Personal Injury

Accidents at Work - Two Minute Guide

If an employee is injured in an accident at work, it may be possible for them to claim damages against their employer. An employer can be liable for damages if it is shown they failed to take reasonable care to prevent injury to employees. Employers owe a...

Asbestos

The main diseases caused by asbestos inhalation are asbestosis (the scarring of lung tissue) lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the chest and lungs) and pleural disease. Thousands of people die each year in the UK from asbestosis related...

Average Settlements in Personal Injury Cases

The level of the damages awarded as compensation for personal injuries has risen slightly in the last year, with typical rates now being as follows:   minor whiplash (full recovery within 2 years), between £2,500 and £4,600; loss of a...

Can't Stand the Noise?

In our society, noise is a normal part of everyday life. It is also well known that noise can cause permanent hearing loss. What is less well known is that there are many circumstances in which potentially hazardous noise may be encountered. This may include...

Clinical Negligence - Liability Tests

For a case of clinical negligence to be proved, there must be a duty of care which is owed by the defendant to the person claiming damages. If such a duty of care exists, for an action to be successful, two further things must be shown. Firstly, the...

Compensation for Crime

If you are injured as a result of a crime, you may be entitled to compensation, direct from the offender. As well as personal injury, compensation may be payable for other items (medical expenses, additional travelling costs and so on) which are not covered...

Compensation for Holiday Illness - What you Should Do

The annual holiday is normally one of the highlights of the year. However, holidays can turn into disasters if you have a serious case of 'travellers' tummy'. The best approach is to take sensible precautions regarding food and drink by following guidance...

Consumer Protection Act and Injury Claims

In some instances, product safety law can be used to bring claims involving personal injuries. A group of people who tried to use product safety law under the Consumer Protection Act against McDonalds, because of injuries suffered when they spilled hot...

Dancer Gains £20m Settlement

A dancer, who suffered severe brain damage whilst a patient in hospital, was awarded a settlement worth an estimated £20million. Kerstin Parkin, a professional dancer, was awarded the sum by Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust after suffering a heart attack...

Deaths at Work

The Health and Safety Executive has published its latest Statistics on Workplace injury and Sickness . These show that in 2005/6, 212 workers were killed at work, 2 million suffered illness  which they believed their work caused or made worse and...

Failure to Warn Of Slight Risk

A doctor must warn patients of even slight risks before operating. Failing to do so is negligent. In a recent case, in spite of the fact that the operation itself was not performed negligently, the suffering of a patient as a result of the operation was...

Faulty Work Boots - Employer Not Liable for Employee's Frostbite

An employer’s absolute obligation to maintain or repair protective equipment, under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, does not extend to a situation where an employee suffers an injury at work doing something that the...

Fixed Fees for Road Traffic Accident Cases

Professional fees for dealing with personal injury cases involving road traffic accidents are set to be ‘capped’, following the decision to adopt a ‘fixed fee’ scale. Under the new scheme, claims under £10,000 in value, which...

Injuries Due to Accidents in Public - Two Minute Guide

If you suffer an accident in a public place due to someone else’s negligence e.g. by tripping on a broken paving stone, you may be entitled to claim damages. You will need to prove that you were owed a duty of care by someone, that that person was...

Injury - Who is Liable?

Sometimes, cases involving personal injuries lead to decisions which do not at first glance seem to be those you would expect. Following a similar case some months ago, involving a woman whose car collided with a bus, a further case has now been decided...

Injury - Who is to Blame?

One of the things which determine the eventual payout in personal injury claims is the degree to which the injured person is to blame for the injury that befell them. This principle is called 'contributory negligence'. It also applies where an injury happens...

Low Speed Impacts: a Problem Area

When injuries occur because of high-speed impacts between cars, once the ‘liability’ issue (who was responsible for the accident) is sorted out, the argument normally becomes one about money. With low-speed impacts (typically under 5 mph),...

MRSA Claims on the Rise

An upsurge in MRSA cases against hospitals is expected as health and safety legislation is being used by lawyers as a basis for compensation claims. In the past, it has been difficult to prove cause and effect in MRSA cases. This is because patients...

Medical Negligence - Two Minute Guide

If a person suffers injury due to medical (or clinical) negligence (e.g. in the course of an operation), they may be entitled to claim damages. All doctors owe their patients a duty of care and a claim may be made based on the law of tort. In the private...

No Win No Fee - What Does it Mean?

It is common knowledge that taking action in the courts against an opponent who disputes your claim can be stressful and expensive. Recently, alternatives to bringing court action, such as alternative dispute resolution and mediation, have become more...

Noise Induced Hearing Loss - the Hidden Epidemic

In our society, noise is a normal part of everyday life. It is also well known that that noise can cause permanent hearing loss. What is less well known is that there are many environments in which noise is a hazard. These may include use of noisy equipment...

One in Ten Injured at Work

A survey by insurer AXA has found that one in ten people has been injured at work in the past five years. The most common accidents were slips, falls and trips, which were responsible for 33 per cent of all injuries. Kitchen accidents accounted for 19 per...

Product Fatal Accidents - Who is a Spouse?

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows dependants to claim for the loss they suffer as a result of the death of the person on whom they are dependant, for example where a spouse dies in an accident. This raises the question of the meaning of the word...

Product Liability - Two Minute Guide

If a person suffers injury caused by a defective product, they may be entitled to claim damages. This will usually be from the producer e.g. the manufacturer, although it is possible to bring a claim against a supplier e.g. a shop. A damages claim must...

Repetitive Strain Injury - Guidance for Small Firms

Results from a recent survey in the UK indicate that each year an estimated 400,000 people suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in the upper limb or neck area – caused or made worse by their work. This results in around 4 million lost working...

Right to Claim for Pleural Plaques Lost

Sufferers of an asbestos-related condition, pleural plaques, are to be denied the right to claim compensation, even when the condition has been caused by negligence, following a landmark decision in the House of Lords. The judgment reverses the...

Road Traffic Accidents - Two Minute Guide

If you suffer injury due to a road traffic accident which is not your fault, you can make a claim for damages if another person was at fault. All road users owe a duty of care to other road users, so if an accident is caused by their negligence they can be...

Shared Blame Means Reduced Damages

Cases involving personal injury when both parties are ‘in the wrong’ present a particular problem when it comes to determining the apportionment of responsibility for (and therefore the amount of damages payable for) the injury. In a recent case,...

Structured Settlements - How They Work

A structured settlement is a type of settlement normally used in accident and medical negligence claims as an alternative to the payment of a lump sum by the defendant to the claimant. A structured settlement may have three components. The first is an...

TIP - Allergies Actionable: Blues Not?

People think a claim for personal injury must mean that something has hurt you or perhaps made you seriously ill, but it can also mean a lesser hurt, such as that caused by an allergic reaction. In a recent case, a health care worker successfully claimed...

Tip: New Health and Safety Website on Vibration

If your business involves vibrating machinery, you should be aware of the Health and Safety Executive website providing information on the risks from vibration and advice on how to control them. There is advice on hand-arm and whole-body vibration...

Uncontrolled Bouncers

If a bouncer or similar employee gets carried away and assaults someone, the owner of the premises may be liable. Recently, however, a nightclub owner was found not to be liable when a bouncer severely injured someone in a fight which took place away from...

When Relief of Pain Breaches Human Rights

Human rights law has thrown up some controversial issues over the years, as illustrated by a recent case in which a mother was awarded €25,000 in damages and costs as compensation for her severely disabled son being given the painkiller diamorphine by...