Optometrist Given Suspended Sentence for Negligent Manslaughter

Optometrist Honey Rose who is being held responsible for the death of child Vincent Barker back in 2013, has been sentenced at Ipswich crown court.

The gross negligence manslaughter case over optometrist has finished

Sentencing

Miss Rose was found guilty during the summer and was scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the summer. Following her hearing, she was given a two year suspended sentence involving 200 hours of unpaid work. The judge for the trial, Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith had said it was the first trial like it he had proceeded over.

In 2013, Miss Rose carried out what was meant to be a routine eye examination and didn’t pick up on a build-up of fluid which eventually led to the boy’s death. The case presented by Vincent’s parents was that Miss Rose was negligent in her duty and should have picked up on the problem and suggested treatment. Meanwhile, Miss Rose’s team defended her by stating it was not beyond reasonable doubt that she could have missed the problem during the check-up.

While the sentence is a measure of justice for young Vincent, his parents will not be celebrating. Afterwards they admitted “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 cost of a life

As serious injury solicitors, Sincere Law has witnessed the impact that a loss of life can have on a family (particularly a young life). A fatality not only leaves a large emotional void for those left behind, which can never be filled, it also robs the opportunity for the person involved to grow up, enjoy life and fulfil their potential.

In cases such as these it is common for us to arrange for a specialist team to help those left not only organise necessary requirements and grieve, but also to ensure they have the best possible mindset following a death.

It is not easy to return to work or regular life after losing a family member, whether it is a child or adult. We often arrange a team of experts dedicated to sorting any further financial and emotional support to those left behind. In the case of Vincent this would possibly be part of the case to help his parents try and get back to everyday life.

Medical Negligence Severity

Any instance of medical negligence has the potential to be serious or fatal. When a doctor, nurse, GP or any medical professional does not fulfil their duty of care it can have very serious consequences as evidenced.

With the medical world involving drugs, dangerous medical equipment and procedures, it can be no surprise that the smallest issue can lead to a very serious medical negligence claim which involves arranging prolonged treatment, recovery, financial planning and aftercare.

If you would like to know more about how Sincere Law assists with the healing process following a serious injury or death, you can call one of our advisers for free, impartial advice on 0800 092 2896.

If you feel you, a friend or family member may wish to make a serious injury claim and gain a measure of justice for injuries caused, you can either call our number above on weekdays from 9am to 7pm or get in touch via our contact page here.

 

Government Assistance For Terrorism Victims

We are all affected when terrorist attacks devastate nations. While the scale of damage caused can be catastrophic for the country involved, the toll personally on those at the epicentre can leave physical and mental scars for life. For those affected, the UK government has procedures in place to assist sufferers caught up in terrorist attacks abroad.

 

UK Citizens Attacked

Before beginning this piece, it is worth taking the time to bring to light the scale that the most recent attacks have had on the world in general. With attacks closer to home including Brussels and Paris still fresh in the memory of Europe, we can sometimes forget many more attacks are occuring in countries closer to the conflict in the Middle East, pretty much on a daily basis. Most recently there have been attacks in Turkey, as well as a Catholic priest in Yemen captured and crucified on Good Friday.

Whenever an act of terrorism takes place, people from all backgrounds suffer. Unfortunately, sometimes this includes citizens of the United Kingdom. In the recent attacks within Europe, there was at least 1 Brit killed in each attack with others injured at the hands of extremists.

When it comes to suffering physical and mental injury due to the actions of others, an attack by terrorists is not a situation many would think they can seek assistance with (as often it’s impossible to trace or prosecute those responsible). Thankfully for British citizens though, the government does have contingency planning for the worst situations.

Belgium Terrorist Attacks: What The Witnesses Saw

 

 

Government Help

The UK government has funds in place in the event of emergencies for its citizens who are caught up in terrorist attacks. Since November 2012, citizens abroad that are victims of terrorism have been able to claim in the same way that a victim of criminal injury can make a claim.

Qualifying criteria does need to be met to receive compensation but if either yourself, a partner or close family member were involved, then it is likely the government will be willing work with you. The current criterion on the gov.uk website states:

  • If you were physically or mentally injured from an attack listed on the claims page
  • You witnessed a loved one being injured from a listed attack
  • Your partner or close family member was killed in a listed attack

 

Help At Hand

Sincere Law is a specialist with serious injury cases. We can also assist with criminal cases, which require a similar interaction with government authorities to terrorism cases. Acts of terrorism however are extreme circumstances and we would always suggest seeking help through the official government channels if you are affected and are injured or if a loved one is injured.

For more information on assistance with overseas terrorism attacks, the government has published a guide to answer any questions. Acts of terrorism are rare occurrences and often the numbers involved are few. However, when it affects you or your family, it can easily destroy lives. There is help available if you are affected and we strongly recommend that you utilise any and all assistance that is made available to you.

 

Tougher Fines for Corporate Manslaughter Offenders

Companies guilty of committing corporate manslaughter are set to face tougher fines in an attempt to make the workplace a much safer and better regulated environment.

The Cost of Corporate Manslaughter

The Sentencing Council revealed recently that judges are being advised to impose heavier fines (in relation to size) on organisations guilty of committing corporate manslaughter.

Previous legislation, the “Corporate Manslaughter & Homicide Act 2007” doesn’t establish an upper limit to penalties. The new guidelines, however, push to take a very tough stance on guilty parties; suggesting companies with £50 million or more turnover should be fined £20 million and up to £10 million for fatal Health & Safety offences.

Corporate Manslaughter Law Blog

The 2007 act establishes what duty of care an employer owes to its employees. Legally every employee has the right to expect their employer to have taken all necessary steps and followed all necessary processes to ensure their safety. This counts not only for higher risk industries, like construction and manufacturing, but to any working environment.

 

What Is Corporate Manslaughter?

The act of failing to keep an employee safe, resulting in an accident at work, causing a fatality is the literal definition of corporate manslaughter. When one employee is instructed by another in a higher position to carry out a task that results in a fatality, the company is held responsible if that person’s instructions are in a working capacity. All that is required is that the grossly negligent party is in control of the company affairs relating to the incident; for example a foreman on a construction site, is the company representative portioning out tasks to the other employees.

Unfortunately, cases of corporate manslaughter have increased in recent years, including a spike of 40% between 2012 and 2013. Cases can take years to resolve but usually receive stringent fines as a harsh warning to ensure the same incidents are never repeated. This year saw the 11th prosecution for Corporate Manslaughter since the introduction of the legislation.

 

One recycling company convicted of corporate manslaughter

 

What The Changes Mean?

What do the new guidelines mean for companies and employees? Coming into force on the 1st February 2016, the new guidelines aim to serve as a larger deterrent than previously, to companies allowing Health & Safety processes to be neglected during their day to day activity.

Given the recent upturn in convictions for corporate manslaughter, the new fines will hopefully go some way to bringing about a downturn, ensuring companies take as much care and attention to employee wellbeing as is expected.

A matrix of costs has been developed to set a starting point based on the size of the company committing the offence. Starting points are:

  • Micro – Turnover less than £2 million
  • Small – Between £2 million & £10 million turnover
  • Medium – Between £10 million & £50 million turnover
  • Large – Turnover greater than £50 million

The costs provided by the matrix are not exhaustive of company size and not definitive totals, as companies with much larger turnovers than £50 million will require individual consideration. The hope for employees and the industry is that the fines will make enough of a financial impact that corporate manslaughter will become a thing of the past.

Corporate Manslaughter - Serious Injury Claims

Does This Affect Fatal Injury Claims?

For families of anybody affected by corporate manslaughter, the injury claims process hasn’t been affected negatively. The new guidelines are designed to be separate from private litigation and are a more official form of punishment alongside what a family can claim for the loss of their relative due to negligence.

Fatal injury claims as a result of an accident at work will remain the same taking into account what a grieving family is owed as a result of a fatality. Sincere Law have been involved in cases involving fatalities at work in the past that have also seen hearings regarding corporate manslaughter. Sincere Law Catastrophic Injury Partner Chris Walker agrees that the new fines are a good way of reducing the amount of fatal injuries at work, stating “while the claims process isn’t affected by the guidelines, it is a step in the right direction to attempt to reduce and eradicate the amount of fatalities coming from corporate negligence. Given the extreme emotional pressure it puts on the immediate family of the deceased (which Sincere Law has experienced first-hand in the past) we welcome any legislative changes that make the workplace a safer environment.”

 

Making a Fatal Injury Claim

Should one of your family or friends suffer a fatal injury at work or otherwise as the result of a negligent action by another party, we would encourage you to claim as an injury claim is one of the best ways to ensure the guilty party comes to justice. We understand a fatal injury claim is a very delicate process, and we advise you take as much time as you need before starting a claim (bearing in mind the 2 year limit to making a claim following the incident).

Making a claim is a very simple process which we can guide you through as well as giving you the opportunity to see specialists if required. We have dedicated, experienced Solicitors able to explain any aspect of a case whenever required. If you do want to get in contact about a fatal injury claim (or any catastrophic injury) you can contact us every day from 8am to 9pm on 0800 092 2896 or use our contact page here. One of our friendly operatives will be waiting to give you honest, impartial advice.

We sincerely hope the new guidelines will reduce corporate manslaughter cases to zero. Only time will tell, but the new tough stance is the first step in fully securing those in a hazardous workplace.

 

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.

 

“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 1

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.

 

school road traffic accidents

Source – http://makingthelink.net/child-deaths-road-traffic-accidents

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.

The Beatles - Abbey Road                                                               The Beatles setting a good example of a safe 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.

 

Cycling safety – Helmet cameras assisting with serious injury claims

The view of a beautiful decline down a luscious part of the country is now regularly filmed via helmet mounted cameras on cyclists across the UK. The number of people using them has grown rapidly since their inception at the turn of the century. However, these cameras are also being used to record video evidence against negligent and poor drivers during everyday commutes; which begs the question, are helmet mounted cameras good for evidence in serious injury cases?

serious injury claims from cycling accidents

Using helmet mounted cameras

The technology around helmet mounted cameras began to become popular when leading sports camera company GoPro started their journey back in 2002 with the idea of capturing surfers performing directly from the athlete themselves. This quickly developed into cameras designed to capture a multitude of sports including skiing, cycling and many other extreme activities; it has even stretched into the realms of filming non sport related videos, capturing some truly amazing moments, such as the worlds highest freefall, to a fire-fighter saving a kitten from a burned down building.

As time passes, like with all areas of technology, the ability for higher resolution videos, smaller cameras, longer battery life and larger storage capacity enables us to capture any aspect of daily life in high detail. This has been the case for many cyclists in the UK and the rest of the world, recording great journeys and daily commutes alike. However, the use of these cameras is currently just as much for personal protection reasons as capturing stunning scenery.

Video evidence

Search on YouTube for anything related to bad driving and cyclists and you will find hundreds of incidents involving road users displaying road rage and poor driving caught using mounted cameras. Previously, serious injuries from road traffic accidents involving cyclists would involve testimonials from those present, including witnesses. While this is reliable if more than one testimonial matches up to create the full story, the advent of cyclists using helmet mounted cameras has enabled an extra dimension of evidence to support their claims. Video evidence can often be very useful in determining who was at fault in a serious injury case. There are however, limitations with using video as evidence in a claim you are making.


Video courtesy of the Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Legal Considerations

Although video evidence often depicts what happened during an incident without prejudice and from an unbiased view, having footage does not automatically mean police or a court will accept recordings. Common considerations for using footage when reporting a serious injury claim from cycling include:

Showing entirety of the incident: Usually 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after the incident so that a clear understanding of how the incident began and the aftermath can be drawn.

If possible, show the date and time: Some cameras automatically have a timestamp, clarifying the incident as the one in question. This helps legitimise the video as being not only of the incident, but driver (if the face is shown) and victim.

Footage must be raw and unedited: As video editing is very accessible now, it is important to submit any footage in its raw form, clearly displaying no signs of doctoring.

Handing footage to authorities quickly: Similarly to the above point, footage should be handed in to the relevant authorities (often the police) quickly (within 48 hours of the incident) to ensure there is no time to doctor the video and so action can be taken asap.

Video quality must be acceptable: There are hundreds of camera brands for helmets and most will be of suitable quality for recording. It is important to have a high enough resolution that there can be no doubt about the vehicle involved in the incident, its registration and if possible the driver (should we see their face).

Be aware of your own behaviour: While we may be able to see the original incident wasn’t your fault, if you were to retaliate in an unacceptable manner (physically or verbally) or are seen to be antagonising and making the situation worse, this could go against you when considering the evidence.

Can we use it?

Having video evidence; while not 100% certain to be used within a claim; is, in short, a useful tool to ensure any denial on liability can be challenged when claiming from a cycling accident. If you are going to be cycling a lot and are considering having a camera mounted on your helmet or bike, as an insurance option it can easily help legitimise any claim. Video evidence, if accepted, can go a long way to speeding up the claim process.

Our advice when using mounted cameras is to stay courteous, even after any incident, as your own behaviour is on show. Also, make sure you act quickly if you are on the receiving end of negligent driving while riding. When on a bike you are much more vulnerable to serious injury from negligent driving than in a car, as there is less protection available. You can’t always guarantee those around you will be vigilant, so you must be, to lower the amount of risk.

serious injury claims, cycling accidents

What to do if you have been injured?

The first step after an injury is to get in touch with us and let us know all the details of your claim. From there we can confidently let you know if you have a solid claim and what to do to proceed. At Sincere Law our team has 20+ years of serious injury knowledge at each of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, giving you peace of mind to start your claim, knowing you won’t be charged if unsuccessful. We understand serious injuries like no other and we strive to look after you immediately following injury for as long as it takes for your to recover. We will also ensure that you receive the best aftercare following your return home.

If you or a loved one have been unfortunate and suffered a serious injury while cycling, video evidence or not, please call us for free impartial advice on 0800 092 2896 or fill on our contact form for one of our friendly advisers to get in touch with you.

Amputations – The long term effects  

Amputations (of any body part) are a major change in a person’s life, almost intrusive on a personal level. Usually they occur when a body part is majorly injured or infected. In simple terms they are described as the “surgical removal of a body part”. In the UK, over 5,000 major limb amputations are thought to be carried out each year according to the NHS.

This past month, a news story has been circulated around many of the main media outlets regarding the unfortunate incident involving a teenager (Leah Washington)  requiring an amputation to her leg following a ride malfunction at the popular theme park Alton Towers.

The incident took place on a ride which has been plagued with problems it’s entire working life, The Smiler. Serious injuries on rollercoasters are thankfully not a common occurrence due to the strict testing each one must go through to ensure any thrill seeker on board is as safe as possible. Unfortunately however, amputations occur in all manner of circumstances elsewhere in life. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Industrial accidents
  • Work accidents
  • Clinical negligence cases
  • Serious infections
  • Cancers
  • Diabetes

In all instances, including Leah’s this summer; they can have very serious consequences.

 

Amputations, Serious Injury, Sincere Law, Solicitors, claims

The Smiler was the cause of the accident resulting in Leah’s amputation

 

Instant Aftermath

Amputations are instantly life changing ordeals. After living your entire life with full function, that normality is completely thrown into disarray. As soon as they leave the hospital, an amputee may suffer emotional scars as they see themselves without a body part. This can cause serious self esteem problems.

At the same time, it’s a steep learning curve requiring to adapt life and everyday situations to not having that body part, be it an arm, hand, leg, foot or even fingers or toes. Upon arriving home even basic tasks could turn into a drawn out, laborious process. An amputee may have trouble performing tasks such as:

  • Walking up stairs
  • Moving around the house
  • Opening doors and cupboards
  • Holding regular household objects

The time required to get used to this has to be rapid as the affected person will never be able to perform those tasks the same again. Thankfully, due to advancement in scientific development, we are much better able to simulate having these limbs now, but even that isn’t a replacement for the damage caused.

 

Long term scarring

It’s not unusual for an amputee to be forced to leave their job depending on the physical strain required, or adapt their role to allow them to continue. Thankfully in the UK those suffering from an amputation are currently entitled to disability benefits in some capacity; however, this is unlikely to match potential earnings an amputee could have with a long, prosperous career.

After her Alton Towers ordeal, Leah will likely have to adapt her future life around what she is and isn’t physically able to do. This is the case for most negligence victims with amputations, and this will not only affect her, but her family too. Not being able to fully enjoy physical activities the same will be a lasting side effect alongside taking longer to travel on foot, requiring more time planning.

The cost of life could increase with an amputation as alterations to housing could have to be made or equipment purchased to make life easier. In Leah’s case she may require a prosthetic or a wheelchair when out of the house to assist with movement. This also is a common long term after effect of an amputation.

 

Serious Injury Claims, Sincere Law Solicitors

Dramatic lifestyle changes may be required following an amputation

 

Options following surgery

If you or a loved one were to suffer an accident resulting in amputation, you or they would almost certainly need to alter your lifestyle and living conditions in some form. If the amputation was caused as a result of somebody else’s negligence, then there would be scope to be able to recoup the damage caused and allow you or your loved one to secure themselves financially following the injury. While full recovery will never be a possibility, the financial burden of requiring lifestyle changes due to somebody else’s fault can be eased.

Nobody should be left to carry the burden for the cost of an amputation caused by another (mentally as well as financially). Leah will now have to live without the lower half of one leg due to an accident as the result of a defect that, all being well, could have completely changed the events of that day.

Sincere Law has been dealing with serious injuries like Leah’s leg for over 20 years, with many cases involving amputated limbs during that time. We’ve learned the importance of life after amputation and if it was ever to happen to yourself or a loved one, you need to know what you can do to get life back to normal, including claiming compensation. If you or your family member ever suffers from misfortune as a result of another’s negligence, please call us on 0800 092 2896 or contact us via www.sincerelaw.co.uk to see what we could do for you.

Serious Injuries – Life and care following an injury

 

A man from Bognor Regis recently received compensation following a life changing brain injury as the result of a car accident. Included in the payment was the sound knowledge that the care he will need for the rest of his life will be covered. The article resonated with us at Sincere Law. We feel one of our most important jobs when fulfilling a claim is that everybody, including the family of the claimant, feels confident they won’t be financially insecure in the future as a result of care costs.

Dealing with serious injuries including brain injuries, spinal injuries, road accident victims, burn victims, amputees and others, we have a wealth of experience of what aftercare may be required. Changes to lifestyles of victims and their families are often needed depending on the circumstances of their injuries. Some are wheelchair bound, some need changes to the home environment, and some may need carers to assist them throughout the day. What’s important to them is that they need not panic over costs affecting them in later life.

 

Life after injury

As serious injury specialists, we’ve seen many cases where lives are changed significantly and the person affected needs assistance to live a comfortable, full life. At the basic level, aftercare allows you to run a home, live cleanly and feed themselves with no pressure of running into financial problems.

In the more severe injury cases, we have ensured all affected were able to fulfil future development aspirations such as going to college or university, giving access to learning at a local facility, regardless of the injury suffered. Having to radically change your life due to an accident that wasn’t your fault can be extremely stressful and worrying. With Sincere Law, we try to take away all of that and let you or your loved one fulfil those goals no matter what has happened.

Depending on circumstances, extent of injuries and the changes needed to be made to living conditions following injury; victims can often feel under strain; suffering symptoms of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. All those conditions must be treated with extreme care. Ensuring full recovery from mental health problems is a top priority. Previously we have ensured care was provided to deal with the prevention of:

  • Suicide
  • Sectioning
  • Being sent to prison
  • Children going into care
  • Family break ups
  • And others.

The effects of serious injury can be devastating for all concerned; to get back to normality as soon as possible is a must. The above examples are some of the most severe cases. Having your life dramatically changed can have untold effects that can harm a person and their personality. We aim to assist so that none of these situations would ever have to arise, and that you and your family can enjoy a healthy, full life after injury.

 

Expert Opinions

During any claim, it’s important the person involved is well looked at by medical professionals and the extent of damage is reviewed. Immediately following a serious injury, there are medical and court costs. Only looking at the present however could lead to a person and their family struggle to deal with the extended impact of possible care and alternative living arrangements needing to be made for years to come.

We asked Chris Walker, Sincere Law catastrophic and serious injury partner about aftercare in cases relating to Sincere Law, he told us:

“Without properly assessing the future needs of a serious injury claimant, it’s almost a fruitless venture to go ahead with the claim at all. Short term, the benefits of their compensation are good for them, but many people forget the financial and emotional burdens of having to deal with the lasting effects of these injuries in later life.”

 

Aftercare – What to expect?

Anyone who has suffered from a serious injury and wants to make a claim through Sincere Law can expect the same level of commitment towards their future as Josh has. It’s essential that we employ highly qualified experts in all fields of serious injury. That’s exactly what Sincere law can provide and will provide for all claimants. The claims process is much more than a simple compensation ruling and payout, it’s about how somebody with a serious injury will move on and continue to live their life as best they can under often very testing and difficult circumstances.

If you, a family member or anyone else has suffered from serious injury and you would like more information on our medical assessments, aftercare or would like to know if you are able to make a claim, please contact us on 0800 092 2896 or get in touch here.

 

“Think Bike” & Avoid Serious Injury

It’s a campaign that aims to remind all road users to be alert for hazards while driving. Particularly, motorbikes. The “Think Bike” campaign serves to keep us vigilant to the risks on both sides of not keeping eyes on the road and surroundings while travelling. Recently, articles on collisions that have caused serious injuries and luckily some that have avoided serious injuries have spurred us at Sincere Law to help remind everyone of the importance of safe driving.

Sincere Law, Road traffic accidents

 

 

Junction Safety

Both of the accidents in the articles we read (above) were from collisions that happened at junctions, one being a T junction and the other merging onto a motorway. These areas are the hotspots for motorbike collisions, on average “30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions”. Our top tip, as simple as it sounds, is to take plenty of time, look both ways; don’t accelerate out of a junction too quickly. Sometimes waiting at a junction can be incredibly frustrating if traffic is busy, but waiting those few seconds is worth the trade off from potentially causing a serious road traffic accident or in the extreme, costing somebody’s life.

 

Road Etiquette

Of the top 5 most common causes of motorcycle accidents, 2 of them involve manoeuvring. Filtering and changing lanes are moments when not checking mirrors and keeping track of other drivers could result in serious collisions. Both driver and biker need to be sensible when filtering and changing lanes to keep themselves and others safe.

Filtering is perfectly legal and good for traffic. For bikers, it’s important in slow traffic to move at a steady pace to give drivers time to notice and react. Equally, when a driver is changing lanes, they must check mirrors, give plenty of indication time, and move steadily rather than suddenly; this way, even if a biker is not seen and approaches, they have ample time to slow down and avoid any possible collision.

 

Rural Riding

Blind bends and tight roads make country driving difficult to navigate, having to adapt to the road around you. With the national speed limit in place for most of these roads, the chances of collisions while driving at these speeds are increased greatly. Road traffic accidents with serious injury and deaths sadly occur often, sometimes on the same stretch of road.

When travelling on country roads, it would be highly advisable not to allow the speed limit to govern your driving. Instead, let the inclines/declines, bends and compactness of the road make the decisions. If the road is winding and hard to judge, slow down to a comfortable pace. With so much unpredictability and difficulty predicting what could be round the next bend, it is always advisable to be safe and take a country road with a smooth, controlled journey.

sincere law, serious injury claims

 

 

 

With motorcyclists 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than a car (UK Government Statistics) and over 4,800 serious injuries occurring each year involving them, it’s important on all sides to look after each other and observe good driving etiquette. Serious and fatal injuries can have lasting effects on not only those involved but the families too. We often have to help our clients remain financially secure when making claims for serious injury as the effects can last a lifetime. Common injuries found in road traffic accidents include:

  • Spinal compression
  • Broken & dislocated vertebrae
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Diffuse axonal injury
  • Burns

Our advice, given the latest news articles, is simply to look after one another, motorcyclist or driver; stay safe on the road and look out for fellow road users.

If you or a loved one have been unfortunate and suffered a road traffic accident in a car or on a motorcycle, get in touch with us on 0800 092 2896 or fill in our contact form. One of our advisors will be on hand to help give advice on how to move forward with a claim.