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Car Accidents in the UK

In the UK, car accidents are the most common reason for a personal injury claim. Despite this, you should always seek independent professional legal advice about claiming compensation for car accidents in the UK as no two individual circumstances are the same. Claims for car accident compensation in the UK should be managed by a solicitor to ensure you receive your full entitlement to UK car accidents compensation and do not inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer from the negligent party´s insurance company. You only get one chance at a car accidents claim in the UK and, if you run out of money because you accepted an offer in haste, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more. Better that you first speak with an experienced solicitor on our freephone injury claims advice service.

Injury Claim for a Car Park Accident Settled by Negotiation

May 15, 2017

A woman who suffered brain damage when she was hit by an out-of-control car, has settled her injury claim for a car park accident for a six-figure amount.

On February 23rd 2016, Andrea Gregory – a 43-year-old beauty therapist from Nottingham – was hit by an out-of-control car just after parking her own vehicle in the car park of the local Netherfield Retail Park. Andrea was thrown into the air and hit her head on the asphalt as she landed – causing her to sustain a traumatic brain injury.

Andrea was taken to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, where she remained in intensive care for three days. She was subsequently transferred to the neurology ward, where she was diagnosed with a contusion to the right frontal lobe of her brain and a contrecoup brain injury that caused Andrea to lose her senses of taste and smell.

Following her discharge a week later, Andrea suffered from debilitating vertigo for five weeks. She still suffers from accident-related anxiety, post-traumatic amnesia, and has problems with her eyesight. She was unable to return to work for several months and – due to the problems with her eyesight – has had to surrender her driving license.

Although the police investigation into the accident found the driver of the car that hit Andrea at fault, she sought legal advice about making an injury claim for a car park accident to ensure she was compensated for every consequence of her injury. Following a period of negotiation, Andrea´s solicitors secured a six-figure settlement from the negligent driver´s insurers that will fund any future support or rehabilitation she may need.

Speaking after her injury claim for a car park accident had been settled, Andrea said: “While it can’t undo what has happened, the settlement is a great relief because I know I have the funds for ongoing treatment as well as the ability to concentrate of my rehabilitation rather than worry about the bills.”

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Changes to Whiplash Compensation Claims to Take Effect Oct 2018

February 28, 2017

The government has announced changes to how whiplash compensation claims will be handled and the date from which the changes will take effect – Oct 1st 2018.

Details of most of the government´s personal injury reforms were announced last week by the Ministry of Justice – including changes to how whiplash compensation claims will be handled from Oct 1st 2018. As largely expected, the threshold for claims made through the small courts has been raised to £5,000, but this increase only relates to injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. Other personal injury claims through the small claims court will be subject to a ceiling of £2,000, with the exception of claims for minor psychological injuries such as travel anxiety and shock.

In addition to the new threshold for small claims, whiplash compensation claims will be settled according to how long the symptoms of whiplash persist. Over the seven bands ranging from “up to three months” to nineteen to twenty-four months” claimants will be entitled to receive a set figure of between £225 and £3,725 – generally much lower than the current levels of whiplash injury settlements. Strict definitions will be applied to what constitutes a whiplash injury in order to reduce the scope for whiplash compensation claims to circumnavigate the new measure.

In one further significant change to whiplash compensation claims, insurance companies will be prohibited from making an offer of settlement without medical evidence. This measure will help eliminate bogus whiplash compensation claims and encourage insurance companies to make fair and accurate offers of settlement to claimants injured in a road traffic accident. The Ministry of Justice commented it expects the savings made by insurance companies under the changes to be reflected in the cost of future motor insurance policies.

The Ministry also added that judges would have the discretion to increase or decrease whiplash compensation settlements by up to 20% “in exceptional circumstances”. No definition has been given of what “exceptional circumstances” should involve, the Ministry believing it is more appropriate for the courts to decide when circumstances are exceptional.

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MoJ Justifying Motor Accident Claims Policy on “Selective Data”

January 16, 2017

The Motor Accident Solicitors Society has accused the Department of Justice of using selective data to justify its motor accident claims policy.

The criticism of the mechanics being used to shape injury claims reforms was made by Simon Stanfield – the Chairman of the Motor Accidents Solicitors Society. In a recent press release, he claimed the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was cherry-picking data to suit its motor accident claims policy and ignoring the rights of motor accident casualties.

Mr Stanfield referred to the MoJ´s consultation paper on motor accident claims, in which it was stated that the number of reported accidents between 2006 and 2015 had fallen from 190,000 to 142,000 per year. Yet Department for Transport figures published last week in Parliament revealed that more than 500,000 accidents were unreported to the police between 2011 and 2015.

Saying that he was hugely disappointed that the MoJ was justifying its motor accident claims policy on “selective data”, Mr Stanfield commented that the Ministry had systematically chosen to ignore the Department´s best estimate of around 710,000 motor accident casualties (reported and unreported), and that these are real people who need insurers and lawyers to look after them.

He added: “What we need is evidence-based policy to tackle the issues in the claims sector, not continued attempts to ignore the evidence of the number of road casualties to suit its policy agenda. With the evidence now before Parliament in black and white, the MoJ must now acknowledge that its evidence base for these proposals is seriously and perhaps fatally flawed.”

The Department for Transport figures presented to Parliament last week were in response to a question by the Chair of the Transport Select Committee – Louise Ellman MP. They were based on hospital admissions and other collected data between 2011 and 2015, and estimated around 460,000 “slight” injuries were unreported each year, along with 60,000 serious injuries due to motor accidents.

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Insurers Challenge Proposed Changes to Lump Sum Compensation Payments

December 28, 2016

The insurance industry is taking legal action against proposed injury claims reforms that would increase lump sum compensation payments for serious injuries.

When courts award lump sum compensation payments for serious injuries, a “discount” is often applied to the settlement. The discount represents an assumption about how much interest the lump sum will accrue if the claimant invests the settlement over his or her life expectancy.

Historically, the amount of the discount was influenced by the interest rate at the time. However, in 2001, the government set a fixed rate of 2.5 percent. This rate has remained unchanged since, despite the decline in interest rates following the financial crash of 2008.

According to a report in the Financial Times, insurance companies are unhappy with proposals announced by Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss to reduce the discount rate to a percentage more appropriate to the current economic climate.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) claims that a reduction of the discount rate would result in a substantial increase in the value of lump sum compensation payments and feels that the industry has not been fully consulted about the consequences of the proposals.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Huw Evans – the Director-General of the ABI – explained why the organization was taking legal action against the proposed injury claims reforms, saying: Insurers are open to a proper dialogue on how to reform the system, but this is not the way to do it”.

Mr Evans believes that the discount rate applied to lump sum compensation payments needs to reflect the actual returns claimants could receive, rather than relying on a single figure. “It is vital that claimants get the compensation they are entitled to” he told the newspaper, “based on a formula that reflects how they are likely to invest it”.

The consequences of a significantly reduced discount rate and higher lump sum compensation payments for serious injuries could eliminate any savings to motorists generated by the proposals aimed at cracking down on fraudulent whiplash claims. Mohammad Khan – at partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers told the Financial Times: “It could increase the average price paid for motor insurance by 20 percent”, adding approximately £85.00 per year to the average car insurance policy.

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Girl Awarded Undisclosed Compensation for Road Rage Injuries

August 29, 2016

A girl, who was seriously injured when run over by a dangerous driver, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation for road rage injuries.

In June 2012, Emily Kirwin was just four years of age when she was riding in the trailer of her father´s bicycle, as he and Emily´s mother were cycling near their home in North Cave, East Yorkshire. As the family cycled along through Yorkshire Wolds, a Range Rover driven by Carl Baxter drove past dangerously close to them.

Emily´s father – Stephen Kirwin – shouted at Baxter and raised his fist in anger. Baxter retaliated by reversing his vehicle at speed into Stephen´s bicycle – crushing both Stephen and Emily. Stephen suffered broken ribs, a broken pelvis and a broken leg. Emily´s injuries were so serious that three passing nurses who stopped at the scene initially thought she was dead.

Emily was taken to hospital in a coma, where she remained unconscious for six days. Among her many injuries were a broken jaw, a broken nose and blurred vision. She was unable to walk for several weeks and had to undergo regular check-ups through her childhood to identify any brain damage that had occurred.

In 2003, Baxter was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He was also banned from driving for two years.

The family refrained from claiming compensation for road rage injuries on Emily´s behalf until they received a final confirmation that there was no long-lasting injuries. When the claim was made, Baxter´s insurers admitted liability and the claim was settled for an undisclosed five-figure amount.

Speaking with her local paper, Emily – now eighteen years of age – said: “In a way it was worse for my parents because they witnessed the accident, whereas I can only remember waking up in hospital.
My face is still slightly distorted, but fortunately for the most part I have made a good recovery.”

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Teacher Settles Claim for Serious Injuries in a Lorry Accident

July 21, 2016

A teacher, who was lucky to escape with her life when her car was crushed under an HGV, has settled her claim for serious injuries in a lorry accident.

In December 2014, Katie Holt (39) – an English teacher from Colchester in Essex – was driving along the A120 to her job at the Felsted Preparatory School, when she was hit from behind by a skip hire lorry. The impact of the collision forced Katie´s VW Golf under the back of an HGV lorry immediately in front of her – crushing her vehicle to such a degree that first responders did not realise that a car had been involved in the accident.

It took more than an hour to cut Katie free from her crushed vehicle; after which she was air-lifted to the Royal London Hospital where she received treatment for a fractured skull, a fractured back, a broken arm and severe facial lacerations. Katie also suffered damage to her optic nerve that has affected her vision. She also still suffers from balance problems, loss of memory and hearing loss.

The driver of the skip hire lorry – Kevin Mann (51) from Great Horkesley in Essex – was prosecuted by police for driving without due care and attention after his tachograph revealed he had not braked in time as the traffic in front of him slowed. He was given six penalty points, fined £350 and ordered to pay £550 costs by Colchester Magistrates´ Court in July 2015.

With liability established, Katie made a claim for serious injuries in a lorry accident against Mann. Once the ongoing impact of the accident on Katie´s life had been assessed, the claim was settled for an undisclosed amount. Speaking after the claim for serious injuries in a lorry accident had been resolved, Katie´s solicitor said: “We are glad to have been able to secure Katie a settlement from the skip company’s insurers that will enable her to access the rehabilitation services she needs.”

Katie has made a remarkable recovery. Despite the ongoing consequences of her accident, she has been able to return to work and, in June, gave birth to her first child. Katie still has no recollection of the accident, but told the East Anglian Daily Times: “I only hope that what happened to me will show drivers, particularly those driving large vehicles, the long-term consequences of even a slight lapse in concentration on the road.”

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Car Crash Psychological Injuries Claim Settled Out of Court

June 9, 2016

A man who suffered PTSD after being involved in a fatal head-on collision has settled his car crash psychological injuries claim out of court for £30,000.

On 8th March 2012, fifty-year-old Warren Smith from Burnley in Lancashire was driving along the A671 Bacup Road between Burnley and Rochdale, when his car was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle that had come out of a sharp bend on the wrong side of the road.

The negligent driver was fatally injured in the accident, while Warren was taken to hospital suffering from multiple injuries to his head, chest and back. Warren´s physical injuries left him unable to drive and resulted in the loss of his job as a contracts manager due to it involving driving long distances.

Warren was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression following his accident. However, when he first sought legal advice about claiming injury compensation from the negligent driver´s insurance company, his psychological injuries were overlooked and Warren was told he would only likely receive around £3,000 injury compensation.

Warren sought a second opinion and, following advice from another solicitor, submitted a car crash psychological injuries claim that accounted for both the physical and psychological consequences of the accident. The claim has now been settled out of court by the negligent driver´s insurance company for £30,000 – sufficient to pay for Warren´s rehabilitation and therapy.

Speaking with the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen after his car crash psychological injuries claim had been settled, Warren said: “People should not underestimate the consequences of car accidents and I am lucky to be alive”.

He continued: “I am still haunted by the events of that day and my injuries are a constant reminder of the fact that someone died in the crash. But I am incredibly relieved that I now have access to the care and support that I need to move forward with my life.”

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Sailor Awarded High Court Car Crash Injuries Compensation

May 16, 2016

A former world-class competitive sailor has been awarded £464,655 High Court car crash injuries compensation after a hearing at Laganside Courts in Belfast.

Rosie Sands (29) from Exmouth in Devon had just finished competing in the World Sailing Championships and was preparing for the British Sailing Championships when, in July 2012, she was invited to stay with some friends of her family in Northern Ireland.

Also invited to stay was another long-time friend – Michelle Hulford from Luton. However, the party of friends had just picked up Michelle from the airport when the car in which they were travelling hit head-on by a jeep and trailer on the A57 in County Antrim – just outside the town of Doagh.

Michelle (21) was fatally injured in the accident, while Rosie and the other occupants of the car suffered multiple injuries. Rosie was taken to hospital by ambulance, where she was treated for injuries to her back, shoulder and abdomen. She was also subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

On returning to Exmouth, Rosie made a claim for car crash injuries compensation against the driver of the jeep – Stephen Hamilton. Hamilton admitted liability for causing the accident in which Rosie was injured, but the two parties could not agree on a settlement of compensation.

The claim was resolved at the conclusion of a hearing at Laganside Courts in Belfast. During the hearing, Mr Justice Adrian Colton was told how Rosie suffered nightmares and flashbacks after the accident and how her life had changed “irrevocably” due to the injuries sustained in the accident.

Judge Colton heard that Rosie´s injuries had prevented her from sailing competitively and completing her honours degree at Bath Spa University. Due to her injuries and being unable to complete her degree, Rosie also had to abandon plans to join the RAF or Navy.

After commenting that Rosie had been a “honest, understated, stoical and admirable” witness, Judge Colton awarded her £464,655 High Court car crash injuries compensation to account for the personal injuries she had suffered, the cost of her treatment and her future loss of income.

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Claims for Injured Bus Passengers Following Chesterfield Crash

May 4, 2016

Claims for injured bus passengers are likely following the arrest of a motorist suspected of causing a three vehicle accident by driving dangerously.

The crash involving a bus and two cars happened on March 3rd on the Brimlington Road in Chesterfield. Seven passengers on the Number 70 bus to Killamarsh and one of the car drivers were taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital, while the other car driver was air-lifted to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham with serious injuries.

Following an investigation into the crash, police have arrested and bailed a 37-year-old man on suspicion of causing injuries by dangerous driving. Passengers injured in the crash have already started seeking advice about their legal rights, and claims for the injured bus passengers are likely to be made once the police prosecution has advanced.

One of the injured passengers – seventy-year-old Mavis Blood from Staveley – suffered a serious head injury in the accident. When she arrived at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Mavis was found to have a bleed on her brain in addition to deep cuts of her face. She was kept in hospital overnight while doctors monitored her, but seems to have survived the crash without any permanent injuries.

The day after the accident, Mavis´ granddaughter – Ellen Chapman – told the Derbyshire Times: “She went to hospital and there was concern because she’s 70 she’s high risk, and they found she’s got a bleed on the brain, likely because she takes blood thinning tablets. They’re monitoring her and hoping the bleed will sort herself out.”

One solicitor handling the claims for injured bus passengers said: “The consequences of such incidents should not be downplayed, as through our work acting on behalf of clients we have seen how crashes of this nature have left victims suffering from not only their physical injuries months after the event, but also the psychological trauma.”

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Woman Settles her Claim for Injuries in a Head-On Car Crash

April 29, 2016

A woman, who suffered life-changing injuries in an accident, has settled her claim for injuries in a head-on car crash against the negligent driver´s insurers.

On 7th September 2012, fifty-year-old Dawn Bradley was driving her Kia Picanto along the B4680 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, when a car travelling in the opposite direction attempted to overtake another vehicle on a blind bend and crashed directly into her.

The negligent driver and his male passenger were killed in the accident, while Dawn – a health care assistant from nearby Elmesthorpe – was taken to hospital suffering from a fractured sternum, fractured ribs, a badly crushed lower right leg, and cuts and grazes.

Since the accident, Dawn has undergone four operations on her leg. Because of the debilitating pain she still experiences, she is unable to stand for more than two minutes or walk for more than five minutes, and has been unable to return to work.

After seeking legal advice, Dawn made a claim for injuries in a head-on car crash against the negligent driver´s insurers. The insurance company admitted liability and Dawn has now settled her claim for injuries in a head-on car crash for an undisclosed six-figure amount.

The funds will be professionally managed so that Dawn can continue her rehabilitation and pay for home help so that she can live independently. Speaking after the settlement of her claim for injuries in a head-on car crash, Dawn told the Leicester Mercury:

“I am still haunted by the events of that day. I’m just incredibly relieved that I will now have access to the best rehabilitative care and support that I need to overcome the daily challenges I face because of my injuries. I used to love walking in the countryside and long bike rides, but those things are completely out of my reach now, and that in itself has been very difficult to accept.”

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Personal Injury Claims in Northern Ireland Could be Settled Online

April 22, 2016

According to one of the province´s top judges, “small value” personal injury claims in Northern Ireland could be settled online in the future.

Lord Justice John Gillen – one of Northern Ireland´s three Lord Justices of Appeal – has indicated that significant changes are on the way to the province´s court system, including the possibility of personal injury claims in Northern Ireland being settled over the Internet.

Speaking at the British Irish Bar Association Conference at the Bar Library´s Inn of Court, the judge said he is considering a proposal similar to the process followed in the Netherlands where small value claims are settled online without arguments being heard in court.

If the proposal is adopted, Judge Gillen believes that personal injury claims in Northern Ireland could be settled without the need for expert witnesses “to sit around for hours in drafty courthouses” waiting to be called – thus reducing the costs of legal action.

The judge was particularly critical of case management hearings – in which judges, lawyers and expert witnesses may have to return to court several times to resolve issues even before a case can be listed for a full hearing. These hearings, Judge Gillen said, could be conducted over a video-link at an appointed time to reduce costs further.

Further cost reductions could be achieved the judge said if “matters [were] dealt with by court officers rather than rather more costly judges”. He added that Northern Ireland must explore such options if it is to uphold the “constitutional principle of due process (which) requires us to utilise new technology”.

Judge Gillen explained that many personal injury claims in Northern Ireland would still be settled by court hearings. He told delegates at the British Irish Bar Association Conference: “Legislation will always be with us and will always involve costs. There will be oral hearings, the oral tradition will not disappear here in Northern Ireland.”

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Solicitors Claim for Child Passenger Injuries Allegedly Caused by Mother´s Negligence

March 24, 2016

Solicitors acting on behalf of a four-year-old girl have made a claim for child passenger injuries against her deceased mother´s car insurance company.

Cora-Lynn Kelley-Mattock from Aberporth in Cardigan was just two years of age when, on 26th December 2013, her nineteen-year-old mother – Josephine – crashed the family VW Polo into a wall on the A484 in Llandygwydd near Ceredigion.

Josephine died from her injuries three days later, while Cora-Lynn suffered a severe traumatic head injury that has left her with brain damage and life-long disabilities. Cora-Lynn also suffered internal injuries and damaged one eye in the accident which affects her sight.

Coroner Peter Brunton issued a verdict of death by misadventure when an inquest into Josephine´s death was held in June 2014. The coroner concluded that Josephine might have been distracted by her daughter or been trying to avoid another vehicle when she crashed.

However, solicitors acting on Cora-Lynn´s behalf believe that Josephine may have acted negligently prior to the crash and have made a claim for child passenger injuries against Josephine´s estate and her car insurance company.

The solicitors allege in the claim for child passenger injuries that Josephine was driving too fast for the wet conditions and that she had failed to properly strap Cora-Lynn into her back seat child seat. Cora-Lynn was found suspended by the waist belt of the child seat, implying – the solicitors claim – that her upper body had not been restrained by the shoulder straps.

Josephine´s estate and the car insurance company are contesting the claim for child passenger injuries. A spokesperson said that, although the facts of the accident were not disputed, Cora-Lynn´s solicitors will be required to prove that her mother was negligent – either through causing the crash through a lack of care or through the failure to strap Cora-Lynn properly into her child seat.

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Claim for Injury Caused by Failure to Apply Handbrake Resolved

February 16, 2016

A woman´s claim for an injury caused by the failure to apply a handbrake has been resolved for £5,000 in an out-of-court negotiated settlement.

In April 2014, Lynne Short (46) from Dundee was driving her son to school through the city´s West End, when she saw a driverless Vauxhall Corsa rolling backwards along Blackness Road. With dozens of children walking along the road to get to school, Lynne feared for their safety. She swung open the driver´s door of her car and attempted to get inside the driverless Corsa.

However, Lynne was unable to prevent the Corsa rolling backwards and it trapped her against the body of her own car. Fortunately, Lynne only suffered a broken wrist and bruising in the accident. Had she not been trapped against the body of her car, she could have been run over by the Corsa. Lynn was taken to Ninewells Hospital by ambulance, where she was treated for her injuries.

After recovering from her injuries, Lynne sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for an injury caused by the failure to apply a handbrake. Although liability was admitted, the owner of the Vauxhall Corsa – Angela Black – said that she had applied the handbrake, but the mechanism had failed. She told the Dundee Evening Telegraph that she took the car to the garage immediately after the accident to have the fault repaired.

After a period of negotiation, a settlement of Lynne´s claim for an injury caused by the failure to apply a handbrake was negotiated with Angela´s insurers for £5,000. Details of how the settlement was arrived at have not been revealed, but it is likely to have taken into account Lynne´s contributory negligence. Lynne said at the time of her accident:

“In hindsight, it was a silly thing to do, but with the adrenaline I thought of it careering into the school or hitting a car and going up in flames. It could have been a lot worse. The thing is that there were kids walking to school.”

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Settlement of Lorry Crash Injury Compensation Approved in Court

January 28, 2016

A €750,000 settlement of lorry crash injury compensation has been approved at the High Court in Dublin in favour of a brain damaged twenty-five year old man.

Francis Smith was just eighteen years of age when – on January 27, 2009 – he crashed into the back of a stationary council lorry while taking evasive action to avoid hitting a car on the outskirts of Edgeworthstown in County Longford.

The council lorry had been parked close to where Longford County Council was conducting roadworks just beyond a bend on the southbound carriageway, and Francis was unlikely to have seen the lorry as he came around the bend and saw a car heading towards him.

Neither of Francis´ two passengers were injured in the accident, but Francis sustained a traumatic brain injury. As a result he suffers from physical and cognitive difficulties that have prevented him from leading an independent life or maintaining his job in a local factory.

On her son´s behalf, Francis´ mother claimed a settlement of lorry crash injury compensation from Longford County Council. She alleged in the claim that the lorry was parked so far out into the carriageway that it created a hazard for motorists and that there were no warning signs erected by the council to advise of the roadworks.

Longford County Council denied that it was responsible for Francis´ accident and injury, and argued that Francis had been negligent by taking the bend at an excessive speed. Eventually the two parties agreed on a €750,000 settlement of lorry crash injury compensation; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of somebody unable to represent themselves, the settlement went to the High Court to be approved by a judge.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the accident and the impact it had on Francis´ life. Judge Cross approved the settlement of lorry crash injury compensation, noting that it represented 25% of the claim´s full value, and saying that it was a good settlement in the circumstances. The judge closed the approval hearing by wishing Francis all the best for the future.

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Compensation Claim for Fatal Head-On Crash Resolved at Hearing

November 19, 2015

A compensation claim for a fatal head-on crash has been resolved at the High Court in Belfast after a hearing to resolve a dispute about liability.

In August 2010, Leslie Browne from County Down in Northern Ireland died from injuries he had sustained in a head-on crash the month earlier. The accident had occurred on a stretch of the B8 between Hilltown and Newry when a driver heading in the opposite direction had lost control of her car on a sharp bend and crashed into the Browne´s car.

Leslie´s widow – Elizabeth – made a compensation claim for a fatal head-on crash against the driver of the car – Sandra Murray – alleging that she had been driving without due care and attention, and too fast for the wet road conditions. Murray denied that she had caused the accident due to inattentiveness, and alleged that her Toyota Yaris had been hit from behind by another car driven by Michal Marczak.

Marczak admitted that he had been driving his Fiat Punto close to Murray´s car, but denied that there had been any contact between the two vehicles. A value of Elizabeth´s compensation claim for a fatal head-on crash was assessed at £50,000 but, before the claim could be resolved, the dispute over liability had to be determined.

Consequently the compensation claim for a fatal head-on crash was heard by Mr Justice Stephens at Belfast Crown Court. Judge Stephens heard that there was no evidence to suggest that Murray´s car had been hit from behind by Marczak´s Fiat Punto and that her loss of control was likely due to her braking excessively on the crown of the bend after realising she was travelling too fast.

The judge ruled that Murray was solely responsible for causing the accident in which Leslie died and said that there was no reason to consider Marczak at fault. He commented “I consider that it reflects the fact that the first defendant did not and does not know what happened so that she grasped at anything that might exonerate her.”

Mr Justice Stephens confirmed the settlement of the compensation claim for a fatal head-on crash and awarded Elizabeth and Marczak their legal fees.

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Court Approves Compensation for a Brain Injury in a Car Crash

October 19, 2015

The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a car crash in favour of a twenty-four year old man from South London.

In March 2009, Jack Mitchell (then just seventeen years of age) was the front seat passenger in a Fiat Punto driven by a friend, who swerved his car to avoid hitting a fox in the road and crashed in what was described by police investigators as a “horrific collision”.

Jack suffered multiple injuries in the accident, including a broken left leg, lacerations to the back of his head and – most significantly of all – a traumatic brain injury. Jack spent three months in hospital recovering from his injuries, but only three weeks at a rehabilitation unit before returning home.

He has since moved into a residential rehabilitation centre in Banstead, Surrey, but the lack of appropriate rehabilitation immediately after his discharge from hospital has left him with major behavioural difficulties, concentration problems and extreme fatigue.

Through his mother – Frances Mitchell – Jack claimed compensation for a brain injury in a car crash, alleging that the negligent actions of his friend had caused his injuries. Liability was conceded by the friend´s insurance company, but Jack´s family were subject to covert surveillance while the settlement of his claim was being negotiated.

Eventually a package of compensation for a brain injury in a car crash was agreed which consists of an immediate lump sum and annual tax-free, index-linked payments. The total value of the package is estimated at £4.3 million but, before the claim could be fully resolved, it had to be approved by a judge as the claim was made on behalf of a claimant unable to represent themselves.

Consequently, at the High Court in London, Mrs Justice Whipple heard the circumstances of the accident and the medical treatment Jack received afterwards. The judge approved the settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a car crash, describing it as a “reasonable compromise”. The judge also paid tribute to Jack´s family for the care and support they had provided for him over the past six years and closed the hearing by wishing Jack all the best for the future.

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Mothers Take Action to Increase Compensation for Bereavement

September 17, 2015

The mothers of two girls who died in a car crash have started a petition to increase the amount of compensation for bereavement parents are entitled to claim.

In November 2014, Jordanna Goodwin (16) and Megan Storey (16) from Doncaster in South Yorkshire were passengers in a Toyota Corolla travelling along the A360 in Conisbrough, when the driver of the car lost control of the vehicle on a known blackspot and crashed into a Seat Leon travelling in the opposite direction.

All five occupants of the Toyota were killed in the accident, while the 45-year-old driver of the Seat was fortunate to escape with a broken leg. The police interviewed the driver of a third car, but no charges were brought in connection with the accident.

The mothers of the two girls – who were live-long friends and “inseparable” – each received £12,980 compensation for bereavement. Their solicitor described the settlement as “pitiful” in comparison to the amounts received by celebrities for injuries to their pride, and the two mothers have now launched an e-petition in an attempt to change the law regarding compensation for bereavement.

“This is not about being greedy and seeking more money” Megan´s mother – Tracey – told The Times newspaper, “as no amount of money can compensate for the loss of Megan or Jordanna. It is about the injustice of the way the system works”.

The e-petition to change the law regarding compensation for bereavement has gained the support of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). APIL´s president – Matthew Stockwell – said that the association´s members are concerned that the level of compensation for bereavement is too low and that the criteria for eligibility is too narrow.

As the law currently stands, compensation for bereavement is only available to husbands, wives, civil partners, the parents of a fatally-injured child under the age of eighteen, or the unmarried mother of a fatally-injured illegitimate child under the age of eighteen. The parents of a child over the age of eighteen, children of a deceased parent, parents of a stillborn child and other relatives are not entitled to compensation for bereavement.

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Woman Settles Claim for Hit and Run Injury Compensation

September 11, 2015

A beauty therapist, who suffered leg injuries when she was knocked down by a drunk driver, has settled her claim for hit and run injury compensation.

In the early hours of News Years Day in 2014, Necole Stewart (20) and her friend Alisa Howden (19) were crossing George Street in Perth to attend a friend´s party, when they were hit by a car driven by Neil Wylie (52) who was returning home after a twelve-hour drinking spree.

Necole was thrown into the air by the impact of the collision, and badly lacerated her leg as she landed in the road. Alisa suffered a broken nose and concussion. Both women were taken to hospital, where Necole received sixteen stitches and Alisa was admitted for thirty-six hours before being discharged.

Wylie had not stopped after hitting the two friends, and police launched an appeal to trace the driver in the hit and run accident. After hours of reviewing CCTV, Wylie was eventually located and charged with dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol, fleeing the scene of an accident and failing to report it afterwards. He was given a twenty-two month custodial sentence by the Perth Sheriff Court in May 2014.

Both women sought legal advice and made a claim for hit and run injury compensation. With liability uncontested due to Wylie being found guilty of causing the accident, Alisa´s claim was settled for an undisclosed amount earlier this year. Necole alleged that she had suffered a psychological injury as a result of the accident, and held out for more injury compensation than was being offered to her.

Following a protracted period of negotiation, Necole agreed to settle her claim for hit and run injury compensation for £10,000 – after which she told her local press: “I’m just so grateful Ailsa and I are OK and thankful to everyone who helped us.”

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Settlement of Car Passenger Traumatic Brain Injury Claim Approved at Court

July 29, 2015

An undisclosed settlement of a car passenger traumatic brain injury claim has been approved at the High Court in favour of a twenty-one year old man.

On 7th August 2010, Josh Humphrey from Bognor Regis in West Sussex left home to enjoy a day out with three of his friends. The car in which the party were travelling was driven by Laura Stocker (18) who was an inexperienced driver; and, as Stocker was driving along the A272 Billingshurst Road, she allowed her concentration to slip and crashed into a 7.5 tonne lorry.

One of the passengers – Kirsty Hicks (16) from Slinford in West Sussex – died from her injuries six days after the accident, while Josh (who was also 16 at the time) was airlifted to hospital suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Stocker was subsequently charged with causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to twelve months in a young offender´s institution by Chichester Crown Court the following February.

Josh received treatment for his traumatic brain injury at several different hospitals and rehabilitation units over the next few months, before being allowed to return to the care of his parents in a specially adapted bungalow. One her son´s behalf, Steph Humphrey sought legal advice and made a car passenger traumatic brain injury claim against Stocker.

With Stocker already convicted on causing death by careless driving, liability for Josh´s injuries was admitted by Stocker´s insurance company. However, it took several years before a negotiated settlement could be agreed upon – which, although undisclosed, is believed to consist of a substantial lump sum payment and annual index-linked payments for the rest of Josh´s life.

As the car passenger traumatic brain injury claim had been made on behalf of a claimant who was unable to represent himself, the settlement of compensation had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Josh´s best interests. Consequently on Monday this week, details of the car crash, the injury that Josh had sustained and the settlement of the claim were heard in the High Court.

The settlement of the car passenger traumatic brain injury claim was subsequently approved; after which Josh´s mother told her local press: “We are grateful this aspect is now over. Nothing will take away Josh’s terrible difficulties but at least we no longer have the huge financial worries that arise as a result of brain injury.”

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AskCUE to Help End Fraudulent Injury Claims

May 13, 2015

A new database has been unveiled to help end fraudulent injury claims and to ensure that solicitors have more time available to allocate to genuine claimants.

AskCUE is a new database service that will allow personal injury solicitors to check their clients´ records prior to submitting a claim notification form to an insurance company. The database has been designed to comply with updates to the Civil Procedure Rules and is being implemented to identify serial claimants and to spot patterns which might assist in identifying fraud rings or criminal groups.

The database contains intelligence recorded by participating insurance companies on previous personal injury compensation claims and includes details of claimant’s, witnesses, vehicles, accident locations and claim types. AskCUE will allow solicitors and insurance companies to identify dishonest claims before they begin and help end fraudulent injury claims by preventing them from entering the process.

The service is a joint venture between the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), and the Law Society. Should it attain its goal to end fraudulent injury claims the service will allow solicitors and insurance companies more time to attend to genuine claimants.

James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said that AskCUE was a significant step forward in the fight to end fraudulent injury claims. He said: “AskCUE is a tangible demonstration of what can be achieved when our sectors work together. There’s plenty that we disagree on, but getting the fraudsters and cheats out of the personal injury claims system is something we all agree on.”

His sentiments were echoed by Susan Brown, the chair of MASS, who commented: “This is an important first step in greater collaboration across the industry and we look forward to actively exploring how further data sharing might contribute to the fight against fraudulent claims.”

The new system takes effect on June 1st.

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