Accident solicitor goes into administration – 40 jobs lost

After one accident solicitor firm based in Manchester has gone into administration, in excess of 40 positions have been lost as a result.

Personal injury claims specialist Donns LLP recently went into administration after reporting that significant historic liabilities and recent cash flow difficulties for its shuttering, which led to 42 staff being made redundant.  PricewaterhouseCoopers staff members Robert Hebnton and Toby Underwood were named joint administrators of the firm, and its 2,500 personal injury compensation cases currently in progress have been sold off to legal firm Irwin Mitchell in order to minimise the amount of disruption faced by Donns clients.

Mr Hebenton remarked that he and Mr Underwood are quite appreciative of the worries clients of Donns will have at this time, but assured them that all necessary arrangements have been taken care of in order to minimise and client issues by transferring every live client file upon the appointment of the joint administrators.  Each accident claim client will be contacted by Irwin Mitchell in order to be apprised of their case’s particulars, offering them to either appoint their firm or another one if they wish to pursue their case, Mr Hebenton also added.

Founded in 1969 by Raymond Donn, the Manchester-based Donns LLP had been in dire financial straits since at least April of 2010, according to Companies Ouse.  That year, the solicitor’s assets were outstripped by its liabilities by a massive £5.5 million, official figures say, and many other solicitor firms have fears that the new legal aid bill, once signed into law, may make it even more expensive for them to operate in the current economic landscape.

Equestrian enthusiasts warned against no win no fee claims

Equestrian enthusiasts such as livery yards, riding schools, and riders have all been warned against no win no fee claims, with one legal firm stating that proper liability insurance must be in place to avoid costly personal injury compensation claims.

One accident solicitor has recently remarked that it has been getting a steady stream of calls every day in the wake of advertising on Facebook recently, with one representative from the law firm stating that riding cases are indistinguishable form other kinds of injury claims, as negligence principles are the same.  The number of equestrian claims has gone up over the past decade, the solicitor representative added, but attributed it less to a change in mentality and more to an increased number of riding enthusiasts.

The firm has represented several riders who were injured, such as one who had fallen from their horse and sustained injuries when a large HGV passed them at speed.  Another rider made a successful claim against the owner of her mount as a horse whipped around, breaking her arm – she prevailed at court because she had not been warned about the horse’s behaviour.

South Essex Insurance Brokers representative David Buckton warned both businesses and riders to take steps to ensure they were prepared, stating that no win no fee claims are everywhere.  Taking steps to secure the proper paperwork in order and making sure liability insurance is in place is a crucial step to safeguard against someone making a claim, Mr Buckton also said.

The Association of British Riding Schools also weighed in on the issue, adding that riding schools need to undertake risk assessments regularly and have comprehensive paperwork, according to  Julian Marczak, the association’s representative.  Courts will routinely ignore good work if not recorded, Mr Marczak cautioned, urging proprietors to document everything exhaustively and to pick an insurer that has a solid understanding of the sector.

Merseyside mother considers claim on behalf of daughter

One mother from Merseyside is considering an accident claim for the injuries her five year old daughter sustained when she fell while on the playground, personal injury compensation experts recently reported.

Amanda Rood, thirty two years of age, said in a recent interview in the Liverpool Echo newspaper that Ellie-May, her five year old daughter, had fallen at the Ravenscroft Primary School’s playground during lunchtime, shattering her arm in two places.  According to accident solicitor experts writing for the newspaper, the young girl had to suffer through what seemed like endless hours of surgery in order to repair her ruined elbow and damaged bone, with Ellie-May’s mother having been informed by hospital staff that the five year old girl could face a complete recovery time of anywhere from five to six years before she would be able to regain full use of her arm, since the girl’s injuries were so severe.

A Kirby native, Ms Rood is now thinking about seeking legal advice against her daughter’s school.  The thirty two year old mother feels that there was not adequate supervision for the children during their lunchtime break, and taking into account the young age of the children, Ms Rood feels that this constitutes negligence on the part of the school.

When Knowlsey Council was approached for comment by the newspaper, a spokesman did confirm that an accident had occurred at the school, and that there was a full investigation into the incident currently taking place.  Meanwhile, the injured Ellie-May, whose entire left arm is completely swathed in plaster, will not be returning to her lessons for at least four weeks.

Injured woman requests her car accident claim to be re-opened

Even after she received a £12,500 personal injury compensation award for an accident in which she received serious injuries to her head, one Lancashire woman has requested that her car accident claim case be re-opened.

According to accident solicitor experts writing for the Wigan Today newspaper, Joanne Dunhill, fifty years of age, had been run over by a motorcycle while she was trying to cross the A635 Doncaster Road.  Ms Dunhill sustained severe head injuries in the accident, which resulted in a £12,500 compensation award from the motorcycle rider’s insurance company.

However, Ms Dunhill may not have had the requisite amount of legal capacity to make informed decisions when she initially accepted the settlement offer in 2003 due to extent of the injuries she suffered to her head, members of her legal team are now suggesting.  The case has been taken to the Court of Appeal, with the injured woman’s legal representatives making the argument that the £12,500 sum that had been awarded to her was woefully inadequate.

Calling her initial award merely ‘chicken feed,’ her legal team claims that, due to the extent of her head injuries, the damages Ms Dunhill was entitled to were much higher, claiming that a proper award should have been approximately £2.2 million.

At the time of the initial payout, Ms Dunhill remarked that she felt as if she had no choice but to accept the offer, as suggestions were made to her that she could take the £12,500 or leave with nothing.  As a measure of the importance of the injured woman’s case, judgement on whether she has the right to appeal the initial settlement has been deferred to a forthcoming date.

Accident claims are more than just slips, trips, and falls

Accident claims are more than just slips, trips, and falls, said one leading personal injury compensation specialist recently.

One accident solicitor said that there are any number of serious incidents that can lead to individuals making compensation claims against the party that was responsible for their injuries, not just slips and trips.  Some of the claims successfully processed by the firm include industrial disease victims or those involved in accidents on holiday, at the workplace, or whilst on the road.

There are dangers in assuming that claims are made only for low profile incidents, the expert said, as many injured individuals, whose claims are just as valid, don’t know where they can turn for legal advice.  A spokesperson for the solicitor firm said that many newspaper reports and television adverts have been making it seem as if the focus of the industry is people who fall from ladders or lose their footing on wet floors, when in reality the range of incidents and accidents is actually much more broad.

There are any number of incidents that could result in compensation payouts, such as those who suffer from industrial diseases such as occupational deafness and mesothelioma, or those who suffer injuries on package holidays overseas, in motorcycles and cars, or while at work.

Industry experts recommend that, if you’ve been injured in any way, you should seek out a solicitor firm that has experience in pursuing claims related to personal injuries and has demonstrated a commitment to making sure their clients get what they need from the entire claims process.  A good solicitor will work to understand the individual’s specific needs and make sure that they are compensated properly for their injuries.

York accident solicitor sets up own practice after Ingrams sale

After her employer sold off its personal injury claims division, one accident solicitor from York has set up her own legal practice.

Law firm Ingrams, with offices in both Hull and York, has sold off the lion’s share of its personal injury compensation cases to Hull and Leeds based Neil Hudgell Solicitors.  However, one former Ingrams accident claim expert, Dianna Bamforth, has retained a portion of her clients in order to set up Ardent Law, her own practice, launching in October of this year.

Ms Bamforth remarked that her new firm’s next move will look into the redeployment of four solicitors that worked alongside her at Ingrams into other fields of law.  The former Ingrams partner added that she believed that there is a viable future for personal injury law in the York region, unlike her former colleagues at her previous firm.

While she worked as a Bradford solicitor as a trainee, Ms Bamforth attended classes at Park Lane Law College in Leeds.  She fully qualified in 2003, but two years prior to that she allied with business partners to launch Ingrams in York.

Neil Hudgell Solicitors, which has already purchased two practices, launched a website earlier in 2011 with an aim at buying the personal injury clients of law firms.  The firm, which has more buyouts in the pipeline, said that it is gearing up towards increased levels of specialisation before October’s ushering in Alternative Business Structures, which will allow supermarkets and insurance companies to offer legal services to consumers.

York based Ingrams, which employs 50 staff members within the region, remarked that its new focus will be on several different services, including residential and commercial conveyancing, debt recovery, employment law, civil litigation, probate, and wills.

Legal experts share five steps to making your accident claim

The personal injury claims process can sometimes be as harrowing as the incident that was originally responsible for your injuries, but car accident claim legal experts have come forward with five steps you should follow to make things as painless as possible.

Experts say that your first step should always be to get yourself a proper accident solicitor.  Not only will experienced, talented legal representation ensure that your personal injury claims go off without a hitch, but they can also provide you with practical arrangements and help in regards to the specific type of injury you might have suffered – such as the need for special adaptations that need to be made to vehicles or homes.

Experts also say that you should hold on to any and all receipts that bear some relation to your injuries.  This can include not only missed work and loss of earnings, but also parking tickets from hospital visits, medicines, or anything else that could have an affect on your final compensation award.

The next step is to make sure that you gather anyone that saw what happened during your accident as witnesses, experts say.  Your solicitor will need their contact details in order to properly build your compensation case, so don’t delay in tracking down everyone you can remember who was there at the time.

The next top tip may seem like a given, but don’t forget to seek out a qualified medical professional after your accident.  Even if you feel all right in the wake of any incidents, get a thorough check up to ensure there’s no hidden injuries lurking below the surface.

Finally, experts say that you should keep the time and money spent by your family in your care into account.  If family members have needed to take time from their own work to see to your needs, make sure your solicitor knows about this as this could also increase your compensation award in the end as well.

Planning consultant brings accident claim against employers

After suffering a severe head injury when he fell off a cycle during an outing organised by his employers, one planning consultant from Kent has brought an accident claim against the firm of estate agents that was responsible for the team bonding day.

Whitstable native Simon Reynolds, aged 49, had been riding on a bicycle track at a county park located near Deal when he collided with a colleague in June of 2008, according to the details of the man’s personal injury compensation claim.  Both men were employed by estate agents Strutt & Parker, the organiser of the event.

Mr Reynolds’s personal injury claims maintain that Strutt & Parker had neglected to make a risk assessment, making them liable for his injuries.  Mr Reynolds had not been wearing a cycle helmet at the time of the incident.

The 49 year old man’s former employers are disputing his claims.

Mr Reynolds’ accident solicitor, Steven Ford QC, said that his client had been employed by the Canterbury office of Strutt & Parker.  While participating in an annual team bonding day organised by the Canterbury office bosses, said Mr Ford, his client sustained severe head injuries in the cycling accident.

Mr Reynolds fell and hit his head upon the Fowlmead Country Park’s tarmac track after he collided with Alastair Cracknell, a fellow employee.  Mr Reynolds had not been wearing a helmet, said Mr Ford, because he had not been told to wear one by his employers, and if he had been required to do so he would not have sustained such serious and permanent brain injuries.

Helmets had been available for those who were participating in the cycle race, countered Strutt & Parker.  Legal representatives for the firm are set to outline further points of their case later this week.

Employee falls from height, may file for damages

Accident claim experts recently reported that after a heavy goods vehicle company’s employee fell from height and sustained serious personal injuries, the company may be facing a personal injury compensation claim from their worker.

The Darwen native, whose name has been withheld from the media due to a request for privacy, fell nearly three meters from the roof of an HGV cab as he attempted to descend from the spot.  The forty seven year old worker had been trying to climb onto an unsecured ladder when he fell, accident solicitor sources say.

The man suffered both a fractured elbow and a fractured hip in the fall, which kept him from returning to work for four months.  He had originally went up to the roof of the vehicle to make a determination on whether a wind deflector should be fitted to the HGV.

JDS Trucks Ltd, the man’s employer, located on Forrest Street, in Blackburn, was brought before Accrington Magistrates’ Court after the Health and Safety Executive prosecuted it for regulatory breach.  The HGV sale and repair company was found guilty and given a fine of nearly £10,000 in addition to being ordered to pay more than £4,6oo in court costs as well.

In the wake of the court hearing, one HSE inspector commented on the incident by stating that the firm had obviously not payed any consideration to the health and safety of their workers whilst engaged in climbing onto trucks with the use of just a ladder.  JDS Trucks has made the decision to implement a gantry system since the accident, which has done much to improve the safety of their employees who face having to work at height during the course of their duties.

Accident solicitor experts report serious injury in Hayes

Accident solicitor experts have recently reported a serious injury occurred in Hayes when one man was pinned by two-and-a-half-tonne stone slabs that fell off a truck at the granite company at which he was employed.

The injured man, who has requested his name not be released to the media in order to preserve his privacy, had been working with his employer, Mr Monzer Mahmoud Alrayes, unloading stone slabs from the back of an articulated lorry.  However, one pack of stone slabs fell off the back of the truck, pinning the man between two pallets, state accident claim experts.

After sustaining serious injuries to his arm and his upper body, the worker was rushed to hospital where he needed to undergo several surgical procedures to correct the damage.  The man also needed months of rehabilitation and therapy in the wake of the incident – and may be considering a work accident claim as well.

Both Mr Alrayes, the company for which he is a director, M & R Granite and Marble Ltd, located in the Brook Industrial Estate, Hillingdon, were brought before the Magistrates’ Court for the City of London for a hearing in which the Health and Safety Executive prosecuted them for being in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.   After entering a plea of guilty, both the firm and the director were given a fine of £5,000 for their role in the man’s injuries.

In the wake of the hearing, one inspector for the HSE called the accident entirely avoidable.  The HSE inspector remarked that the inherent dangers involved with both the loading and unloading of heavy, dangerous objects such as stone slabs had not only been highlighted by the HSE, but the manufacturing industry as a whole.