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UK Severe Injury Compensation

In the UK, severe injury compensation can result in substantial compensation settlements – not just for the pain and suffering you experience at the time of your injury, but also due to the consequences of your injury and the impact the injury makes to your quality of life. When severe injuries are sustained, it is not uncommon for the injured party to be directly approached soon after the severe injury has been sustained by the negligent party´s insurance company with an offer of compensation. Insurance company´s offers of severe injury compensation in the UK rarely reflect what you should be entitled to, and it is in your best interests to discuss your injury and its consequences with a solicitor on our freephone injury claims advice service to ensure you receive an adequate and appropriate settlement of UK severe injury compensation.

Settlement of Motorbike Accident Compensation Approved

May 19, 2017

A multi-million pounds settlement of motorbike accident compensation has been approved at the High Court in favour of a brain-damaged man in his twenties.

In the summer of 2013, the young man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was riding on the A396 near his home town of Exmoor in Devon when a lorry turned out of a junction immediately in front of him. Unable to avoid a collision, the motorcyclist hit the lorry and was knocked from his bike – suffering a severe brain injury and multiple broken bones.

Although making a good recovery from his physical injuries, the nature of his brain injury means he will never be able to work again and will likely require full-time care for the rest of his life. On their son´s behalf, the man´s parents – who are now his primary carers – made a claim for motorbike accident compensation against the negligent lorry driver.

The lorry driver admitted he had been at fault for not seeing the motorcyclist, but the speed at which the man had been riding his motorbike was brought into question. Consequently, when the settlement of the claim was negotiated, it took into account the motorcyclist´s contributory negligence and was adjusted accordingly.

At the London High Court, Judge Jeremy Freedman said he considered the settlement of the motorbike accident compensation claim “excellent” in the circumstances. It consists of a £3.6 million lump sum payment followed by index-linked annual payments of £58,500, rising to £108,750 per year in 2023, and rising again to £119,625 per year from 2053.

Approving the settlement of the motorbike accident compensation claim, Judge Freedman added: “It is as good an outcome as he could have been hoped for, and provides financial security for him for the rest of his life. He has recovered remarkably well from his severe injuries but he has been left badly brain damaged and disabled as a result of the accident.”

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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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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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Road Worker Injury Claim Strengthened by HSE Prosecution

April 17, 2017

A road worker injury claim, made by a man now paralysed from the waist down, has been strengthened by a successful HSE prosecution against his employer.

On May 23rd 2014, Mark Durrant was one of three men tasked with connecting gas pipes – each weighing 440kg – along a stretch of road in Strood, Kent. Each section of pipe was lifted into place by an excavator and propped across a piece of timber straddling the top of the 1.38 metre-deep trench until the men were ready to connect it.

While Mark was getting himself into position to connect the next section of gas pipe, the timber supporting the pipe snapped. The pipe fell onto Mark´s back, tearing his spinal cord, shattering two lower vertebrae and fracturing two ribs. Mark was taken to hospital, where he underwent eight hours of surgery, but is now permanently paralysed.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the accident and found the system of work used on the site was unsafe. It prosecuted Mark´s employer of seven years – Forefront Utilities Ltd – with breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The gas installation denied liability for Mark´s injury, and claimed the system of work was common within the company.

Mark made a road worker injury claim against Forefront Utilities Ltd, seeking compensation for his injuries. The strength of his claim improved last week when Maidstone Crown Court found Forefront Utilities Ltd guilty of failing to discharge its duty of care and fined the company £200,000 plus costs of £56,686. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrew Cousins said:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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Builder Settles Claim for a Digger Accident on a Farm

April 3, 2017

A construction worker has settled his claim for a digger accident on a farm for a six-figure sum after his employer acknowledged health and safety failings.

The accident occurred on a farm near Tiverton in Devon, when a digger being operated by James Redwood (31) began to topple over as James was preparing groundworks for a construction project. James tried to jump to safety from the cab of the digger, but it fell on top of him – crushing his left leg.

James was taken to hospital, where doctors attempted to repair the broken bones in his leg with metal frames and pins. James underwent ultrasound treatment and a bone graft but, the when the bones in his leg failed to knit, doctors had no option but to amputate the leg below the knee.

After a lengthy period of rehabilitation – during which time he was fitted with a prosthetic leg – James sought legal advice and made a claim for a digger accident on a farm on the grounds his employer had failed to provide adequate safety equipment or conduct a risk assignment before assigning James the task.

After a period of negation, the claim for a digger accident on a farm was settled for an undisclosed six-figure sum. James told his local newspaper the settlement would help him start a property development and renovation company and allow him to get a special prosthetic leg that would enable him to continue his hobby of running.

With regard to his claim for a digger accident on a farm, James said: “I’m feeling positive about the future and hope that new and improved prosthetics will allow me to have greater mobility, not just for work but for general day-to-day activities and running”. He added: “I wish that they’d taken health and safety more seriously because, if they had, I wouldn’t be relying on prosthetics now.”

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Council Fined for an Accident in a School Workshop

February 23, 2017

Islington Borough Council has been fined £200,000 for a health and safety breach that resulted in a pupil losing a finger in an accident in a school workshop.

On 25th March 2014, the unnamed eleven-year-old boy was in a design and technology class when he went to use a Morris flex belt sanding machine to file his project. The boy had never used the machine before and was shown how to operate it by another pupil who was unaware of the purpose of the raised metal guard.

When the boy put his plywood project onto the sanding belt, the metal guard flipped downwards and trapped the boy´s left hand between the sanding belt and shape he was trying to sand. The accident in a school workshop resulted in the boy having the middle finger of his left hand amputated down to the knuckle.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident in a school workshop and found that the teacher in charge of the class had not receive sufficient training to identify the machine was in an unsafe condition or the risks involved in allowing pupils to use the machine unsupervised.

The HSE prosecuted Islington Borough Council for breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and, at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Deborah Taylor fined the council £200,000 for an accident in a school workshop plus costs of £19,865. Judge Taylor said: “I make it clear that, had this not been a local authority and bearing in mind the size of the organisation and the way it worked, the fine would have been considerably higher.”

Speaking after the hearing, an Islington Borough Council spokesman said: “This was a serious injury, which could have been prevented. We’re very sorry this happened and apologise to our student and his family. Since this accident in 2014 we have introduced comprehensive new procedures for health and safety in our schools.”

HSE inspector Jane Wolfenden added: “It is important to create a safe teaching environment for pupils where they can learn to appreciate and manage the risks they will face in life. If the teacher had been appropriately trained on how to use the equipment for the lesson, they would have been able to show the pupils how to properly use the sanding machine. Instead a young boy sustained an extremely painful injury that could have easily been avoided.”

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Engineering Company Fined for Chemical Burn Injuries at Work

January 4, 2017

An engineering company has been fined £150,000 by Newcastle Crown Court for health and safety failings that resulted in chemical burn injuries at work.

Earlier this week, judges at Newcastle Crown Court heard that – on 31 July 2014 – two men working on behalf of PSL Worldwide Projects Ltd suffered chemical burn injuries at work while cleaning a pipe system at a site in Cramlington, Northumberland.

The judges were told that a chemical reaction occurred between the Sodium Hydroxide granules they were using and some water, causing the cleaning solution to heat up and create pressure within the hose. The hose detached from its mounting and sprayed both men with the solution.

One of the men suffered life-threatening chemical burn injuries at work – his back, buttocks, arms, leg, and one side of his face being burned by the cleaning solution. The second man also suffered chemical burn injuries at work to his head, neck, back, left arm and behind his right ear.

The HSE investigated the accident and found that an inadequate risk assessment had been conducted. Because of the inadequate risk assessment, the two men had been provided with a hose not suitable for the job and insufficient personal protective equipment.

PSL Worldwide Projects was prosecuted by the HSE for health and safety failings that resulted in chemical burn injuries at work. The company was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Bedlington Magistrates´ Court last November.

Sentencing was referred to Newcastle Crown Court and, at the end of the hearing, the judges fined PSL Worldwide Projects £150,000. HSE inspector Laura Catterall commented: “If a suitable risk assessment had been undertaken it would have identified that the equipment being used was not right for the chemicals or the work being carried out. All companies who work with high hazard chemicals should learn from this case and ensure that their workers are properly protected.”

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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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Wilko Accepts Liability for Employee Spine Injury in a Roll Cage Accident

December 13, 2016

One of the country´s largest homeware and household goods retailers has accepted liability for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.

In August 2013, twenty-year-old Corisande Collins was badly injured when a roll cage fell on top of her as it was being removed from a lift. The accident, which happened at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko in Leicester, was due to the roll cage being overloaded with paint pots and due to the floor of the lift not stopping level with the landing at the lift entrance.

At the time of the accident, Corisande was a first year student at Northampton University who was working part-time at the store as a customer assistant in order to fund her university studies. The accident left her with a spinal injury that has caused her to be paralysed from the hips down and confined to a wheelchair.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and charged Wilko Retail Ltd with four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At Leicester Crown Court last week, representatives of the company pled guilty to failings in work practises that resulted in the employee spine injury in a roll cage accident.

After being shown X-rays of Corisande´s injury, Judge Ebraham Mooncey heard that Corisande had led an “active outgoing life” prior to the accident. The judge was told that she had just passed her driving test at the time and spent four months in a spinal injuries unit before returning to university to continue her degree eighteen months later.

The judge adjourned the hearing until January for sentencing – at which time a final settlement of compensation for an employee spine injury in a roll cage accident will also be agreed. Corisande has already received one interim settlement of compensation from Wilko´s insurers and said after the hearing:

“I never imagined something like this happening to me. Wilko are taking full responsibility for what happened, but this will never make up for the fact I’ve lost the use of my legs and will spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Although my injuries are permanent, they will not stop me from achieving all I want to in life. I wouldn’t be in the position I am without the support of my friends and family.”

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Mechanic to Claim Compensation for a Garage MoT Pit Accident

October 24, 2016

A car mechanic is making a claim for injury compensation for a garage MoT pit accident after his employer pleaded guilty to health and safety failings.

In November 2014, Stuart Currey (34) was cleaning out an MoT pit at the Pye Motors garage in Morecambe, Lancashire, when a Ford Transit van driven by an apprentice ran over him. The apprentice had not seen Stuart working in the pit and dragged him under the van for ten metres before hearing his screams. Colleagues ran to Stuart´s assistance and used jacks to extract him from under the vehicle.

Stuart was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital with fractures to his right shoulder, pelvis, hips, spine and ribs. Stuart remained in hospital for five weeks and nearly two years after the accident he is dependent on crutches or a wheelchair for his mobility. Due to his pelvis and hip injuries, Stuart has one leg shorter than the other, he is still unable to play with his four daughters, and will never be able to work as a car mechanic again.

Following an investigation into the accident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Pye Motors was prosecuted for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Earlier this week, company directors pleaded guilty to the charge at Preston Magistrates Court and, although sentencing has been delayed until next January, the company´s admission of liability will allow Stuart to claim injury compensation for a garage MoT pit accident without his claim being contested.

After the hearing, Stuart told news reporters: “The injuries I suffered have had a huge impact on my family too, particularly my daughters. I’m glad Pye Motors has pleaded guilty to the charges brought by the HSE and hope that this is the first step to drawing a line under this traumatic time and that it will allow me to start rebuilding my life and focusing all my efforts on my recovery.”

Stuart´s solicitor confirmed he is claiming injury compensation for a garage MoT pit accident against his former employers to fund his ongoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy. “This incident could have been a lot worse” the solicitor said. “We hope it acts as a reminder to employers of the need to take their responsibilities for safety seriously to avoid incidents like this, which have turned Stuart’s life upside down, in the future.”

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Former Soccer Player Awarded Compensation for a Foreseeable Heart Attack

October 4, 2016

A former soccer player, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a game, has been awarded a £7 million settlement of compensation for a foreseeable heart attack.

Since the age of eleven years, Radwan Hamed (now 27 years old) had been associated with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Having developed his skills in the club´s football academy, Radwan progressed into being a regular player in the club´s youth team.

In August 2006, at the age of seventeen, Radwan signed as a professional for the club. Three days later, while playing with the youth team in Belgium, Radwan suffered a cardiac arrest six minutes into the match and collapsed.

Radwan´s heart stopped for several minutes, during which time his brain was starved of oxygen. As a result of oxygen deprivation, Radwan suffered permanent brain damage, due to which he can no longer walk or talk. He has also lost his sight.

Radwan´s father – Raymon – claimed his son´s heart attack had been foreseeable and Tottenham Hotspur should not have let him play in the match. He alleged that an ECG performed before Radwan had signed professionally for the club showed his son´s heart to be “unequivocally abnormal”.

On his son´s behalf, Raymon claimed compensation for a foreseeable heart attack against Dr Peter Mills – the Football Association cardiologist who had screened his son – and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. At the High Court In February 2015, Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled the club was 70% liable for Radwan´s injuries and Dr Mills 30% liable.

The case was adjourned for reports to be compiled in Radwan´s future care needs and, at the High Court earlier this week, Mr Justice Lewis awarded a compensation package believed to have a combined value of £7 million. Announcing the settlement of compensation for a foreseeable heart attack, Judge Lewis said:

“Radwan Hamed was a promising young footballer. At the age of 17 he was playing his first professional match for Tottenham Hotspur. There is a system for scanning and screening heart defects in young footballers. Radwan was scanned and the results indicated he might have a heart defect. The compensation will need to compensate for injury and for loss of earnings. More importantly it will need to ensure his future needs are met.”

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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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Claim for Mesothelioma Cancer against Rothmans Settled Out of Court

August 23, 2016

A claim for mesothelioma cancer against Rothmans, made by a former employee of the cigarette manufacturer, has been settled out of court for a six-figure sum.

In the late 1970s, Valerie Cameron (57) from Darlington in County Durham was employed on the production line at the city´s Rothman´s cigarette factory. While she was employed at the factory, work began on the construction of an extension – work that involved the removal of asbestos lagging from existing pipework.

In May 2015, Valerie was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. It was only when she tried to recall how she might have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres that she remembered the extension work at the cigarette factory. Valerie then sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for mesothelioma cancer against Rothmans.

Rothmans denied its liability – forcing solicitors acting on Valerie´s behalf to take her claim to the High Court. It was only once High Court proceedings had been issued that Rothmans entered into negotiations to settle Valerie´s claim – the parties agreeing to an undisclosed six-figure settlement.

Speaking after her claim for mesothelioma cancer against Rothmans had been resolved, Valerie told her local paper: “I was completely shocked when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma and immediately became worried about my future. I hope that by taking legal action I can some way help to raise awareness of this terrible disease and the problems exposure to asbestos can lead to decades down the line.”

Valerie´s solicitor added: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes significant pain and suffering for victims like Valerie and employers should have been well aware of the dangers it posed to their staff.”

He continued: “Nothing can change Valerie’s diagnosis but after issuing legal proceedings against Rothmans at the High Court we have been able to secure her a settlement that will hopefully enable her to focus on fighting the disease and spending time with her family and friends.”

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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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Claim for an Accident While Working in Australia Settled

July 18, 2016

A British woman´s claim for an accident while working in Australia has been settled for Au$12 million following court hearings in Manchester and Hobart.

In December 2011, Holly Raper (27) from Chorley in Lancashire was backpacking her way around the world, and had just started working at the King Island Dairy Farm in Tasmania, when she was involved in a serious quadbike accident while herding cattle for the first time.

Holly remained in a coma for several months after the accident and, due to the catastrophic brain injury she sustained, is now a quadriplegic – unable to communicate, move or feed herself. Holly was flown back to her family home in March 2013, where she is now cared for by her mother and two professional carers.

Despite receiving a Au$290,000 compensation settlement from the Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal, Holly´s father – Chris – made a claim for an accident while working in Australia on his daughter´s behalf against the owners of the King Island Dairy Farm – David and Jocelyn Bowden.

In the claim for an accident while working in Australia, Chris alleged that Holly had not been provided with a helmet or properly trained to herd cattle on a quadbike. It was also claimed that the quadbike had significant defects, including disconnected rear brakes, excessive steering wear, and a rear wheel had been put on backwards.

The claim was contested on the grounds that Holly had contributed to her accident and the extent of her injuries by her own lack of care. The amount of compensation being claimed on Holly´s behalf was also considered excessive by the Bowden´s insurance company and a date was scheduled for a court hearing.

However, due to the cost of flying Holly´s medical experts over from the UK, Judge Steven Estcourt flew to Manchester to hear witness testimonies before returning to Hobart for the conclusion of the case. The judge found in Holly´s favour, dismissing the allegations of contributory negligence, and awarding Holly´s family Au$12 million in settlement of the claim for an accident while working in Australia. The settlement will be put into a trust to pay for Holly´s future care.

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Liability Determined in Claim for a Fall Down Stairs at a Nightclub

July 11, 2016

A venue´s failure to install an identifiable handrail has been ruled sufficient cause to determine liability in a claim for a fall down stairs at a nightclub.

In June 2011, a Manchester businessman was leaving the Pulse Nightclub on the city´s Dantzic Street, when he fell head-first down a flight of stairs from the converted 19th Century warehouse onto the street below. The man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – fractured his skull and suffered serious brain damage.

Due to the extent of his injuries, the man will never be able to lead an independent life and requires around-the-clock care. On his behalf, lawyers made a compensation claim for a fall down stairs at a nightclub against Pro-Nation Ltd, the owners of the Pulse Nightclub.

Pro-Nation denied liability for their customer´s accident, claiming that the man had drunk “six or seven pints” while at the club and that the fall down the stairs was due to his drink-fuelled incapacity. Due to the serious consequences of the accident, a hearing was scheduled to determine liability at London´s High Court.

At the hearing, Judge Richard Pearce was told by friends of the businessman that he was “not visibly affected by his drinking” and appeared “essentially normal”. The judge also heard that the presence of a curtain at the top of the stairs masked a small handrail that the businessman could have used to address his fall.

Ruling that the venue was not fitted with a “visible and identifiable handrail” as recommended by building regulations, Judge Pearce found in favour of the claimant. He said that Pro-Nation had failed in its duty of care to keep customers safe and rejected the argument that the businessman had contributed to the fall down stairs at the nightclub “through his own blameworthy conduct”.

The claim for a fall down stairs at a nightclub will return to the High Court later in the year once an assessment has been conducted to assess the man´s future care needs. The settlement of the claim will need to be approved by a judge to ensure it is in the claimant´s best interests as he is unable to represent himself due to his injuries.

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Court of Appeal Upholds Decision in Injury Claim for a Fall at a Tourist Attraction

June 3, 2016

The Court of Appeal has upheld an injury claim for a fall at a tourist attraction made by a 69-year-old man who fell into the moat at Carisbrooke Castle.

In April 2011, Ian Taylor from East Grinstead in Sussex was visiting Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight with his wife and two grandchildren. As he descended a steep grass bank below the castle to take some photographs, Ian lost his footing and slipped – falling over the bastion wall and into the castle´s moat, twelve feet below.

Ian was knocked unconscious in the fall and suffered permanent head injuries. After seeking legal advice he made an injury claim for a fall at a tourist attraction against English Heritage – the organisation responsible for the management of the historic site – alleging that the drop was not visible from the bank he was descending and there were no signs warning him of the danger.

In 2015, Judge David Blunt QC ruled in Ian´s favour and said that English Heritage were at fault for failing to erect a sign warning of the risk of falling – although assigning him 50% contributory negligence for his own lack of care. English Heritage contested the decision, and the injury claim for a fall at a tourist attraction was heard again recently by three judges at the Court of Appeal.

At the hearing, barristers representing English Heritage argued that sensible people could assess risks for themselves and that Judge Blunt´s decision – if upheld – would force historic sites into “an unduly defensive approach” – implying that a decision in Ian´s favour would result in a “plague of unattractive warning signs” around historic monuments.

However, Lords Dyson, McFarlane and Beatson upheld Ian´s injury claim for a fall at a tourist attraction. The three Appeal Court judges ruled that the risk of injury was not obvious from the location from which Ian had attempted to take photographs, and that the absence of a warning sign meant that reasonable steps had not been taken to ensure his safety.

It is not yet known whether English heritage will take the injury claim for a fall at a tourist attraction to the Supreme Court as it has implications for future injury claims at all of the organisation´s four hundred managed historic sites. Much may depend on how much compensation is awarded to Ian for his injury – the amount to be decided by a judge in the near future if a settlement is not agreed by the parties beforehand.

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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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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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Royal Navy Veteran Entitled to Asbestos Compensation for Military Staff

March 8, 2016

A Royal Navy veteran has been told that he will now be entitled to asbestos compensation for military staff after the Ministry of Defence relaxed its rules.

Fred Minall (74) from Northampton served aboard the HMS Trafalgar between 1958 and 1963 as a Royal Navy engineer. During his time on board the ship, Fred and his colleagues would be “covered head to foot” in asbestos used for fire-proofing and heat resistant purposes.

In October 2015, Fred was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer due to inhaling asbestos powder and fibres. However, whereas civilians who contract an asbestos-related disease can often sue their former employer, asbestos compensation for military staff was only available to those diagnosed after December 2015.

Following a campaign to allow all former servicemen asbestos compensation for military staff, the Ministry of Defence changed its policy and gave Fred and other servicemen in his position the option of a tax-free lump sum or smaller annual payments to assist them financially through the last years of their lives.

Now eligible for a lump-sum payment of £170,000, Fred told the BBC: “This news is marvellous and I could not have wished for better. To know that my three sons and their families will benefit from the effort that has gone into getting this unfortunate issue resolved is very satisfying.”

Campaigners for the relaxation of the rules also welcomed the change of policy. Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, said: “The Government has done the right thing and we appreciate the effort that has gone into accommodating the people who were missing out on asbestos compensation for military staff”.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, Defence minister Mark Lancaster commented: “It is right that we do more to support veterans affected by this condition – it’s part of our commitment to our Armed Forces. This change will give them more choice and control.”

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