Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Posts Tagged ‘personal injury’

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.

 

 

Uninsured driver compensation

Posted on: March 16th, 2017 by Isobel Addison No Comments

New rules allow uninsured drivers hit by another uninsured vehicle to claim compensation

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident with an uninsured or untraceable vehicle, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) would deal with much of your claim.

The MIB is funded through a levy on all companies offering motor insurance in the UK. That levy was £244,000,000 in 2016.

until now, if you were uninsured at the time of the incident you were not entitled to use the scheme; presumably because you had failed to contribute to the fund which would ultimately pay the compensation.

However, under the new MIB Uninsured Drivers Agreement and Untraced Drivers Agreements between the organisation and the government things have changed.

Insurance policy

New Agreements

New Agreements, which came into force from 1st March 2017 permit uninsured drivers who suffer car damage in accidents caused by another uninsured or an untraceable motorist to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) as long as they also have a claim for significant personal injury.

Time for Change

It has ben suggested that there were a number of reasons for the changes to the Untraced Drivers Agreement, but some had been implemented to ensure compatibility with European law.

The government has hinted that once we leave the EU they will revisit these changes.

Under the 2003 MIB Agreements if uninsured drivers were excluded from claiming compensation for property damage.

But is it fair?

The new Agreements give uninsured drivers the same rights to compensation for property damage as those who are insured.

The changes have been criticised by some for allowing people who have not paid for insurance themselves the right to compensation from a fund subsidised by insurers.

 

Whether or not the new system is fair it is clear that uninsured drivers can now pursue claims through the MIB schemes which up until now they could not have pursued. And that this is going to have to be paid for from somewhere.

 

Road Safety Week 2016

Posted on: September 20th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Road Safety Week 2016

Davey Law is joining with the Brain Injury Group to support this year’s Road Safety Week campaign between the 21st and 27th of November.  The theme for 2016 is ‘Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable’.

RSW16no1

To celebrate this idea, we will be working with children from Powell’s Church of England Primary School, Cirencester and St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, Purton to raise awareness of road safety.

A few facts on the theme:

  • Slow: Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for the road conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in Great Britain.
  • Sober: Having even one drink before getting behind the wheel can affect your ability to drive. In 2013 one in 10 (11%) drivers/motorcycle riders killed in a crash had alcohol present in their body, even though they weren’t over the legal blood-alcohol limit. One in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who has driven while over the limit.
  • Secure: Seat belts are still seen as an inconvenience by some drivers, yet using one reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 50%. 21% of car occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
  • Silent: Drivers who perform a complex secondary task, like using a mobile, while at the wheel are three times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers.
  • Sharp: Booking in for a regular eye test should be at the top of any driver’s to-do list. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and cost £33 million in the UK per year.
  • Sustainable:By minimising the amount we drive, and walking, cycling or using public transport instead, we are making our communities safer places, and doing the best we can for the environment and our individual health. Air pollution is a major killer: there are an estimated 29,000 deaths per year from particulate matter pollution in the UK, 5,000 of which are attributable to road transport.

Road traffic collisions are currently the leading cause of brain injury.

in the UK which is why we have supported the Road Safety Week initiative for several years.  This year Davey Law will be helping to raise awareness of road safety with the help of the children and staff of Powell’s and St Mary’s Schools.

Mark Tawn, Solicitor at Davey Law says, “We work with many adults, children and the families of those who have suffered a brain injury as the result of a road traffic accident. We look forward to parents and teachers engaging with the campaign to encourage children to recognise dangers on the road. ”

For more information about Road Safety Week, visit http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/

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.

 

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.