Storms Hit UK Legal System as 3 Courts Remain Closed

With winds reaching 81mph and days of consistent, heavy rainfall; Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank rendered many areas of northern England devastated this Christmas period. Cumbria and Northumberland received the highest warnings during this time and suffered substantial damage to the local area.

Many local communities were affected, with homes being flooded, businesses affected and other local amenities getting hit hard; including Carlisle United’s football ground being washed out (requiring games to be played at neighbouring grounds for a period of time). Also on the list of damages is a selection of courts, forced to close while the after effects are being dealt with.

Storms

Access to Justice

The three courts affected during this period of horrific weather are Carlisle Magistrates Court, York Magistrates Court and Kendal Courthouse. Many ongoing cases are currently being hurriedly moved to nearby venues including Carlisle Combined Court, York Crown & County Courts and Harrogate Justice Centre.

While spreading the load between local alternatives is a proactive way to deal with the problems, it has caused a strain on local case management to keep the schedule moving smoothly. No word has come yet from the Ministry of Justice as to when we can expect normal service to be resumed, but with work well underway on the clean up, authorities are hoping it is sooner rather than later.

 

UK Flooding: Your Experiences

The floods have affected many of us and provided some striking scenes as towns lay devastated at the hands of nature. Here is a selection of tweets from some of those affected.

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

 

According to reports, one in five accidents on the UK’s roads involves a Lorry/HGV. This is a frightening and worrying statistic, not only for lorry drivers but other motorists on the road. A number of factors can implicate this but the most common are driver error, mechanical error or the UK’s weather conditions and with the colder, winter weather now fast approaching, it is important that we become extra vigilant when commuting in our cars and motorcycles.

What are the main causes?

Lorry accidents can happen due to a number of factors, here is a list of the most common:

  • Driver failure
  • Driver asleep or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Mechanical fault of the cab or trailer
  • The load on the trailer not secured
  • Bad weather conditions such as high wind, snow, ice or heavy rain
  • Blind spots
  • Overtaking a lorry and the driver not seeing you when you move lanes
  • Tailgating
  • Driver too close to other vehicle
  • Spray from lorry causing lack of visibility

These are just a few reasons from a long list of scenarios in which a lorry can cause, or be involved in, a road traffic accident. These accidents mainly occur on the motorways, where lorry drivers spend most of the time, thanks largely to the increases of modern day consumerism. The increasing amount road haulage caused by this contributes to tighter deadlines for delivery and increases the congestion on our roads,  not to mention the high numbers of EU lorry drivers delivering much needed products and food items.

Another issue that is caused by these increased, often long haul journey’s is driver fatigue and according to figures released by RoSPA in 2011,  20% of road accidents are caused by driver fatigue.

These are just a few issues that have caused road traffic accidents involving lorries. On a much wider scale it is clear that more still needs to be done to help make our roads safer by increasing lorry driver safety.

Accidents in the news

Its seem like every day we see an accident on our roads involving a lorry of some description. In August 2015, a nine year old girl suffered broken bones in an accident that involved a lorry. It was reported that she was crossing the road, when was struck by a lorry carrying paving stones. Thankfully the young girl is still alive but she did have to stay in hospital for a few days.

Sadly the same cannot be said about another accident that took place in the same month on the M20 in Kent, which resulted in the tragic death of a lorry driver and left a teenager in a serious condition. In this instance the lorry driver had hit the teenager’s Vauxhall Corsa, who following the crash emerged from his vehicle initially unharmed but was then struck by another car, which failed to stop.

What are the impacts of a accident involving a lorry?

The injuries that can be sustained from an accident involving a lorry can differ depending on the severity of the accident. Injuries can be minor, such as bruising or more severe, such as serious head fractures or brain damage. A road traffic accident often does not just affect the life of the drivers involved but also their family and friends,  as the strain and upset of a serious injury can reverberate through all aspects of your life.

Recovering from an injury will more often than not force the victim to take time off work resulting in a loss of earnings. This in-turn can increase the pressure on the victim’s family as they struggle to meet household bills.

The victim can also be affected emotionally by the limitations of their injury, which can restrict you from carrying out simple daily routine, such as walking unaided down the stairs or playing with your children, as well as stop you doing the things you love and enjoy, whether that is playing football, attending the gym, running or any other kind of recreational activity.

How we can aid your recovery

At Sincere Law, we pride ourselves in making sure you receive the best treatment and care possible. This involves finding the best doctors, surgeons and physiotherapists to help your recovery. We can also advise you on how your claim is going and provide interim payments when and where needed, for example, to pay for specialist home care, so rest assured, that we will be with you every step of the way, throughout your recovery, right up to the conclusion of your case and beyond.

Furthermore, when your case comes to its natural end we will continue to support you and your loved ones and help you in any way we can. We understand that in the most severe instances, a serious injury can have lifelong implications for the victim and their loved ones and can result in the need for a lifetime of care and support.

Thanks to our experience and standing within the profession, we can ensure that you are offered specialist care and put in place crisis teams, that can help all aspects of your recovery, including dedicated home care packages for serious injuries such as  head impacts. We also understand the challenging aspects that come with dealing with the turmoil of experiencing a serious accident, for you and your loved ones and just how hard it can be to deal with the aftermath. That is why we offer family counselling where it is needed or individual treatment, in the instance that you or one of your family members are suffering psychologically, as a result of the victim’s injury.

At Sincere Law, we go above and beyond to ensure that if there is anything we can do to help make life after the accident easier, whether that is help for the victim or those closest to them.

How to claim?

If you or a loved one has been affected by a road traffic accident involving a lorry, that wasn’t your fault, why not get in touch with one of our serious injury specialists today. You can call us free on 0800 092 2896 or, alternatively, you can request a call back by filling in the form on the top right hand side of this page.

All initial advice is without obligation and all of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, so there really is nothing to lose by getting in touch and speaking with one of our specialist advisers today.

 

 

Autumn weather and bus accidents

 

In recent times in the press you will see stories of people suffering serious injuries as a result of being a passenger or pedestrian when a bus has suffered a mechanical fault or accident. This can be a deadly situation and can cause sometimes life threatening injuries. Now we are approaching colder weather we need to be especially careful when travelling on the roads. As now we are in September temperatures will become cooler and rain fall more frequent, which could be a recipe for disaster. As in 2012 61% of accidents in the UK involved pedestrians and 444 injuries involving a bus or coach.

The main causes of bus accident

  • Bad weather conditions including heavy rain and snow
  • Mechanical fault  such as a brake failure
  • Bus that has gone down a road that is unsuitable to heavy or tall vehicles
  • Bus hitting a low bridge
  • Mounting the curb
  • Hitting another vehicle

In August 2015, a 56 year old motorcyclist was killed by a bus in Scotland. The accident happened on the A726 which is known as an accident black spot in the area. The bus driver and passengers didn’t sustain any serious injuries but the motorcyclist paid the ultimate price, his life. The police are still appealing for witnesses for this dreadful accident. You would think these stories are uncommon but this is not the case. Accidents involving a bus and other vehicles happen weekly and can have devastating consequences on the victims and there families.

Another story which hit the headlines in July 2015 was that of a London bus which went down a street which clearly stated that the road was unsuitable for tall vehicles. The street even had a sign stating the maximum height for drivers, but this was not seen by the bus driver. The sign stated, “Warning low bridge. Not suitable for double deck vehicles.’ This resulted in the double decker bus going under a bridge and taking the top of the roof off were passengers were sitting. This resulted in the four people sat on the top deck taken to hospital and major damage to the bus. Not only did this incident cause injuries but also meant the bus was written off and the road was closed for a number of hours.

The most common injuries from a bus accident

  • Whip lash
  • Trip or fall due to harsh braking by the driver
  • Glass injuries due to smashed windows

In some cases buses are involved in accidents involving other vehicles. This can be either due to driver blind spots or serve weather conditions. This mainly entails weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow or ice. This is common in winter as most people would take a bus rather than using there own car in these types of conditions. But buses, like any vehicle, are prone to loosing grip or skidding. In January 2015 in Wrexham six people were taken to hospital due to snow and ice on the roads causing multiple road traffic accidents. The crashes involved a two car accident, a lorry overturned and a bus hitting a building. This highlights the dangers that we face when travelling in bad weather conditions. As we are now approaching colder weather towards Christmas we stress that people need to take care when travelling on UK roads.

Travel advice in rain or cold weather

  • Be careful of ice on the roads, as even in September black ice on roads is possible. Which if you drive to work early in the morning be sure to drive carefully and check weather updates regularly
  • In rain avoid harsh braking and keep a safe distance from the car in front. The AA say to keep a two car distance in between you and the car in front at all times even if the weather is good.
  • Make sure all essential lights and electrical are working on your vehicle before every journey. Driving with lights out in your car can cause accidents and you can be fined by the police.

So by this you can see how bus accidents regular occur on UK roads and there are many factors that can make this happen. If we all take care especially in winter months accidents may be reduced

How we can help

If you believe that you have been affected by a bus accident that wasn’t your fault then please get in contact. Sincere Law will help you with any queries you may have or visit our bus accident page for more details. We will be sure to get back to you and answer any questions you may have under no obligation. All our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis meaning that if all information is honest and correct you won’t pay a penny if your claim is not successful.  But here at Sincere Law we have a high success rate and have some of the best solicitors in the North West.