Posts Tagged ‘accident at work leeds’
Afternoon all, John here blogging again.
I thought I’d give a bit of a wider view of the legal world than usual and comment upon the landscape as it looks from here, as a solicitor in practice doing my best for my clients.
I’m not sure many folk will be too upset, but these are very poor times for lawyers and our clients. The last couple of years have brought caustic change after caustic change to the law. What perhaps won’t be appreciated is that this is very bad news for the ordinary guy/girl in the street. The rights of individuals and their access to justice are being eroded at an alarming rate – all in favour of the rights and demands of big corporations and those close to Westminster’s ear – those with enough clout to get close enough.
For example (and to paraphrase a well-known speaker in the field, Kerry Underwood, who I must credit) consider these developments:
Civil Legal aid is abolished
Employment claims are down almost 80% due to unaffordable fees
Recoverable costs from fat cat defendants in personal injury are slashed
Court fees are about to treble in some cases making court cases unaffordable too
Judicial Review is to be slashed
Criminal lawyers are on strike
The Court of Appeal rules (in the famous Mitchell case (plebgate) and the ones that followed) that the efficiency of the State comes before Justice – that alone is a shocker, so just re-read that sentence!
This is all very alarming and a lot of senior and respected commentators, including judges on the quiet, feel that we risk losing much of what has been achieved in the 800 years since Magna Charta.
All of these changes are bad news and threat for hard pressed individuals, for whom the protection of the law has until now been a comfort and a right. Note also that several of these changes mean that the rich who can still afford the higher fees have greater access to justice. That alone is another shocking point.
We are still here fighting for the little guy and for those who have claims and have been injured through no fault of their own. The playing field has been doctored cruelly and the goal posts shifted, but with committed and talented lawyers behind you justice can still, just about, be found.
If you have had any kind of accident and want to find out if you might have a claim, give us a call or click on the case evaluation button below.
That’s all for now,
Good afternoon and, this being my first blog of 2014, Happy New Year,
I moved house recently and even though we paid for a professional removal service, I was left with a sore back from all of the lifting and awkward carrying involved. Thankfully, I was okay again within a few days.
We often get calls from clients about injuries sustained in accidents caused by moving, lifting, carrying, pushing or lowering things at work. These accidents are categorised as “manual handling claims”.
Even in this age of mass mechanisation and computerisation many work tasks still simply have to involve a lift, a shift or a pull etc by hand. For instance, the massive growth of Internet shopping has meant more multi drop delivery van drivers than ever out on the roads dropping off the Internet bought goods. That’s easy if it’s a DVD or a paperback book, but big, heavy and awkward goods need to be delivered too and it is rare these days for a driver to have a mate to help carry at the delivery address. Just think how much was shifted by Amazon and similar companies in the weeks up to Christmas.
Very often it is not just the sheer weight of an item that is the problem. It can often be the fact that it is an awkward or unwieldy item, or there is a limited space to manoeuvre it into, or steps to negotiate. For example, a Christmas tree might only weigh 10Kg, but it is an awkward thing to carry and if it has to be taken up narrow stairs or round a tight corner it puts extra strain on various parts of the deliverer’s body. I’ve had window fitters injured carrying window units that perhaps only weighed 15Kg, but were big and awkward or had to be held or lifted into to strange places. I’ve also had hurt builders, industrial workers, cleaners, bin men; in fact you name a workplace and I bet I’ve seen a manual handling accident in it!
You might think that office workers don’t have these kinds of accidents, but you would be surprised by what I’ve seen. There can be big heavy archive boxes, awkward pieces of heavy office furniture, computers to move etc. This is often made worse by the fact that you might have an older person with other health issues doing the manual handling task, or perhaps someone who is tiny doing a job that is unsuitable for them and their body.
These accidents are surprisingly common and there are specific Manual Handling Regulations in place that are aimed at protecting employees whose work includes any manual handling at all. The Regulations are very detailed and quite strict, so if you have had an accident involving manual handling then there will almost certainly be something relevant and helpful in them. Manual handling compensation claims are frequently successful and so if you have had such an accident it is definitely worth considering bringing a claim. Contact someone like us who will consider the accident with you for free and work on a no win no fee basis, with no risk to you.
As you would expect, back injuries are the most common sort of injury suffered in accidents of this sort, but I have seen all sorts of injuries suffered. Sometimes it is as much the dropping of an item as the lifting that causes the injury!
If you have any injury at all, give us a call.
Hopefully, I won’t be moving again for a very long time.
That’s all for now,
Good afternoon, John here blogging again.
Forgive us if we have gone on a bit about the rapidly changing world of injury compensation claims, but this year has been the biggest year of change ever and, being in the business, it is fascinating to us (sad, I know). The volume and impact of the changes has been huge and the fallout is still happening.
The aspect I want to blog about today is the type of solicitors and firms who have been caught out by the changes and why. Also, what does that mean for ordinary folk who have an accident now and want to claim?
The latest two things to happen in this amazing year arise out of two court cases that have just been decided.
The first is one small part of the infamous “plebgate” case. One outcome from this case has been little noticed by the press and public, but it concerns the overall attitude of the courts to claims and how they are to be progressed in the courts. Put very simply, the courts have now told lawyers loud and clear to make sure they have all of their papers and evidence in place in advance because defaults, missed dates and errors in the court process won’t be tolerated. Seriously draconian sanctions will meet any such errors.
The second case concerned an old coal miner’s claim against his own solicitors for failing to advise him well enough. He argued that they didn’t advise him effectively and so he lost out on part of the value of his claim because of that. The suggestion was that the solicitors in question had taken on thousands of such claims and failed to provide a personal service to each and every client. Once again, put very simply, the suggestion was that the claim had been relegated to a factory farm process and the court held that the miner had indeed lost out because the advice wasn’t good or thorough enough.
So what is the theme coming from these two cases and what do they tell us?
I’d argue that the theme is that solicitors who take on work for clients had better know what they are doing AND that they ought to provide a personal service to each and every client. Hardly rocket science or too much to ask.
What the cases tell us is that for too long some clients have had to put up with a factory farm style approach to their claims, rather than the proper personal service they ought to receive and to which they are entitled. They tell us too that lawyers had better listen up and do the right job. The use of bland questionnaires, the infuriating call answering of “press 1 for this, 2 for that and 3 for the other” and never speaking to the same lawyer twice are not good enough.
I’d be so bold as to suggest that what clients really need is often dismissed as “old fashioned” personal service, like we offer. If I take on your case and you call for an update, then you get to speak to me, or if I am not around, I call you back. If Lorraine takes on your case, then the same applies. You don’t get fobbed off with a procession of “file handlers”. If we have something complicated to advise you on then a face to face meeting is often appropriate or maybe a long phone call. Not a standard questionnaire with no guidance or advice. There is a definite advantage to using a lawyer who is based near you.
These (often massive) firms who reduce YOUR important claim or case to a conveyor belt “process” are having to wake up and, in many cases, are shipping out. The changes are too uncomfortable for them and ask too much of their poor profit driven processes.
So, in conclusion, demand more as a client. Don’t put up with shoddy service and aim to see the “whites of the eyes” of the lawyer who will be dealing with your claim – face to face is best, but at least have a long chat on the phone. Ask yourself, can you get on with this person who is running your claim? Do they make sense? Can you understand them?
If you have had an accident call me or Lorraine or click on the enquiry button below.
All for now,
Good Afternoon all,
Finally, I have some good news to report for injured people in the world of injury compensation claims, but first of all a reminder of the context.
The year 2013 will probably remain imprinted on the minds of all lawyers who work in the field of injury compensation claims for ever. There has never been a year of so much change and those particular changes have been of such a seismic kind. Please forgive us if we’ve gone on about this a bit in our regular blogs (and I won’t repeat it all now), but put very simply, the climate for somebody who has been blamelessly injured and seeks some sort of compensation for this in our country has become much, much bleaker. Justice is in shorter supply for individual underdogs and that saddens me.
In trying to “handbag” the so called “compensation culture” the Government has eroded the rights of individuals and played right into the hands of the ginormous insurance companies who moan piously about this “claims culture”, but make billion pound profits year on year. They wring their hands and talk about the need to put up premiums, but they are not too keen to talk about their massive profits or the joy of their shareholders. They also lobby and lobby and lobby and pour treacle into the ears of the politicians. It seems to me that the hefty premiums they charge fund dividends for shareholders and investors.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there is a genuine problem with some fraudulent or exaggerated claims, but in my experience these are usually pretty easy to spot and the insurance industry ought to be fighting those claims, not paying them out and then moaning. The cynic in me suspects that the insurance industry is delighted to have the pretext or excuse of a nebulous, insinuated cheating culture so they can play the “good guys” and push the Government into what we have seen – an over-reaction to the problem and a crushing of the rights of the little guy.
As the saying goes, “we are where we are”. Life goes on and injured people can still bring a claim and we can still help them. It is just a bit more difficult and less friendly or fair to the underdog any more.
So what is the good news then?
In addition to all of the other changes the Government was seriously thinking of increasing the small claims limit for injury claims. At the moment, if you have an injury that is serious enough to attract likely compensation of £1,000.00 or more then you can go to a Solicitor for help. If you have a good claim and win it then your opponent has to pay you your compensation and at least a contribution towards the legal fees of your Solicitor. As a general rule, you will keep at least 75% of any compensation you win and the insurers are forced by the presence of the Solicitors to pay fair and decent compensation and to behave honourably.
This is important because, putting it very bluntly, you cannot trust the insurance industry to respond fully, openly and fairly if you try to bring a claim without a Solicitor to help. The insurers cry foul when they are accused of this, but their charge sheet is too long and, quite frankly, the Government have shown they don’t trust them to behave honourably either.
The government had toyed with the idea of increasing the small claims limit to about £5,000.00 or so, meaning that individuals with injuries worth up to that amount would have to think twice about using a Solicitor because the opponent would not even contribute to the cost of that Solicitor. These are starting to be quite hefty claims with a lot of complexity and the insurers would love to avoid having pesky lawyers involved who would ask awkward questions of them and make sure they pay fair compensation. The insurers would love to deal direct with the injured person and you simply can’t expect them to play fair.
Thankfully, the Government changed its mind and decided it could not trust the insurance industry and so the limit stays at £1,000.00. This is one small but important decision that has gone in the favour of the underdog.
Can I finish my compensation claim if there is a possibility my injury could get worse in the future?
Good afternoon all.
In most injury compensation cases it is not safe to settle a claim until you have a clear medical prognosis and have either recovered fully, or can at least be pretty clear about what symptoms or disabilities you will be left with and for how long. In other words, you get one bite of the cherry. If you settle the claim then you can never re-open it and seek more compensation if you take a turn for the worse. This is why swift settlements are often a bad idea, particularly when serious injuries have been sustained. You need to take time to investigate all of the injuries and symptoms and quite simply allow the healing process to take its course.
In circumstances where the medical prognosis and overall recovery remain uncertain, it is sometimes possible for a Court to award a Claimant what are called Provisional Damages.
These are Damages awarded on the basis that some foreseeable serious medical deterioration or fresh but foreseeable condition does not come about, whilst leaving open the chance for the Claimant to go back to Court and seek more compensation at a later date if that feared deterioration/condition does then come about.
In other words, it allows a Claimant to settle the Claim, but leaves the door open for them to go back to seek more compensation if some feared deterioration/condition later arises as a result of the original accident.
An award of Provisional Damages is therefore usually a lower award for a lesser sum of Damages than might otherwise be awarded on a full and final settlement. This is because it is an award made on the basis of the deterioration (or fresh but foreseeable condition) not coming about. If it does later come about then the Claimant must apply to the Court for a further award and must then prove that the specifically feared deterioration/condition has arisen.
These awards are pretty rare and defendants and their insurers don’t like them and try to resist them. This is mainly because they cannot close their file, which is hated by insurers because they not only need to leave the door open to a potential future liability, but also maintain insurance provision and cover.
That’s all for today. Give me a call or click on the link below if you want a chat or might have a claim.
When I make an important “buying” decision, particularly for a highly personal professional service, I want to know a lot about who I am buying that service from. If you’ve had a nasty accident or injury and you are thinking of using an expert lawyer (like us) to help you consider claiming compensation then the same considerations apply. So why choose us?
Whilst there is quite a lot of detail about us on our website, a little more might be of help before you decide to trust us, so here is a little more biographical detail.
- We are a specialist litigation firm and we act only for Claimants in personal injury claims, so we never have a conflict of interest
- We opened our doors in July 2001 and in over 12 years of practice we have never ever had a single complaint or negligence claim upheld
- 70% of our new matters have come from clients, friends and professional colleagues recommending us, or from past clients instructing us again – we still believe in old fashioned word of mouth as the best recommendation
- We carry small, high quality caseloads and make a great effort to meet and get to know all of our clients to ensure that we maintain high standards of advice and give a personal service
- We act for clients almost exclusively on a “No win, no fee” basis (Conditional Fees), so if you don’t win your claim you don’t pay us a penny
- We do not accept instructions from work referrers, sometimes called “claims farmers” or “accident management companies” – we believe that they are needless middle men and add nothing
- The firm consists of specialist Solicitors who share an open plan office and a collegiate approach whereby we all know each others’ clients and support and monitor one another and our work constantly
- Our clients tell us that they like us a lot (“Benchmarq” external customer service survey, Gold award and we have an extensive praise section in our “Complaints and thanks” register – in fact we had to add the “thanks” section because we were getting no complaints and lots of thanks!)
- We are ISO 9001 accredited and we are always keen to listen and learn to get the most out of the ISO monitoring visits
Those are just a few extra biographical details about us, but the best thing to do is to pick up the phone, drop us an email or click on the contact button below. We will always speak to potential new clients confidentially, for free and as frankly and honestly as we possibly can. If we think you have, or haven’t, got a good chance of succeeding in a claim then we will tell you.
Give us a try.
That’s all for now,
I suspect many of us are looking wistfully out of our workplace windows, wishing we could be out in the beautiful sunshine instead of being stuck inside working.
Doing this job helping victims of accidents, each distinct part of the year brings different types of new cases and different kinds of accidents and accident claims. I thought I’d use this blog to give you some of my experience of the sorts of accidents and threats that happen in warm summer weather.
First of all there are the people who are lucky enough to work outside. We might not be so jealous of them in the cold and wet winter, but it must be nice when it’s glorious outside. Summer does throw some hazards at them though.
Most obvious are the hazards raised by really hot conditions. Sometimes safety equipment isn’t worn in the workplace when it should be, because it can become uncomfortably hot. In many workplaces wearing shorts is never a good idea! The heat itself can even become the hazard if there is a danger of becoming dehydrated. I have had cases where someone dazed and dehydrated has fallen from height or dropped things on colleagues. Factories, warehouses and offices can be equally uncomfortable and dull the senses with heat too.
Here in Leeds we have a large workforce with a really mixed bag of trades and workplaces. Staying comfortable and safe at work is not always easy and managers need to stay on top of employee welfare issues in extreme conditions
Employers need to be alive to these dangers of any kinds of extreme weather and make sure that they take suitable precautions to keep their employees safe. Keeping it topical, could you imagine Andy Murray (well done Andy, by the way) at his workplace – centre court – without his massive juice bottle? He is wise enough to take a big swig at every change of ends.
Hot weather also serves up enticements, such as open water, like lakes, ponds and gravel pits. The sea too. Tragedies occur every year around water and sometimes it is the extreme of going from very hot to very cold in an instant. These hazards are even more worrying when kids are involved and the summer holidays are here for some already and will be here for all very soon.
On the road, fatigue and discomfort in the heat can become an issue. You also see roads get very greasy when there has been a long period of dry hot weather followed by a downpour. The rubber and oil deposited on the road in the dry spell turns into a treacherously slippery skid pan.
Keep safe in the sun and if you have an accident give us a no obligation call or click the case evaluation button below.
Good morning everyone,
I thought I’d blog about accidents caused by or near scaffolding and the fact that this often includes working at height.
Sadly, we have dealt with a lot of accident compensation cases from these scenarios over the years because the erection and use of scaffolding can be very hazardous. There is no avoiding the fact that their erection and use exposes people to a cocktail of serious risks and hazards.
The scaffolding industry is extremely competitive and keen on price. Unfortunately, in my experience, that can often lead to corners being cut and unsafe practices being used. There is often a lot of time pressure put on employees to work fast and mistakes are made or poor work is overlooked.
There are many regulations in place that are aimed at making working at height and the erection and use of scaffolding safe. If they were always followed, then there would be a lot fewer accidents and those that did occur would be a lot less serious.
Scaffolding workers themselves are often exposed to unnecessary risks.
Personal protective equipment is vital, such as the use of hard hats, safety boots and gloves. It is amazing and sad how often serious accidents are caused simply by something being dropped from height and hitting someone who hasn’t got the proper safety equipment on and is standing below. It can be something as small as a tiny fitting, or as hazardous as a hammer, a big spanner or even a pole. If any of these hit someone they are going to hurt them, but wearing safety equipment will significantly reduce the seriousness of the injury.
Another common scaffolder’s injury is to the hand or fingers. They are under pressure to work quickly either removing or erecting steel fittings and it is all too easy to slip and hurt yourself, especially if gloves are not worn.
Probably the most hazardous risk for scaffolders, and for those who then use the scaffolding to work from, is the simple fact that they are working at height. A fall from height is still the most common cause of accident related death in the construction industry. These tragic accidents are almost always preventable with the simple precautions and equipment. Working at height is a very highly regulated area and shoddy employers can end up with criminal prosecutions as well as very strong injury compensation claims against them.
Put very simply, if someone has suffered injuries in a fall from height it is very likely that they have a strong chance of succeeding in a claim for compensation.
Scaffolding can be hazardous for passers by too and people going about their every day business. We have seen several of these injuries and accidents too.
If you’ve had an accident that has been near or has involved scaffolding then it is likely that you have a reasonable chance of winning a claim for compensation , so give us a free call or click on the case evaluation button below.
That’s all for now,
Good afternoon everyone.
I thought I’d try and address this pretty crucial question for anyone who has been unlucky enough to have had an accident or suffered an injury.
The short answer is just give us a free call, or send us a quick free case evaluation message by clicking through the contact button below. We’ll let you know pretty soon whether we think you have a good chance of winning a claim.
We do have a fault based system of justice in England and Wales, so you normally have to have some person or body (like an employer at fault or a driver at fault) to bring a claim against. The identity of the opponent can often be quite simple and obvious, but sometimes it can be complex. You don’t need to worry too much though, because if you tell us the circumstances of the accident then we can tell you whether you have good prospects of succeeding in a claim and, if so, against whom it ought to be brought. There are even some strange circumstances where you don’t strictly have to have a genuine opponent, but you can still bring a claim.
We often get contacted by people who are really uncertain, even embarrassed, about whether or not they might have a claim; in fact some people blame themselves for their accident. Once again, it’s free to find out, so just contact us and we’ll talk it through with you.
The case studies on our website ought to help you with some good examples and the claims process section will do too.
One crucial and simple piece of advice for all accident victims is that time limits apply to the bringing of claims. It makes sense to get on with any claim as soon as possible, because you don’t want to lose out on any chance of claiming simply by missing a time limit. Information can be lost over time too and witnesses can be lost and evidence can go cold. I’d urge you to call us for free as soon as possible, if you want to consider whether you might have a claim.
Some people worry that they are doing something wrong in thinking of claiming, but remember that you have already suffered an injury, don’t make things worse by missing out on a chance to recover proper compensation. The law decides whether you may be entitled to it, so enquire with us today.
That’s all for now,
John blogging again.
I thought I’d blog about claiming compensation for injuries to the foot or feet.
Foot injury compensation claims are pretty common and we have dealt with a lot of them over the years here at Ibbotson Brady Solicitors.
Feet are quite vulnerable parts of our bodies. I’ve had claims where things have been dropped on them, where feet have been crushed in the work place and where feet have been run over, to name just a few scenarios. The mechanics and the structure of the foot makes them particularly vulnerable too. They are weight bearing and there are lots of small but important bones and many complex soft tissue structures, like tendons and ligaments.
In a workplace where activities like loading or packing or carrying heavy materials are involved, then employees really ought to be issued with personal protective equipment, or “PPE”. Where there is any possibility or likelihood of a foot injury then the PPE issued ought to include work boots or shoes with steel toecaps.
As with all injuries it is important to seek medical treatment before thinking about making a claim. In the long term your health and recovery will be more important than a compensation claim. By seeking medical help you will also have the accident and the injury logged and recorded, so make sure you give a clear description of how it happened to the doctor.
Foot injuries commonly affect your mobility and perhaps the ability to work, so they can often lead to large loss of earnings claims in addition to all of the other losses you can seek recovery for.
Foot injuries themselves will attract compensation for your pain and suffering too, if you have a good claim. For example, very serious injuries such as an amputation of one foot can attract pain and suffering damages alone of up to £78,300 (Source: Judicial Studies Board guidelines, 11th edition). More modest injuries like a moderate toe injury such as a straightforward fracture would be likely to attract pain and suffering damages of up to £6,850 (same source).
If you’ve had an a accident and hurt your foot (or anything else for that matter) we’ll speak to you for free and without any obligation. We can let you know whether we think you have a good claim. If we think you do, then we will be happy to offer you a “no win, no fee” arrangement so that if the claim does not succeed you will still not have to pay anything. In other words it’s free to try. Give us a call on the above number or click the case evaluation button below and we’ll call you back.
That’s all for now,