Northern Ireland roads cost Government £4m in damages

Over the past two years, the state of the pavements and roads in Northern Ireland have cost the Government £4 million in personal injury compensation awards, according to figures recently released by the Department for Regional Development.

In comparison to the previous year”s total, the current figures are a good £2.2 million higher than the original £1.8 million worth in accident claim damages.  Nearly one half of the total figure was paid out in compensation for personal injury claims made by members of the public that were injured whilst traveling upon the nation’s roads.

Pedestrian pavement injuries – which include trips and falls – cost the Government about £892,000, it was found, while damage sustained to vehicles on the footpaths and roads accounted for more than £220,000 of the entire bill.

Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party spokesman, John Dallatt, remarked that increases of nearly twenty per cent in a single 12 month period were in need of investigating.  In addition to SDLP spokesman, Mr Dallatt serves on the Public Accounts Committee for Stormont.

Mr Dallatt continued, going on to say that with £4 million being disbursed in traffic accident claim compensation , the entire situation urgently needed both review and improvement.  The SDLP spokesman also pointed out that Northern Ireland’s compensation figures had a tendency to be larger than payments made in Wales and England – something which he remarked would bear further investigation in its own right.

In related news, car insurance company Axa has recently pledged to do away with the practice of accepting referral fees for its policy holders that end up in personal injury traffic accident claims.

Cancer sufferer wins £3,000 medical negligence claim

After it was found that hospital staff had neglected to organise appropriate check-ups on the man to monitor the severity of his illness, one cancer sufferer brought a medical negligence claim which resulted in him being awarded £3,000 in personal injury compensation.

According to accident claim experts writing for the South Wales Evening Post newspaper, the man, whose identity has been withheld due to legal and privacy concerns, had been a patient at Camarthen’s  West Wales General Hospital at the time of the incident.  The man, who had received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, should have been scheduled to have a series of check-ups every three months in order to monitor the severity of his condition.

However, the patient was not seen again until a year had elapsed, which led to an unmonitored spread of his ailment.  The man had been lost in the shuffle of paperwork because of a backlog at the urology department, it was reported.

The man’s personal injury claims against the Hywel Dda Health Board were upheld by the courts.  He is now set to receive £3,000  in compensatory damages in the wake of the board admitting they had failed in its administrative services tasks at the hospital.

One Hywel Dda Health Board spokesperson apologised publicly for the failings.  The spokesperson also added that immediate actions had been undertaken that will work to prevent these kinds of mix-ups every happening again in the future.

The unnamed patient, unsure of his future and highly distressed by the incident, stated that he desperately hoped that the treatment for his disease would still be successful even after such a long delay.

Construction worker hurt, may file work accident claim

After he was struck upon the head by a seven pound scaffolding tube and suffered serious brain injury, one construction worker from Bristol may seek to bring a work accident claim against his employers.

Richard Chodkiewicz, aged fifty three, had been employed by Hoistway Ltd, a firm of lift suppliers and installers based in Somerset, at the time of the incident. According to accident claims specialists, Mr Chodkiewicz had been working at a construction site in Bristol’s Marsh Street, which was being prepared for the construction of a new hotel.

While a colleague of Mr. Chodkiewicz was on site and working up on the eighteenth floor, the injured man had been at the bottom of the site’s lift shaft watching his co-worker pull a scaffolding tube, which was being held aloft by a short length of thin piano wire.  However, the piano wire became untied, which sent the piece of scaffolding plummeting down the shaft from the fifteenth floor to strike Mr Chodkiewicz upon the head.

The former construction worker’s head injuries were serious and extensive., as he is now permanently brain damaged due to his injuries and needing care around the clock, say personal injury claims specialists.

Somerset based Hoistway Ltd, the man’s employer, was given a fine of  £70,000 for its role in the man’s permanent disabilities.  Hoistway was also ordered to pay court costs of £14,616, while Miller Construction Ltd, based in Edinburgh, was also fined £40,000 with additional court costs of £17,232 after both  firms admitted to being in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Nearly 3,000 workers suffered serious injuries in the construction industry last year alone, according to official figures.

Middlesbrough grandmother makes £150k accident claim

One grandmother from Middlesbrough has recently brought an accident claim that could result in as much as £150,000 in personal injury compensation being awarded to her after she was nearly killed when a van backed into her, personal injury lawyers writing for the Evening Gazette newspaper recently said.

The newspaper recently reported that Mary Kitching of Nunthorpe, aged eighty one, sustained serious multiple injuries in the incident that led to her personal injury claims. Mrs Kitching suffered fractures to her spine, ribs, hip, and pelvis, which kept her in the James Cook University Hospital of Middlesbrough’s intensive care ward for six weeks.

The grandmother of seven was finally allowed to return home after an additional four months of rehabilitation and treatment at hospital.  However the elderly grandmother still experiences great difficulties performing every day tasks and walking to this day, the newspaper reported.

An undisclosed but ‘substantial’ sum was awarded to Mrs Kitching for compensation from Mr Anthony Robinson, the driver of the van, and Stockton-on-Tees-based Ultralux Window Systems, of Eaglescliffe, the firm who employed him.   North Yorkshire native Mr Robinson, of Leven Road, in Yarm, was given a fine of £340 after he was found guilty of not driving with attention and due care.  He also received a total of nine penalty points on his motoring license.

Mrs Kitching gave a statement after the High Court hearing that led to her compensation award, stating that the monetary damages would make the life of her and her husband just that much easier.  However, Mrs Kitching stated that no amount of cash could ever put things aright to the point where she was prior to the accident.

RTA pothole victim claims hazards remain unrepaired

After receiving more than £3,000 in personal injury compensation after he injured himself by stepping on a pothole during an RTA, one pensioner from Essex has gone on record stating that the hazards that tripped him up have yet to be repaired.

Wickford native Terence Wakefield, aged seventy eight, had been visiting the Wickford Market when he trod upon a pothole, tripped, and suffered a fracture in his left wrist as he attempted to break his fall, according to accident claims specialists familiar with the incident.  Mr Wakefield brought his personal injury claims against Basildon Council.

The council admitted that they had a role in Mr Wakefield’s injuries and offered £3,100 in compensation to the man.  However, after a year has gone by, Mr Wakefield was shocked to discover that the potholes, some of which are as deep as three inches, are still untouched at the site of his accident.

In a recent article published by the Echo newspaper, three more other people have begun to sue the council for the injuries they sustained from their own accidents involving the potholes.  Mr Wakefield informed the Echo that the primary reason he had submitted a claim against the Basildon Council was in order to bring attention to the problem, which he had hoped would aid others from suffering the same injuries.

One spokesperson for the Basildon Council remarked that an outside, independent contractor had been hired on to help repair the dangerous potholes.  The spokesman added that the work was expected to be completed sometime in the immediate future.

No information was available at this time in regards to the three additional victims of the potholes in Wickford.

Woman wins £4.3m medical negligence case

After contracting meningitis as a child because of a delay in diagnosis, one young woman who filed a medical negligence case is now set to receive £4.3 million in personal injury compensation.

East Yorkshire native Natalie Tuthill, from Brough, had been nearing her first birthday when she fell ill and as admitted to the Hull Royal Infirmary, according to accident claims specialists familiar with the case.  It had taken two full days for the now twenty one year old to be diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and the delay left no choice but for Natalie to undergo a life saving emergency medical procedure.

Natalie was left with uncontrollable epileptic seizures as a result, and though she has the capability to perform many tasks unaided, her highly vulnerable state means that the likelihood of her ever being able to work is exceedingly slim.

According to an article published in the Yorkshire Post newspaper, Natalie launched a personal injury claim, with the help of her mother Carol, against the Strategic Health Authority for Yorkshire and the Humber.  Natalie’s legal team is arguing that if her illness had been diagnosed earlier, she had been prescribed antibiotic treatments that could have stopped her life changing disabilities from developing.

The Health Authority admitted their responsibility at an early stage of the court proceedings.  As a result, Natalie’s final settlement includes annual, index-linked payments of more than £83,000, plus a £1.75 million lump sum payment, in order to provide for her life long care needs.

Natalie’s family plans to use a portion of the money to afford the purchase of a larger and more accessible home, which will then be adapted specially to provide amenities to Natalie and her special needs.

Family of schoolgirl launch personal injury compensation claim

According to accident claim specialists familiar with the case, after one seven year old schoolgirl nearly lost her life in an accident involving a swimming pool, her family has decided to launch a personal injury compensation claim.

The Canvey native, who was not named for legal and privacy reasons, had been enjoying a swimming session in her local pool when an underwater vent sucked up some of her hair, trapping her under the water for more than two and one half minutes before her great grandfather dove into the pool to rescue her, according to personal injury claims experts writing for the Essex Echo newspaper.

The young schoolgirl, who hails from Thundersley, was fished from the pool in an unconscious state, her skin coloured blue.  She was rushed to the Southend Hospital following the incident, where she spent nine hours convalescing in the wake of her ordeal.

Waterside Pool owners and operators Castle Point Council were brought before Basidon Magistrates’ Court, where they were sucessfully prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for their part in the young girl’s injuries.  The council was given an £18,000 fine and was also ordered to pay an additional £7,500 towards court costs after they admitted to failures of their Health and Safety responsibilities.

The family of the injured girl has decided to pursue a compensation claim against Castle Point Council.   The girl’s mother, aged twenty nine, remarked that the likelihood of her daughter ever recovering from her traumatic experience was low, and that it would only be right that she was compensated for this traumatic and life-threatening incident.

Work accident claim nets refuse collector £8,520

After excessive noise exposure led to his permanent hearing loss, one Rochdale refuse collector brought a work accident claim against his employer, netting a £8,250 personal injury compensation award.

Middleton native Graham Wild of Aspinall Street, aged fifty, told accident claim specialists that throughout his three decade bin man career, never once was he offered any sort of ear protection. Instead Mr Wild had to suffer through working alongside noisy industrial re-cycling equipment and noisy refuse collection lorries for thirty years.

Discovering that he was suffering from industrial hearing loss in the wake of his attendance at a free hearing examination, Mr Wild also discovered that the constant ringing or buzzing sound within the ear he had been suffering from was actually a moderate case of tinnitus.

In a statement given to the Manchester Evening News newspaper, Mr Wild remarked that he had been incensed with the council for neglecting to point out the potentiality of hearing loss during the course of his employment.  If only Mr Wild had been cautioned, he said, he would have purchased a pair of ear defenders himself.

The hearing loss the experienced bin man now suffers from is permanent, according to his doctors.  The fifty year old, who still works in the refuse collection industry, will now face having to attend regular clinic appointments for the deaf for the remainder of his life.

Mr Wild decided to take legal action against his employers, the Rochdale Council, in order to receive some sort of compensation for his permanent hearing loss.  The council met with Mr Wild, hashing out an out of court settlement with the man for  £8,250 worth of compensatory damages.

Former soldier awarded £40k in personal injury compensation

After it was found that his hearing suffered irreparable damage during shooting practice, one former soldier from Lancashire has received a £40,000 personal injury compensation award.

Morecambe native Liam Bell, aged twenty, had been given instructions by his Section Commander to participate in a training exercise that involved the operation and use of hand grenades and fully automatic machine guns, according to accident claim experts familiar with the case.  However, because of a safety equipment shortage, Mr Bell was only provided with a single ear plug.

The former soldier immediately knew that his ability to hear had been affected the moment the other soldiers opened fire, recounts his personal injury claims.  Mr Bell described the noise as unbearably and painfully loud, according to an article appearing in the Lancashire Evening Post newspaper.

The former infrantryman now suffers from a condition referred to as tinnitus, his symptoms manifesting themselves usually as a ringing or buzzing sound within his ears.  Tinnitus sufferers can experience sleeping problems and great discomfort from the disorder, experts say.

The Ministry of Defence recently came to a settlement outside of court with Mr Bell in which the former soldier would receive £40,000 worth of  personal injury compensation for his hearing loss.

The situation was completely unfair, according to the words of a spokesperson, speaking on behalf of  Mr Bell’s team of legal advisers.  The fact that young men and young women who are willing to sacrifice themselves for their country’s safety are not adequately being cared for through the issue of proper safety equipment was deplorable said the spokesperson.

According to a MOD spokesman, front-line fighting troops scheduled to be deployed to serve in such locations as Afghanistan now have access to a cutting edge, innovative protection system designed to provide hearing protection through a personalised interface.

Cyclist hit by truck, injured in RTA, wins accident claim

After being hit by a truck and injured in an RTA, one cyclist has recently won his accident claim for a multi million pound payout.

Police constable Alexander Kotula, from London Colney, in Hertfordshire, had been struck by the lorry after he fell from his cycle in the wake of encountering electrical works on a narrow roadway in St Albans’ Park street, personal injury claims specialists familiar with his case recently commented.

Mr Kotula, aged twenty seven, sustained severe internal injuries in the collision.  The police constable also suffered serious debilitating damage to his spine in the incident that has left him completely dependent on a wheelchair for mobility – the man’s doctors are sceptical in Mr Kotula’s ability to regain the use of his legs.

Mr Kotula recently received a personal injury compensation award from the High Court in London for a £2.5 million lump sum.  The injured man will also regularly receive index-linked payments on an annual basis in order to help cover the costs of his care and his earnings losses.

Those responsible for the road works that led to the cyclist’s injuries, EDF Energy Networks PLC and their two contractors, admitted responsibility for the the incident in the wake of the High Court being told how the electrical works had no safety zone or warning signs to shield the public against traffic that passed by.  The area in which the electrical works were being carried out was on a very busy road, the High Court was also told.

EDF Energy had initially claimed that Mr Kotula’s negligence played a role in the accident, which would have led him to be partially responsible for the injuries he sustained.  However, Judge Simon Brown QC rejected this argument completely.