the campaign specifically decided to use pupils local to the area in order to stress that motorists could be more than just risking whiplash from an accident but could be endangering the lives of children they knew personally.

Along with Communities First, the campaign entilted “Don’t let it be you” was organised by Tyisha and Glanymor Communities Action Group.

Pupils from Bigyn Primary, Copperworks Infant, and Coedcae Comprehensive schools all took part in the project.

Llanelli Photographic Society’s Graham Harries snapped images of the children after a professional make-up artist added grisly touches to the children as they laid prone on the road.

Firefighters, paramedics, and police all were on hand to take part in the campaign.  The road safety unit for Carmarthenshire was also in attendance.

In order to stage the accidents, the authorities closed down several roads.

Joanne Yeo, spokeswoman for the action group, stated that issues regarding road safety nearby local schools were a hot-button issue ad several monthly meetings.

The project, Ms Yeo stated, was all about using places and faces easily recognisable to local residents in order to highlight how important a concern road safety is for the community.

Cumbrian farm worker awarded personal injury compensation

Thanks to a serious injury he sustained whilst working in September of 2003, a Cumbrian farm worker was recently awarded a personal injury compensation in excess of  £70,000.

The personal injury at work occurred seven years ago when, while amidst harvesting potatoes as an employee of Mr. William Brown, Mr Stephen Hyndman was caught in a harvesting machine accident.

Noticing that the machine had become blocked, the then 28-year-old Hyndman attempted to clear the blockage.  Unfortunately for Mr Hyndman power to the machine had not been cut properly by his colleague, and as a result of his trousers becoming caught in the machinery he was dragged in.  Mr Hyndman suffered serious injuries to both his foot and leg, which were crushed.  In his personal injury claim My Hyndman stated that he was permanently disabled as a result of the accident.

Once Mr Hyndman had taken his employer to court in order to receive compensation for his accident claim, the courts concurred that liability for the accident, and its consequences, lied firmly at Mr Brown’s feet.  In addition to being ordered to remit payment of £71,000 to his former employee in compensation, Mr Brown was also found to be in breach of a 1998 regulation concerning the provision and use of work equipment.

Simon Davis, a personal injury specialist, commented on the case by stating that agricultural industry accidents have a tendency to cause very serious injuries.  Due to both the temporary setup of the equipment and how powerful it is sometimes mean the requisite checks to safety are not made, Mr Davis said.

As farm work is something that occurs not only in all conditions but in every season of the year, Mr Davis continued, it is necessary to supply extra layers of vigilance in order to prevent tragic occurrences such as the maiming of Mt Hyndman.

Justice Secretary targets no-win-no-fee accident claims

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has recently stated his intention that Welsh and English lawyers may soon be barred from raising their fees if successfully litigating a no win no fee accident claim.

As no win no fee lawyers can currently double any fees in the event that they win a case, Secretary Clarke’s intentions, if they bear fruit, could completely change the accident claim landscape.

In order to rectify matters however the minister, whilst speaking on Law In Action on BBC Radio 4, explained how the Coalition government is currently considering adopting a system that shares similarities with the US in which a percentage of legal fees from any personal injury claim can be recovered from any damages that may be awarded to the case’s plaintiff.

Earlier in 2010, Lord Justice Jackson made news when he published his widely-read review of the UK’s current fee system.  Mr Clarke stated that the recommendations contained within the review were found to have a high level of attractiveness to the government.

The UK insurance industry has been heavily impacted by a rise in lawyers who employ so-called “ambulance chaser” tactics.

In fact due in part to a large rise in personal injury claims made by third parties and a claims management industry that has become much more aggressive as of late, the UK personal motor car insurance market is unlikely to turn a profit for several years.  Towers Watson conducted research recently on the issue, which led to the conclusion that it may be 2015 before the motor insurance market is back in the black.

Industry experts agree that the irony of the government’s possible adoption of American-style fee guidelines is palpable, given that many of the no win no fee lawyers in the UK are considered to employ litigation tactics made popular by their American counterparts.

Street cleaner amazed at results of his accident claim

One injured street cleaner who sustained an injury to his finger recently expressed his amazement when the local council allowed the work accident claim balloon to more than £100,000 in compensation.

In May of 2006 Steven Threlfall was working as a street cleaner when a jagged piece of metal that had been inside a rubbish bag he was handling protruded through and sliced deeply into his little finger.  As a result of the personal injury claim, Mr Threlfall is now left with a crooked finger thanks to one of his tendons being sliced through.

Mr Threlfall filed an accident claim for his work-related injury.  He made the claim that his hands were not properly protected because the gloves that had been provided to him proved to be ineffective in preventing the injury.

Legal costs relating to the case quickly began piling up.  Finally, after a third and final hearing at the Civil Appeal Court in London, three of the UK’s senior judges declared the claim in favour of the street cleaner.  The opinion of the court was indeed that Mr Threlfall had been denied the adequate levels of protection he needed in order to perform his job duties safely.

As a result of the accident claim, Mr Threlfall received compensation of only £3,000; legal costs for the council are valued in excess of £100,000, however, since top Judges in the UK were used by both sides of the lawsuit.

In an interview after the end of the hearings, Mr Threlfall was quoted as saying that the entire ordeal would have been over and done with in less than half a year, but the council refused to admit negligence.

When pressed, Mr Threlfall also stated that he was incredulous over how high the costs had become over just his little finger.

Hit and run traffic accident claim pays for victim

An uninsured hit and run car accident claim finally pays off for the child victim of the accident.

Five years old at the time of the accident, Daniel Hennessy was struck by then 16-year-old Sajid Hussain.  Hussain, who was driving illegally when the traffic accident claim occurred in 2002, drove away, leaving the young child for dead at the time.

As a result of the traffic collision, Daniel suffered serious, life-affecting injuries that have devastated his body.  Daniel suffered not only a paralysing spinal injury but also sustained several head injuries and a collapsed lung during the crash.  Taken altogether Daniel is no longer able to walk or stand on his own, and requires the use of a wheelchair in order to remain any semblance of mobility.  Medical experts say that the extensive personal injury claims he sustained as a result of the accident will leave him in a wheelchair for life.

Hussain received a ban for two years in regards to any driving as a result of the incident.  After a second driving incident involving  serious bodily harm caused by his running over of a 67 year old lollipop woman only a few months later, Hussain  served an 18 month stint in a young offender’s institution.  Additionally Hussain was incarcerated three years ago for the offences of driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.

The Motor Insurers Bureau has stepped forward in order to provide personal injury compensation to Daniel for his injuries.  This Bureau is funded by many different car insurance companies in the UK in order to provide compensation to victims hurt by uninsured drivers.

The money provided by the organisation will need to cover the needs of Daniel for the remainder of his life, so while the exact figure of the settlement has not yet been finalised, industry experts agree that it can easily end up being millions of pounds in compensation.

Female tube passenger seeking personal injury compensation

A female tube passenger is set to seek personal injury compensation after bring injured in a train carriage accident that resulted in several other injuries.

The incident, which involves an accident claim in which the passenger was on the receiving end of several facial injuries when a wood and canvas barrier linking two carriages became loosened, occurred at Mile End station last November during morning rush hour in London.

The passenger was sent to hospital to be treated for a two-inch long head gash and a cut to her eye.  Two other passengers were also injured in the accident, yet no details have surfaced regarding any injuries they might have sustained.

The Office of Rail Regulation is also persecuting the London Underground due to the injury claims.  The Underground may be facing fines of up to £20,000 for the accident, according to insider reports.

Mr Mike Stzelecki, a spokesperson for the tube operator, stated that the faulty barrier had been detected, but the London Underground failed to make a prompt and efficient removal of the barrier. Additionally the operator made the admission that they did breach the Health and Safety At Work Act.  As a result, the injured woman has made a personal injury claim in order to be compensated for the suffering and pain she endured during the accident.

Following the accident however, several industry experts have come forward to reassure Tube passengers as to the safety of the transportation method.  As in excess of a billion commute by Tube on a yearly basis, the transport method is still one of the safest ways to travel on a statistical basis.

Motor accident claim victim awarded substantial sum

A motor accident claim victim that was left with sever brain damage a decade and a half ago has recently been the recipient of a substantial personal injury compensation settlement.

Nicholas Butler was only 8 years old when he he experienced the near-fatal car accident in which Susan Prosser, his aunt, Laura Prosser, his cousin, and family friend Nikita Somes, aged seven, were killed.

The traffic accident claim involved a collision in which Ms Prosser collided with a skip lorry shortly after she she lost control of her motor vehicle.  Shortly after the collision, Ms Prosser crashed into a tree after careening down an embankment.

Nicholas, the sole survivor of the accident, was rushed to hospital, only to discover that he had suffered extensive cerebral injuries which resulted in his need of round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

Through the aid of both his family and his accident solicitors, Nicholas filed a claim with the skip lorry driver’s car insurance company.  The High Court recently heard Nicholas’ case.

As a result, High Court Mrs Justice Swift approved a settlement for an undisclosed amount of compensation.  Justice Swift additionally stated that the settlement should be sufficient to provide the car Nicholas requires for the remainder of his life.  A portion of the settlement money will be spent on a home for Nicholas that will be adapted to cater to his special needs.

The High Court judge commented that Nicholas’ condition, which will require very careful indefinite management, is very difficult and distressing for both himself and his family.

While the final settlement amount remains undisclosed to the public, due to the nature of Nicholas’ injuries and their severity, the total sum the car insurance company will be ordered to pay most likely runs into the millions of pounds.