Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Posts Tagged ‘compensation’

Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Mark Tawn No Comments

Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Sadly, it has recently been claimed that Ant McPartlin, one half of the nation’s favourite double-act Ant & Dec, has checked into rehab.

We have blogged about how pain can affect anyone at any time, including the rich and famous.

Ant McPartlin

Newspaper reports suggest that Ant has been suffering with chronic pain for years – because of  problems with his right knee. Also, it is said that Ant and his wife have been upset by an inability to have children. We add our voice to the outpouring of support for Mr McPartlin, his wife and those around him.

Ant McPartlin

Anthony David ‘Ant’ McPartlin, OBE  was born in 1975.  Best known as one half of the acting and TV presenting duo Ant & Dec.

Ant’s first career break was in the children’s drama series Byker Grove which led to a pop music careeer for himself and Declan Donnolley as PJ & Duncan. Ant and Dec went on to have a very successful career as television presenters, presenting I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway since 2002, Britain’s Got Talent since 2007 and Text Santa since 2011.

It can happen to anyone

We reported in one of our Success Stories how one of our clients suffered botched knee surgery. He went on to develop CRPS, a devastating condition which caused agonising pain and considerable disability. It may be that Ant’s knee problem was age-related and that his surgery was skilfully performed but if somebody else has been at fault, as in our client’s case, compensation can be claimed.

Money may not be an issue for actors and TV stars who can afford to pay for private treatment. For ordinary folk interim payments and a final compensation award can lead to rehabilitation, care and assistance, a move to more suitable accommodation and peace of mind.

Mark Tawn, who has a special interest in chronic pain cases comments:

It is sad to hear about Ant McPartlin. I remember when he was in Byker Grove and over the years my children have grown up watching him on TV. My favourite moment was seeing Ant & Dec in Love Actually – hilarious! Chronic pain is terrible. Some of my clients have fallen into despair, never knowing if or when their troubles will come to an end; others have struggled with side-effects from medication they have been prescribed and others have craved rehabilitation but been unable to access it. Hopefully Ant will make a full recovery and will become a vocal supporter for others who suffer daily.

If you are suffering with chronic pain as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault contact us and see how we can help.

 

Special Constable or paramedic sir?

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Would you be happy if a Special Constable arrived rather than a paramedic?

A pilot scheme has been launched in Hampshire which will see six Special Constables serving as First Responders for the Ambulance Service.

The Specials who have been trained by paramedics will be deployed to carry out initial lifesaving treatment at medical emergencies where an ambulance may not be able to attend in time.

Sooner rather than later

The training provided by Southern Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) provided the Specials with basic lifesaving skills including the use of oxygen and a defibrillator in cases of cardiac arrest. The idea is that the Specials could be the closest medically trained person to an incident which would mean a response in minutes which might save lives in cases such as cardiac arrest.

Clearly where time is of the essence it is better to have someone on scene who can provide treatment until the ambulance services can reach the scene.  We would however be concerned that decisions on the need for an ambulance attending at all, when the service is overstretched, might be left to the first attender.

Liability

The Special Constables will be classified as First Responders when deployed by the ambulance service to avoid the potential of an IPCC investigation in the event of a death which would typically be investigated as a death following police contact.

The pilot scheme raises questions as to whether it is papering over the cracks of a broken ambulance service when police officers are struggling to respond to their own 999 calls.

Retained fire fighters

PCSOs are already used as retained firefighters in Devon. The voluntary role is part of a two-year pilot scheme by Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

This pioneering initiative joining up the emergency services will combine the roles of PCSOs and retained firefighters.  The scheme will see PCSOs trained up as retained firefighters so that they can carry pagers and respond to fire calls when they are on duty as PCSOs.

The cover provided by the officers is particularly valuable during weekdays when the fire service struggle to cover retained stations when most of their responders are committed n their normal day jobs.

It is hoped that the officers will be able to provide a better more joined up service where officers visiting premises or engaging with community groups can not only deliver crime related advice but also fire safety advice that will protect people from harm.

It has been suggested that PCSOs are taking the strain for overworked social services, mental health services, children’s homes and hospitals, fire service and now the ambulance service.

 

We would love to know how you feel about the pilot scheme and whether it is positive thing to have more First Responders or a situation where follow up training and driver response training will not be provided and will result in a recipe for disaster.

 

 

Are you dishonest?

Posted on: July 14th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

fundamental dishonesty

It is fair to say that most of us would not consider ourselves to be ‘fundamentally dishonest’ but what does it actually mean and why does it matter?

Fundamental dishonesty. Liar, LiarRecent changes[1] in the rules that affect personal injury practice mean that if a Claimant is found to have been fundamentally dishonest in relation to any aspect of their case then their entire claim can be dismissed[2] and they can become liable for the other party’s costs.

Needless to say this is a change that has been seized upon by the insurers, not least because of the lack of clarity over what will be considered fundamental dishonesty.

Fraud or dishonesty?

Fundamental dishonesty is not defined in any statute, explanatory notes, the Civil Procedure Rules or any practice direction.

Traditionally the standard was always one of fraud but the new rules are enabling judges to set a lower threshold for fundamental dishonesty than they would for fraud.

The most likely area for dispute is medical evidence.   The suggestion that someone  suffered a little less than the evidence suggests or exaggeration of a care claim where a care givers evidence does not align with that of the Claimant under cross-examination.

Often claims can take many months, even years and memories fade and records are mislaid so it is essential for any potential Claimant to instruct a solicitor early to guide them through the claim and ensure that they keep a proper and detailed record of their injury and losses. Failure to do so could be catastrophic.

Personal injury compensation claims have been turbulent over the years with successive governments trying to curb the media-touted increase in low-value claims. A host of measures have been introduced over the years, intended to curb the cost of compensation claims. Fixed costs, the abolition of referral fees, the inability to recover insurance premiums or success fees from losing defendants, various costs protection and budgeting schemes, the increase in court fees, and now ‘fundamental dishonesty’. There is also the recently announced intention to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 and remove the right to compensation completely for soft-tissue minor whiplash injuries.

Dawid Masel v Esure

 

On 21st April 2016 one the first fundamentally dishonesty cases was heard.

The claimant had said that he had been injured for a total of four months following a minor car accident. Esure, who insured the defendant’s vehicle uncovered a publicly-available video on YouTube in which the claimant took part in, and won, a ‘Total Full Contact’ kickboxing fight within a month of the accident date. The Judge watched all six rounds of the contest, during which she commented that the claimant looked “a picture of health”. The Claimant’s claim was dismissed following the defendant’s argument that the claim was fundamentally dishonest.    The claimant was ordered to pay the defendant’s costs.

 

If you have been involved in an accident or suffered at the hands of medical professional we urge you to seek early legal advice.

At Davey Law we have decades of experience in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. We can guide you through the process and help you to keep accurate records of your losses and details of your recovery.

Contact our serious injury experts on 01285 654875 for further information.

 

July 2016

 

[1] 13th April 2015

[2] under Section 57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

 

Making a brain injury claim

Posted on: May 6th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Welcome to our new video about making a brain or head injury compensation claim.

To watch the video click here      serious injury expert Isobel Addison

Our serious injury expert Isobel Addison explains that we understand that the thought of bringing a claim is often daunting. We can offer personal, professional and practical help.

We know that people around you are using confusing terms and expressions that you may never have heard before at a time when you are least able to make calm and considered decisions.

Our serious injury team, here at Davey Law, has decades of experience of helping people like you.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a serious injury call us on 01285 654875 to discuss your claim.

 

If you have been injured because of the actions of another person you may be eligible to make a claim for head injury compensation. You may have been in a road accident, an assault, had an accident at work or been the victim of medical negligence.  You may not immediately have been aware of how serious your injury was, or how much you were affected day-to-day.

Why make a head injury compensation claim?

A successful claim could help to provide funding for essential support. In order to achieve the best outcome it is essential to find a specialist solicitor with expertise in head injury compensation cases.  Someone with the right experience will be able to build a case for compensation that will appreciate and  address your future needs.

Brain Injury Group members – setting the standard.

As members of the Brain Injury Group we can show that we have met their very strict criteria and ethical code of conduct. Our membership gives us exclusive access to a range of professionals and who help to rebuild lives after brain injury. 

 

Call us on 01285 654875

 

 

 

Compensation Claims

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Brining your compensation claim is what we do. Welcome to our new video about our serious injury team.

      

Our serious injury expert Peter Davies explains what Davey Law can do for you. 

Compensation claim

With over 100 years of experience of bringing compensation claims across Gloucestershire and across England and Wales, our aim is to obtain compensation and restore your quality of life.

So if you, or someone you know, has suffered a serious injury, why not call us on 01285 654875 to discuss making a claim. You won’t speak to a call centre but to one of our experienced serious injury experts.

No Win, No Fee. No call centres, No nonsense. Just serious injury experts.

 

 

Central Pain Syndrome discussed

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Central Pain Syndrome also known as Thalamic Pain Syndrome/Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome

We recently acted for a client suffering from a Central Pain Syndrome.

In 1906 two French neurologists, Dejerine and Roussy, found that strokes could give rise to pain. A lesion suffered on one side of the thalamus following stroke might cause pain on the opposite side of the body.

Recently, we acted for a client (“X”) who had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

One of our experts noted X’s significant physical symptoms. X showed signs of being in pain on one side of his body from stimuli that would not normally cause pain e.g. just resting a foot on a wheelchair footplate.

Review of X’s CT scan revealed contusion within the left thalamic brain region causing the expert to indicate that X’s symptoms were in keeping with Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome. Further evidence from a specialist neurologist was arranged.

Central Pain Syndrome

It is now understood that damage to the Central Nervous System (“CNS”) and not just to the thalamus can cause pain and loss of sensation in various parts of the body. CPS can develop following brain tumours, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (“MS”) or other conditions affecting the CNS.

Use of the term Central Pain Syndrome (“CPS”) reflects the fact that damage to various area of the CNS can cause pain and stroke need not be the primary cause.

Where stroke is the primary cause the preferred term now used is Central Post Stroke Pain.

The level of pain caused by CPS varies from one person to another. Some individuals experience pain which is mild and periodic, others may have terrible, unremitting pain which drastically affects their lives and may consequently devastate relationships.

If you, or a loved one, have developed a Central Pain Syndrome following an accident and you would like to discuss it with a serious injury expert please call us on 01285 654875.

No win no fee – No call centres – No nonsense – Just serious injury experts

Medical Negligence

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

The long road to finding an alternative to litigation

The Scottish Government has appointed a review group to end what they term as the ‘blame culture’ inherent in medical negligence claims and create a ‘person-centred’ healthcare system.

The government says that litigation is expensive and time-consuming. It causes patients worry and stress. They claim that such claims distract doctors and nurses from doing their jobs.

They propose that a patient will only be compensated if they suffered harm lasting at least six months, causally connected to the avoidable harm.

In 2009 the Scottish Government established the No Fault Compensation Review Group. The group reported in 2011 and recommended a no-fault scheme for medical injury.

This was followed by a public consultation; but no legislation.

Now the government has published a consultation for a no-blame as opposed to a no-fault redress scheme.

If a patient suffers harm from clinical treatment in Scotland, they may raise a medical negligence action in the Scottish courts. They are required to prove that no ordinarily competent professional, acting reasonably, would have acted as their doctor did. They must also establish that those actions caused them some harm. So how does the proposed scheme differ?

Compensation would be founded on the concept of ‘avoidability’: could the harm have been avoided by the use of reasonable care? Expert evidence may still be needed to establish what constitutes avoidable harm or reasonable care.

The suggestion is that any compensation awarded will be based on the same guidelines and past decisions as at present. The assessment will mirror existing court actions, albeit with a cap of £100,000. Claimants may be worse off. Under the current Scottish system courts must disregard NHS care when assessing compensation. The consultation suggests replacing this with a guaranteed package of treatment and care from the NHS and local authorities.
Crucially, the right to litigate remains. Those who feel under-compensated can pursue a court action to ‘top up’ their damages although patients will be prevented from using their no-blame award to fund a litigated claim. How this will work in practice is unclear.

Litigation will not be avoided. It is likely that satellite litigation will arise on the application of the scheme in particular on the meaning of avoidability, on causation and on quantum. Significant expert evidence may still be needed and although the cost of litigation should be reduced it is unlikely to be by much.

The patient succeeds only if they prove they suffered harm which could have been avoided by the use of reasonable care so the scheme does not truly avoid blame. There is also the potential that acknowledging avoidable harm will encourage patients to seek out other forms of complaint.

All those involved in medical negligence claims welcome steps to reduce protracted litigation and unnecessary expense. However, it is far from clear that this proposal would accomplish that.

Responses to the consultation are due by 24 June 2016.

 

Cerebral Palsy

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Cerebral Palsy is a broad term for a number of neurological conditions. These tend to affect movement and co-ordination. It may also affect other important functions such as communication, hearing, vision and the ability to learn.

Cerebral Palsy can feel like a devastating diagnosis but it covers a wide spectrum of difficulties.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe this may be due to some one else’s negligence, you may want to take legal advice.

CP

 

It was thought that cerebral palsy was predominantly caused by a child being deprived of oxygen (asphyxiation) during birth. A major research project carried out in the 1980s showed that only 9% of cases were caused by asphyxiation.

One of the most common types of brain damage caused by oxygen loss is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE can result in severe developmental or cognitive impairments. These become evident as a child develops.

In the remaining 91% of cases it was found that the cerebral palsy was due to problems with the brain that developed before the child was born. Other factors included premature birth, complications of birth or problems immediately following birth. In some cases, cause cannot be definitively determined.

There are three main problems that can affect the brain before birth causing cerebral palsy. The first is Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). It is believed that the damage to the brain caused by PVL is due to a lack of oxygen. It is not clear why it occurs. It has been linked to infections caught by the mother and to premature births of 32 weeks or earlier.

The second problem is abnormal brain development. If the brain doesn’t develop normally then this can result in cerebral palsy. While in the womb, brain development can be affected by gene mutations, infections caught by the mother and trauma or injury to the unborn baby’s head.

The final problem is intracranial haemorrhage and stroke. A stroke usually occurs when a blockage forms cutting off the blood supply to the brain. This is known as an ischemic stroke.  It can occur due to bleeding in the brain. Called a haemorrhagic stroke.  These result in the damage of brain tissue and result in cerebral palsy. The risk of stroke increases if the mother catches an infection during pregnancy, has high blood pressure, or the baby is born prematurely.

These are the main problems which result in cerebral palsy. There may be no obvious single cause but a culmination of several factors which increase the risk of the development of cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy tend to become apparent within the child’s first three years. For instance the child may be slower in achieving important developmental milestones such as crawling, walking and talking.

Due to the nature of brain injuries the symptoms of cerebral palsy differ drastically. No two individuals with cerebral palsy have identical symptoms. Some individuals are only mildly affected. Others can be severely disabled.

There are many common symptoms such as:

  • communication problems
  • learning difficulties (although intelligence is often unaffected
  • Cognitive deficits, epilepsy (up to a third of children)
  • hearing loss (only 8% of children)
  • behavioural problems (one in four children)
  • drooling: and,
  • swallowing difficulties.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Talk to us if your child has been diagnosed as suffering from cerebral palsy.  Whether the negligence was by those looking after you and your unborn baby or those who delivered your baby, there may be a claim.

Your child’s claim can be pursued at any time before they reach the age of 21. And beyond in some exceptional circumstances. It is always worth seeking advice.

No call centres. No win no fee. Just experts.

What is a personal injury?

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

So what is a personal injury? The answer seems obvious but this was a question faced by the High Court in Liverpool in a recent group action of Saunderson & ors v Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd [2015].

The question of what could be deemed an ‘actionable personal injury’ had previously been considered by the House of Lords in Rothwell v Chemical and Insulating Company Ltd [2008]. Their Lordships were unable to agree a single unified test.

Lord Hoffman considered that the test was the ‘abstract concept of being worse off, physically or economically, so that compensation is an appropriate remedy’. A physical change alone was not deemed by him to be sufficient.

For Lord Hope, the consideration was whether there was ‘real damage, as distinct from damage which is purely minimal’.

Lord Rodger considered the test to be whether there had been ‘material damage’.

In Saunderson a major fire at the defendant’s particle board manufacturing plant in Kirby, Merseyside in 2011 resulted in 40 of the 16,626 local residents, who had been exposed to the smoke, bringing the joint claim for a variety of symptoms. Within a couple of days of the fire each claimant complained of itchy eyes, nasal symptoms of blocked or runny noses, sore throats, severe coughing, breathlessness, wheeziness and some with skin symptoms.

Mr Justice Jay considered the comments in Rothwell and concluded that the symptoms described constituted ‘a transient, trifling, self-limiting, reversible reaction to an irritant’ which in his view was not sufficient for an “actionable injury”. He described the symptoms as an irritation rather than inflammation, the symptoms of which lasted no more than a week.

Mr Justice Jay dismissed the claims.

This case goes to show that some loss must arise from an injury before a claim can be brought.

Once again it proves that proper legal advice should always be sought by anyone wishing to bring a claim.

 

Bionic Eye Trial

Posted on: January 8th, 2016 by Mark Tawn No Comments

The BBC have reported wonderful news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35220615 arising from a clinical trial at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

‘Six patients who have had little or no sight for many years are having a cutting-edge “bionic eye” implanted in an attempt to give them some sight, and independence, back’.

The BBC’s article explains Rhian Lewis from Cardiff was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (which destroys light sensitive cells in the retina) which left her blind in her right eye and almost completely so in her left eye.

In summer a device (which replaces the light-sensitive retinal cells in the eye) was implanted into Rhian Lewis’ right eye. The device was connected to a tiny computer placed under the skin behind her ear. When switched on a signal travels to her brain via her optic nerve. Within seconds of the device being switched on Rhian Lewis (who had seen nothing with her right eye for over 16 years)  experienced a “flashing” in her eye.

That flashing, became more like a line at the top and bottom of her eye and with the passage of time is now “..more of a shimmer..much less distracting and a little more accurate.”

The clinical trial team have performed tests and an elated Rhian was “chuffed…like a kid at Christmas!” to be able to locate shapes on a table; outside to be able to see the sun shining on a silver car and to realise it had gone dark when walking beneath a tree.

Rhian Lewis describes the excitement and “..pure elation..pure joy..” she experiences at being able, for the first time in 16 or 17 years, to locate items such as spoons and forks on a table. She continues to practise interpreting the signals and regaining her independence. We wish her very well indeed for the future.

The clinical trial continues, with the team reportedly hopeful that if it is successful there may be a possibility of the implant being made available on the NHS and that the technology may one day apply to other eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration.

We have successfully acted for (and secured damages/compensation) for many clients who have been left partially or totally blind e.g. Malcolm who lost sight in one eye following a paint-balling accident; John who suffered a knife-wound to one eye whilst working as a butcher and Ian who suffered chemical burns to both eyes whilst at work.

We know how devastating loss of eyesight can be.

Rhian Lewis’ blindness was not accident-related and even with her condition she “still had an intact optic nerve and all the brain wiring needed for vision”. Whilst the clients we have mentioned may not have benefited from technology such as that mentioned above, we always carefully consider how, if possible, our client’s lives may be improved by advances in medication, therapies, treatment, aids, equipment and technology.