‘One in five accidents involves a Lorry’- according to statistics

 

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
  • Tailgating
  • 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.

 

 

Autumn weather and bus accidents

 

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.

The cost of medical negligence to the NHS and the victims left with serious brain injuries as a result

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.

What is a “Duty of Care”?

The Dalai Lama was once quoted saying:

“If you shift your focus from yourself to others, extend your concern to others, and cultivate the thought of caring for the well being of others, then this will have the immediate effect of opening up your life and helping you to reach out”.

When we speak of what a duty of care is, it is surprisingly similar to what the revered Dalai Lama was trying to put across here that we should make sure to show care and attention for everyone around us. It may not be the dictionary definition for duty of care, but it definitely puts us on the right track.

duty of care - serious injury claims

Your duty defined

A duty of care is what we owe to anyone we interact with, in any guise of life. We owe a duty of care to our fellow drivers, our fellow employees, our fellow human beings. Before we go into any detail, let’s take a look at some definitions on a duty of care:

A “duty of care” is:

“a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could cause foreseeable harm to others” – Wikipedia

“the legal obligation to safeguard others from harm while they are in your care, using your services, or exposed to your activities” – Collins dictionary

“a requirement that a person act towards others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would” – Legal dictionary

From the above we can see that a duty of care is owed by any and all people who have some relationship to another person in any form. This includes professional working relationships and special relationships, like using roads, being in the same room or walking on the same pavement.

Relationships in a duty of care do not just extend to a traditional relationship, as soon as you come into contact with somebody else, you will owe them a duty of care. In the simplest sense, for example, we would owe everybody we walk past a duty of care not to flail our arms while walking, as it could cause injury. The same applies while driving to not break the law and drive dangerously, as that could also cause serious injury.

Breaching your duty

How do you breach your duty and what happens following one? Simple, you are in breach if you do not uphold the behaviour, care and attention that would be expected in any given situation; situations such as:

• Being hit by somebody driving erratically, causing a collision
• Your employer having you perform a task, risking injury due to improper PPE, prior training or an unsafe working environment
• Being injured and trusting your health to a medical practitioner, your condition then worsens due to their misjudgement


Doctors owe a professional duty of care to take care of their patients

You are owed a duty to be treated in a safe manner in all aspects of life. Failing to do so could allow you to claim on a serious injury if the actions caused by another are seen to be negligent. You can see many examples of this by viewing our case studies to see the result of a duty breached.

Aftermath of a breach

An incident caused by negligence can result in severe injuries. Back in 2013, 69% of fatal road traffic accidents were the result of negligent driver errors; alongside that 66% of serious incidents also involved that same contributory factor. Our duties are not restricted to the road however; they also count at work and during our everyday lives.

Having dealt with serious injury cases for over 20 years we understand the devastating effect that negligent behaviour can have on a person and their family. Rehabilitation, physiotherapy and psychotherapy from the most serious incidents can take many months or years to recover from.

Sincere Law will always strive to help you or your loved one not only recover, but to get back to as normal a life as possible, following serious injury.

If you or a family member have been affected by someone else’s negligent actions, please get in touch on 0800 092 2896 to speak to one of our friendly advisers or contact us at www.sincerelaw.co.uk. All of our solicitors work on a no win, no fee basis, meaning you get free impartial advice with no commitment and no payments to make if we aren’t successful.

 

The 5 most common work accidents and injuries

Workplace injuries are commonplace in the UK. While we often have training, risk assessments and dedicated staff in place to reduce the number of incidents, they do still happen. Being a serious injury specialist, Sincere Law deals with these kinds of injury cases on a daily basis. What however, are the most common accidents found within the workplace? We’ve put together the top 5 most common accident type to help you stay alert and avoid serious injury while at work.

1. Slips, trips & falls

Slips, trips and falls are by a long way the most common cause of serious injury to UK workers. In 2014 the number of combined serious slips, trips and falls reported by employees reached just over 27,500.

What’s interesting about this number reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was that all these reported accidents included only incidents resulting in a more than 7 day absence from work. According to statistics, 57% of major injuries to UK employees were the result of a slip, trip or fall on duty.

This type of injury can seriously damage somebody; from slipping on a wet floor and fracturing bones, to tripping over poorly placed objects, causing a fall and potentially risking severe damage to not only bones but the brain if the fall is particularly bad. Negligence is quite often the reason for these accidents, with incorrect equipment, unsafe environments and poor direction being the main causes.

2. Manual handling accidents

With over 18,500 workers injured by manual handling incidents in 2014 (accounting for nearly a quarter of reported injuries) these accidents make up a large number of serious injuries at work each year. Of those injured, 9 out of 10 of 2014’s manual handling accidents involved a longer than 7 day period away from work.

Handling injuries can be incredibly detrimental to the long term health of an employee, even risking their future. The most common injury caused by handling is strain and damage to the back, spine and neck. Spinal injuries can result in permanent trouble with movement, requiring lengthy spells of physiotherapy and possibly forcing early retirement if the person affected cannot perform manual tasks following injury.

Common causes of spinal injuries due to handling are overburdening of a staff member by asking to move something around their workplace and not providing proper training on how to lift and carry. Heavier loads usually require apparatus or machines to move. Proper equipment/machinery should always be provided to avoid injury.

serious injury while at work - Sincere Law

3. Car collisions

Driving is big business in the UK. Thousands of people drive each day in company cars to and from meetings alongside those using the roads keeping our logistics network running strong, be it in a van or a heavy goods vehicle (HGV).

In 2014, 1,504 employees were involved in collisions that resulted in a stay away from work longer than a week. Road traffic accidents can obviously stem a range of injury problems from whiplash, giving the driver back, neck and head problems, to the most severe lacerations, amputations and even fatalities.

4. Burns

Burns at work can come in the form not only as burns from fires; electrical burns can badly scar a person just as much as direct flames. Other burn types include exposure directly to harmful substances like acids or other corrosive materials. The result can be anything from large sections of skin peeling to permanent disfigurement.

Burns as a result of exposure accounts for just over 1,000 serious injuries per year according to HSE statistics. The riskiest environments involve employees who deal with fire or corrosives on a regular basis, working with open flames or handling chemicals for example. The aftermath of burns can be long lasting and have detrimental effects on the victim’s self esteem in later life if they have been disfigured as a result of their accident.

5. Electrical accidents

Everybody is aware of the danger electricity can cause. According to statistical analysis, there are around 1,000 cases of electric shocks in the workplace each year.

Even the lowest voltages such as a 50v plug can apply enough electricity to block signals between brain and muscles, risking the heart stopping, prevention of breathing or intense spasms. Electrical accidents are commonly caused by a failure to identify a risk of electrocution due to exposed wires, faulty equipment or lack of PPC.

Electrical damage can be extremely severe with serious, long lasting, even life changing effects. These include disfigurement and burns from skin contact, loss of function in limbs and long term damage to nerves/nerve endings as well as fatality if the voltage has caused the heart to stop beating properly or affected body function.

Sincere Law - Accidents at work

Be Aware!

With thousands of injuries at work each year, severe and minor, we all need to be aware of risks of our particular workplace. Our advice would be to be proactive and actively challenge managers should you be given incorrect equipment or dangerous instructions and to move any objects likely to cause falls or clean up spillages. Reducing risk is the number 1 priority in workplace safety and in an ideal world everybody will do their part to help not only themselves but their workmates too.

If you have unfortunately suffered as a result of a workplace injury that wasn’t your fault, make sure you call us today for free advice and a no hassle conversation on 0800 092 2896. Alternatively simply fill in our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Can you make an Accident at Work Claim?

Accident in the workplace can happen, no matter how many precautions your boss may take to avoid them and with accidents, often injury follows and in many instances this can leave you unable to work for a short period of time.

There are many different types of injury suffered in the workplace one a daily basis from burns to lacerations, broken bones from a fall to amputations. In the most severe cases, sometimes even fatalities can occur.

For each type of accident there is always a reason behind it and it is your employer’s duty of care to adhere to the advised measures to avoid the likelihood of an accident occurring. If they don’t take these measures then they have breached their duty of care and if you suffer an injury as a result, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

For what injury could I make an Accident at Work Claim?

Obviously any injury suffered in the workplace could potentially lead to an accident at work claim, depending on the circumstances that caused them. The most common situations where a claim can be made include:

  • Slips and Trips – caused by wet floors which aren’t adequately signed or obstacles that are left unattended and out of sight of the victim. These are highly common in accident at work claims
  • Burns – usually brought about by not being supplied with the correct protective equipment
  • Back and Spinal Injury – often brought about by a lack of sufficient training or through heavy lifting. Can also be caused by faulty equipment and crushing
  • Loss of Sight – Again tends to be caused by lack of sufficient safety wear, in this case glasses.
  • Amputations – Tends to happen as a result of faulty machinery or lack of sufficient training on heavy duty equipment. Crush injuries caused by fork lift crashes can also cause this type of injury.
  • Fatal Injury – in very severe cases death can occur as a result of health and safety regulation not being met, either through faulty machinery or lack of sufficient training.

How to make an Accident at Work Claim?

It is important that in any instance of injury caused by an accident at work, you or the victim reports it immediately to your boss to ensure that it is recorded. Next you need to make sure, before making a claim, that you can prove that your injury was caused by negligence. At the end of the day accidents do happen because of the victim’s own negligence so just because you have been hurt in work, it does not mean you are necessarily entitled to submit a claim.

Proving liability for negligence can be tricky and in some cases daunting to do, which is why taking on legal advice from a solicitor who has experience of dealing with accident at work claims is important.

It is also important that you instruct that you submit your claim within three years of the accident happening as there is a three year limitation period for accident at work claims.

The limitation period begins from the day your accident occurred or from when you first notice the symptoms of your injury and in the case of a fatality the three years begins from the date of their death. This is to allow grieving time for the family.

Why is a Solicitor so important?

As mentioned previously, accident at work claims can be tricky in terms of proving liability, which can make claims of this nature complex.

A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims will increase the likelihood of you claim succeeding, as they have extensive knowledge about what is needed in order to ensure liability is admitted.

It also allows the victim of an accident at work more time to focus on their recovery and will even help to ensure that you get the best medical care to aid you rehabilitation.

At Sincere Law we take care of all your care and rehabilitation needs and if you require amendments to your home we will also ensure that this is arranged. While we look after this we will use all of our experience to build the strongest case possible for your claim. Our accident at work solicitors are expertly trained to deal with each element of this sort of claim, therefore increasing the likelihood of a satisfactory settlement.

If you have suffered as a result of an accident at work and wish to find out more information about making a claim. Fill out the form below or call us on 0800 092 2896.

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