Accident solicitor informs public of legal rights

One Galway-based accident solicitor has recently issued a statement informing the public of their legal right to personal injury compensation if they were injured through no fault of their own.

Solicitor Brendan Burke recently stated that those injured in a road traffic accident or due to medical negligence at the hands of physicians are legally entitled to seek recourse for their injuries.  Mr Burke stated that many injured parties go on to file accident claims against the parties responsible for their injuries in such cases, but there are things to keep in mind if you are considering doing so yourself.

There is a two year legal limitation on bringing action against the responsible party for many types of injuries, said Mr Burke.  While this is not a universal time limit, the solicitor strongly suggested seeking the advice of a legal professional if it has been nearly two years since you have suffered any type of accident in order to keep informed and not end up getting locked out of any possible legal recourse.

For the majority of accident claims, there must first be a submission to the Injuries Board before a claimant can proceed. In order to document the beginning of the process, it is of the utmost importance that the letter of acknowledgement from the Injuries Board is received and kept, as it will prove that the claimant submitted their application properly and in compliance with all relevant regulations.

The next thing a claimant will need will be a doctor’s medical report detailing the nature of the injuries sustained in the accident and how they affect the claimant’s health.  While the cost of this medical report is something that must be paid up front, there is usually an opportunity to recoup its costs at a later date.

Justice Secretary plans to overhaul no win no fee rules

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has recently announced he has plans to conduct an overhaul of the no win no fee legal regulations in both England and Wales.

Recently telling MPs that his planned reforms would restore fairness and proportion to the civil justice system, Secretary Clarke proposed that so-called ‘success fees’ for injury solicitors should be taken from the damages the winning client is to be awarded.   This differs from the current rule that has the losing side footing the bill for court costs.

In order to ease the bill, the personal injury compensation award ceiling for claimants is to rise by 10 per cent, said Mr Clarke.

The Justice Secretary stated that he decided to reform the conditional fee arrangement scheme in order to stop situations where defendants would settle their accident claims through a fear of incurring excess costs even when they know they’re blameless.  The government plans to end success fee and insurance premium recoverability in an effort to drive down legal costs, added Mr Clarke.

Claimants who have suffered loss will be treated to a 10 per cent uplift in damage awards award with the caveat that they must now be more cognizant on the bills their legal representatives are running up on their behalf, said the justice secretary.

Mr Clarke also announced the launch of a consultation that would attempt to make the UK’s civil justice system run more efficiently and effectively in the face of a decade and a half of stagnation.

Small claims courts maximum damages are to be raised to £15,000, up from £5,000, according to the plans.  Additionally there will be more encouragement for people to use mediation to settle their claims in an effort to avoid lengthy (and costly) court cases.

Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary, stated that the plans were a step in the right direction.  However he did warn that the details of the plans must be drawn up properly to avoid people losing access to justice in the government’s zeal to cut costs.

Work accident claim nets oil rig worker £160k

A work accident claim filed by an oil rig worker against his employers resulted in a £160,000 personal injury compensation award for serious injuries sustained to the worker’s hand.

Martin Brand had been employed by Transocean in May of 2006 at a North Sea oil rig when the incident occurred.  Mr Brand’s injury claims originated from his work on the semi-submersible rig and involved such severe injuries that two of his fingers were in need of partial amputation.

While working as a roughneck, Mr Brand had been cleaning a section of pipes when his hand was crushed by moving hydraulic slips.  Following his injuries, he was told by doctors that he would be unable to return to the kind of work he had been doing previously, so he sought retraining as a driller.  However this proved impossible, which led Mr Brand to take up an on-shore employment offer in his employer’s human resources department.  Following this he made the decision to file an accident claim against Transocean for their role in his injuries.

The Scotsman newspaper recently reported that Mr Brand has been received £160,000 in personal injury compensation for the injuries he sustained to his hand.  Mr Brand’s personal injury lawyers initially sought for a larger award by stating he could have made rig manager by the time he had reached his early thirties, but it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to support such a claim in court.

Mr Brand’s employer had already made an admission of responsibility for the incident at a past court hearing.  The former roughneck has already been the recipient of an interim payment of £40,000 in 2010 while the finer points of his larger compensation amount were settled by the courts.

Stablehand receives £127k in personal injury compensation

After falling from a height of eight feet from a scaffolding plank whilst engaging in steam cleaning a horse stable, one young stablehand filed a work accident claim that has led to a payout of £127,500 in personal injury compensation.

Former stable worker Kevin Parker, who had been employed by horse trainer Amanda Perrett prior to the incident that led to the accident claim, received the record payout from the National Association of Stable Staff after filing a personal injury claim with the horse racing organisation.

Mr Parker was seriously injured from the fall, including fractures to both his heels.  After being rushed to hospital immediately following the incident, doctors informed him that his injuries were severe enough to require an extended stay and surgical procedure, making it impossible for him to return to his stable employee position.

NASS chief executive, Jim Cornelius, commented on Mr Parker’s considerably large sum of injury compensation, stating that the former worker contacted the organisation in early 2009.  The NASS made the decision to underwrite Mr Parker’s negligence and Work at Height regulation breach claim, which meant he had no costs in obtaining the settlement.

The horse racing sport has been coming under increased pressure from many different sources in the UK’s current cultural landscape. Race-horses are directly harmed by the sport, according to those involved in animal rights activism, as many of the horses have fallen fatally during races and whilst training for races.  Animal rights activists also make the claim that a percentage of trainers feed steroids to their horses to enhance and improve performance on race day, which can be deleterious to a race-horse’s health.

Personal injury claim to be filed by construction worker

A personal injury claim is likely to be filed by a construction worker who recently suffered injuries related to his four-meter fall from a scaffolding platform.

Construction worker Kevin Clark had been working in County Durham, on the windows of a new building, when the scaffolding he was standing upon failed and collapsed under his feet. Mr Clark suffered a broken left foot and several crushed vertebrae in the resultant fall, according to the worker’s accident claim, and required a two week hospital stay.

Work accident claims such as Mr Clark’s commonly result in the need for the injured party to pursue personal injury compensation for the victim’s injuries.  Such compensation awards will pay not only hospital bills but also include a compensation for time missed from work due to convalescence or any permanent damage sustained by the victim that could feasibly limit his or her capacity to earn a living.  Many such injured parties feel the need to seek legal advice from an accident solicitor.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation shortly after the incident occurred, discovering that Mr Clark’s employers, Ian Allen Building Contractors, had neglected to identify alterations that had been made to the scaffolding.  Additionally HSE inspectors found that the construction firm had not performed routine inspections on the equipment, which had led their employees to use the unsafe scaffolding.  Such neglect can be serious due to not only the fines that a company may need to pay for not being in compliance with Health and Safety regulations but also because of the possibility of serious injuries or even loss of life in which  such regulatory breaches can result.

The firm was fined £1,500 for being in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Potholes cause upswing in car accident claims

Recently conducted research that local authorities have had to deal with an upswing in car accident claims brought against them due to issues caused by potholes left unfilled.

The past two winters in the UK have been uncommonly cold.  As the constant freeze-and-thaw of water on our nation’s motorways causes cracks and potholes to occur, local authorities have been unable to keep up with the burgeoning road safety issue. As a result the number of personal injury compensation cases caused by potholes have blossomed.

Potholes can lead to severe injuries or even death amongst motorists and those that share the road with them, according to the AA. Cyclists were found to be particularly vulnerable, as injury claims such as broken wrists have been reported by cyclists who have been thrown from their bicycles after colliding with a pothole.

Potholes also are a leading cause of axle and suspension failures in cars and other large vehicles.  Traffic accident claims caused by potholes cost approximately £2.8 billion every year in the UK, and road maintenance efforts are currently underfunded by approximately £1 billion annually. As a result, local authorities end up paying out in excess of £50 million in personal injury claims caused by pothole-damaged roads.

Recent discoveries have been made that indicate councils have been experiencing increased pothole-related damages. This is because local authorities with responsibility for maintaining the roads in question can be held liable for injuries suffered by motorists or damages sustained by their vehicles.

Due to the increased costs, the government recently issued a confirmation that it will be allocating an additional £100 million in funding to local councils to be spent on road maintenance and much-needed repairs. Transport secretary Philip Hammond added that the new funds will allow for smoother and safer trips for the millions of drivers across the UK who have had the dubious honour of running into these omnipresent potholes.

Musician dies, mother claims medical negligence to blame

After the death of her 27 year old musician son, Susan Williams has filed a medical negligence claim against Salford Royal NHS for their refusal to treat him for the illness that took his life.

According to sources close to the family, Mrs Williams’ son Peter was busy promoting his rock band in Manchester when he began to suffer symptoms associated with the swine flu, such as extreme weakness, poor appetite, and high fever. According to a statement released by the family’s medical negligence solicitors, Mrs Williams took Peter to the A&E department at Salford’s Hope Hospital for treatment.

Mrs Williams waited with her son for more than 90 minutes before the authorities would see him despite the seriousness of his condition. Finally the attending nurse dismissed his concerns, telling him and his mother that he was simply suffering from a harmless virus and refused to give him a separate room.

Incensed with the insensitivity of hospital staff, the young musician shouted at them in frustration that he had the swine flu.  He also furiously predicted that he would be dead within the week if he was still refused treatment by hospital staff, recounted his mother.

Tragically Peter’s prediction came true.  A few days after Mrs Williams went to hospital with her son, she found the young man dead when visiting his flat in Walkden, Greater Manchester. Shocked and bereaved by her son’s untimely and preventable death, Mrs Williams has laid the blame squarely on hospital authorities for their cavalier attitude in dismissing her son’s apparently justified fears.

Mrs Williams has sought legal advice from a Manchester legal firm in order to charge the hospital NHS trust with medical negligence towards her son.

Sheffield labourer can’t claim personal injury compensation

One Sheffield labourer found that the has been precluded from claiming the personal injury compensation award related to his work accident claim because his former employers were not insured.

Ryan Scott, now twenty six years old, had been working at Attercliffe’s Goodfellas Club attempting to remove a caravan awning when he was  struck directly in the eye by a metal peg flying through the air.  According to his accident claim, Mr Scott was knocked to the ground due to the force behind the impact.  He was then rushed to Royal Hallamshire Hospital where he underwent emergency surgical procedures.

Mr Scott was in hospital for five days while he was recovering from the thirteen stitches he required during the surgery. However the young man has been told by his doctors that the injuries his eye sustained in the incident will have a substantial affect on his day to day life going forward, not to mention that the injury will result in constant pain as well.

Mr Scott made an initial personal injury compensation claim in order to have some cover for his injuries, loss of earnings, and the costs associated with rehabilitation and his future care.  While he won his case, compensation has not been forthcoming. At the time of the incident, the company had no insurance.  Moreover since the accident in which Mr Scott was injured, his one-time employer has ceased trading.

Thanks to the dilemma Mr Scott and other work related accident victims find themselves in, many legal experts have called upon the Coalition government to protect these victims through the set-up of an Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau.

The proposed bureau would be modeled after the Motor Inurers’ Bureau, which compensates traffic accident victims who suffer injuries at the hands of uninsured motorists or unidentifiable drivers.

Revolving door to Asda knocks over elderly gran

The revolving door of an Asda supermarket was to blame for the recent injuries of a sixty nine year old grandmother, leaving her with serious personal injuries and a desire to file a personal injury compensation claim.

Mrs Elizabeth Pollock had been attempting to walk through the revolving doors in order to enter the store at the time of the incident, according to her accident claim.  However Mrs Pollock’s walking stick became trapped between the door and the frame, which resulted in the elderly grandmother to be thrown down to the floor.

Mrs Pollock needed to be hospitalised for nearly three months after she broke her hip in the fall.  According to her personal injury lawyers the pensioner, who was diagnosed with the neurological disorder multiple sclerosis over four decades ago, is still in pain from the injuries she suffered in the supermarket revolving door incident.

The pensioner and grandmother, who does volunteer work for the Citizens Advice Bureau, stated in a local newspaper interview that she was not happy by how the supermarket giant had treated her.  This has led her to make a personal injury claim for £50,000 in compensation.

When approached with an opportunity to comment, one Asda spokesperson was able to confirm that the supermarket would indeed be defending the claim.  However when asked why the store had replaced the revolving doors in the wake of the accident they declined to comment further.

The Asda spokesperson did say however that they are in the midst of carrying out their own internal investigation into the incident that led to Mrs Pollock’s injuries.  Additionally, they stated that they would be remaining in contact with the injured grandmother in regards to her personal injury claim.

Personal injury at work leads to tile employee amputation

After a personal injury at work suffered by one teenage tile supplier employee led to the amputation of his right leg, two of the firm’s directors have been fined for the young man’s injuries.

45 year old Christopher Sale and 55 year old Robert Gilbert were both fined recently at Wood Green Crown Court for a June 2008 accident claim that originated from an incident at Tile Depot Trading in June of 2008.

Mitesh Patel, who had been age nineteen at the time of the incident that led to the work accident claim, had only just recently started working at the tile supplier. Mitesh’s main duties had been stocking the warehouse, moving tiles, heavy lifting, and advising customers.

However his career was cut short due to an incident that occurred when he was working in the tile supplier’s warehouse.  A colleague that had been operating a fork lift truck lost control of his vehicle and pinned MItesh’s leg against a nearby wall. The employee driving the fork lift had no training in its operation nor had he earned a licence for the machine.

Mitesh’s injuries to his leg were so severe that doctors needed to amputate it below his knee.

Mr Sale and Mr Gilbert, both company directors, made the admission that they had failed to provide safe work systems as well as supervision and training to provide for the health and safety of their employees.  The firm has since gone into administration.

Both Mr Sale and Mr Gilbert were found guilty and have been fined £9,000 and £19,500 respectively, including court costs, to be paid in three years or less.

In the wake of the court decision cabinet member Councillor Melvin Cohen stated that the importance of health and safety at work is crucial, as demonstrated by the tragic consequences of the case.