Major trauma news

 

Recovery of seriously injured woman hailed as 'incredible' as she launches new career as author

A specialist lawyer has hailed her seriously injured former client as ‘an inspiration’ as the road accident victim prepares to launch the next stage of her life as a published author.

Jessica Stevens, from Hendon, North West London, was left fighting for her life after a serious road accident in 2015 in which she suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a fractured pelvis, an injury to her right shoulder, a collapsed lung and internal bleeding, spending six weeks in a coma.

But serious injury expert Kim Smerdon, from law firm Boyes Turner, worked with the then 25-year-old to get her access to rehabilitation as soon as she was able to leave hospital – enabling her to return to her job with the Financial Ombudsman within 14 months of her accident.

And now Jessica, who continues to suffer some health problems as a result of the accident, will take the next step in her career as she launches a book called Everything is Broken, which tells the story of her injuries and her recovery.

Jessica still remembers nothing about the accident or the period immediately before or after it but was subsequently told that she was struck by a speeding driver as she was turning right onto the main road from the street in which she lived with her parents and brother.

Once out of the coma, a month and half after the incident in June 2015, Jessica spent a further three months in hospital, learning to walk and talk again.

In the immediate aftermath, she was left very unsteady on her feet, with slowed and slurred speech and with her right arm locked in a bent position, as well as facing weakness down the whole of the right side of her body.

Although she was eventually able to return home, she had to undergo continual rehabilitation involving a number of therapists providing physiotherapy, occupational therapy, personal training and a phased return to work.

Through sheer determination, Jessica made an impressive recovery, though she still suffers from ongoing problems including a continued weakness in her right-hand side, limited dexterity in her right hand, inability to straighten her right arm, problems with balance, scarring, memory problems and an increased risk of epilepsy and further stroke.

Now, she has captured her battle to recover and achieve the best possible quality of life she can in her honest and revealing book. It will be launched at a special event at the end of April hosted by Boyes Turner, who worked with Jessica to ensure she could access the support she needed and will continue to need.

Jessica said:

“I was out cold from the accident for six weeks and even when I came out of the coma, I then had to learn how to walk again, how to brush my hair and to dress myself.

“The rehabilitation I was able to get as soon as possible meant I could work with an occupational therapist, a neuro physio and a personal trainer to work my way back to being as strong as possible and get some confidence again.”

The 29-year old has already spoken to some other Boyes Turner clients who have suffered similar life-changing injuries to pass on her experiences and said her book aimed to help others who suffer serious injury in their recovery as well.

“It really does turn your life upside down in a moment, not just for me but for my family as well. It’s been a difficult journey, sometimes very emotional, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery and in being able to tell this story too,”

she said.

“My story shows what can be achieved with the support of the right people and a little determination. I look back on where I was and I’m delighted with where I am now. I’ve still got a way to go and I still have some effects from the accident to deal with but I hope people see what I’ve achieved and it helps them as they begin their recovery.”

Kim Smerdon, a partner and specialist in brain and serious injuries at Reading-based Boyes Turner, said:

“I couldn’t be happier for Jessica. To have achieved what she has achieved in terms of her recovery and the life she has built for herself is nothing short of incredible.

“She’s an absolute inspiration to anyone who faces the challenge of recovering from a serious brain injury.

“Her story shows the importance of injured people receiving quick rehabilitation and physiotherapy to help them begin their recovery journey as quickly as possible. It was vital in helping Jessica and played a huge part in her being able to return to work as quickly as she did, which was always her goal.

“To see her now launching her own book is just fantastic. She deserves every success and I’ve no doubt that this is just the beginning of another inspirational journey for her.”

Chris Day, whose firm Filament have published Everything is Broken, said:

“Jessica has been on a traumatic, emotional but ultimately successful journey from her original accident and injuries to where she is today. Her story makes for incredible reading and will inspire many people, whether they are in a similar situation or not.”

Why you should use a local solicitor for road traffic accident injury claims

If you are involved in a car accident or other type of road traffic accident where liability is disputed, having a local solicitor handle your claim can increase your chances of securing fair compensation.

There are a number of reasons a local claims specialist is likely to be the best choice, including their local knowledge, ability to take a ‘hands on’ approach and their connections with other local road traffic accident experts.

In this article, we will cover some of the key ways using a local road traffic accident claims solicitor can increase your chances of securing compensation in a disputed accident claim.

Making use of local knowledge

An experienced local road traffic accidents solicitor should have strong knowledge of local accident hot spots, traffic conditions and other factors that could be highly relevant to your claim. They will typically have dealt with many other claims similar to yours, possibly even at the same location and in similar circumstances.

This specific local knowledge can help your solicitor to ensure all of the relevant information is brought to light to support your claim (e.g. that several other people have had similar accidents at the same location in recent years).

This type of background information can be crucial to building your case, so its value should not be overlooked.

Visiting the scene of the accident

Where there is a dispute over liability for a road traffic accident, police reports and police witness statements should not be taken at face value when building your case. In our experience, there is no substitute for visiting the scene of accident in person to collect accurate evidence on factors that may have played a part in the events leading to an accident.

This visit should always take place as soon as possible and at the same time of day and under similar conditions to those at the time of the accident to give the most accurate and meaningful information.

Critical evidence a scene of accident visit can produce includes information on:

  1. Road layout – including width of lanes, bends, crossings and lights to establish what the parties involved could have seen at the time of the accident.
  2. Surrounding environment – including anything which might affect driver visibility, whether the area is heavily populated, number of pedestrians at the time of the day the accident occurred, any other specific hazards.
  3. Traffic flow and speed limit – can help judge whether the defendant should have been able to take evasive action at the speed they should have been travelling.
  4. Distances – these can be deceiving, so it is important to understand the direction of travel of all parties and what they could and could not have seen.
  5. Common practices of motorists on the particular stretch of road – e.g. whether bus lanes are being used by other vehicles etc.
  6. Road markings – such as hatchings and signage, which can help to establish whether they may have been reason for confusion over road use.

Non-local solicitors may rely on technology such as Google Maps to judge road conditions, which often miss key details, such as a slight bend in a road that appears straight on a map, or where the images used for Google Maps are not up to date.

Non-local solicitors may also rely on a local agents they do not know personally to visit the site for them and produce a ‘locus report’ or accident reconstruction report. While locus reports and accident reconstructions can be highly useful in disputed claims, it is critical that they be produced accurately and reliably.

For this reason, it is generally safer to work with a local lawyer who has an established working relationship with the road traffic accident experts who produce these reports.

Producing a locus report

A locus report provides clear, detailed information on the place where an accident occurred. It will typically include photos, sketches, diagrams and other types of visual information, as well as a written report on the area.

Locus reports are often critical pieces of evidence during a disputed road traffic accident claim, helping to reduce any uncertainty or leeway for dispute over the traffic conditions or other factors that may have led to the accident in question.

Using accident reconstructions

Accident reconstruction experts will examine the vehicles involved in an accident, as well as looking at the scene of the accident, reviewing evidence from witnesses and any other relevant information to build up a clear picture of what occurred during the accident.

By looking at the damage to the vehicles, the distance the vehicles moved after the impact, any damage to the surrounding environment and other details, an accident investigator can often establish important details, such as how fast the vehicles involved were moving at the time of the accident.

They will then use this information to put together a reconstruction of exactly what they believe occurred in the moments leading up to and during a road traffic accident.

Increasingly accident reconstructions use video and 3D animation to help visualise the events leading up to an accident. This evidence can often be highly compelling in disputed liability cases.

Speak to your local personal injury lawyers in Reading

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, our specialist personal injury solicitors in Reading have the local knowledge and contacts to help you build the strongest possible case, so you have the best chance of securing fair compensation.

We work with a number of trusted local agents who can produce detailed, reliable locus reports, as well as accident reconstruction experts to help us fight cases where liability for an accident is in dispute.

Our personal injury team have many years of experience handling road traffic accidents for people in Reading and the surrounding area, including Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. This gives us deep knowledge of local accident blackspots and challenging traffic conditions, allowing us to give you the strong local expertise you need for a successful claim.

To start a road traffic accident claim with Boyes Turner or to find out more, please get in touch by calling the team on 0800 124 4845 or emailing at claimsadvice@boyesturner.com.

Making a claim after a child suffers a brain injury as a result of an accident

When a child suffers a brain injury as a result of an accident, it shatters the lives of the whole family. We understand the long and difficult journey that families can face when a child is recovering from a brain injury following an accident.

Child brain injury claims

Making a claim on behalf of a child with a brain injury can be a daunting process for families. We aim to provide information that can support you and your family on this journey and get the best results following an accident to ensure your child’s future.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I make a claim?

A child may suffer long lasting and permanent effects after a brain injury, which could impact on their ability to lead an independent life, through no fault of their own. By making a claim for their injuries caused by an accident, plus any past or future financial losses and expenses, you will be ensuring that they are financially secure in the future and have the right support, care and treatment to maximise their recovery and independence.

At Boyes Turner, we strive not only to achieve the right amount of compensation to provide financial security for a child and their family but to ensure that every brain injured child and their family has access to rehabilitation to enhance their level of recovery at the earliest opportunity.

Who should I instruct to deal with my child’s brain injury claim?

We recommend that you instruct a firm of solicitors who have expertise and a proven track record of acting for children who suffer a brain injury. Check if the firm has accreditation with the Law Society and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and/or is an approved solicitor for Headway.

How is a child brain injury claim funded?

In personal injury claims Legal Aid is not available for children’s claims. You may have existing legal expenses insurance under a Household and Contents insurance policy and we can help you to check the policy. Otherwise, we can offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee).

Your child will recover their full compensation. 

In clinical negligence claims involving cerebral palsy and other acquired brain injuries, Boyes Turner has a Legal Aid Franchise to fund cases that meet the Legal Aid criteria

What is the process for making a claim?

Once instructed we send a letter of claim to the third party’s insurer (the party responsible for the injury) who then has a period of time to investigate the claim. There are 3 main aspects to prove in a personal injury claim:

Liability (fault or negligence)

If your child has suffered a brain injury as a consequence of someone else’s actions or negligence, then you will be entitled to bring a claim against the other party (referred to as the defendant). Many of our cases involve children injured in road traffic accidents either as passengers in a vehicle or pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars. We also act for children who have suffered a birth injury as a result of hospital negligence or who suffer an injury in a public place. Sometimes a defendant might argue that a child was partly to blame (for example by running out into the road) and this is known as contributory negligence.

Causation (that the brain injury was caused by someone’s negligence)

Once a defendant admits fault or responsibility for an accident, the next stage is to gather medical evidence which proves that the brain injury has been caused by the negligence of the defendant. 

We work alongside the very best medico legal experts to prove the nature and extent of the individual child’s brain injury, and how this has and will continue to impact on a child in their future. To ascertain this we may instruct a number of experts including neurologists, educational psychologist, neuro-psychiatrists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. The type of experts that we instruct will depend on the type of symptoms a child suffers from as a result of their brain injury and this varies for each child.

Quantum (the value of the claim)

Once expert evidence has been obtained and we understand the nature and extent of the child’s brain injury, we will then start to gather evidence that allows us to value the claim. The value of the claim depends on the individual needs of the child, both now and in their future. A brain injured child may require a care and case management expert to ensure the appropriate care package is provided or they may have difficulties with communication or mobility and require an occupational therapist and specialist equipment. If a child cannot communicate they may need assistive technology and communication aids.

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is the process by which an injured person makes the best and quickest possible medical, social and psychological recovery.

Sadly not every child will make a full recovery after a brain injury, but we believe that every child should have an opportunity to reach their maximum potential recovery, with the right access to rehabilitation. We aim to ensure that a child and their family have access to the ongoing treatment, care and support they need by securing early funding as part of brain injury claim. 

Who organises rehabilitation?

At an early stage in brain injury claim, we will appoint a child brain injury case manager; this is usually a healthcare professional such as a nurse, occupational therapist or physiotherapist. The role of the case manager is to support a child and their family in accessing care and rehabilitation to help the child grow up confidently and live a fulfilled life.

What is case management?

Case management is the holistic rehabilitation support that an individual child may need following a brain injury. It is a collaborative process which involves understanding the needs of the child and family, planning and implementing rehabilitation with a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals, and providing the child and family with access to any services and support that they need to meet their individual health, social care, educational and employment needs.

A case manager may appoint and work with a number of different healthcare professionals to support the child and their family with their rehabilitation goals. 

It is extremely important that the child and their family are always at the heart of every decision made regarding the child’s rehabilitation, care and support.

What happens if my child has additional education needs as a result of their brain injury?

If your child has learning disabilities as a result of their brain injury then our dedicated Special Educational Needs team can help your child to secure the extra help and support they need, in the school they choose.

What happens when my child’s brain injury claim is settled?

Once a settlement has been agreed the Court must approve the financial settlement and how it is to be managed.

As a child does not have capacity to handle their financial affairs either because they are under 18 or as a result of their brain injury (after the age of 18), a professional Deputy is usually appointed to help the family manage the child’s financial affairs. The settlement is paid into the Court of Protection and the professional Deputy works with the family and/or case manager to ensure that the funds are spent appropriately (in the best interests of the child).

At Boyes Turner we have a Court of Protection team who advise families on how to manage their financial affairs once a settlement has been agreed.

What should I do next?

We know that for many families, the thought of a bringing a claim may seem daunting. However it is vitally important to secure the future of your child.

We aim to make the process as straightforward as possible from the first meeting to negotiating an out of court settlement, or going to court if required. Each step is always explained, along with why it’s needed and how the family will be involved.

Every brain injury claim is supported by independent medical experts to give you the best prospects of success and we have a range of claim funding options which we can discuss with you so that you don’t have to worry about funding your claim. Get in touch with a member of our experienced personal injury claims team to discuss making a claim by emailing them at piclaims@boyesturner.com.

Cycling accident pair demand safety improvements after another incident at hotspot

Lawyers acting for two cyclists injured in separate incidents at the same Reading roundabout have joined their clients in calling for urgent safety improvements after another person was injured there.

Experts at Boyes Turner say the latest incident at the Vastern Road roundabout in the town centre adds to existing concerns over safety at the busy interchange, which has seen a number of accidents in recent years and left several cyclists injured.

The lawyers’ call for action was joined by a local teenager who spent two nights in hospital after being knocked off his bike in September last year and continues to suffer from injuries, including a fracture to his back, five months later.

A second cyclist injured at the same spot has also added his voice to the calls for improved safety, just over a year after he too was knocked off his bike at the Vastern Road site and also needed hospital treatment after suffering three fractures to his back.

And it comes just days after a motorist suffered serious injuries and was also left needing hospital treatment after another incident at the roundabout, which has been highlighted as a safety concern several times by local campaigners who say as many as 19 cyclists have been injured there in the past few years.

Adam Adrian, 19, from Caversham, had already safely negotiated most of the roundabout in busy traffic as he tried to turn right over Reading Bridge but was knocked off his bike and onto the road after being hit by a car.

An ambulance rushed him to hospital where he needed two nights’ treatment and had his arm put in plaster before being allowed home to begin his recovery from the fracture to his spine and injuries to his wrist and knee.

Doctors have since given Adam the devastating news that his spinal fracture will never heal fully, leaving the teenager facing an uncertain future as he tries to move on from the incident.

The former Highdown Secondary School student had been pursuing an acting career, with a place secured on a course at Chichester University, but has been restricted in any roles he can take since the accident due to the continued pain he suffers when moving, while his wrist injuries have also restricted his role in local rock band Before The Breakdown.

Julian Wigmore was also injured at the Vastern Road roundabout, when an SUV vehicle pulled out in front of him, catapulting the 66-year-old, also from Caversham, onto the bonnet of the car. He too was taken to hospital, where he was told he had fractured three vertebrae.

His injuries have left the bid manager two inches shorter and, despite rehabilitation arranged by his legal team, he continues to suffer pain a year later and is still unable to ride his bike on the road due to anxiety. He was also unable to work for a short period after the incident, which cost him a freelance contract.

Both Adam and Julian are now being helped by experts at Thames-Valley based Boyes Turner. Serious injury specialist solicitor Laura Magson said the latest incident at Vastern Road showed things were not improving and that it was time that action was taken by the local council.

“Adam and Julian’s stories are just two examples of people being injured at this same spot and questions have to be asked as to how many more people will have to suffer injuries or worse before something is done,”

she said.

“Cyclists in particular are vulnerable and far too many have already been injured at this roundabout, which has been singled out for attention by safety campaigners including ourselves before.

“Adam and Julian face a further fight to recover from the injuries and regain the lives they had before. The worry Adam faces while waiting to see if his fractured spine will repair fully is something no-one should have to endure at any stage in their life, let alone at just 19, and Julian also still suffers from his injuries a year on, despite important rehabilitation work.”

Laura added:

“Their stories should serve as a catalyst for action to prevent this happening to anyone else. We now want to see the authorities carry out an urgent review and make sure no-one else suffers what our clients have suffered. Safety has to come first.”

Adam said:

“The accident itself was horrific and it still affects me now, but the biggest frustration is not being able to just get on with my life. My acting ambitions and my music have all been affected by something which wasn’t my fault.

“However, when you then find out that you’re not the only person who has been injured at this roundabout, it’s even more frustrating, especially when you see more accidents like the recent one. I don’t want to see anyone else go through what I have gone through.”

Julian added: “All I was doing was cycling home and the next minute, my life had been turned upside down. A year on, I’m still in pain and still can’t do the things I could do before.

“Enough is enough. There have to be changes at this roundabout to stop anyone else being injured. One accident is too many but there have been a series of incidents there. Someone else will be seriously injured if action isn’t taken immediately”

Local cycle campaigners have previously highlighted the Vastern Road roundabout as a serious cause for concern and demanded action from council officials, saying statistics show that 19 cyclists have been injured at the interchange in recent years.

 

Common work-related amputation claims

Accidents at work are not uncommon in the UK and can lead to severe, lifelong, disabling injury, including amputation, whether caused directly in the accident (traumatic amputation) or indirectly as a later complication of the original injury. 

Losing a limb is always life-changing, affecting mobility and independence, and reducing earning capacity by limiting the amputee’s ability to return to work. An employee who has suffered an amputation from a workplace accident may be able to recover compensation where the accident and injury were caused by the employer’s failure to provide safe working conditions and should have been avoided.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 says that employers have a duty of care towards their employees and are responsible for putting proper precautions in place to ensure that the workplace is safe for all employees. All equipment should be properly maintained, all employees should receive training and supervision on proper and safe use of machinery and protective guards should be installed, where necessary, to prevent injuries.

Common accidents at work which may result in amputation include:

  • Severing by machinery

Working with machinery, tools or sharp objects poses an obvious and significant risk to workers across a broad range of industries, including agriculture, engineering, construction and woodworking industries. Amputations are most common when workers operate unguarded or inadequately safeguarded machinery, mechanical equipment and tools.

  • Crush injuries

Crush injuries can be caused by a heavy item falling directly onto a part of the body or when part of the body becomes trapped in machinery. Faulty equipment or lack of training in operating equipment is often the cause of a crushing injury accident.

  • Being struck by an object

Workplaces are full of objects which pose a risk to employees, such as falling construction material on a building site, pallets in a warehouse or moving objects or vehicles such as forklift trucks. Regular inspections and effective management are essential to prevent accidents occurring.

  • Electrocution

High voltage electric shock from unsafe working conditions can lead to impaired blood circulation, gangrene and amputation.

  • Laboratory accidents and explosions

Unsafe handling of materials can also result in burns, restricting blood flow to the limb or causing serious infection and consequent limb loss.

Boyes Turner’s personal injury team are experienced in recovering high-value damages awards for clients who have suffered serious disability from workplace accidents. Once liability is established we secure early interim payments to help pay for our clients’ essential care and rehabilitation, adapted vehicles, specialist prostheses and adapted accommodation, and to ease the financial hardship that often occurs after a disabling accident, restoring mobility and independence whilst we work on valuing and settling the claim. The team always seeks early rehabilitation under the Rehabilitation Code, as well as interims when liability is established, to allow the best opportunities for our clients to regain as much quality of life as possible.

If you have suffered an amputation in a workplace accident and want to find out if you have a claim, contact the team on piclaims@boyesturner.com.

Amputation: What are the 3 most common causes we see?

Amputations are more common than you might think. The recent GIRFT report on vascular surgery puts the current number of lower limb amputations performed on the NHS each year at around 8,000, with an associated mortality rate of 7.5%. The good news is that with awareness, self-care and proper medical care, many amputations are preventable. For those whose avoidable amputations were caused by medical, employer or other road user negligence, financial help may be available through a legal claim.

Boyes Turner’s experienced amputation lawyers regularly help amputees restore their mobility and independence by securing funding to pay for rehabilitation, essential prosthetics, home adaptations and essential care and domestic assistance. Where the amputee is unable to return to their former employment, we can help alleviate the financial hardship that arises from their loss of earnings.

We asked our amputation specialist lawyers to tell us the most common causes of avoidable amputations which can give rise to a compensation claim:

Traumatic injury

Trauma, such as farm or factory accidents, where the injury arose as a result of unsafe working conditions or in an unsafe environment for visitors or children, are common causes of amputation claims against the employer or owner of the premises.

Road traffic accidents give rise to claims where a pedestrian, a cyclist, passenger in a car or taxi, pillion passenger on a motorbike or a bicycle, or another driver has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent driving.

Complications of diabetes

With Type 2 diabetes on the increase, diabetes-related amputations are now performed at an alarming rate of 20 each day in England. Four out of five diabetes-related amputations are preventable, arising from minor foot conditions such as cuts, blisters, foot ulcers or sprains which develop into more serious infections or deformities such as Charcot foot.

Diabetes can lead to reduced blood circulation and loss of sensation in the sufferer’s feet, which means that they might not feel a blister or small cut until it has become infected or formed an ulcer. They might continue to walk on a sprained ankle until it develops signs of Charcot foot.

Diabetics and their health carers can reduce their risk of lower limb amputation by carrying out regular visual checks of their feet, promptly treating any signs of injury – cuts, blisters, discharge or oozing, redness, warmth or swelling – with rest, antibiotics if needed, and referral to foot care specialists.

Peripheral ischaemia

Peripheral ischaemia – a serious condition in which narrowing or blockage of the arteries restricts blood flow to a limb – was listed in a recent report on rising litigation costs by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) as one of the top five areas of substantial claims in GP practice.

If peripheral ischaemia is unrecognised or left untreated it can lead to ulcers, gangrene and amputation. Diabetics, smokers and sufferers of coronary artery disease are at increased risk, regardless of age, but 20% of adults over the age of 60 are believed to have some degree of peripheral artery disease.

Ischaemia to a limb can also be caused by surgical errors, such as mismanaged peri-operative anti-coagulation where the patient is known to be at risk of thrombosis or surgical injury to the popliteal artery.

If you have suffered an amputation or a serious injury with future risk of amputation as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact us on mednegclaims@boyesturner.com.

Is the Boyes Turner personal injury team right for you?

When someone has suffered a personal injury it is essential that they pick the right solicitor to assist them with their claim.

Carefully selecting the correct solicitor will ensure that you have:

  1. Access to up to date legal advice.
  2. Advice from a large network of specialists that we work with, such as medical experts, barristers, financial and welfare benefit advisors, employment and educational experts, housing and conveyancing specialists, and more.
  3. Access to specialist care and rehabilitation providers to assist you in your recovery journey.
  4. A speedy conclusion of your claim.
  5. Peace of mind that you will receive the compensation you need to secure your future.

No two claims are the same, even if the injuries are similar or if they were injured in the same accident. Thankfully Boyes Turner’s team of dedicated personal injury specialists are able to advise on all types of personal injury claims from minor injuries right through to life changing injuries such as brain injuries, spinal injuries and amputations.

Below we give you a quick introduction to the partners in the team and the specialisms they hold.

Kim Smerdon

Kim Smerdon leads Boyes Turner’s highly regarded personal injury team. A specialist in catastrophic injury cases, Kim acts for clients with acquired brain damage, spinal injuries and serious orthopaedic injuries.

Kim has extensive experience of all types of personal injury cases and has acted for clients who have been injured in road traffic accidents, in the workplace, as a result of defective products and criminal injuries.

A keen charity fundraiser, Kim recently completed the 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours to raise over £35,000 for The Debbie Fund, a charity set up to raise funds for research into cervical cancer.

Kim is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel and an accredited senior litigator and brain injury specialist with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). She is an associate member of the Child Brain Injury Trust, and a member of the Brain Injury Social Work Group, Headway and Spinal Injuries Panel Solicitors. She is a Headway Life Member, a trustee of Headway Thames Valley and trustee of the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, a charity committed to saving young people’s lives by promoting safer cycling and benefits of using a cycle helmet. 

Claire Roantree

As a partner in Boyes Turner’s highly regarded personal injury team, Claire acts for clients with life-changing injuries, such as mild to very severe brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, severe burns, complex orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injury, chronic pain and PTSD. 

Claire works closely with the defendant insurers, using the Rehabilitation Code and securing interim payments to provide her injured clients with the treatment, care, facilities and support that they need to get their rehabilitation underway straight away, without losing valuable recovery time whilst waiting for final settlement at the conclusion of the claim. Working with experts in a variety of medical and therapeutic disciplines, professional case managers and carers, the client’s immediate needs are prioritised – recovery and rehabilitation – whilst the claim is quantified to make maximum provision  for their future needs for ongoing care, support and financial security.

A keen charity supporter and fundraiser she has used her love of running and walking to fundraise for The Children's Trust, Tadworth. She has run events for Headway SW London for whom she was a trustee for six years. She is a trustee for Cycle Smart and supports the charity’s campaign to raise cycling safety awareness and reduce road traffic accidents. 

Claire is a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel, APIL (Brain Injury Specialist Interest Group), Headway and ABIL (Acquired Brain Injury across London).

As you can see there is no type of claim that the team cannot handle and together they are confident that they can assist you in achieving the best recovery possible as well as the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you would like to speak to our specialist personal injury team please do not hesitate to contact us for a free no obligation advice by email piclaims@boyesturner.com.

Scaffolding and workplace accidents falling, says NASC 2018 Safety Report

The 2018 Safety Report of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has revealed that the number of workplace accidents and serious injuries reported by its members reached an all-time low in 2017.

What were the 2018 Safety Report findings?

NASC members reported no fatalities at all. Out of a total 89 workplace accidents, there were only 17 major injuries – a reduction both in incidents and injuries from the previous year. In particular, falls from heights had reduced by 46% compared to 2016 and no members of the public were injured around NASC members’ scaffolding.

As the trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK, NASC provides HSE approved safety and technical guidance for scaffolding contractors, their workforce and their clients. Established in 1945, NASC’s membership currently extends to over 240 leading contracting firms, scaffolding manufacturers and businesses, representing more than 16,000 scaffolding workers. NASC’s members undergo strict auditing to make sure that they comply with the highest possible standards of safety. In this way, NASC provides the construction industry with an assurance that its members will be trained, behave and work according to its benchmark codes of conduct, practice and safety.

The President of NASC commended the latest report’s findings as a demonstration of what can be achieved in terms of reduction of workplace accidents through strict compliance with NASC’s industry benchmark standards. Since 2012 reported numbers and frequency of accidents amongst NASC members have reduced by over a third. He reiterated, however, that workplace falls on the same level to remain prevalent and can lead to serious injury or death. Health and safety compliance remains the key to the reduction of workplace injuries.

What can Boyes Turner do to help?

Boyes Turner’s serious injury lawyers welcome the positive findings of the NASC’s 2018 Safety Report. As experts in brain injury, spinal injury severe disability, mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease claims, we help clients who have been disabled by accidents in the workplace, in hospitals, and on the roads, or who have lost family members upon whom they were financially dependent to obtain the rehabilitation and financial compensation that they need to rebuild their lives.

If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured after a fall from height at work and would like to discuss a claim please contact a member of our specialist personal injury team by email piclaims@boyesturner.com.

Colour the world Orange 2017 - International Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Day

To mark today’s International Complex Regional Pain Syndrome awareness day – Colour the World Orange – we have produced an infographic detailing the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).

Buildings across the world are set to turn orange to mark the occasion, the UK buildings are:

·       TRAFALGAR SQUARE FOUNTAINS IN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 6

·       EMIRATES SPINNAKER TOWER IN PORTSMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 6

·       FRESH DIRECT ARENA IN LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 6

·       SWINDON CENTRAL LIBRARY IN SWINDON, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 6

·       GATESHEAD MILLENNIUM BRIDGE IN GATESHEAD, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 6

·       MANCHESTER TOWN HALL IN MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 2

·       BLACKPOOL TOWER IN BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 8

As personal injury claim specialists we see a number of chronic pain cases, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, one of the most painful types of pain. In our experience, clients develop CRPS after fractures, soft tissue injuries or burns which usually involve extensive swelling and lead to an abnormal neurological pain response that magnifies the effect of their original injury.

If you have been involved in an accident and suffer from chronic pain as a result then get in touch with our expert personal injury claim lawyers by email PIClaims@boyesturner.com.

The use of technology in rehabilitation following an injury

As claimant brain injury specialists, Boyes Turner are keen advocates of the use of rehabilitation to expedite a person’s recovery following an accident.

At the same time defendants in personal injury claims are encouraged to provide suitable rehabilitative treatment to claimants to assist them in their recovery.

What rehabilitative options are available to injured persons?

Traditionally, rehabilitation involved adopting physical methods to assist in recovery, for example, physiotherapy or hydrotherapy treatment to aid muscle/strength recovery. One-to-one sessions with a counsellor or neuro-rehabilitation specialist were also used to assist with cognitive behavior therapy. Whilst these forms of rehabilitative therapy are still valid and in many cases the most suitable therapy available, they can take time,  be expensive and not always convenient to the injured person.

In the modern era there is a wealth of technology available to assist rehabilitation specialists when providing rehabilitative therapy and also to allow patients to attend therapy at a time which is convenient to them and often in the comfort of their own home.  This article discusses some of the technological aided rehabilitative therapies available to injured people.

 

Online exercise programmes and training diaries

Physical therapy

Online applications (apps) can now be used for providing patients with exercise programmes to follow at home to assist in their recovery.  These apps provide the following benefits:

  • Physical exercises can be easily demonstrated to the patient using helpful videos.
  • Easy-to-understand information can be provided to teach patients about their posture, body mechanics and how the body repairs itself via physical therapy.
  • The videos and information can be replayed or re-read a number of times by the patient to ensure they fully understand information. This avoids the problem of patients forgetting the instruction that they received during a time-limited in person
  • Some apps have video recording facilities enabling the patient to record their training so that the treatment provider can analyse normal versus abnormal movement patterns in activities such as walking and running.
  • The videos can also be used for research purposes to help evaluate and treat people with movement impairments.
  • Many apps have a therapy diary which can be updated as the patient trains. This helps the patient to keep a track of their training and also allows their therapist to ensure they are complying with training requirements. Additionally, if the patient is making good progress, the therapist can upgrade the treatment program electronically without the need for an in-person appointment.
  • Some apps use video games as part of the physical therapy training. The use of games makes training fun and motivates patients to take part.
  • The use of these apps also provides a time and cost saving benefit to both the treatment provider and the patient, making rehabilitation more accessible, cheaper and less time consuming.

Neurological therapy

Apps can also be used for providing patients with neurological rehabilitation programmes to follow at home to assist in their recovery. Examples of online neurological rehabilitation therapy include:

  • Apps that are used to provide physical, visual and audible stimulation to patients requiring neural rehabilitation to aid their recovery. Again these apps can be monitored by neuro-therapists to monitor a patient’s progress and, if necessary, treatment programmes can be upgraded remotely.
  • Apps that are designed to assist brain-injured people in living their day-to-day lives, such as apps that allow patients to follow checklists when using public transport or doing chores such as shopping. Family members or friends can also log in to these apps to provide ideas or support to the patient remotely.
  • App users can talk to other patients with similar problems in online chat room sessions. This helps the patient to avoid feeling alone in their rehabilitation journey, reducing depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.  A patient with a healthier outlook on life will be more receptive to treatment.
  • As with the physical therapy apps, these apps provide time and cost saving benefits to both the treatment provider and the patient.

Technology assisted physical training

There have been developments in technology assisted physical training, for example:

  • Anti-gravity treadmills are now available to assist with physical rehabilitation therapy and ambulation.
  • The benefit of these types of treadmills is that they greatly reduce the amount of weight placed on the patient’s lower body.  This reduces pain and pressure on bones and joints whilst exercising and working on their gait.
  • Underwater treadmills reduce pressure on bones and joints whilst also providing measured resistance which assists in recovery.
  • Many of these treadmills are fitted with underwater cameras which can help the treatment provider monitor gait and recovery and can also help to evaluate and treat people with movement impairments.
  • Exoskeleton suits are available now to assist people with walking disabilities.

Boyes Turner work closely with a network of healthcare professionals and specialist rehabilitation organisations, which enables us to ensure our clients receive early support and rehabilitative intervention, to assist them in rebuilding their lives after serious injury. Our aim is to help our clients have the best chance of maximising their recovery and returning to a life that allows them to bring closure to what has happened to them and move on.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury due to no fault of their own and would like to discuss pursuing a possible claim for compensation and funding for rehabilitative treatment please email the team at PIClaims@boyesturner.com.

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