Motorbike accident claim leads to £10m compensation award

Industry news roundup: week ended 16 Feb 2015:

A motorcycle accident claim that was made in the wake of a man sustaining crippling injuries has been decided in his favour – to the tune of £10 million or so.

So it may not give Macel Beasley back his full physical function, but the 31 year old can at least live a bit more comfortably after he’s been given the financial wherewithal to actually live his life in the wake of the motorbike accident that changed his life. Beasley, which now needs the use of a wheelchair and requires constant care after he was left with serious brain damage and a serious speech impairment, has just been given a lump sum payment of something like £4.27 million – something he plans to spend on buying a home specially adapted to his needs – and yearly tax-free annual payments of £175,000 to help pay for the 24 hour a day care he can’t survive without.

I’m not going to go into the details surrounding the injuries Beasley sustained. To be completely honest with you it’s rather gruesome – let’s just say that was cut off by a VW Golf and ended up in hospital, in a coma, for two weeks straight before he even woke up. On the way to hospital he was so injured his heart stopped not once, not twice, but three bloody times; it’s an absolute miracle this man is still alive. Long story short – once everyone took a good, long, hard look at the accident, it was decided that the driver of the VW Golf was 100% responsible for the accident. In other words, Beasley got his £10 million compensation package so he can begin to put his life back together, or at least as much as he’ll be able to do now with his permanent and life-changing industries.

Honestly it’s instances like these that break my heart. Sure, Beasley became a millionaire overnight. I can almost guarantee that if you asked him if he would trade every penny of it if he could regain his ability to walk, talk and think unhindered, he would jump at the chance. I know I would – and I’ll wager that you would as well, wouldn’t you?



How to blow £50k in accident claims cash in a month

Industry news roundup: week ended 9 Feb 2015:

Looking for a crash course to blow £50,000 in personal injury compensation fast? Just follow pensioner Angela Nangle’s lead and you’ll be right as rain.

You heard that right – a 62 year old woman from Brighton spent some £50,000 she had been awarded after an accident claim in order to not have to declare the money as income and risk losing her housing benefit. The story came to light in Brighton Magistrates’ Court recently after it was revealed Nangle took out some £3,000 a day from her trust fund between May 27 and June 29 of 2012.

The story begins in 2009 when she filed notice that she would be receiving a personal injury compensation award that exceeded £16,000. That’s the minimum that would see her losing her housing benefit – and that’s when she placed it in a trust fund so the cash couldn’t be taken into account. However something changed three years later when she didn’t declare any money in the account on a review form, and that sparked an investigation into the matter.

Finally the truth came out recently in court, with Nangle admitting that she had been taking the money out in cash instead of depositing it in a bank account. She knew that if there was any sort of paper trail she’d end up having to list it on a housing benefit claim. The 62 year old instead decided to blow the money any way she could – and I mean any way she could. I’m talking fine dining, expensive wine, and male companionship. That’s right: the pensioner was buying the company of male escorts with her compensation award.

Her reason for doing so? The money was too much trouble to manage, so she decided to get rid of it.

You know if she truly wanted to get rid of her cash I would have been more than happy to take the money off her hands. I could use a new car or two, or maybe a nice sailing yacht. Honestly what was this woman thinking? At any rate I hope she had a good time blowing all that cash like that. I know I would have.


Diminutive disabled access door leads to accident claim

Industry news roundup: week ended 1 Dec 2014:

A disabled access door at a cinema that turned out to be too small has led to an accident claim being made by a pensioner currently languishing in hospital.

Everyone likes going to the cinema, am I right? Even if there’s nothing but rubbish playing at your local, it’s a chance to get away from real life for a while. Well, at least it should have been for 64 year old Ian Johnston, but he happened to have a run-in with a disabled access door that was allegedly too short, leading on a bump to the head and a backwards fall that left him paralysed.

Mr Johnston, a retired postman, already had a pre-existing neurological condition called CIDP – short for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy – that necessitates him walking with crutches. Last March, he was attending Showcase Cinema in Stockton, at Teesside Leisure Park, when he bumped his head atop the doorway of a disabled access entrance, causing his CIDP to worsen. The injured man fell backwards so hard that he fractured his spine, eventually ending up in hospital – where he still is now, some 34 weeks after the initial incident.

Today, Mr Johnston says that he’s suffering from paralysis that only leaves his arms able to move. As a result he brought a personal injury claim against NATL Amusements, the cinema operator, on the grounds that the disabled access door should have been higher. For what it’s worth it’s not like the man is even all that tall to begin with – at 6ft 1in he’s hardly a giant, and it’s not like he was using those crutches to gain a few inches of height either, so it sounds to me that maybe that disabled access door was indeed a bit shorter than it should be.

Whether it’s something that will lead to a big fat personal injury compensation award, though, is anyone’s guess. My heart goes out to Mr Johnston of course, as it sounds like he has more than his fair share to deal with between his CIDP, his fractured spine, and now this case of paralysis. I can only hope that the cinema’s operator decides it’s not worth the effort for a long and arduous court case and simply settles out of court so the man can get on with his life.


The cost of claims both legitimate and faked

Industry news roundup: week ended 16 Sept 2013:

Whether it’s spurious or legitimate, an accident claim has a serious cost – and not just to the party held responsible for the injury!

Claims fraud is, for example, a serious problem right now in the UK. Why, just the other day there was a massive scam uncovered where two blokes tried to bilk £77,000 from an insurance company – and if they had succeeded, it would have been all of us who would have ended up footing the bill!

Luckily these two bastards, Darren Gallimore and Kenneth Nash, were caught as they were in the midst of organising their ‘cash for crash’ whiplash claim with the help of several other family members. Thankfully an investigation by the insurer discovered that the so-called ‘accident’ might not have ever occurred, and further probing saw the plan uncovered – now the two ringleaders are spending a nice, long 12 months in prison for their attempts to defraud. Good, I say – my insurance premiums are high enough without them having to rocket upwards because my firm needs to recover the cost of fraudulent claims!

But just because fraudulent claims tend to be for ungodly amounts of cash doesn’t mean that legitimate claims can’t be as expensive. In fact, a new Freedom of Information request recently revealed that Blackpool Council is currently being sued for in excess of £45,000 from school-related injuries alone!

That’s right – staff, pupils, and even visitors to Blackpool schools are getting injured left and right it seems. There were some 36 claims that were currently working their way through the courts at the moment, with the most recent being May of this year and the oldest stemming from September of 2010, and the injuries range from simple slips and trips to ending up injured after being hit by a football.

I’m not saying that people don’t end up hurt from accidents – it happens, we all know it – but being hit by a football? Is that truly something that passes for being injured enough to make a claim for personal injury compensation? Sure I can see getting your nose bloodied by an errant, out of control football, but for pity’s sake don’t claim thousands of pounds in injury!

Mind the gap or you might need to make an injury claim!

Industry news roundup: week ended 15 July 2013:

Public transport can be a pain, but it can be positively dangerous to your health as well; nowhere is it more dangerous than in London!

At least that’s what it looks like if a recent Freedom of Information request can be believed, as it came out this week that the London Underground has seen so many accidents over the past four years that it’s had to pay out on £2.5 million in personal injury compensation to thousands of injured tube riders. There were some 3,471 injuries last year alone – an increase of some 200 over 2011 figures, according to the information – with the most common occurrences being trips and falls.

You should be especially careful if you get on or off at Kings Cross St Pancras as well, as this station has the dubious honour of being the most dangerous. Transport for London received 147 passenger injury reports in 2012, making it the clear ‘winner;’ from 2009 to last year there were a total of 661 reported injuries in all.

Budget cuts have been the culprit, according to the Road Transport Union, as stations with skeleton crews simply can’t keep up with the maintenance needs of a massive railway network like the Underground. I wonder if it would have been cheaper to simply pay the salaries of a few more railway workers instead of paying out on such an enormous number of accident claims over the past four years!

It’s not just passengers that need to watch their necks, either; the few railway workers left are also experiencing some rather serious injuries whilst on the job. In fact i read about how a 32 year old railway worker that was severely burnt in an explosion has ended up with a massive settlement after he was left in the burn unit for an excruciating 10 weeks.

The poor man suffered 30 per cent burns to not just his upper body but his face as well, causing severe injuries and limiting his ability to breathe and speak. He also has ended up with poor movement in his right hand due to numbness and is now permanently disfigured as well, all because he had been working on a power cable that hadn’t been isolated properly and was actually coursing with electricity.

Can you imagine the pain and suffering this railway worker has had to endure since his personal injury at work? I suppose tripping down the stairwell at a tube station seems like a rather minor injury indeed in comparison, doesn’t it?

Serious injuries lead to massive compensation payouts

Industry news roundup: week ended 18 Mar 2013:

If you ever doubted that accident claims can cost massive amounts of money in personal injury compensation, you need go no further than this week’s news!

Here’s one story that’s been all over the place lately: some poor bloke that fell in pothole several years ago and injured his head so badly that he’s now suffering from epilepsy and brain damage has finally won his personal injury claim against those responsible. It’s about time, if you ask me; the poor sod has been trying to squeeze compensation out of Homes for Haringey – those responsible for keeping the road surface in good nick – for far too long.

The injured man, Kyle Bullock, had simply been walking along Lightfoot Road in Hornsey in 2007 when he was tripped up by the pothole, sending him spilling to the floor where he struck his head. Even after having underwent brain surgery, Kyle was still doing quite poorly, but now London’s High Court has awarded him an unspecified compensation payment, though it’s expected to be massive due to the nature of his injuries.

Homes for Haringey has since put into place a much more comprehensive plan for maintaining the roadways under its purview since the accident, a spokesperson said in the wake of the court ruling. The firm now spends around £300,000 every year on maintaining road conditions to keep similar accidents from occurring, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of pounds are being paid out in Essex, though these are due to school accidents. In fact, pupils have been awarded some  £220,000 from Essex County Council from 2008 to 2010, according to a Freedom of Information Request that was filled recently.

These accidents tend to be rather expensive on an individual basis, as the average payout can be anywhere from £20,000 to as high as £30,000 depending on the nature of the injury. The most expensive one was for £30,544, which was paid to a pupil who suffered some rather nasty injuries after tripping down some stairs. Other injuries costing the council come cash include a slip on a wet floor that ended up costing nearly £28,000, a fall from climbing equipment that cost more than £24,500, and a similar injury where a child fell from a defective set of monkey bars, costing around £23,500.

I suppose £220,000 seems like a massive amount of cash over two years, but let’s be honest here: Essex County Council is responsible for some 500 schools. The total damage could be much, much higher if the schools weren’t as safe as they were, and let’s not forget that some accidents just happen – still, it’s never comforting to hear about hurt children, especially when the injuries occur in an environment where they’re supposed to be safe and cared for!

Getting injured on the job is a tough thing to deal with

Industry news roundup: week ended 4 Mar 2013:

It’s tough to deal with a personal injury at work, and the stories in the news this past week are a perfect indication of just how difficult it can be.

First up is the story of a £1.8 million personal injury compensation claim launched by a nursing assistant in Peterborough after she slipped on some spilt food. Michelle Lay, a thirty nine year old Yaxley native, had been unloading a food trolley at a local mental health unit when the incident occurred, which saw her slipping on some spilt left-overs that had not been tidied up, and Mrs Lay said in her accident claim that she actually left the floor when she slipped, only to smash her head on the food trolley and crash down on the base of her spine when she hit the floor.

Mrs Lay says that she’s been left in agonising neck and back pain as a result of the accident, forcing her to not just have to undergo a surgical procedure to fuse the top of her spine but to leave her job. She has since launched an injury claim against the NHS Trust that is responsible for the medical facility, claiming an initial £100,000 for her back, though the compensation claim has since grown to £1.8 million to take into account her neck injuries as well.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has been fighting the injured woman tooth-and-nail, claiming that her injured neck was actually more due to an accident she was in at nineteen and that the hospital shouldn’t be responsible for such a massive personal injury claim. However, there’s not enough medical evidence to rule one way or another, and now the woman has to wait until a later date for the High Court to make a judgment.

Meanwhile, a lollipop lady from Wigan has fared a bit better in the wake of an injury she received at the hands of a hit and run car driver that knocked her over as she was undertaking her duties in helping schoolchildren cross the road. Karen Littler, the forty nine year old mother of four who was struck, feels trepidation to this day about actually stepping out into the road despite the fact that her injuries occurred a year ago, though the fact that she has received a four figure compensation sum has perhaps taken the sting out of this slightly.

Mrs Littler had been struck by a brown Honda Insight that then sped off. Luckily an astute witness to the accident took down the car’s registration letter and provided these details to the police, and the authorities caught up to the motorist, who was then dragged into Wigan Magistrates Court on charges of driving without due care.

The motorist was convicted, and on top of that Mrs Littler sued the driver’s insurer for damages. The lollipop lady’s personal injury solicitors prevailed, earning her an undisclosed sum that is understood to be at least four figures.

I really can’t imagine what kind of terrible person would not just hit a lollipop lady with their vehicle but then flee the scene as well. I’m very glad to hear that they were caught and punished, and that Mrs Littler received a compensation award for her pain and suffering!

Blind man seeks compensation after Tasered by police

Industry news roundup: week ended 29 Oct 2012:

News broke this week how one poor man has decided to seek personal injury compensation after being Tasered by police in a case of mistaken identity.

Colin Farmer, a sixty two year old man from Chorley who is legally registered as only partially sighted and blind after suffering two strokes, was Tasered from behind with a debilitating 50,000 Volt Taser gun by a police officer after the law enforcement official thought he was, of all things, a samurai sword wielding thug. Poor Mr Farmer had been on his way down to his local pub to meet some of his mates for a few pints, using his white walking stick, when it was mistaken by Chorley police – who had been alerted to some sword wielding man in the area – for the weapon.

Mr Farmer had been moving slowly at the time due to his disability when police ordered him to stop. However, the man mis-interpreted the shouting as a street thug attempting to mug him, and in the resultant furore the police officer Tasered him in the back, causing him to collapse on the pavement face first.

Once the police realised the grave mistake they made, they rushed the blind man to Chorley Hospital for treatment. However, the injured man has since made the decision to make a personal injury claim against the police.

It has been reported that later that night the police found the actual individual they were looking for in the first place. The self-styled street samurai, a twenty seven year old male, was apprehended whilst in possession of the martial arts weapon and taken into police custody, where he will undoubtedly need to use all his samurai skills to emerge from this unscathed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is understood to be launching an investigation into the incident and will hopefully uncover how anyone could not only mistake a blind man’s walking stick for a two-handed sword wielded by ancient Japanese warriors, not to mention how it could be justified to Taser the same blind man from behind as he fled from the offier at the breakneck speed of of a disabled shuffle. We can only hope that Mr Farmer has the best of luck in pursuing his accident claim.

Teacher paralysed while welly wanging, seeks £5m in damages

One teacher who was paralysed whilst welly wanging is currently pursuing £5 million in personal injury compensation, it was recently reported.

Glennroy Blair-Ford, a forty five year old native of Bromley, in South London, had been at  Devon adventure centre with a group of pupils on an activity holiday when the incident that left him paralysed from the neck down occurred, according to his accident claim. Mr Blair-Ford, who had been asked to participate in a welly wanging competition – a contest to throw a Wellington boot as far as you can – when he fell and sustained catastrophic injury.

The former head of technology and design had been tossing the boot backwards from in between his legs in order to handicap his performance against that of his pupils, but Mr Blair-Ford instead fell forward head-first as he was taking his turn, sustaining a broken neck that left him permanently paralysed and completely dependent on full time care as well as ventilator support in order to allow him to breathe for as many as twenty three hours out of the day.

The catastrophically injured man has launched a personal injury claim against CRS Adventures Ltd, the owners of the adventure centre. Mr Blair-Ford’s personal injury solicitors claim that CRS Adventures neglected to warn the injured man about the potential risks involved in welly wanging, with the £5 million compensation figure necessary to fund the support and care the paralysed man will need in order to live.

The Devon-based firm has denied any and all liability for the incident, based on the grounds that any potential risk of such serious injury could not possibly have been foreseen.

Keep your head about you in the event of an accident

In the heat of a moment or right after a road traffic accident or a slip and trip, it can be hard to keep in mind the right things to do – but once you’ve made sure that you or anyone else involved in the accident is physically safe, experts say you’ve got some legal responsibilities to keep in mind – especially if you think you may be making or be involved in an accident claim.

One of the most important things to do once you’re no longer in the thick of it is to write everything down in order to create a record of events. This is especially important if you think you may have to make a personal injury compensation claim, as you’ll need to supply the names and addresses of anyone and everyone who was at the scene of the accident, both those directly involved and those who simply witnessed the incident; if you’re doing this on behalf of an incapacitated victim, make sure you take accurate notes for their personal injury lawyers.

In addition to writing everything down, you should supplement this with taking photographs of the aftermath of a particular accident. With nearly every mobile phone having a camera built into it at this point, it’s easy to take a series of snaps to document the state of the pavement you tripped over or the state of your vehicle after a road accident, and claimants that have photographic evidence prevail much more often than those who do not.

Finally – and this could be the most important tip – you need to keep everything organised in a file or a folder. Just keeping all your paperwork in the same, easily accessible place will make it much easier for you to manage the stress that comes with making an accident claim.