Holiday accident news

 

Rehab for burns victims: How a fish can help

The specialist severe burns injury lawyers at Boyes Turner are fascinated to learn that, in an attempt to improve treatments and recoveries for burns victims, researchers in Brazil are now experimenting with Tilapia Fish Skin.

Burns can be caused in many ways, from simple accidents in the home (such as a decorative outdoor gel burner which explodes when lit) through to serious accidents in the workplace

Boyes Turner’s burns specialist solicitors acted for a client who suffered severe chemical burns to 65% of his body when a pipe in a milk processing factory containing caustic soda exploded in front of him. The client needed painful emergency treatment and after a lengthy recovery period was left with extensive scarring and psychological injury. 

In addition to securing full compensation for our severe burn injury clients, we aim to maximise their recovery by obtaining funding for conventional treatment and rehabilitation, such as surgery, dermabrasion and laser treatment as well as psychological therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.

Following a burn, patients are typically treated with chemicals such as medicated creams and dressings which are replaced regularly to reduce the risk of infection. However, Brazilian researchers claim that the use of fish skin to treat the burns is better for the patient and also cuts costs.  In particular, the researchers claim the application of fish skin to a burn:

  • Eases pain.
  • Allows the transfer of collagen to the burn, a protein which promotes healing.
  • Keeps burns naturally moist.
  • Naturally fights the risk of infection.
  • Reduces the risk for chemical medications.
  • Speeds the healing process by several days.
  • Can be easily peeled away from the burn reducing the patient’s pain and improving their recovery journey.

Additionally, Tilapia are abundant in Brazil’s rivers and have a high food consumption rate in Brazil resulting in a surplus of the skin which is usually thrown away as waste. Odorico de Morais, a Professor at Ceara University, Brazil said,

“The fish skin is usually thrown away, so we are using this product to convert it into something of social benefit.”.

Before the skin is used it is treated with sterilization agents to kill viruses and to remove the fish smell. The skin is then frozen and can be stored for a period of two years.

The use of skin to treat burns is not completely un-precedented, however, in the past many countries have applied human and pig skin to burns to treat them and assist in the recovery process.

So far, 56 patients have successfully been treated with Tilapia skin as part of a clinical trial.

Boyes Turner understand the impact a burn can have on a person. Following the initial injury which is extremely painful, victims are often left facing a long recovery, and are usually left with unsightly scars which have a psychological impact.

Boyes Turner await the results of the Tilipia trial and are keen to discover whether the use of Tilapia skin will be approved in Brazil and elsewhere as a mainstream method of treatment for the benefit of burns victims.

If you or someone you know has been affected by burns please contact us to see if we can assist you in pursuing a claim and exploring your rehabilitation options.

8 Top Tips for avoiding holiday accidents!

 Holiday Accidents

It’s holiday season, a time that we are often more relaxed, less vigilant and sometimes feeling a little more adventurous than usual, as we try to make the most of the time away from our usual routine.

Such a relaxed attitude can sometimes lead to accidents. Here are 8 Top Tips to help you to try and avoid holiday drama’s!

  • Make sure that you have adequate Travel Insurance cover – some sports and adventure activities require additional and more expensive insurance cover. Also, if you intend taking part in any sports or adventure activity where you are at risk of injury on holiday ensure that you wear the correct safety equipment and have proper instruction.

Holiday Accidents

  • If you are holidaying in an EU country apply for a European Health Insurance (EHIC) card which will assist in covering any emergency medical costs. They are easily obtainable via the internet or from the Post Office.

Holiday Accidents

  • Check the depth and cleanliness of the water when using the swimming pool. If you swim in the sea, a river or a lake obey any warning signs. Do not swim after drinking alcohol.
  • If a restaurant or café doesn’t look clean it probably isn’t. Holiday illness caused by food poisoning can ruin the rest of your holiday. Make sure that you report any issues at the time and try to find out whether anyone else has been affected.

  • Drink only bottled water to make sure that you aren’t at risk of suffering a holiday illness such as sickness and diarrhoea.

Holiday Accidents

  • To avoid a holiday illness make sure that you have the immunisations or booster shots and any medication, such as malaria tablets, required for the part of the world you are visiting.

Holiday Accidents

  • If you intend to drive abroad make sure you understand the road signs and that you remember to drive on the correct side of the road! If you are unfortunate to be involved in a road traffic accident abroad, make sure that you record names of the parties involved, vehicle registration numbers and insurance details. Call the Police to let them investigate liability and try to obtain any paperwork from them including Police report if possible.
  • If you are hiring a vehicle check it carefully and make sure that you have adequate insurance cover.

There are certain things that are beyond our control and if you suffer an injury on holiday or have a holiday illness contact a solicitor on your return to help you investigate a possible claim. We have a dedicated team who can offer straightforward and clear advice and assistance. Our approach is to work closely with the injured person to get maximum compensation and help recover from injuries sustained.

Solicitor left paralysed after head first fall whilst mountain biking

Mr Asif Ahmed paid £79 for a beginners’ mountain biking course in the Surrey Hills but now faces the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

The qualified bio-technologist, engineer, barrister and solicitor hit his head after hurtling over the handlebars on notoriously steep Holmbury Hill in March 2012.

Mr Ahmed sued his instructor for the tragedy. Mr Justice Jeremy Baker ruled that the instructor was 80pc to blame for the tragedy. He was negligent in “encouraging” Mr Ahmed to ride “at speed” down the sharp slope without first assessing his biking skills. Describing Mr Ahmed as a “novice rider”, the judge said he “should have been warned” not to take the most difficult route down the hill. The instructor had exposed him to “a serious risk of harm” and sent him down a slope that was “beyond his capacity to ride down safely”.

Mr Ahmed was injured when his front wheel suddenly jammed on ‘what looked like a clumpy, grassy piece of ground’. He came off his bike head first over the handlebars and impacted on the front of his head, just above the forehead.

Mr Ahmed had been riding a mountain bike for years but this was the first time he had any training and he was a novice when it came to sharp descents over rough terrain.

Ruling on the case, the judge said that the instructor was an “enthusiastic, easy-going” teacher, who had “a tendency to be over-optimistic” about some students’ abilities. When the group met up in a car park before the tragedy, he appeared to have made no assessment of each student’s cycling skills.

The judge accepted that there was nothing necessarily wrong with taking students “out of their comfort zone”. But the instructor had given Mr Ahmed false confidence in his abilities despite warning signs that the hill would be too much for him.

Finding the instructor 80pc to blame, the judge said he had “failed to carry out his tuition with reasonable skill and care”. Mr Ahmed, the judge ruled, was 20pc responsible for his own misfortune in failing to raise doubts about his own abilities. As an adult with some biking experience, he had not “abdicated complete responsibility for his own safety” to the instructor. He may also have felt “peer pressure” from other students to head down the toughest part of the hill, rather than take an easier “chicken route”

The amount of Mr Ahmed’s payout has yet to be assessed but it is likely to be more than £3 million.

Holidaymaker injured in car accident in Greece must claim under Greek law

The Supreme Court has ruled that a woman from the Vale of Glamorgan who was seriously injured when she was hit by a car while on holiday in Greece, must have her compensation determined by Greek law.

In May 2011, Tiffany Moreno, from Barry, had her right leg amputated below the knee after being hit by an uninsured driver on the Greek island of Zakynthos. The body that compensates victims of uninsured drivers, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), has admitted liability but argued that damages should be calculated according to the law of the country where the accident happened. The Claimant’s solicitors argued that it should be the law of the country in which the claim is brought (the law of England and Wales).

Ms Moreno was walking along the verge of a road on the holiday island when she was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Ms Kristina Beqiri, who had neither a valid driving licence nor insurance. Ms Beqiri admitted responsibility for the accident. Ms Moreno suffered very serious injuries, which included loss of her right leg, requiring her to use a wheelchair, continuing pain and psychological reaction, as well as loss of earnings.

The MIB was handling Ms Moreno’s claim on behalf of its Greek counterpart, the Greek Guarantee Fund.

Ms Moreno (The Claimant) issued a claim against the MIB under the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) (Information Centre and Compensation Body Regulations) 2003 (SI 2003/37) (the “2003 Regulations”).

Legal issues

Under Regulation 13 of the 2003 Regulations an injured party who resides in the UK may make a claim for compensation from a compensation body (such as the MIB) where an accident, caused by the use of a vehicle which is normally based in an EEA state:

  1. Occurs in an EEA state other than the UK;
  2. The injured party has made a request for information in accordance with the 2003 Regulations; and
  3. It has proved impossible to identify an insurance undertaking which insurers the use of the vehicle within 2 months of the request for information.

Regulation 13(2) states that the MIB shall compensate the injured party as if the accident had occurred in Great Britain.

However, under Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and Council on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (“Rome II”), which is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in England and Wales, the law applicable to a non-contractual obligation arising out of a tort shall be the law of the country in which the damage occurs.

The MIB admitted liability under Regulation 13 of the 2003 Regulations, but argued that the measure of compensation payable should be assessed in accordance with the law of Greece. The Claimant’s solicitors submitted that the damages should be assessed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.

The level of damages available to the Claimant in this case would be higher if they were calculated using English law rather than Greek law. The High Court was asked to decide the preliminary issue of whether the scope of the MIB’s liability to the Claimant should be determined in accordance with the law of England and Wales or the law of Greece.

High Court decision

The High Court found that it was bound by the previous Court of Appeal decisions of Jacobs v MIB[2010] EWCA Civ 1208 and Bloy and Ireson v MIB [2013] EWCA Civ 1543. These decisions held that the damages in such a Regulation 13 claim should be assessed in accordance with the law of the country in which the claim is brought (the law of England and Wales).

The Supreme Court in Jacobs had granted the MIB permission to appeal the decision, but before this appeal was heard the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) gave judgment in a subsequent case dealing with the date on which Rome II came into force – Homawoo v GMF Assurances SA [2011] EUECJ C-412/10. The CJEU in Homawoo held that Rome II applies to determine the governing law of non-contractual obligations only where the events giving rise to damage occurred after 11 January 2009. Consequently, it did not apply in the Jacobs case and the MIB’s appeal in that case was abandoned.

Mr Justice Gilbart in the present case found that he was bound by the Court of Appeal in Jacobs and Bloy. He therefore concluded that the Claimant’s compensation should be assessed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. However, the judge commented that there was very considerable force in the MIB’s argument that the effect of Rome II on the interpretation of Regulation 13 meant that Jacobs had been wrongly decided, but that issue was for a higher court to decide.

Appeal to the Supreme Court

On 12 July 2016 The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the MIB stating that a victim’s entitlement to damages must be measured by reference to the law of the state in which the accident occurred. The law for damages will now be applied consistently to uninsured and insured cases.

Compensation for a teenager who contracted E. coli while on holiday in Turkey

Bradie Perkins was 13 when he travelled to a beachfront complex with his family in Sarigerme, Turkey in October 2010. He started to feel lethargic and tired during his last few days staying at the Holiday Village Turkey. After returning home to Britain, he had to be rushed to hospital twice because of severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps, dehydration and other gastric symptoms. He was diagnosed with E. coli, a parasite infection called Giardiasis, and a kidney condition known as Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS). His kidneys had been left functioning at just two-thirds of their normal ability because of the damage caused by the illness.

Bradie’s family claimed that food from previous meals was often re-used at the Holiday Village Turkey the next day and that cold food was sometimes topped up with hot food. They claimed that meals were often undercooked and left uncovered while flies, insects and even cats were seen in the restaurant. They alleged that there were also instances where the pool was closed due to children defecating in the water but they never saw the pool drained and re-filled.

Tour operator TUI UK Limited – trading as First Choice Holidays and Flights Limited – initially denied liability throughout the five-year claim. The case settled four weeks before a trial was due to begin. Bradie, 18 at the time of the settlement, has received a substantial six-figure settlement. Medical experts concluded that his kidneys were so badly damaged there’s a possibility they could fail in the future. Under the terms of his settlement, he will also be entitled to seek further compensation if his kidneys fail in the future as anticipated by medical experts. He had to forget his dreams of joining the Royal Navy.

Adrianna Rajwa, personal injury claims solicitor at Boyes Turner LLP, comments:

“Group holiday illness claims are very common both in the UK and abroad. The most common types of bacterial poisoning are botulism, E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter. Poor hygiene or contaminated food are usually contributory factors. Holidays abroad booked through a tour operator are generally covered by the Package Holiday and Package Tour Regulations which make it easier to bring a claim against a UK based tour operator rather than having to make a claim against the foreign hotel. Anyone wanting to make a claim for holiday illness or a food poisoning claim should seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible”.

Holidaymaker to recieve six figure payout following holiday car accident

A young mum, Miss Moreno, suffered catastrophic leg injuries in May 2011 when she was run down by an uninsured driver whilst holidaying on a Greek island, Zakynthos. A car hit her as she stood on the kerb.  

Despite repeated bouts of surgery, the ligaments in her left leg were so severely damaged that her right leg had to be amputated below the knee. As a consequence of the accident Miss Moreno requires prosthesis, has to use a wheelchair and still bears the psychological scars of her ordeal.

The driver who hit Miss Moreno was uninsured.

Her claim was lodged against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), the UK industry body which compensates victims of uninsured drivers. The MIB admitted it was liable to compensate her under European law but insisted that her damages payout should be calculated in line with Greek law.

London’s High Court had to consider whether damages should be calculated in line with Greek law or English law. Mr Justice Gilbart said damages awards to accident victims in Greece are much less generous than they are in Britain.

Following a detailed analysis of EU rules, the judge ruled that the law of England and Wales should be applied in her case.

The ruling means Miss Moreno is entitled to a payout from the MIB. The award is likely to run into at least six figures. Mr Justice Glibart said that, in light of the important issues involved in the case, the MIB was likely to appeal against his decision.

This is fantastic news for claimants but it remains to be seen whether the ruling will be appealed.

Our personal injury team at Boyes Turner specialise in accidents abroad claims including holiday claims. We can provide advice and assistance through our high levels of legal expertise.

Man loses half of foot after sustaining a cut on holiday

A 44 year old holiday maker, Mr Robson had been enjoying swim in a pool in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh when he gashed his toe on the lining of the pool, which was quite sharp and had what seemed to be a rough concrete surface. He got it bandaged up but thought it would heal fairly quickly like a standard wound. He didn’t think there would be any lasting damage.

When he returned to the UK, he was admitted to hospital for treatment. He was then diagnosed with a serious bone infection and medics had to amputate part of his foot. Sadly, Mr Robson was forced to leave his job due to his ongoing infection and back pain caused by the injury.

Mr Robson instructed solicitors to bring a personal injury claim against tour operator TUI UK Limited, trading as Thomson. They have so far helped him to secure an interim payment of £25,000 to help with his living and care costs.

Adrianna Rajwa, a solicitor in the personal injury team at Boyes Turner, comments:

“It can be a frightening experience when an individual is injured in a foreign country, as there are many unknowns. A claim can however be brought against a tour operator under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. Under these Regulations a tour operator must properly perform a contract and if any of its suppliers break that contract then the operator is liable. The Regulations give a claimant who can prove that they sustained an accident on a regulated package holiday the right to issue proceedings in the UK if they can show that the package holiday was sold or offered for sale in the UK and that it included a combination of at least two out of (a) transport, (b) accommodation, and (c) and additional significant tourist service. The holiday must also have been prearranged, sold at an all inclusive price and have included overnight accommodation or covered a period in excess of 24 hours”.

Our personal injury team at Boyes Turner specialise in accident abroad claims, including holiday accident claims. We can provide advice and assistance through our high levels of legal expertise.

Holiday salmonella results in 5-figure settlement

In 2011 Mrs Middleton travelled with her husband to the Casa Marina Reef Resort, a luxury Dominican Republic hotel for a relaxing break. The holiday package was offered by Thomas Cook. On her return home, she was admitted to Staffordshire Hospital for four days after becoming severely dehydrated due to sickness and diarrhoea. She was diagnosed with salmonella.

Mrs Middleton commented that conditions at the hotel had not been of a high standard. On occasions food was being left uncovered for prolonged periods of time and some food was reheated and served with fresh food. Restaurant cutlery was sometimes dirty and some of the food served was undercooked.

Salmonella food poisoning left Mrs Middleton with ongoing symptoms. Almost three years on from her holiday, she still experiences stomach cramps and muscle pains on her sides. Her stomach swells from time to time especially after she has eaten and she now has to avoid foods such as bread, pasta and wine.

Mrs Middleton instructed solicitors to deal with her salmonella food poisoning claim andwas awarded a five-figure settlement in compensation.

Adrianna Rajwa, Solicitor in the Personal Injury Group at Boyes Turner LLP comments:

“Food poisoning is unfortunately a very common complaint among holidaymakers. The most common types of bacterial poisoning are botulism, E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter. If an incident abroad occurs during a package or travel contract, then the applicable regulations are the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. The claimant is entitled to a local remedy and the English courts have jurisdiction. A tour operator must properly perform a holiday contract and if any of its suppliers break that contract the operator is liable. We have extensive experience in successfully concluding claims for compensation of behalf of clients who have contracted  food poisoning while on holiday”.

Michael Schumacher - Brain injury update

Last week, Michael’s manager announced to the press that the former Formula 1 driver is now out of a coma and has been moved to another hospital to ‘continue his rehabilitation’. This has led to a significant amount of interest, once again, in coma and brain injury. Headway, a charity which helps victims and families affected by brain injuries, and which Boyes Turner Claims strongly supports, have been contacted by the media to comment on Michael’s condition.

As with all high-profile brain injuries, Michael’s tragic accident has also provided an opportunity to raise awareness of coma and brain injury, and it’s important that Headway continue to do so.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway has said

“Every brain injury is unique and there is no way of predicting the extent to which any individual will be able to rebuild their life. It can challenge every aspect of you: walking, talking, thinking and feeling. It can mean having to relearn the most basic of life skills that most people take for granted, such as the motor skills required to feed or clean oneself, or the ability to understand simple instructions or communicate effectively.”

To read more please visit the following link and support Headway in their initiative to raise awareness for what they do.

https://www.headway.org.uk/news/michael-schumachers-road-to-recovery-could-be-long-and-arduous.aspx

A holidaymaker wins four figure payout in compensation

A 21 year old holiday maker, Mr Newitt from Tilehurst, has received a pay out after being struck down with severe illness while on holiday in Turkey. He booked his holiday through Thomas Cook who initially denied liability. Mr Newitt developed severe diarrhoea, abdominal pains and vomiting. His claim was settled after investigations into health and hygiene conditions at the Turkish hotel resort were completed.

The claim was brought against Thomas Cook under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. Under the Regulations a tour operator must properly perform a contract and if any of its suppliers break that contract the operator is liable.

The Regulations give a claimant who can prove that they sustained an accident on a regulated package holiday the right to issue proceedings in the UK if they can show that the package holiday was sold or offered for sale in the UK, included a combination of at least two out of (a) transport, (b) accommodation, and (c) and additional significant tourist service, the holiday was prearranged, was sold at an all inclusive price and the service included overnight accommodation or covered a period in excess of 24 hours.

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