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Pedestrian Accidents in the UK

You are entitled to claim compensation for pedestrian accidents in the UK if you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of somebody who had a duty of care to provide you with safe passage. Negligent parties in a claim for pedestrian accidents compensation could be a road user who has failed to stop at a red light or a local council who has neglected to maintain footpaths and pavements in a safe condition. Provided that you have sustained an avoidable injury due to the negligence of a third party, you are entitled to UK pedestrian accidents compensation and should discuss the circumstances of your injury 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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Claim for being Hit on the Head by a Shop Sign Remains Unresolved

May 5, 2017

A woman´s claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign remains unresolved despite the negligent shop´s owners admitting responsibility for her injuries.

In May 2014, Petula Chapman (61) from Truro in Cornwall was visiting her son – Ian – in Penarth, South Wales. The couple went into town together, and were just leaving the Euronics electrical appliance shop on Windsor Road, when the sign above the entrance to the shop was caught by a gust of wind and fell – hitting Petula on the head.

Petula was knocked unconscious by the impact of the shop sign and suffered multiple fractures to her shoulder, wrist and both legs. She also sustained three broken ribs and spinal injuries in the accident. Both she and her son – who was also struck by the falling shop sign – were taken to hospital by ambulance. Ian´s injuries were not considered serious and he was soon discharged.

The incident was captured by the shop´s CCTV, and the shop´s owners – Kitchener & Thomas Ltd – admitted responsibility for Petula´s and Ian´s injuries. However, although the company has settled Ian´s personal injury claim, Petula´s claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign remains unresolved. She has now filed a High Court writ claiming £200,000 compensation.

According to court papers, the accident has left Petula with mild brain damage and serious disabling injuries. In her claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign, she alleges she is unable to work and needs constant care. The writ adds that Petula has developed significant psychological problems and depression which complicate the effects of her brain injury.

The legal representatives of Kitchener & Thomas Ltd have not commented on the issuance of the writ, but the fact that it has been issued would imply that the company is disputing the value of the claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign. If no resolution is found soon, the settlement of her claim will be determine by a judge at the High Court.

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Taxi Injury Claim Resolved for Six-Figure Settlement

April 21, 2017

A former train driver´s taxi injury claim has been resolved for a six-figure settlement after the taxi driver´s negligence was established by solicitors.

In December 2013, Gareth Jones (41) and his brother were returning from a night out near their home town of Machynlleth, Powys, when Gareth was hit by a taxi as he crossed the A489. The force of the impact knocked Gareth several feet down the road and he was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries, including a serious brain injury.

The serious brain injury has left Gareth with reduced mobility and in need of full-time care. He has been unable to return to his job as a train driver and is unlikely to ever be able to lead an independent life. On Gareth´s behalf, his partner – Tracy – sought legal advice and made a taxi injury claim against the taxi driver who had hit him.

The taxi driver denied liability and no charges were brought against him following a police investigation. However, Gareth and Tracy´s solicitors established he had been driving too quickly for the conditions on the night of the accident and pursued the taxi injury claim. Eventually, the taxi driver´s insurance company agreed to a six-figure settlement of the claim.

The settlement of the taxi injury claim will mean that Gareth and Tracy can move to house better suited to Gareth´s needs and in which he will enjoy a better quality of life. Speaking with her local newspaper after the taxi injury claim had been resolved, Tracy said:

“This collision has turned our entire world upside-down.,” said Tracey. “Gareth went out that night with his brother, but came home a completely different person. For the driver to deny that he was at fault is an insult to our family – if he had paid more attention to the road, he would have seen Gareth.”

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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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Claims for Injuries due to Defective Street Lighting Increase

October 31, 2016

Claims for injuries due to defective street lighting have increased in Northern Ireland according to the province´s Infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard.

Mr Hazzard was responding to an Assembly question from East Belfast UUP MLA Andy Allen when the minister revealed that there were sixteen claims made against the Department of Infrastructure last year in which defective street lighting was primary responsible for an injury being sustained.

Settlement of the claims for injuries due to defective street lighting amounted to £59,000 – a fifteen-fold increase from two years ago when there were just three claims settled. The figure represented a three-fold increase from 2014/15, when twelve claims for injuries caused by defective street lighting were settled.

The minister said there may be other claims made against the Department of Infrastructure in which defective street lighting was a contributory factor, but it was not possible to identify these in the department´s database. The minister also agreed that the figures related only to compensation settlements, and that there may be other legal and administrative costs to account for as well.

Defective street lighting is a hot topic of debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2015, members of the Assembly raised concerns about the number of complaints relating to defective street lighting they were receiving from their constituents. It was found that 17,888 street lights were not working and that around a third of all the province´s street lights were turned off at night to save money.

More than £2 million was spent fixing the defective street lighting, and a further £1 million was added to the department´s budget in June for investment in cost-saving LED street lighting. The minister said that of 48,000 street light outages reported over the last 12 months, 42,500 have already been repaired. The replacement of the existing street lighting with LED lights is an ongoing project that is expected to conclude next year.

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Girl Awarded Compensation for a Scrambler Bike Injury

August 19, 2016

A young girl who was permanently scarred when hit in the face by a motorbike´s handlebars has been awarded £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bike injury.

The unnamed seven-year old girl from County Armagh suffered the injury when she was just four years of age in May 2013. As she was playing with friends outside her grandparent´s house, a passing motorcyclist caught the little girl´s cheek with the handlebars of his scrambler bike.

The impact of the handlebars caused a hole to be cut in the girl´s cheek and she suffered significant dental damage. The girl also developed a fear of noises from motorbike engines and suffered nightmares as a result of her accident.

Through her mother, the girl claimed compensation for a scrambler bike injury against the owner of the vehicle and the Motor Insurers Bureau. Liability for the girl´s injuries was admitted, and the case went to the Belfast for the assessment of damages.

At the assessment hearing, Mr Justice Stephens was told that the girl had become fearful and clingy at the sound of nearby scrambler bikes, and would scream if motorbikes passed near her house in the first few weeks after her accident.

After assessing the scar that still remains from the accident, Judge Stephens said that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”

Describing the girl as “relatively shy”, the judge commented that she had been left with an obvious scar in a prominent position that she would become very conscious of as she grew older. He suggested that plastic surgery would not reduce the effect of the scar because of its location.

Mr Justice Stephens awarded the girl £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bile injury, adding that his assessment of the award was based on both the physical and psychological injuries she had suffered in the past and was likely to suffer in the future.

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Dog Walker Denied Council Pothole Injury Compensation

March 19, 2016

A dog walker who tried to claim council pothole injury compensation has been told that she is not eligible as the hole on which she tripped was “too small”.

Last December, Barbara Fielding (53) was walking her dog along Windermere Road in Blackpool when she tripped on a pothole in the road and fell – sustaining a significant cut to her head, a black eye, cut lip and severe bruising to her face and shoulder.

Barbara was taken by her daughter to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she underwent a CT scan to ensure she had not suffered any serious brain injuries; and, although the scan revealed no internal injury, it took five weeks for the lump on Barbara´s head to recede.

After recovering from her accident, Barbara wrote to Blackpool Council asking for council pothole injury compensation. However, the council wrote back to her refusing her request as – the council claimed – the hole was too small for Barbara to be eligible for injury compensation.

According to Blackpool Council´s reply, the local authority will “repair any defect in the carriageway which on inspection exceeds a measurement of 40mm”. The letter stated that Windermere Road had been inspected for potholes in June 2015, but the hole was not considered dangerous at the time.

Talking with her local newspaper, Barbara expressed her disappointment at the refusal to pay council pothole injury compensation. She told the Blackpool Gazette that her experience had a long-term effect on her health and wellbeing. She said: “I still don’t go outside much now. I’ve even changed my route when I walk my dog because every time I see that hole it brings it all back.”

Barbara is now considering her next course of action and deciding whether she should seek advice about taking legal action to recover council pothole injury compensation. “They say the hole isn’t big enough to be considered a pothole – but how big does a hole have to be?” Barbara added. “They know the extent of the injuries I had because they’ve got the photographs”.

Blackpool Council continues to deny its liability for Barbara´s injuries, although the pothole on which she tripped has now been repaired.

Editor´s Note: Following Pitman v. Southern Electricity Board in 1978 – in which the claimant was awarded compensation for tripping on a metal plate with a height of just one-eighth of an inch (3mm) -claims for council pothole injury compensation should be assessed on the length of time that the pothole has presented a risk of injury in relation to the volume of foot traffic that uses the road on which it is located.

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Claims for Injuries from Potholes in Inverness Exceed £600,000

November 3, 2015

The Inverness Courier has revealed that more than £600,000 worth of claims for injuries from potholes in Inverness have been made in the past six years.

According to the Inverness Courier, a total of £610,000 of claims for injuries from potholes and uneven pavements have been filed against the Highland Council in the past six years. However, only £106,000 has been paid in compensation during that time – leaving the council with an outstanding liability of more than half a million pounds.

The Inverness Courier published details of some of the claims for injuries from potholes after acquiring specific data via a Freedom of Information request to the Highland Council. The largest outstanding claim in terms of value concerns a resident who fell due to a pothole in Baron Taylor Street in Inverness City Centre in February 2012. Having sustained a serious back injury, the accident victim made a claim for £147,591 compensation; but is still waiting after three and a half years for his claim to be resolved.

Other outstanding claims for injuries from potholes and uneven pavements in Inverness include:

  • A claim for £25,615 for a leg injury suffered in a fall in a pothole in January 2013 on Fortrose´s Tavern Road.
  • A claim for £15,387 was made in July 2014 after a pedestrian suffered a serious facial injury due to falling over a pothole in Southside Road.
  • A claim for £3,637 was made in June 2014 for another back injury sustained due to a trip and fall accident in Inverness City Centre.

In its 2014/2015 annual report, the Scottish Maintenance Road Condition Survey ranked Highland Council third-worst of the thirty-two Scottish local authorities for the condition of its roads. Last year around 6,000 road and pavement maintenance faults were reported to the Highland Council – although these figures are likely to include multiple reports of the same fault from different members of the public.

Responding to the significant number of outstanding claims for injuries from potholes, a council spokesperson said: “In 2014/15 the council set aside funding to be used in identifying and testing better ways to achieve a shift towards more potholes being repaired permanently rather than temporarily and also to identify cost effective and sustainable recycling techniques for more substantial repairs to road construction”.

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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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Judge Reduces Compensation for Pedestrian Accident

December 30, 2014

A Belfast woman´s settlement of compensation for a pedestrian accident has been reduced by 60 percent to account for her own contribution to her injuries.

Stacey McCaughey (24) was hit by a car in the early hours of September 26th 2010 while walking along the Carrickmannon Road in Ballygowan with some friends – all of whom had been drinking heavily at the nearby Chestnut Inn.

Stacey spent four days in intensive care after being thrown over the top of the car that hit her, and received treatment for a frontal lobe contusion, a spinal injury and multiple fractures. Four years after the accident, Stacey still suffers from headaches, moods swings and memory loss.

After speaking with a solicitor, Stacey claimed compensation for a pedestrian accident against the driver of the vehicle that hit her – Brian Mullan – alleging that Mullan was driving too fast for the road conditions.

Mullan contested the claim for pedestrian accident compensation; arguing that Stacey had been drunk and wandering aimlessly across an unlit road with no consideration for her own safety.

His description of how the accident occurred – that he swerved to avoid the group of friends but could not avoid hitting Stacey – was verified by a forensic engineer and the police confirmed that Mullan was completely sober at the time of the accident.

However, at Belfast High Court, Mr Justice O´Hara found in Stacey´s favour. The judge stated that the onus had been on Mullan to drive at an appropriate speed in order that he would be able to stop in time to avoid any obstruction on the road ahead.

However, Judge O´Hara also found that Stacey had contributed to the accident and the extent of her injuries “by walking in the middle of a dark, unlit road while drunk and incapable of being alert to traffic”.

Mr Justice O´Hara said that he had assessed Stacey´s compensation for a pedestrian accident at £110,000 but, due to her own contributory negligence, he was reducing the amount by 60 percent – thus making the final value of the award £44,000.

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Zebra Crossing Injury Compensation Claim Resolved

October 22, 2014

A woman, who suffered leg and arm injuries when she was knocked down by a distracted driver, has resolved her zebra crossing injury compensation claim for an undisclosed amount.

Janet Churchley (57) from Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire was crossing Carr Lane in the city centre after finishing work in December 2011, when she was hit by a car as she stepped out onto a zebra crossing.

The car hit Janet at knee level – breaking her leg – and she also suffered a broken arm in the accident due to landing awkwardly in the road. She was treated at the scene of the accident by paramedics before being taken to Hull Royal Infirmary.

Janet´s injuries left her confined to a wheelchair for three months, during which time she was dependent on her husband for washing and dressing, and also had to sleep on her sofa. Janet also had to undergo surgery to ensure that the broken limbs healed successfully.

Janet was unable to return to work for almost a year because of her injuries, and is now only able to work part-time. In addition to the physical scars Janet has to remind her of her accident, she is also wary of crossing roads – even at zebra crossings when the traffic has stopped in both directions.

While she was recovering from her injuries Janet contacted a solicitor and made a zebra crossing injury compensation claim. The driver of the car that hit her on the zebra admitted that he had not seen Janet because he had been distracted, but his insurance company was slow in acknowledging how much compensation Janet was entitled to.

While negotiations were ongoing, Janet´s solicitors negotiated an interim settlement so that she was not out of pocket; and eventually her zebra crossing injury compensation claim was resolved for an undisclosed amount – estimated to be in the high five figures.

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Mother Awarded Compensation for being Secondary Victim

September 2, 2014

A woman who witnessed the scene of the accident in which her son was killed has been awarded £231,250 compensation for being a secondary victim by a court in Scotland.

On 1st June 2010, David Young (26) from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, was on the way to meet with his mother – Martha – at the Scotstoun leisure Centre in Glasgow when he was killed by a speeding driver who lost control of his vehicle and hit David before crashing into a lamppost and a tree.

The driver of the vehicle – Arthur MacVean (65) – was subsequently convicted of causing David´s death by dangerous driving and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.

Martha Young – David´s mother – arrived at the leisure centre having passed the scene of the accident and, when her son was not there to meet her, started to fear the worst. Police later confirmed her suspicions when they advised Martha of David´s death.

Martha had been very close to her son following the death of her husband in 1992 (in a North Sea helicopter crash), and she made a claim for compensation for being a secondary victim against MacVean – alleging that she was entitled to enhanced damages because of the special relationship she had with David.

MacVean admitted liability for David´s death, and Martha´s case went before Lady Rae at the Court of Sessions for the assessment of damages. In the Court of Sessions, Lady Rae was told how Martha began to feel uncomfortable shortly after seeing the wrecked vehicle and police activity and was distressed even before the police confirmed David´s death.

The judge agreed that Martha had a particularly close relationship with her son – which she said was no doubt affected by the untimely loss of her husband – and awarded Martha £231,250 compensation for being a secondary victim. The award comprised of £80,000 for loss of society, £35,000 for pain and suffering, £6,250 for the cost of psychiatric treatment, £30,000 for the loss of personal services to date, and £80,000 for the future loss of earnings and services of a son.

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CCTV Proves Liability in School Crossing Accident Claim

April 8, 2014

Liability in a school crossing accident claim has been admitted by the negligent party´s insurance company after CCTV evidence showed their client was responsible for causing serious injury to a lollipop lady.

Sixty-one year old Eleanor Harman had to undergo life saving surgery for brain injuries she sustained when being hit by a car while helping schoolchildren cross the road outside of her home in South Shields, Tyneside. Eleanor subsequently spent three months in a high dependency unit after the 2011 accident, and now has post-traumatic amnesia for which she needs around-the-clock care.

The driver of the vehicle which struck her – Margaret Boyles – was given a £90.00 fine and four penalty points for driving without due care and attention; but when Eleanor´s husband made a school crossing accident claim for compensation, her insurance company denied liability and tried to claim that Eleanor was partly responsible for her injuries.

Fortunately, Eleanor´s home has a CCTV installation, and video evidence from the camera was able to ascertain that liability for the accident was solely attributable to Boyles. The driver´s insurance company subsequently admitted that their client was responsible and Eleanor´s claim for school accident crossing injury compensation is now before a judge for the assessment of damages.

The cost of care, further expert treatment, therapy and equipment to help Eleanor live as much an independent life as possible is likely to exceed £3 million. A verdict on how much compensation Eleanor´s school crossing accident claim is resolved for is expected soon.

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Changes in Procedures for Personal Injury Claims Introduced

August 6, 2013

Further changes to the procedures for personal injury claims were introduced on 1st August which should result in the quicker settlement of lower value claims when liability is not in dispute.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 introduced a number of changes to the procedures for personal injury claims in April 2013 – most significantly the way in which “No Win, No Fee” injury claims are handled.

Since April, claimants have been personally liable for solicitor´s “Success Fees” and “After the Event” insurance premiums but have received an uplift in the value of General Damages awarded in personal injury compensation settlements to account for this.

On August 1st, the Civil Procedure Rules (CPRs) governing court action in England and Wales were also amended to assist in reducing the time it takes to settle personal injury claims with a value of up to £25,000 when a single party is responsible for an injury occurring and liability is admitted by that party.

The new procedures for personal injury claims in England and Wales will see negligent parties and their insurance companies allowed just one day (from 21 days) from receiving a “Letter of Claim” to acknowledge its receipt, and thirty days (from 90 days*) to inform a solicitor whether or not liability is accepted or the claim is going to be contested.

Any negligent party or insurance company who fails to adhere to these guidelines will not be able to take advantage of the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and will face higher costs in defending the claim.

Exceptions to the Procedures for Personal Injury Claims

These measures should significant reduce how long it takes to resolve a claim for personal injury compensation where  the total value of the claim is more than £1,000 and less than £25,000; however there are a number of exceptions to the new procedures for personal injury claims:-

  • Public liability claims against an individual – for example if you have been injured in an accident in a neighbour´s home due to their negligence.
  • Any public liability claim in which you or a member of your family has contracted a disease – for example if you suffer food poisoning after eating in a restaurant
  • Any claim in which either the defendant or the claimant is bankrupt or has died, or where a claim is made against more than one party
  • Where an injury is sustained in an accident outside of England or Wales – for example while on holiday
  • Claims in which the defendant is uninsured or untraceable – for example hit and run accidents
  • Any claims for medical negligence or clinical malpractice
  • Mesothelioma claims for compensation

The changes to the Civil Procedure Rules do not affect the Statute of Limitations relating to how long you have to make a claim for personal injury compensation after the date of knowledge that an injury has been sustained, and only apply to injuries diagnosed on or after 1st August 2013.

If you have any questions regarding how the changes in procedures for personal injury claims may affect you, it is recommended that you speak with a personal injury claims solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

 (*) Employers and insurance companies providing Employer Liability Insurance will have forty days to conduct an investigation into your work injury claim and advise your solicitor whether or not liability is accepted.

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Haringey Council Act to Reduce Pavement Pothole Injury Claims

May 31, 2013

A North London Council has announced that it will be revising the frequency at which it inspects and repairs potholes in its streets in a bid to reduce pavement pothole injury claims.

Haringey Council´s decision to invest more money into maintaining its streets and pavements follows a seven-figure compensation settlement paid to Kyle Bullock earlier this year after the Australian charity worker suffered brain damage due to tripping and falling over a seven-centimetre pothole in the pavement on Lightfoot Road, Hornsey.

An investigation following the accident revealed that Haringey Council´s policy of inspecting its roads once every six months – and only attending to potholes of six centimetres depth or more – was producing a false economy; as the money that was being saved in road maintenance was being used to settle pavement pothole injury claims and insurance claims from motorists whose vehicles were being damaged by the poor condition of the road.

A spokesperson from Haringey Council announced that the roads within the borough would be inspected more frequently; with action being taken within six days (rather than the current twenty-eight days) on potholes with a depth of three centimetres or more. The improvements to the roads and pavements within Haringey are expected to be completed within six months at a cost of £109 million.

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Compensation for Injuries to a Pedestrian Approved in Court

May 17, 2013

A man whose life was changed when he was run down by a car on holiday has had a settlement of compensation for injuries to a pedestrian approved in court.

James Kennedy (37) from Gosforth in Newcastle was on holiday in Rome with friends from university when, on January 14th 2006, he was hit by a car while crossing the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele in Rome´s ‘Eternal City’.

James suffered catastrophic brain injuries in the accident, as well as fracturing his skull, spine, knee and shoulder, and was in a coma for ten months in Rome´s Santo Spirito Hospital. He is now confined to a wheelchair and although described in court as ‘mentally acute’, James suffers with concentration, has a poor memory and requires around-the-clock care.

Because of his mental impairment, James made a compensation claim for injuries to a pedestrian through his mother – Elaine – against the insurers of the negligent driver. The insurance company contested the claim on the grounds that James had been wearing dark clothing on the night of the accident and had failed to look carefully before stepping out into the street.

However, a negotiated resolution was reached in October 2009, in which the negligent driver´s insurance company accepted 80% liability for James´ injuries and an interim payment of £885,000 was paid to James earlier this year.

The full settlement of compensation for injuries to a pedestrian is expected to be in excess of £10 million – as James is also to receive a further lump sum payment of £3 million and annual index-linked, tax-free payments of £210,000 to pay for the cost of the care and support he will need for the rest of his life.

At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Bean approved the settlement – which will be managed by the Court of Protection – and commented that James risked having a bigger percentage taken from the award for his contributory negligence had his compensation claim for injuries to a pedestrian gone to a trial.

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Lollipop Lady Resolves Claim for Hit and Run Injuries

February 23, 2013

A lollipop lady, who was run over by a female driver who then left the scene of the accident, has resolved her claim for hit and run injuries for a four-figure sum.

Karen Littler (49) from Wigan, Lancashire was helping children cross the road outside of the school she was assigned to in Ashton-in-Makerfield in March 2012, when she was knocked over by a Honda Insight driven by Ceris Lovett.

Ms Lovett failed to stop to see if Karen was alright and continued driving. A motorist, alert to what had happened, followed Ms Lovett and recorded her registration number before reporting it to Greater Manchester Police.

Karen was taken to Wigan Infirmary where she was treated for severe bruising down the left hand side of her body, while Ms Lovett was apprehended by police and later convicted of driving without due care and attention by Wigan magistrates.

Karen made a claim for hit and run injuries directly to Lovett´s car insurance company who, despite the conviction of their policyholder, failed to respond in an appropriate time frame to Karen´s request for compensation. Eventually Karen sought professional legal assistance and court proceedings were issued.

Karen has now received an undisclosed settlement of her claim for hit and run injuries.

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Shop Sign Injury Claim Resolved in Court

January 8, 2013

A woman, who suffered a head injury when a shoe shop store sign fell loose from its fascia, has had her shop sign injury claim for compensation resolved in court.

Bournemouth and Poole County Court heard how the claimant, Ms Benham, was walking past the tReds shoe store in Old Christchurch Street, Bournemouth, in October 2010, when the metal 15 feet long shop sign fell from the fascia and hit her on the head.

The sixty-one year-old woman was initially treated at the scene of her accident by paramedics after a witness to her accident phoned 999, and was then taken to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital where she was diagnosed with a blunt closed head injury.

After Ms Benham had recovered from her initial trauma, she sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for a shop sign injury against tReds – citing that not only had she suffered a head injury due to their alleged failure to establish or maintain any adequate system of periodical maintenance or inspection of the sign, but had also suffered from anxiety throughout the following year.

The owners of the shoe store – Treds LLP – contested the shop sign injury claim and denied their liability for Ms Benham´s injuries, stating that they regularly carried out visual inspections of the store sign. As no resolution of Ms Benham´s shop sign injury claim was possible by negotiation, court proceedings were issued against Treds LLP.

At Bournemouth and Poole County Court, Ms Benham´s solicitors provided evidence to show that the shop sign had fallen because the wooden fascia to which it was attached had become rotten and tReds conducted a limited system of inspection from the ground which was insufficient to discover the rot was present in the wooden fascia board. Finding in favour of the claimant, Judge Maston awarded Ms Benham £1,800 compensation for her shop sign injury.

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Claim for Slip on Grape Injury Upheld in High Court

July 26, 2012

A woman, who slipped on grapes which had fallen from a display outside a shop and injured both wrists in her subsequent fall, has had her claim for slip on grape injury upheld in the High Court.

Samira Hassan (57) from Greenford, Middlesex, took the action against shopkeeper Onkar Singh Gill (50) following her accident in 2005. While inspecting the fruit display placed on tables outside Mr Gill´s “The Stall” shop in Greenford Road, Samira slipped on grapes which had fallen from the display and fractured both her wrists.

After seeking legal advice, Samira made a claim for slip on a grape injury, claiming that the grapes on which she slipped were “mushy” and that the staff at Mr Gill´s shop had failed in their duty of care to the public. Mr Gill contested the claim – insisting that his staff had taken all reasonable steps to keep the pavement clear of debris – a County Court judge last year ruled that Mr Gill was liable for Samira´s injuries and ordered him to pay 111,859 pounds in compensation for slipping on a grape.

Mr Gill appealed the ruling but, at London´s High Court, Lord Justice Lloyd – sitting with Mr. Justice Morgan and Sir Stephen Sedley – upheld the County Court´s decision and order that Samira should receive her full settlement of compensation in respect of her claim for slipping on a grape injury.

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Shopping Centre Injury Claims Mount Up at Highcross

June 28, 2012

Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester is establishing a reputation as the most hazardous shopping centre in England, with four more shopping centre injury claims having been made since Gweneth Bowler successfully sued the shopping complex in December 2011 after fracturing her shoulder due to a slip on a wet surface.

Earlier this month, an unnamed Leicestershire woman was awarded 3,700 pounds after slipping and fracturing her ankle on the same access bridge between the shopping centre car park and the John Lewis store, while three claims remain outstanding due to slip injuries sustained in the shopping centre car park.

During Gweneth Bowler´s hearing in December, a Leicester City Council health and safety official had testified that the bridge´s surface represented a slip hazard due to poor drainage and inadequate cleaning. The recommendations of the council – including the improving the drainage system in the car park – were put into place earlier this year and no accidents have subsequently been reported.

Despite Highcross admitting liability for the two resolved shopping centre injury claims, no comment was available on the outstanding claims for shopping centre injury compensation – including a serious injury to a 40 year-old female shopper who required emergency surgery for a broken femur after a slip in the shopping centre car park.

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