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
According to reports, one in five accidents on the UK’s roads involves a Lorry/HGV. This is a frightening and worrying statistic, not only for lorry drivers but other motorists on the road. A number of factors can implicate this but the most common are driver error, mechanical error or the UK’s weather conditions and with the colder, winter weather now fast approaching, it is important that we become extra vigilant when commuting in our cars and motorcycles.
What are the main causes?
Lorry accidents can happen due to a number of factors, here is a list of the most common:
- Driver failure
- Driver asleep or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Mechanical fault of the cab or trailer
- The load on the trailer not secured
- Bad weather conditions such as high wind, snow, ice or heavy rain
- Blind spots
- Overtaking a lorry and the driver not seeing you when you move lanes
- Driver too close to other vehicle
- Spray from lorry causing lack of visibility
These are just a few reasons from a long list of scenarios in which a lorry can cause, or be involved in, a road traffic accident. These accidents mainly occur on the motorways, where lorry drivers spend most of the time, thanks largely to the increases of modern day consumerism. The increasing amount road haulage caused by this contributes to tighter deadlines for delivery and increases the congestion on our roads, not to mention the high numbers of EU lorry drivers delivering much needed products and food items.
Another issue that is caused by these increased, often long haul journey’s is driver fatigue and according to figures released by RoSPA in 2011, 20% of road accidents are caused by driver fatigue.
These are just a few issues that have caused road traffic accidents involving lorries. On a much wider scale it is clear that more still needs to be done to help make our roads safer by increasing lorry driver safety.
Accidents in the news
Its seem like every day we see an accident on our roads involving a lorry of some description. In August 2015, a nine year old girl suffered broken bones in an accident that involved a lorry. It was reported that she was crossing the road, when was struck by a lorry carrying paving stones. Thankfully the young girl is still alive but she did have to stay in hospital for a few days.
Sadly the same cannot be said about another accident that took place in the same month on the M20 in Kent, which resulted in the tragic death of a lorry driver and left a teenager in a serious condition. In this instance the lorry driver had hit the teenager’s Vauxhall Corsa, who following the crash emerged from his vehicle initially unharmed but was then struck by another car, which failed to stop.
What are the impacts of a accident involving a lorry?
The injuries that can be sustained from an accident involving a lorry can differ depending on the severity of the accident. Injuries can be minor, such as bruising or more severe, such as serious head fractures or brain damage. A road traffic accident often does not just affect the life of the drivers involved but also their family and friends, as the strain and upset of a serious injury can reverberate through all aspects of your life.
Recovering from an injury will more often than not force the victim to take time off work resulting in a loss of earnings. This in-turn can increase the pressure on the victim’s family as they struggle to meet household bills.
The victim can also be affected emotionally by the limitations of their injury, which can restrict you from carrying out simple daily routine, such as walking unaided down the stairs or playing with your children, as well as stop you doing the things you love and enjoy, whether that is playing football, attending the gym, running or any other kind of recreational activity.
How we can aid your recovery
At Sincere Law, we pride ourselves in making sure you receive the best treatment and care possible. This involves finding the best doctors, surgeons and physiotherapists to help your recovery. We can also advise you on how your claim is going and provide interim payments when and where needed, for example, to pay for specialist home care, so rest assured, that we will be with you every step of the way, throughout your recovery, right up to the conclusion of your case and beyond.
Furthermore, when your case comes to its natural end we will continue to support you and your loved ones and help you in any way we can. We understand that in the most severe instances, a serious injury can have lifelong implications for the victim and their loved ones and can result in the need for a lifetime of care and support.
Thanks to our experience and standing within the profession, we can ensure that you are offered specialist care and put in place crisis teams, that can help all aspects of your recovery, including dedicated home care packages for serious injuries such as head impacts. We also understand the challenging aspects that come with dealing with the turmoil of experiencing a serious accident, for you and your loved ones and just how hard it can be to deal with the aftermath. That is why we offer family counselling where it is needed or individual treatment, in the instance that you or one of your family members are suffering psychologically, as a result of the victim’s injury.
At Sincere Law, we go above and beyond to ensure that if there is anything we can do to help make life after the accident easier, whether that is help for the victim or those closest to them.
How to claim?
If you or a loved one has been affected by a road traffic accident involving a lorry, that wasn’t your fault, why not get in touch with one of our serious injury specialists today. You can call us free on 0800 092 2896 or, alternatively, you can request a call back by filling in the form on the top right hand side of this page.
All initial advice is without obligation and all of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, so there really is nothing to lose by getting in touch and speaking with one of our specialist advisers today.
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.
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
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.
Across the UK there are always accidents occurring that have involved a pedestrian whether it’s being hit by a car or being hit whilst walking across a zebra crossing. According to the Department of Transport 434 total accidents in 2013 involved a pedestrian. This is an alarming figure which shows how vulnerable pedestrians can be when going about there general day-today business.
The main causes of a pedestrian accident
- Hit and run
- Hit by vehicle while crossing a road or a pedestrian crossing
- Being a passenger in a car which was involved in a road traffic accident
- Being hit by a speeding vehicle
- Vehicle driving without due care and attention
- Driver using a phone or other device whilst driving
- Failure to give way or stop at crossing or traffic lights
- Running through a red traffic light
- Vehicle mounting the pavement
- Driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
These are just a few of a long list of potential deadly situations that may occur on our roads when we are just going about our daily business. But there are cases were pedestrians have been seriously hurt or even killed by these kinds of accidents. In August 2015 on the A5 in Staffordshire a man was walking along the road when he was struck by the car which did not stop to help him or call 999. Police have been appealing for witnesses to come forward and help with there inquiry. The area in question was near the V festival and many people were in that surrounding area at that time but no traces of the person that did this have been found. This is a shocking situation and highlights the potential risks we face on a daily basis due to sometimes negligence of drivers.
What can be done to stop accidents occurring
There are a number of ways in which you can keep safe when crossing or walking alongside a busy road. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) road safety needs to taken seriously, especially with young children. Here are a few tips they suggest:
- If there is a pedestrian crossing always use it
- Always take care crossing the road when no crossing is available. Especially with young children and people with disabilities.
- Always wear bright colours if possible when walking on the pavement, so you can be easily seen by motorists
- Don’t ‘jay walk’ i.e. cross a road were there are no traffic measures such as crossings. As this may cause you to be hit if you misjudge the speed of a car or they don’t see you
- Always look both ways, even check twice before crossing a road
- Look at for motorcycles and cyclists, it applies to pedestrians as well as other road users
This list in some peoples case may sound like common sense but for children and vulnerable people this may not be as easy. Which means that we need to educate all people of all ages and disabilities on pedestrian safety. Organisations such as Think! have been set up by government to educate people on the dangers of the road and how we could avoid potentially deadly situations.
How Sincere Law could help you
At Sincere Law we don’t believe that people should suffer as a result of being involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. If you have suffered a serious injury be sure that we will do every thing possible to help you recover, how ever long it takes. We can help by referring you to the best surgeons, doctors and physiotherapists in the UK to give you the best treatment possible. We also know that suffering an injury can not just affect your life but the life of your family and friends. That why we can offer interim payments if we believe your case will be successful to pay for any treatment or bills that may need paying due to your loss of earnings.
How to make a claim
Here at Sincere Law we have over 20 years experience in serious accidents and personal injury claims. So if you believe that you have been injured by a pedestrian accident that wasn’t your fault please get in touch. We will be sure to answer all your queries from one of our expert advisers, with no obligation. We work under the notion of no win no fee, meaning that providing all information is present and correct you won’t pay a any fees if your case does not win. You can either call us on 0800 092 2896 or submit a claim via or website, www.sincerelaw.co.uk.
In recent times in the press you will see stories of people suffering serious injuries as a result of being a passenger or pedestrian when a bus has suffered a mechanical fault or accident. This can be a deadly situation and can cause sometimes life threatening injuries. Now we are approaching colder weather we need to be especially careful when travelling on the roads. As now we are in September temperatures will become cooler and rain fall more frequent, which could be a recipe for disaster. As in 2012 61% of accidents in the UK involved pedestrians and 444 injuries involving a bus or coach.
The main causes of bus accident
- Bad weather conditions including heavy rain and snow
- Mechanical fault such as a brake failure
- Bus that has gone down a road that is unsuitable to heavy or tall vehicles
- Bus hitting a low bridge
- Mounting the curb
- Hitting another vehicle
In August 2015, a 56 year old motorcyclist was killed by a bus in Scotland. The accident happened on the A726 which is known as an accident black spot in the area. The bus driver and passengers didn’t sustain any serious injuries but the motorcyclist paid the ultimate price, his life. The police are still appealing for witnesses for this dreadful accident. You would think these stories are uncommon but this is not the case. Accidents involving a bus and other vehicles happen weekly and can have devastating consequences on the victims and there families.
Another story which hit the headlines in July 2015 was that of a London bus which went down a street which clearly stated that the road was unsuitable for tall vehicles. The street even had a sign stating the maximum height for drivers, but this was not seen by the bus driver. The sign stated, “Warning low bridge. Not suitable for double deck vehicles.’ This resulted in the double decker bus going under a bridge and taking the top of the roof off were passengers were sitting. This resulted in the four people sat on the top deck taken to hospital and major damage to the bus. Not only did this incident cause injuries but also meant the bus was written off and the road was closed for a number of hours.
The most common injuries from a bus accident
- Whip lash
- Trip or fall due to harsh braking by the driver
- Glass injuries due to smashed windows
In some cases buses are involved in accidents involving other vehicles. This can be either due to driver blind spots or serve weather conditions. This mainly entails weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow or ice. This is common in winter as most people would take a bus rather than using there own car in these types of conditions. But buses, like any vehicle, are prone to loosing grip or skidding. In January 2015 in Wrexham six people were taken to hospital due to snow and ice on the roads causing multiple road traffic accidents. The crashes involved a two car accident, a lorry overturned and a bus hitting a building. This highlights the dangers that we face when travelling in bad weather conditions. As we are now approaching colder weather towards Christmas we stress that people need to take care when travelling on UK roads.
Travel advice in rain or cold weather
- Be careful of ice on the roads, as even in September black ice on roads is possible. Which if you drive to work early in the morning be sure to drive carefully and check weather updates regularly
- In rain avoid harsh braking and keep a safe distance from the car in front. The AA say to keep a two car distance in between you and the car in front at all times even if the weather is good.
- Make sure all essential lights and electrical are working on your vehicle before every journey. Driving with lights out in your car can cause accidents and you can be fined by the police.
So by this you can see how bus accidents regular occur on UK roads and there are many factors that can make this happen. If we all take care especially in winter months accidents may be reduced
How we can help
If you believe that you have been affected by a bus accident that wasn’t your fault then please get in contact. Sincere Law will help you with any queries you may have or visit our bus accident page for more details. We will be sure to get back to you and answer any questions you may have under no obligation. All our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis meaning that if all information is honest and correct you won’t pay a penny if your claim is not successful. But here at Sincere Law we have a high success rate and have some of the best solicitors in the North West.
After an exciting summer break with plenty of adventure, fun and a few (well, a lot) of rainy days; it’s finally ‘back to School’ time! September has worked its way towards us all summer until we are finally here, the beginning of the new academic year and the next set of School runs. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to remind yourself to be extra vigilant and take all necessary precautions to stay safe when walking your child into School. Part 1 of this 2 part article aims to help remind all parents walking with children of the dangers of not staying vigilant on roads around schools.
Casualties around schools
Managing road traffic accidents involving children aged 16 and under is a large task in the UK. With statistics showing 2,412 children killed or seriously injured in 2011 and 800 of the same incidents in 2012, it’s imperative to ensure the decline continues and incidents involving school children are prevented. Post 2000 there has been a positive and steady decrease in the amount of children seriously injured by road users (see below); hopefully this can continue with both drivers and pedestrians around schools more mindful of their surroundings, exercising correct caution.
Keeping the graph in mind, Sincere Law has looked into the most common reasons for accidents involving children around schools and has come up with our best practices to remember when walking your child to the school gates each morning. Some of them may already be very obvious, but it never hurts to revise; the cost of your child’s health and life is far too important!
Staying safe for pedestrians
1. Hand in hand is the way to go
Younger children feel safer when an adult is there to hold their hand through many situations. From a young age it is a good idea to get them into the habit of holding hands while crossing the road for safety. Of course from a parent’s perspective, having your child in hand will ensure no running out in front will occur, lowering the risk of falling from the pavement or straying into the road towards danger.
2. Beware when between cars
There isn’t always a zebra crossing, pelican crossing or crossing guard available outside every school. If there is outside of your child’s school, make the most of it/them and encourage your child to always use the safest spots to cross. If the school however is on a road that has cars parked along the perimeter, it is vital to impress upon your child the dangers of crossing between cars on a busy street. If avoidable, always cross where there is clear daylight to see oncoming cars and bikes so they can see you. If though you have no other options, do not walk out between them, but take extra time and care to let yourself and your child have a clear crossing.
3. Take the outside lane
An unwritten parental rule is to have your child walk to your left and away from any road. Younger children in particular will sometimes veer off course, maybe stumble or try and walk off ahead by themselves. The closer to the road they walk the higher risk of danger from passing vehicles. Of course around a school environment we all would hope drivers obey the 20mph speed limits and drive safely, but to not take that risk and enforce “adults on the road side” can avoid any falling/venturing into the road and into the path of imminent dangers.
4. Copy David Prowse’s fine example
Back in the 1970’s, 1980’s and as late as 1990, Britain’s premier bodybuilder of the era, known best on the big screen as Darth Vader; David Prowse; portrayed to children across the nation the knowledagble ‘Green Cross Code Man’. The faux superhero protected youngsters who strayed near the road and didn’t pay attention, warning them of the dangers of doing so. While he may not be around to guard our school runs in 2015, his message lives on. Impart on your children the green cross code, the tried and tested stop, look, listen and cross. You don’t need to wear a white and green costume to bring enlightenment to your children on road safety.
5. Encourage constant concentration
While knowledge of the green cross code can help instil the routine needed to stay safe on the roads (not just on the way to school), it also needs to be accompanied by an alert pedestrian. Reminding your child to keep looking when crossing, even when holding your hand, will help keep their mind vigilant; doing so regularly will also help develop the understanding of always looking and always watching for hazards. For best practice it is worth teaching them to keep looking each way even when crossing to make sure no imminent danger is approaching like an unseen bike or a car that has sped up and approaching faster than anticipated. Only when on the opposite side is everything safe again.
6. Timing is key
We understand the hectic nature of a family home in the morning, parents trying to drink down their hot tea or coffee in one go as they grab their coat to leave for work, the children are never seemingly ready for school and in a constant state of “just have to put my shoes on” and the dog is still hungry from not being fed yet. A household is incredibly hard to manage in a morning and it is tempting once you leave with child in hand to let autopilot take over as you rush to get them to school on time. Being late and rushing can compromise safety if attention drops. It may be a difficult suggestion to make, but making sure everybody leaves 5 minutes earlier than usual could very well ensure a race against the clock is not on the cards and awareness is increased. An alert and attentive mind not preoccupied with trying to beat the clock could save lives!
Road accidents by schools – the impact
The result of a car, motorcycle or even a bicycle striking a child under 16 can have devastating consequences. Cars driving above 30mph can kill children due to the body not being fully developed and able to cope with the impact. Even bicycles can cause severe internal bruising, bleeding, bone breaks and head injuries as a result of the initial strike.
Not all accidents with children by schools are fatal, but a non fatal crash can change lives just as much. The likelihood of sustaining harsher impact injuries such as spinal damage, brain damage, bone breaks and hyperextensions in the body are higher than that of an adult. The results can require lengthy rehabilitation from the resetting of bones, repair and physiotherapy needed to help muscle tears, and potentially psychological assistance as suffering from an incident at a young age can affect a child for the remainder of their life.
Alterations to lifestyles could be required from help moving around the house if the accident results in limited or loss of mobility and care may need to be provided if there are effects on the ability to perform regular tasks. Having dealt with very sensitive cases such as these for over 20 years we know what is required to help a family and child recover as best they can from an accident on the road, around school or otherwise. If you or somebody you know has suffered from an incident involving a child on the road, feel free to call us for expert, impartial advice on 0800 092 2896 or contact us here for all the information you need to start a claim and get some measure of justice for your family’s misfortune.
In 2014, it is reported that the total cost to the NHS because of medical and clinical negligence was estimated at one billion pounds. This is bad for the NHS and economy but also bad for the patients that have to injure sometimes horrific injuries and sometimes even death. This has flagged up numerous problems that the NHS could be facing. Not only losing large amount to negligence claims that could be avoided but also potential threat to patient care.
In recent news the telegraph suggested that clinical negligence is problem within hospitals across the UK, which is a frightening thought. One case that grabbed the headlines was the terrible story of a young woman in 2013 that was admitted to hospital in Wakefield heavily pregnant who was experiencing complications including heavy bleeding. She was given medication to help her but the doctors and nurses did not give this enough time to work to its full potential. When she was then taken into surgery she was given anaesthesia inappropriately. This then caused circulatory collapse, which resulted in brain damage.
She is now house bound and unable to do much for herself. Her mother is seeking justice as her daughter who now lives at a rehabilitation centre in Barnsley, which is several miles from her family home, needs a final payment so they can build her a bungalow to cater for her needs.
Another heartbreaking story is the story of a 13 year old boy, who’s family fought 10 years to get the result from Kent & Canterbury Hospital that the parents were not at fault for causing there son brain injuries back in 2002. As the parents were led to believe that there son had epilepsy which was not the case when they took him to a specialist at Great Ormond street who said he have significant brain damage. It was only after they demanded answers from the hospital he was born then they knew the truth. The truth was that there son had experienced a neo-natal birthing injury. This was then the start of a long fight to seek the justice and apologies there were owed by Kent & Canterbury Hospital. But nearly a decade later in 2013 the family finally received a letter from East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust accepting responsibility for his condition. Although they had received the acknowledgement they were due the trust continued to dispute details about the future care package. It was not until April 2015 when Britain’s top judges ruled in there favour, with a compensation package to be worth millions.
One of the parents stated, “I’m a massive fan of the NHS, but I think the way they treat people when things go wrong- it’s disgusting, inhumane. I hope our case will at least help make the changes it clearly needs”. Cases like these are a minority but are still happening to children and adults across the country. This may mean that a review in how the NHS manages its claims and treats its patients may need to be overhauled to make sure that this does not happen again. As to wait 10 years for a hospital to acknowledge there mistake and apologise is not right and shouldn’t happen. These traumatic cases also highlight the transparency needed between the patient and doctors and the trust that if medical negligence has occurred something will be done about it and care can be provided.
In conclusion these recent figures about the amount of money been spent on claims could flag up potential problems in terms of patient care and the way claims are handled. As this can have a detrimental effect on the victims, as cases were serious brain injuries are caused, having to wait years to receive any compensation or an apology should not happen. So as tragic the cases we’ve discussed are it will create new laws and procedures for the future.