Should Radical Treatments Be Included In Costs?

In the ever evolving climate of medical science, we are finding new ways to compensate for injuries that heavy affect our life. Amputations for example have evolved from simple wooden replacement limbs to electronic and bionic limbs. Despite being expensive, we ask should these be included in personal injury claim costs?

New, expensive technology to be part of compensation?

Medical Advances

Back in February we looked at the history of prosthetic limbs. The article explored how much we’ve evolved from the first prosthetics, through to bionic devices which are now able to utilise brainwaves to move.

The newest brands of prosthetic limbs are more than simply replacements that look like the real article, they often now look to perform like the real article, and with more time and research could perform like the real article through the use of thought, just like a natural limb.

 

Prosthetics and Injury Claims

In the past, with prosthetic limbs being more primitive and easier to maintain, calculating the cost of the limb and its maintenance would be simple. With such advanced prosthetics available now, solicitors are requiring to think about demanding higher damages in order to give clients the closest possible replacement following an amputation with little to no compromise on the quality.

While the cost of prosthetics are increasing, along with the complexity of them, it is argued that no injury victim deserves compromise when it comes to attempting to put their life back as it was. With an amputation, we cannot replace the natural limb. However, we are able to try to get as close to a natural limb as possible. In the past this would be a wooden replacement. Eventually it became a lifelike plastic limb. In 2016, we have the ability to have a limb that reacts like a natural one.

In a piece for Solicitors Journal, serious injury specialist, Suzanna Trask, wrote “The compensatory nature of damages aims, as far as is possible, to put the claimant back into the position they would have been in, had the negligence not occurred. This means that it is open to the claimant to claim the cost of any available technology or development which an expert reports is likely to help them.”

“A claim should include not only the initial cost, but the price of ongoing maintenance and replacements or further necessary treatment during the life of the claimant.”

 

Is technology necessary?

In each case, the judge holds ultimate decision making power on what they feel to be “reasonable” in order to meet the needs of the injured party. They will be able to decide if a costly, high maintenance new limb is adequate compensation for the damage caused by the defendant.

Porsthetics and personal injury

In any personal injury case, what is considered as reasonable compensation is argued at length,  in order to set the injured person back to how their life was before the incident (as close as possible). With groundbreaking transplants now being performed,  including the UK’s first double hand transplant, which happened recently, we will soon be able to gauge the usefulness of the more high tech equipment and its ability to return a person to life as they knew it.

For more information on the effect of serious injury (including amputation) and what a solicitors firm such as ourselve does for our clients during a claim, you can visit our website here.

Serious injury cases require much more attention and expertise than other injuries, often requiring expert help like physiotherapists, doctors and councillors. We have spent more than 26 years building those links to help all of our clients with should they need them during their recovery.

For free advice on how we could help you or one of your family members or even a friend, call us today on 0800 092 2896 (lines are open weekdays from 9am to 7pm). Alternatively, you can get in touch using our online contact form here.

 

The Emotional Strain of Cancer

Cancer is the biggest killer of all known diseases worldwide. The effects of a battle with cancer can leave family and loved ones scarred as much as the victim, as it can tear away a loved one from our lives. Over the last few years, a number of public figures have unfortunately slipped away from us, as a  result of the disease in it’s various guises; names including British actor Pete Postlethwhaite,  rock frontman Lemmy Kilmister from the band Motorhead, to the recent passing of music icon David Bowie and film icon Alan Rickman.

Sincere Law - Cancer Statistics

 

Lasting Impact

The impact on the public from losing those they have looked up to and, who at times, have almost seemed ‘immortal’ can take a heavy toll.. It causes us to look at our own lives and helps us think about our future. It can be a very sobering experience. If a public figure dying from such a disease causes us to feel this way, what happens to a close family unit when a prominent member suffers?

Understandably there are a number of strains placed on a family or relationship when one member is diagnosed with cancer. There are questions to be asked about role adjustment and responsibilities within a household, personal needs, plans for the future, social activity, children and many factors behind a successful relationship/family unit.

While the public do get a painful shock whenever somebody they look up to is diagnosed with, and on occasion, succumbs to cancer, the reality of living with it day-to-day can be an incredible test for any family, no-matter the relationship with the affected victim.

 

Our Experiences

As serious injury specialists, we have had first hand experience at seeing the changes a family has to make with a member who has suffered from cancer. A cause that is often overlooked is the development of cancer from airborne sources during a person’s working life. Industrial based diseases and cancers are a common case in the injury law industry; lung based diseases especially so.

We are often required to help provide intermittent funding and ongoing assistance to the sufferer and their family. Not just physically however; but emotionally also.. This is never a cheap experience and so we would urge anybody whose loved one  has or is battling cancer as a result of poor conditions or negligence within their former workplace, to get in touch and get the necessary help.

 

Help Is At Hand

Sometimes when a family member is suffering from cancer (of any kind), all they need is support from those closest to them. For the physical treatment of the disease, this country thankfully has a number of cancer units (with new ones opening regularly), and for the justice for those suffering as a result of outside factors, there is Sincere Law.

Cancer is a difficult subject to approach from any side, be it the medical practitioners, you telling loved ones and friends you have developed it or hearing it yourself from a friend or relative who has been diagnosed. There are numerous cancer charities based in the UK trying to fight the disease every day. Until there comes a time that this debilitating disease is beaten, we, and the other members of the community are here for you, your family, friends and anybody else affected.

Cancer affects families in different ways, hear some stories directly from those involved

How Do You Keep In Control On Black Ice?

The biggest fear for UK motorists during the cold winter months and heavy snowfall is the possibility of driving over black ice. The dangers of losing control over a surface with no grip are very serious. However, there are methods to help keep you on the road and prevent road traffic accidents during the colder months.

 

What Is Black Ice?

Whether rain falls as sleet or freezing rain, depends heavily on the temperature of the air just above ground level. If the temperature is already around freezing or just above, there is no heat in the air to stop the rain from freezing while travelling to the ground. This type of rainfall becomes hailstone and while hail can stick and form ice on the road, it often retains its colour and becomes visible ice, allowing road users to be aware while driving over it.

 

Source

What becomes black ice is rainfall that passes through a layer of warm air on its way to the ground. Because of the warm air keeping it from freezing, it remains a liquid before hitting the ground and freezes upon impact. As the rain is still a liquid it will disperse over a larger surface area while freezing. This large area of freezing usually remains clear, containing no air bubbles, blending into the road surface, giving very little sign, other than a slight sheen, that the road has an extra layer sitting on top. The reason for it being labelled “black ice” is usually down to the fact it camouflages itself on the road surface by remaining clear.

What’s The Danger?

Sliding on ice of any kind is a potential danger to all road users and their surroundings. The added danger of not knowing whether or not the road surface is driveable can be the cause of many multi car pile ups countrywide, causing road closures and slow moving traffic.

Popular advice when driving on ice is to drive slowly and avoid losing grip. The way in which black ice freezes as a flat sheet over the road has the potential to turn tarmac into a sheet, as though the driver has their vehicle on glass. Even winter tyres can struggle to gain grip on these kinds of surfaces and because of this we would heavily advise to think about the necessity of a journey before setting out.

 

(Top tips for driving safely on ice)

Driving Safely With Black Ice

Black ice can’t always be accounted for on your journey. It’s the very essence of it, it is invisible. Local weather reports may give you an indication of ice on the roads; you’ll also be hoping that your local council has taken action and gritted the vast majority of roads on freezing nights, leaving only smaller side streets. As much as this usually resolves 99% of problems driving on ice, there is always the chance that part of your route has been missed. When ice has set in overnight, always assume you will encounter some. It’s much easier to be safe when it comes to road safety in the winter.

If you fall foul of black ice on the road, the chances are you may experience unwanted loss of traction and potentially spin out of control in the worst case. There are, however, a few safe driving tips to employ, should you find yourself on ice and needing to stay calm and in control at the wheel.

Time is definitely NOT of the essence

At any other time of year we can do our best to make meeting times and get to our destinations in good time. Icy weather is definitely a period in which driving slowly, despite the risks of running late, must be the priority. Other road users will be aware of ice on the road and are likely to keep a safe distance, also watching their speed. The last thing other drivers want is to skid and head into the back of your vehicle. Do not be afraid to take it steady and travel at 10mph if necessary or even less should the road surface prove particularly tricky ahead.

Reduce speed before slopes

When you come to the precipice of a down slope, this is a critical moment for keeping control downhill. Going too fast when hitting ice while travelling downhill could easily result in sliding and gaining too much speed to regain control before the bottom. With black ice being very difficult to spot it’s usually best not to drive at all. If there is no other choice, going slow, steady and keeping a level head (unlike the video below) is your highest chance of keeping in control.

(Abandoning your car is not the right response to slipping on ice)

 

Don’t allow speed to build

Consistent speed can help avoid unwanted slipping and grip issues on any area of road. The power being output into the wheels can keep a car steady, whereas accelerating on ice of any kind can generate wheel spin, car spins and more of an increase in speed over a slippery surface than you would want, which will affect overall control. Keeping a consistent speed on a down slope may be difficult at times, but a gentle foot on the brakes can help avoid skidding and spinning out.

Bravery when sliding

Should you feel your car begin to slide and turn away from your path, you may need to take the brave step of releasing the brake pedal and regaining control going forward. Locking out the front wheels can cause the car to continue going straight, which, if already misaligned, could cause you to veer off the road. Likewise, locking out the back wheels with the handbrake can cause the car to spin out and be a hazard to road users behind it.

Black ice can cause many serious injury problems and road traffic accidents during winter

 

Be alert, be aware, and be safe

When it comes to driving on an icy road, whether visible or black ice, we would recommend (along with other experts) that unless it’s unavoidable, don’t take the risk. It never requires a large catalyst to result in a car losing control on the road, no-matter how good the driver is behind the wheel. Treacherous roads are an understandable downfall to our country’s climate and family, managers and friends will all know this. If it’s better not to drive, come up with an alternative.

If there is no other choice, driving slowly and keeping the car on course are key. Usage of breaks should be to help assist with the path of the car, rather than an instant fix for veering off course; that could result in some serious damage to your car, yourself, other cars, property, cyclists and even pedestrians nearby. There is no such thing as going too slow after a night of freezing rainfall. Protect yourself, your vehicle and everybody around you by setting the example and keeping yourself in safe hands on the road.

 

What if somebody hits me?

If you happen to suffer an incident in the icy conditions and fall victim to an accident at the hands of somebody else, as a driver, cyclist, pedestrian or passenger, then you do have options to help get past any damages caused. Road traffic accidents in the winter on ice can escalate from what would be very minor bumps and scrapes, into serious incidents because of the lack of control.

Collisions in the winter months can not only cause excess, unnecessary damage but the cost of the damage both financially and physically can wreak havoc on carefully laid plans during the holiday season. If you do happen to suffer in an incident, Sincere Law is available to help deal with serious injury claims as a result of a road traffic accident on icy roads. We are available to contact every day from 8am to 9pm via phone on 0800 092 2896, by email at info@sincerelaw.co.uk or by filling in our contact form here on our website.

We’ve assisted clients up and down the UK for the last 24 years in the serious injury sector. Inside our headquarters we have assembled a large team of the top UK Solicitors each with their own extensive background. With so many professional resources available, your best choice in serious injury law is Sincere Law.

 

Serious Injury In Sport – Not Always From foul Play

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

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

Governing bodies in sports

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

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

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

Sporting Injuries to the non pro

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

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

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

Am I protected?

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

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

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

sincere law, sports injury specialists

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

Aftermath of sporting injuries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

serious injury claims - sport

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

My next steps

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

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

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

 

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

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

Safety on the school run – Part 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.

 

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.

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.

“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.