What Do The Injury Proposals Mean To You?

The Ministry of Justice this week announced (as part of the Autumn Statement) their intention to press on with their whiplash reforms with some changes to their key measures. The announcement has generated a lot of talking points and reaction from both the insurance sector and the legal sector over how to move foreword. Sincere Law has compiled a short summary of the changes and how they may affect you as a claimant.

Sincere Law looks at the whiplash reforms

The measures

  • The intention to either reduce OR scrap soft tissue injuries (i.e. whiplash)
  • Injuries which last longer than 6 – 9 months will be classified according to their length of recovery
  • Minor injuries (which are classed as 6 – 9 months) will have a £400 damages limit and £25 for the physical impact whereas injuries that last between 19 – 24 months will be worth £3,600
  • The small claims limit will be at least £5,000 and could rise higher
  • Offers being made before a claimant has a medical will be banned

Other measures are also being debated and will be considered following a further consultation within the department. Some of the measures above and the further measures (listed below) will be put to representatives from the insurance and legal industries to decide what is in the best interest of the country, its citizens and the economy. The further measures considered include:

  • A requirement for referral sources to be included on claim forms
  • Requiring earlier notifications of claiming (much likes Sweden’s model which requires anybody injured in accident to go and seek medical treatment within 72 hours or be ineligible to claim)
  • Reducing rehab costs via vouchers and defendants arranging their own rehabilitation

Whiplash injury claims

What it means for me?

So what do all the above points mean to you? Well in terms of serious injury covered by Sincere Law, thankfully not too much. Whenever you suffer a serious injury either at work, on the road or out and about you will likely need medical attention right away and will also have damages far exceeding £5,000. As a result serious injuries will most probably see no difference apart from the requirement to claim earlier rather than biding your time.

The main issues will affect those with “minor” injuries and will force all claimants to act quicker from accident to legal action. The insurance industry is predictably satisfied with the reforms although the reported savings in premiums to consumers resulting from these proposals would be a paltry £40 (not a lifesaving amount).

The legal industry has since pushed for insurers to pledge that this amount of savings will be passed on to consumers but uptake on the pledge has been slow to uptake currently. The legal industry has been looking to prevent the reforms for some time and continues to fight against them with the “Access to Justice” campaign.

Seeking legal help

If you have suffered an injury and need legal help yourself please call one of Sincere Law’s experts on 0800 092 2896 for free, impartial, conscientious advice. We specialise in serious injuries and know that the recovery time and aftercare needed to get through a serious injury case is far greater than normal personal injuries. With that in mind we ensure we have a network of qualified specialists across the country to deal with medical, psychological, financial and emotional needs following serious injury for the sufferer and their family.

To get advice on how to proceed with a serious injury claim for you or a family member, either call today or fill in our contact form to let us know about the injury. From there we can call you when convenient to discuss your best course of action.

Get a Grip On Road Safety This Winter

48% of car accidents in winter are due to cars skidding. When the temperature drops, roads become an ice rink in patches. Tyres lose grip and the surface of the road can become a danger risk if drivers are not in control.

Driving in winter, winter tyres recommended

Creation Traction

The best advice many motor industry experts can give on avoiding skidding on icy roads is to switch to cold weather tyres. Winter tyres tend to have a more ‘aggressive’ grip with more cuts in the tread and biting edges that better grip the ground.

Industry adviser ‘Which?’ suggests that winter tyres work very well at temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius, adapting to wet and icy conditions by not only gripping better but by spreading the force of traction over a greater area, providing a more stable base.

When cars slide on the road, it is difficult for a driver to regain control. Other drivers in the area may also skid and slide if they need to take evasive action, potentially setting off a domino effect involving multiple cars. Even on a small residential street, a single car struggling to grip can risk injury for its owner and any passers by (see video below).

Not an excuse

Unfortunately as treacherous as ice and snow is on the road, causing damage or harm to another person because the road is icy is often not an excuse. When conditions are poor, it is expected that drivers adapt accordingly to the road surface. This means hanging further back than normal, driving slower and paying particular attention to your surroundings. By not adhering to this you may be seen as acting negligently should you collide with another vehicle or person.

Government guidelines suggest not travelling in snow and ice if possible. It is not illegal but heavily advised. Should you travel on wet, icy roads the guidelines are to keep a large distance from any vehicle in front, not to make any sharp movements and to drive “at slow speed in as high a gear as possible” to keep control.

Improve road safety in winter with special tyres

What If I’m Hurt?

Icy roads escalate the risks of collisions. It also poses a serious risk to pedestrians as an icy pavement can make walking at the roadside treacherous.

If you, a family member or friend have found yourself injured during these conditions, contact Sincere Law to see what our experts can do for you. We deal in serious injuries and understand winter is a particularly high risk time of year for these.

We are experienced at arranging the extra care and attention required to help recover from serious injury problems. Recovery can take months or years to overcome, but we will be there every step of the way.

To chat to one of our advisers for free, impartial, conscientious advice please call 0800 092 2896 (lines open weekdays from 9am to 7pm) for more details. Alternatively you can get in touch using our contact form on our website.

Distracted Driver Gets 10 Year Sentence

Earlier this week, lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was sentenced to 10 years of prison, five of which will be behind bars, after he failed to stop for stationary traffic because he was checking his phone.

The crash which occurred in August on the A34 in Berkshire, also left one other motorist with a senior injury and four others with minor injury.

 

“Not enough”

The incident, which was filmed on the cab’s dash cam, caught the moment that Mr Kroker paid no attention to the stationary traffic as he checked his phone. His vehicle, which was travelling at 50mph, hit a Vauxhall Zafira, that in-turn shunted a Corsa underneath another HGV in front of it. The Corsa was reduced to “a third of its usual size” killing 45 year old Tracey Houghton, her two sons Ethan (13) and Joshua (11) and her step daughter Aimee (11).

The judge residing over the proceedings, Maura McGowen, said that Mr Kroker “might as well have had his eyes shut”. Mr Kroker pleaded guilty to all counts and was told he would receive no leniency for his actions. He will now spend at least five years behind bars, as part of a ten year sentence.

The family of the victims don’t believe the sentence is an adequate deterrent or warning to mobile phone users behind the wheel. The mother of 11 year old Aimee who died in the accident told reporters “The 10-year sentence will not ease our pain and suffering, nor do we believe it will send a strong enough message to those who lack the self-restraint to not use a mobile phone when driving.”

Not worth the risk

If you search for examples of crashes or incidents that have been caused by a motorist using a mobile phone whilst driving, you will find plenty of results. These incidents, as displayed in the accident caused by Mr Kroker, often have the potential to cause serious injury to other motorists.

The question on the lips of those affected by a mobile related collision will often be “was it worth risking a life?” Some of the common reasons given by motorists for checking their mobile phones while driving include changing music, boredom, to send a text or to make a call. Each of these reasons are 100% trivial, when you weigh up the risk of injury that being distracted from driving carries. In Mr Kroker’s case, that risk took the lives of four people, three of which were young children and that is something he will now have to live with for the rest of his life.

Sincere Law - Google Maps audible updates

“What if I’m injured?”

There are legal repercussions expected when a driver is reckless behind a wheel. The police will often file criminal charges but you are also able to ensure any injuries you, your family or friends suffer are treated seriously.

It is very easy for distracted drivers to hit cars at faster speeds, potentially causing more harm as they are not monitoring speed, road positioning or checking for hazards. In the case of a serious injury a specialist legal firm like ourselves will be required to look deeply into the situation and arrange much more than just a financial settlement. An injured person may need surgery, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, counselling and a host of other services.

Here at Sincere Law, we  have a network of specialists across the country dedicated to helping serious accident victims and their families attempt to put their lives back together as best they can.

If you feel this could be something that you, your family or friends could use following an incident on the road, you can call in confidence on 0800 092 2896 for free, impartial advice on how best to move forward in your circumstances.

If you would prefer to contact online we also have a contact form where you can leave details. We can then call you when it convenient to talk about the incident and what you may need from us.

 

Tower Block Fire Caused By Tumble Dryer

You may remember our blog back in February regarding the recalls for faulty tumble dryers which were causing fires. One such instance has led to a tower block in London catching fire recently, all down to a single tumble dryer.

Safety Risks

Tumble dryers require care from owners to make sure they work in good condition and do not pose any electrical or fire risks when around the house. Our aforementioned blog made sure to point out necessary checks to keep them in good running order including:

  • Emptying the filter between loads
  • Giving the vents room to pump air
  • Ensuring the ventilation pipe has no kinks or dents
  • Ensuring loads are suitably sized
  • Not leaving on overnight

If one or more of these guidelines are not followed, a tumble dryer can turn from a useful tool to being a very large fire risk. This risk is what caused the fire (video above) to start in the block of flats and as many of us know, fires move very quickly under the right conditions.

 

Recalls & Injury

According to consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ you are able to claim compensation for injuries caused by a recalled product (even if you did not initially purchase the product). The drawback to that is the way in which an injury occurs.

If the injury caused was not related to the fault which has been identified as being dangerous, then it could be that you were at least in some way contributory to the incident. Thankfully with the fire in the tower block, nobody was injured.

If however anybody had been caught in the blaze and suffered burn injuries or even worse, as a result of somebody not giving the tumble dryer airing room, not keeping a filter clean or overloading the machine, it can be argued the user has heavily assisted the cause.

If you contribute towards a product becoming dangerous, it is less likely you will be awarded full compensation if any, which means having a product repaired or switched after learning of the recall is the best case scenario for safety purposes.

Burn Injury Claims

The Severity Of Fire

It is no surprise to anyone to learn that fire injuries can be terrible. Burn injuries can cause some of the most severe, long lasting, scarring injuries. With the risks of injuries from fire by overloaded tumble dryers, it would be in any family’s best interest to keep everyone safe and follow all safety protocols.

If you, a friend or a family member has suffered from an injury when using a recalled product, be it burn injury, cut, bruise, break or other, you can get in touch with the team at Sincere Law to help plan what course of action is available.

We deal with serious injuries and as such have experts including doctors, physiotherapists, psychotherapists and financial planners able to help plan not just the immediate future, but the long term stability of an injury sufferer and their family needs long term.

If you would like advice on how to go about resolving a serious injury and help plan the required treatment, rehabilitation and financial planning in the long term, you can get in touch by calling our team on 0800 092 2896. We understand that serious injuries require much more time and effort than a normal injury, and that’s why we exist at Sincere Law.

 

Optometrist Found Guilty of Manslaughter

Optometrist, Miss Honey Rose, was found guilty this week following a lengthy trial over her handling of young boy Vincent Barker. Vincent suffered from a fatal swelling of the optic nerve back in 2012. The boy fell ill and died following the eye test leaving the family facing the anguish of losing a child.

 

Papilledemma

In 2012, Vincent Barker attended an eye exam at his local Boots performed by then optometrist Miss Rose. During the exam she should feasibly have spotted a problem with Vincent’s eye as he had a build up of fluid due to swelling of the optic nerve; a problem known as Papilledemma. This swelling went undetected during the exam and eventually cost Vincent his life around 5 months later.

Miss Rose was charged with manslaughter through gross negligence in September 2015, with the trial beginning in January of this year. Miss Rose denied the allegations after pleading that she did not believe it to be beyond reasonable doubt that she could have missed the problem during the check-up. The allegations were eventually upheld however, and she was charged due to the build-up of fluid being deemed “obvious” and is due to be sentenced in August.

The family, while pleased that the outcome brings them justice for their son, are still carrying the pain of loss with them. They issued astatement following the ruling, saying:

“The outcome of this case does not change our life sentence; we will never be able to fully accept that our special little boy is never coming home.”

“The void left in our lives will never heal and the ripple effect to those around us is immense. As parents the distress of witnessing your child’s life from start to end in just eight short years is excruciatingly hard and nonsensical.”

“The decision of a jury or judge cannot bring Vinnie back or undo the devastation of his death. A guilty verdict would never make us winners, our loss is simply too great.”
The gross negligence manslaughter case over optometrist has finished

Lasting Impacts

The impact of a fatal injury is usually worth much more to a family than a guilty verdict or a lump sum of cash from a serious injury claim. Incidents of serious injury often require a qualified team to help those left behind deal with the emotional stress attached to losing a family member. To lose somebody so young adds further pressure to the situation.

In fatality cases, the solicitor’s job is to provide those left behind with adequate care and assistance should they need it, including counselling. This is the job of a team employed by the solicitor and is part of the settlement when a fatality claim is made. The settlement itself will never replace the family member they have lost, but the assistance of their support team is priceless in such a sensitive situation.

With over 25 years of experience dealing with victims of serious injuries of this nature, Sincere Law has developed strong working relationships with a host of trained medical professionals. From counsellors, to medical experts and therapists, the need for sensitive, professional advise is vital to help victims and their loved ones move forward with their lives Sincere Law prides itself of its ability to ensure that each of their clients receive the very best standard of care.

For more information on how Sincere Law can help someone who has been the victim of  a serious injury, call one of our advisers today for a free, no hassle conversation, without obligation on 0800 092 2896.

Alternatively you can visit our contact page and fill in the contact us form and one of our advisers will arrange to contact you.

 

6 Techniques To Reduce Claim Time

No two injury claims are the same. Along with that sentiment, there is no set timescale applicable to every individual injury case. When you make a serious injury claim with Sincere Law, we can offer reliable estimates specific to your injury, drawing on our years of experience and knowledgeable team.

Serious injury cases can take time to settle. The combination of calculating costs based on damages, determining liability and thinking about what assistance may be required in the future following the incident all need taking into account. What we are able to offer to help a claim conclude as quickly as possible is to offer you valuable tips on what you can do to reduce your claim time.

Your claim will use all facts put forward including the extent of damage both physically, mentally and financially. Serious injury cases can often be complicated so any simplification of the process is welcomed. Take a look at our 6 ways you can reduce the time of your claim:

1. Seek medical attention right away (before claiming)

When you have a serious accident, the most important procedure to follow even before a claim is considered is to ensure your wellbeing and safety. An injury that requires medical treatment should never be left to chance. Often when we get injuries we try to ‘soldier on’ through any pain until it’s too late. With serious injuries this could result in complications difficult to rectify if left untreated. Given the length of time recovery could take and money potentially lost by taking time away from work, it is never worth to put off seeing a specialist following injury. All treatment you receive will go in your medical record which we are able to cross reference when you make your claim.

Sincere Law are able to qquickly check your medical reports to confirm your claim

2. Provide evidence

Following an accident and after receiving medical treatment you can begin to start thinking about the claim itself. If your injury was suffered as the result of an environmental factor that could have been avoided, it is good to get photographic evidence of the scene of the incident. It’s also beneficial to get photographic evidence of your injury and (if applicable) any damage to your property from the incident such as you car for example. Having irrefutable evidence helps dismiss liability disputes and further supports any doctor’s reports on your injury. However, don’t put yourself at risk trying to get evidence at the scene, always remember to seek medical attention first.

3. Claim early

There are legal limitations on how long you can wait before making a claim. Legally, 3 years from the injury is considered to be the adequate time span to begin a claim. That same 3 years applies to families of those injured in fatal accidents. In cases of industrial disease this becomes 3 years from when the victim would have realised they had contracted the disease. After the accepted 3 years has elapsed you would unfortunately not be able to claim compensation.

Claiming is not always something people do immediately as they may have worries about going to a Solicitor, but our advice would be to get in touch as soon as possible. With no win no fee being Sincere Law’s standard practice, there is no risk to starting a claim. Beginning a case shortly after an injury allows easier verification of your evidence such as injury itself, the scene of the accident and identification and communication with the third party.

4. State all facts truthfully

Sincere Law must stress the importance of telling the truth regarding any claim. To not disclose details that could affect the case can result in requiring to pay a fee for the case as it is in breach of the no win no fee agreement. Sincere Law have years of experience and a dedicated team who always work to get you the best result possible and we can only do so with a full and honest statement.

If you give as much detail as possible about your incident, we can verify the facts much easier. A full and frank description of the injury can prevent other parties from objecting as to how events unfolded. A clear factual statement can also halt disputes once proven; this works in conjunction with medical reports and photographic evidence as suggested earlier. Withholding information can also be just as detrimental as being untruthful.

5. Respond promptly

During the litigation process you will be assigned a dedicated case manager who can explain the entire day to day activity of your case; from contacting the third party to discussing damages and compilation of all paperwork. During your case you may be required to sign documents such as your own witness statement. We often send these out to you as soon as possible. To move your case forward it is vital that if we send you a document, you read and sign it before sending it back as soon as you can. If you ever feel you need an update on your claim’s progress or want advice on filling in any forms sent, we are available every day. Your case manager will never hesitate to let you know where the case is, what is currently happening and what your next steps will be.

Sincere Law, specialists in serious and catastrophic injury claims

If your claim has involved you replacing property such as a vehicle, losing property you can’t afford to replace or even taking time away from work that affects your earnings, it would be wise to keep a log of your costs in the form of receipts or a log of figures to inform us exactly what the injury has cost you.

Disputing costs becomes very difficult for any third party if you can provide a straightforward list of costs. It gives us a framework to build from when we negotiate any settlement. We understand not all losses are easily displayable financially but whatever is can go a long way towards speeding up a claim if a strong estimate is given from the outset.

What next?

If you take on board the suggestions, your claim will be resolved as smoothly as possible with a chance of fewer interruptions to proceedings. With good evidence and a solid statement, you will find often that there will be no disputes of liability or the extent of damages.

If you have (or a family member) been involved in a serious accident and wish to get some advice on how to make a claim and proceed with one, you can always call us for free, impartial advice on 0800 092 2896. Our offices are open 7 days a week from 8am – 9pm and we’d be happy to take your call. We also have a contact form via the website should you wish to enquire online.

 

Serious Injury In Sport – Not Always From foul Play

You’ll have seen in the news recently, plenty of stories regarding professional athletes suffering particularly bad injuries, affecting their careers. Stories making the most headlines include Luke Shaw’s leg break playing in the Champions League for Manchester United, Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin being forced to retire from rugby union as a result of a concussion and potential changes to the rules for the Rugby World Cup to lower the risk of concussions. While all these instances happened at the top level of sports, they are quite relevant to non professionals who suffer injuries during a sporting event in their own lives.

Luke Shaw suffered a serious injury in a recent game, potentially affecting the rest of his career

Governing bodies in sports

Injuries in sports can come as a result of more than just foul play or an accident like tackling. Everything about a competitive sports environment must be regulated to ensure that all who are taking part are as safe as they can be. This goes for any level.

Each sport and country has governing bodies, all insured and all with rules to keep serious injuries to a minimum. Even sports involving heavy contact, such as fighting sports like boxing, kickboxing and MMA, all have governing bodies to regulate participation.

Rules set out by these organisations will always state how a game must be played, the environment to be played in and the facilities required to meet the standards necessary for players, officials and any spectators. This is fundamental for any sport to reduce accidents on or off the playing surface. Failing to meet these standards can result in liability if an accident does occur. This applies down to the lowest tiers of sporting activity, including playing for teams on a local park.

Sporting Injuries to the non pro

Using the example of a Sunday league football team, the playing surface is most likely to be either a public recreational area, such as a local park, which is kept by a council, or a rented private playing field owned by a landlord. The state of the pitch is in the hands of the owners. Should it be improperly cared for or poorly maintained, it could result in injury, for which the pitch owner is liable.

Cases of serious injury in these settings have previously included players falling on glass that had been discarded and even in one case (one of our own) a player committing to a tackle and hitting a stump of a former goalpost, which seriously damaged his leg.

In all levels of any sport, contact or none, there will always be guidelines to follow, whether you are part of a team, alone, officiating or a spectator. If these guidelines are breached and have caused you a serious injury, you would be within your right to seek justice for what could have been prevented.

Am I protected?

What many sporting bodies can provide, as a minimum, is insurance when you register with them. There are usually insurance guarantees by becoming a member of an organisation. If you were to be injured performing in that sport, you would able to receive some form of compensation. However, there are usually caveats to every policy and you may find your injury falls outside the realms of what the organisation will provide should you get injured. They also often do not provide the same insurance benefits for officials and spectators.

With injuries in sport, as with any other serious injury, if you are unfortunate and sustain a preventable injury during participation, down to another player, unsafe practices, the condition of the surface, facilities or other as a result of a negligent action, you are protected.

A claim for negligence can be brought against any person responsible for a preventable injury within a sporting activity. Sincere Law have experienced many cases involving faulty equipment, poor surfaces and dangerous actions during a game, which has resulted in somebody suffering a serious injury.

sincere law, sports injury specialists

Sporting injuries aren’t always as the result of foul play, whatever injury occurs, if somebody is negligent then you can take action!

Aftermath of sporting injuries

Dependent on the severity, a sporting injury can have life changing effects. At the top levels of sport athletes have better access to physiotherapy and guaranteed contracts, which assist their recovery when injured. At the grass roots levels of sport this is not as easily accessible.

When a person is injured participating in sport at grass roots level, they can suffer the same common injuries as those at the top levels including:

  • Broken limbs
  • Torn muscles
  • Strained muscles
  • Concussions
  • Dislocations
  • Eye injuries

Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t have the time or resources to commit our lives to rehabbing an injury as sports professionals have. We have jobs, families and lives to lead, so the resulting injuries may take longer to heal or even completely affect our future, as our bodies are not adapted to recover as a top sportsman would be.

Using an example of a broken leg in football, it is a common saying on the terraces that a player is usually “never the same player” after recovering from a broken leg. While a player may return and play regularly after their recovery, it is often found that players will struggle to compete at exactly the same level and begin to drop down divisions much quicker than a normal aging professional would do. Even with the advantages of dedicated physiotherapy, time to train or gaining match time in reserve games, a player will likely still not perform the same and could even be mentally affected when they rejoin the sport full time.

Compare the above example with a member of the public, not trained specifically for that sport to play professionally, with a job, a household to maintain and a regular income. The same situation can easily transform into a more long term, costly situation. Not having access to as an extensive a physiotherapy regime, an average person’s injury may not fully recover and could even hamper their movements in future life, possibly halting involvement in their favourite sports.

A serious sporting injury can also require time off work if the injury renders them housebound, in some cases needing care or assistance around the house. These are costs which the average person may not be able to foot. If their injuries are as a result of negligence while playing sports, they are able to get help in the form of compensation.

 

serious injury claims - sport

Athletes have the ability to utilise top physiotherapy for an extended time unlike the general public

My next steps

If you have experienced an injury during a sporting event as a result of a negligent action (and remember, it isn’t always about tackling or even being a participant), then you have the ability to claim for your losses, including time away from work, lifestyle adaptations, medical bills and other associated costs.

Sincere Law are specialists in serious injury claims and we know sporting injuries can often be life changing. We have a team of dedicated solicitors waiting to talk to you, offering free, impartial advice and we are able to walk you through the claims process.

Your first step following a sports injury is to get in touch and see what we can do for you. You can talk to us either by calling 0800 092 2896, texting us on 89298 or by filling in our contact form here. We pride ourselves on being open and honest about what we can do for you with no pressure. We also offer a ‘no win no fee’ service removing your risk from starting a claim.

 

“No win no fee” – What this means to you?

It’s a phrase thrown around with tremendous aplomb inside the Law industry. Something you would probably notice more if it wasn’t featured on a law firm’s website front page and seemingly par for the course for every personal injury Solicitors in the modern age. What does it mean though? Do Solicitors work for free? Surely there’s a catch? Continue reading

Safety on the school run – Part 2

Last week we gave you part 1 of “safety on the school run”. That article focused on how to best stay safe as a pedestrian walking to school with an emphasis on being aware of vehicles and your child at all times. The second of our two part blog offers the top tips for when you are actually on the road and behind the wheel.

Sincere Law - School run safety

500m danger zone

Back in 2013, research facility “Road Safety Analysis” and AXA insurance helped spearhead a report that pointed to the danger of road accidents within 500m of the school gates. Statistics coming from the report indicate that in 37% of UK school boroughs, an average of 1 child per year was involved in a road traffic accident within the 500m radius around a school.

The study was conducted between 2006 and 2011 with the total number of accidents within 500m to be 85,814, averaging 1,190 per month. Alongside injuries the inquest also dealt with the number of vehicle collisions totalling 557,200 in the same time period, equating to an average of 6 collisions per school per year!

School run etiquette

In the UK there are multiple organisations supporting road safety, all of which offer tips and reminders to drive responsibly around your local schools (such as the National Safety Council). We have however compiled our own top 6 tips to help keep yourself, your child and everybody else’s children safe during the daily drive to school.

 

1. Make it leisurely

Your time in a morning is precious. Running a household is no easy task, making sure the pets are fed, the youngsters are well nourished, clothed and packed; securing the house before leaving and making sure you have all of your own materials alongside the kids’ is quite an achievement once completed. It can be very easy to be dragged into a race to the gates by unforeseen problems cropping up in a morning. With that in mind, as easy to say but hard to implement as it is, doing everything 5 minutes earlier and leaving the house a little sooner than usual to could make all the difference to your journey. A relaxed driver is a vigilant driver; rushing increases risk of reduced attention span and in turn increases the risk of not spotting a stray child or the car in front breaking suddenly. Turn the race against time into a leisurely, pleasant drive.

 

2. No cruise control

You know the route, you know where the shortcuts are, and exactly how long to the millisecond the morning run takes. However, letting that knowledge pilot you from home to school heightens the risk of cruise control setting in and could lower awareness of your immediate surroundings. Driver error causes on average 67.5% of road traffic accidents, accounting for 65% of all fatal road traffic accidents and 61% of serious traffic accidents. Driver error includes the following instances:

  • Failing to look properly
  • Failing to judge other people’s path or speed
  • Being careless, reckless or in a hurry
  • Loss of control
  • Poor turning or manoeuvring
  • Travelling too fast for the conditions
  • Not accounting for a slippery road due to weather
  • Sudden braking
  • Tailgating

With so many factors contributing to driver error, it’s important you are aware at all times. Hazard perception is an integral part of safe driving, not just spotting oncoming pedestrians but judging speeds and distances, making note of how the weather affects the journey and driving smoothly all add to a safe, comfortable drive.

 

3. Speed kills

A sentiment heavily pushed with the assistance of public service films on our television screens and on posters over the years (See “its 30mph for a reason” video below). It is without question that speeding is dangerous regardless of where you do it, but add that to a school environment; parked cars, public transport, pedestrians and unpredictable children added to the mix, there is potential for serious harm with a collision of any kind. It’s tempting to sneak extra speed into a drive if you are worried about timing, but the risk of a life against turning up 1 or 2 minutes later than normal is a trade off not worth making.

4. Every child is your child

The best selling book in the world states a simple line within it that a famous man once said. He told us “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. Very philosophical words for a blog about taking the children to school; but one which is very appropriate. As the quote suggests, you should treat every child, every parent walking hand in hand with their little one, as you and your own. If you were in their position and they were driving in your vicinity, you would very much hope they were careful, courteous drivers; and with that in mind you should be the same back to them.

5. Make eye contact

When establishing a relationship we are advised to make lots of eye contact. It builds trust, creates a rapport and lets us make lots of nonverbal communication. Simply connecting eye to eye allows two people to acknowledge they are both aware of a situation, be it two people looking across a dinner table on a date, friends exchanging an “in joke” via a quick glance at each other, or, importantly in this case, a pedestrian and driver acknowledging they are there and want to use the road safely. It can be a quick, efficient way of determining another road user’s intention. For the ability to judge when to slow down and stop, a simple glance towards one another can be a life saver.

6. Park safe

When it finally comes time to pulling up and either letting your child jump out or stopping and walking the final few steps with them, remember to park in a spot that will not cause problems for other road users. Nobody likes poor parking, but the feeling is even worse should a parked car obstruct traffic in any way, make it difficult to manoeuvre around or obstruct the view of pedestrians looking to cross the road. As with point 4, you would likely not appreciate a bad example of parking, so make sure you are not that example. Good parking etiquette includes:

  • Using designated bays
  • Parking on roadsides that do not contain double yellow lines
  • Giving enough room on both the road and pavement
  • Only opening doors when it is safe
  • Indicating to pull over and park in good time

Follow the simple steps and your final drop off will be stress free, safe and carry the least risk for all involved.

Be the shining example

Using this two part article, allow yourself to be the example setter. It’s very easy to slip into routines and into autopilot during tasks you do every single day. With the school run, as a pedestrian or driver, consider not only your child’s safety, but that of your fellow parent’s. If you show them the extended courtesy of being a mindful pedestrian, or a careful driver, it can spread to others and keep our schools, and our children, safe. Sincere Law has come across many cases relating to accidents around schools in the past, we would definitely like to see the number of children’s cases drop.

If your family has however suffered on the school run in an accident that wasn’t your fault, see what we can do for you. We offer free, impartial advice and expert guidance on how to deal with injuries to children. To get a free, confidential call from one of our solicitors, contact us here or call us on 0800 092 2896. All of our solicitors works on a no win, no fee basis, giving you no risk to starting your claim today.

 

What is Serious Injury? Making a Claim

Making a claim for serious injury, whether it be for you, a partner, family or other, can be a daunting task. Often the results of serious injury claims can last for an extended period of time, long after the initial accident that causes it. Before any claims are made, it must be understood, what exactly IS serious injury considered to be in the UK and what process is involved when making a claim?

Serious Injury Defined

At its most basic level, and using clear terms, serious injury is classed as “an injury which results in a person being detained in hospital as an in patient”. In addition to this dictionary definition, there are types of injuries also included as “serious”. These are:

  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Internal Injuries
  • Crushing
  • Burns (excluding friction burns)
  • Severe Cuts
  • Severe General Shock (requiring medical treatment even if not resulting in a stay as an in-patient.)

What’s the difference?

Personal injury and severe injury claims are to be handled separately as not all personal injury claims are serious injury claims. The major difference between the two are that non serious injuries are the opposite of the above definition, with minor injuries judged to be largely treatable at the scene of the accident. These include:

  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Minor Cuts
  • Slight Shocks

Sincere Law & Your Claim

As specialists in Serious Injury, and being the UK’s leading claims handlers, Sincere Law has all the knowledge needed to make a successful claim and help the process of rebuilding following a serious injury.

Treatment following the injury is a crucial part of a claimants post accident care. Sincere Law thankfully has some of the best and most qualified medical specialists in the UK. Our team consists of specialists in the fields of:

  • Head & brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Amputations
  • Severe burns
  • Chronic pain
  • And others

More than simply getting through a claims process, we offer a thorough and complete service that allows seamless movement for a claim from beginning to end, including treatment and advice during the claim. With over 27 years of experience behind us, we have the in house, expert, legal knowledge you will need carry a claim through.

Aftercare & peace of mind

Making a successful claim simply isn’t enough when it comes to serious injuries. Many cases go further than a compensation payout and will have lasting effects on not only the person involved but immediate family too. Depending on the type of injury, lifestyle changes may need to be altered; changes to living arrangements including house and car developments could be required or in more severe cases, carers needing to be in place to assist in the long term.

 

Aftercare and support from Sincere Law is something we pride ourselves on. We want to go further and make the lives of those affected as comfortable as possible following serious injury. After making a successful claim, to make a real difference to those affected, there must be adequate plans in place to prepare for life after the injury.

 

Our team works tirelessly to get the very best outcome for all affected, making definite the time; not only immediately following the injury; but the long term (sometimes the rest of the affected persons life), is as easy and comfortable as it can be for all involved.

Making a Claim

From start to finish, enquiring, making and carrying through a claim with Sincere Law is simple, stress free and reassuring with the knowledge that, at every stage, you will be looked after by our large, experienced team of claims specialists. Initially, all you need to do is get in touch with us by calling our claims centre. A description of the circumstances is all that’s initially required to help us advise and decide on whether you have a good claim and are eligible to proceed. At Sincere Law we try to give you peace of mind when any client decides to proceed; with that in mind, our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you think that either yourself, a family member, partner or spouse has suffered a serious injury and would like to find out more information or make a claim, please contact us here or call us on 0800 092 2896.