Personal Injury

 

Introducing Kim Smerdon, head of the Personal Injury team

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. We pulled Kim away from her desk for 60 seconds to answer some questions…

What motivated you to specialise in personal injury law?

During my training contract, I spent a year in the litigation department working mostly on personal injury cases. I, alongside my training partner, acted for some very badly injured people. Seeing their struggles and determination motivated me to continue to help those who needed it.

Describe the most memorable case that you’ve won for a client.

I acted for a young man who was shaken by his father when he was 9 weeks old and sustained a severe brain injury, I worked with him for a number of years, settling his case when he was 19. He was awarded in excess of 3.5million by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. He is now under the care of our Court of Protection team who help him manage his compensation.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

The most rewarding part of what I do is seeing the difference that our involvement makes. Where I can, I arrange early rehabilitation to ensure that they can maximise their recovery. We are partnered with charities and support organisations who can help people who have sustained a serious injury get back on their feet (either literally or metaphorically!) and it’s a great to see the improvement in people we work so closely with.

Outside of work I am a trustee for Headway Thames Valley. The majority of my day job is obtaining compensation for those who have suffered a head injury and I wanted to become more involved in this area on another level and help those who don’t necessarily have the benefit of a compensation claim. Headway Thames Valley is a local head injury charity, supporting not only those with a head injury but their families too – the majority of these people do not receive assistance as part of a legal claim so it is so rewarding to be able to help those people in my local community.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is having to deal with all the changes that limit access to justice eg by severely limiting or in some cases totally excluding the recovery of costs so that innocent victims lose some of their compensation – which is often needed for ongoing rehabilitation or to cover lost past or future earnings.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who has suffered a personal injury?

If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault make sure that you find a good lawyer who has experience of dealing with claims like yours. It’s not all about the final sum received at the conclusion of the case – we help to obtain rehabilitation as soon as possible -  both emotionally and physically – to optimise your recovery and get you back to living a full a life as possible.

Describe your average day in three words:

There is no average day! But I do find each day interesting, rewarding – and busy!

To find out more about how the team can help you or to ask about making a claim contact them by email at personalinjury@boyesturner.com.

Why do children need to wear cycle helmets?

The health benefits of cycling are widely recognised for children who cycle for fun in parks and off-road environments, but also on the roads to get to school. Health and fitness, as well as environmental concerns, are great reasons to encourage kids to use their bikes for getting around, but as our brain injury lawyers know only too well, there are also risks to cycling on the road. 

How can parents encourage safer cycling?

Teaching children good road sense, the highway code and ‘bikeability’ or cycling proficiency can help them avoid being the cause of an accident, but serious injury from falls and collisions can still occur even when the child is riding carefully, from dangerous road and weather conditions or the carelessness of other road users.

To protect their child’s head from severe brain injury in the event of an accident, leading brain injury charity, Headway, and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) both advise parents to ensure that children always wear a cycle helmet.

Does wearing a cycle helmet reduce the risk of serious brain injury?

Absolutely! The purpose of a cycle helmet is to prevent or reduce the extent of injury to a cyclist’s head during a fall from the bike or a collision. The devastation caused by severe brain injury cannot be understated. Preventing skull fracture and severe brain injury is precisely what a cycle helmet is designed to do.

What does the brain injury charity, Headway, say about cycle helmets?

Headway believe that all cyclists should wear cycle helmet and that wearing helmets should be compulsory for children. They support their strong position by saying that it is based on research and expert opinion from leading neurosurgeons, together with common sense which dictates that wearing a cycle helmet will offer greater protection to a person’s fragile skull than not wearing one.

What does RoSPA, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, say about cycle helmets?

RoSPA strongly recommend that cyclists wear a cycle helmet, which reduces the risk of suffering a serious head or brain injury in an accident. However, they point out that cycle helmets alone do not prevent crashes from happening, nor guarantee survival. They are a secondary safety feature which provide a last line of defence for the cyclist’s head.  Therefore, preventing collisions from happening in the first place must be paramount. Unlike Headway, although RoSPA firmly believes cyclists should wear cycle helmets, it doesn’t call for compulsory cycle helmet laws. 

What does the law say about cycle helmets?

Despite the protection that a cycle helmet can offer, cyclists in the UK are not required by law to wear a helmet, however, the Highway Code states that cyclists ‘should wear a cycle helmet that conforms to current regulation, is the correct size and securely fastened’.

What do the statistics from research studies say about cycle helmets?

RoSPA refers to a number of studies which have shown how cycle helmets can help reduce and prevent serious brain injury. The statistics include:

  • a Cochrane Review of five case-control studies from different countries which suggested that helmets decreased the risk of injury to the head and brain by 65%-88%, and injury to the upper and mid-face by 65%;
  • a French study found that helmets contributed to a 24%-31% reduction in head injury and a 70% reduction in head injuries categorised above level 2 (moderate injury);
  • research into police data regarding cycling crashes over a five-year period from the Road Authority of Victoria  found that not wearing a helmet increased the risk of severe injury by 56%;
  • a study by McNally and Whitehead found that helmets effectively reduced the severity of head injuries over a full range of simulations. Where head impact occurred, the risk of serious injury (above level 3) was reduced by 40%;
  • cycle helmets have been found by many studies to make less of a difference at high energy impact with a vehicle but could prevent fatality in a third of high impact RTA cases;
  • the most recent and extensive review by Olivier and Creighton compared 64,000 casualties with and without helmets and estimates that wearing a cycle helmet reduces the risk of severe head injury by 69% and the risk of fatal head injury by 65%.

Headway refers to a 2018 study in the academic journal, Accident Analysis & Prevention, which gathered the findings of 55 studies from 1989 – 2017 and found that cycle helmets:

  • reduced head injury by 48%;
  • reduced serious head injury by 60%;
  • reduced traumatic brain injury by 53%;
  • reduced facial injury by 23%;
  • reduced the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%.

Commenting on this study, Headway’s Chief Executive, Peter McCabe, said:

“There is an overwhelming body of evidence proving the effectiveness of helmets in reducing the risk of cyclists sustaining life-changing brain injuries. This latest piece of comprehensive research is yet another part of scientific evidence that reinforces this fact. It also highlights that although cyclists can take every care to avoid accidents, at times there are simply things that are outside of their control, such as icy road conditions or other road users. Cycling is a fabulous way to keep fit and active and at Headway we are passionate about promoting safe cycling, while supporting measures to make it safer for people of all ages to take to their bikes and get pedalling. Sadly however, we also know easy it can be to sustain a brain injury and the devastating effects that can result. Our message to all cyclists is please use your head – use a helmet”

Why do some people argue against making cycle helmets compulsory?

Reasons given by people who don’t want cycle helmets to be compulsory include:

  • it was suggested that some studies showed that cyclists or vehicle drivers take more risks, (such as riding faster or overtaking at closer distance) when the cyclist is wearing a helmet, however, further analysis of this research has disproved this idea, which is also known as ‘risk compensation’;
  • cyclists may be less aware of surroundings because of the fit of their helmet; 
  • some people are concerned that helmets may put people off cycling (losing the health benefits), either because they are perceived as not cool or uncomfortable or give the impression that cycling is a high risk activity.  However, as Headway points out, mandatory use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets were initially argued against but in retrospect the benefits are now accepted.

What CAN’T a cycle helmet do?

The purpose of a cycle helmet is to reduce the extent and severity of the injury to the cyclist’s head and brain when a collision (or fall from the bike) occurs.

Clearly, wearing a cycle helmet alone cannot:

  • prevent a road traffic accident (RTA) or fall from the bike from occurring;
  • prevent all injuries – but it reduces the chances of devastating severe brain injury;
  • change the road infrastructure or make cycling safer in other ways on the roads – that must be dealt with by the government and the highway authorities. Headway and ROSPA both call for a range of additional measures to improve cycling safety, including safe cycling lanes and campaigning for education.

How does not wearing a cycling helmet in a road traffic accident (RTA) affect a cyclist’s brain injury claim? 

If a cyclist is head-injured in a road traffic collision that was caused by another driver’s negligence and their injury could have been prevented or reduced if they were wearing a cycle helmet, the driver’s insurers may argue that their failure to wear a helmet contributed to their own injury and their compensation award may be significantly reduced. 

Knowing the facts about cycle helmets and brain injury, what CAN a parent do?

Whether cycle helmets for children ever become mandatory in the UK remains to be seen, but the benefits of cycle helmets in reducing risk of serious brain injury are clear. It’s up to parents to do what we can to encourage our children to cycle safely and wear a correctly fitting helmet, so that they can enjoy being healthy and safe on their bikes.

Always:

  • ensure that the child’s bike is roadworthy and suitable in size for the child;
  • ensure the child wears a helmet;
  • ensure the helmet is made to correct safety standards – EN1080 in the case of children’s helmets and fits properly to maximise benefit, comfort and visibility;
  • ensure high visibility clothing is worn and there are lights on the bike – some helmets have built in rear lights;
  • ensure the child follows the highway code;
  • set a good example as an adult by using good road sense and wearing a helmet when cycling.

How can Boyes Turner help?

Boyes Turner’s personal injury team are recognised as national experts in the Legal 500 and Chambers directories for their expertise and experience in helping brain-injured cyclists and their families obtain rehabilitation, care, adapted accommodation, equipment, therapies and substantial compensation following road traffic accidents.

If you or a family member have suffered brain injury or serious disability in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, and would like to find out more about making a claim, contact us by email at piclaims@boyesturner.com.

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.

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.

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.

Do you know about Young Carers Day?

Across the world thousands of people are reliant upon others for care and assistance in order to get through the day.  The level of care required can range from simple assistance with fetching items through to more complex nursing and personal care needs, such as assisting with washing and dressing, feeding and toileting. 

For those without the benefit of a compensation award for professional care costs, the role of carer is often taken on by a young family member, such as a child, grandchild or a younger sibling. The young carer’s role can be physically and emotionally draining, can limit their social lives and impact on their studies. 

It is estimated that there are approximately 700,000 young carers in the UK. 

To recognise the amazing efforts young carers go to when supporting their loved ones, a national Young Carers Awareness Day is held each year.  This year the event falls on 25 January 2018. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for young carers and their valuable work, to raise funds to assist them and to ensure professional support is in place to meet their own needs which can become neglected whilst they look after the needs of others. 

Boyes Turner’s personal injury team supports the aims of Young Carers Awareness Day. We recognise the extent to which our seriously injured clients are often dependent on young carers for assistance with everyday living following an accident, providing emotional support and facilitating their rehabilitation.  Where the injury was the result of negligence on the road, in the workplace, at school or in hospital we can help families with the financial hardship and emotional strain of caring for a loved one after amputation, spinal injury, brain damage or other serious injury by recovering the costs of professional or family care, hoists, wheelchairs, specialist beds and other equipment, adapted housing to facilitate integrated family life for the injured person, and much-needed respite for the carers. 

Boyes Turner’s specialist injury lawyers have extensive experience in working with case managers and therapists in conjunction with the family, to ensure that the injured person’s needs are properly met, with the right combination of family and professional support to maximise the injured person’s rehabilitation, independence and quality of life with the support, but not to the detriment, of the family carers.  

If you or someone you know is a young carer and would like some advice or support please visit the Carers Trust website here

This website also has lots of useful information about Young Carers Awareness Day and how you can get involved. 
 

The importance of pursuing a personal injury claim

Personal injury victims often ask whether it is worthwhile for them to pursue a legal claim following an accident. Personal injury victims can be cautious about claiming for various reasons, such as:

  • They are scared they may lose their job because their accident occurred in the workplace
  • They are unsure of whether they were owed a legal duty of care
  • They do not think they will be able to prove who was at fault
  • They do not believe they will gain much from pursuing a claim
  • They believe the claims process is difficult, timely and expensive.

In this article the reasons for and benefits of pursuing a claim for personal injuries are explained.

Responsibility

There are various circumstances in which personal injuries are suffered as a result of the negligence of another person or entity. As personal injury solicitors, we tend to see cases that arise from:

  • Ignorance of the law
  • Failing to keep abreast with health and safety requirements
  • Failing to provide personal protective equipment to employees such as gloves or safety boots simply to save money
  • Failing to educate and train employees on safe working practices
  • Failing to implement safe working practices within the work force
  • Failing to maintain premises in a good state of repair for the benefit of employees or visitors to the workplace
  • Poor maintenance of public highways
  • Poor maintenance of equipment or machinery.

In these cases the negligent party has either ignored the law or acted in a negligent manner, usually in an attempt to save time and money at the cost of the injured person’s health.

The law places a responsibility on:

  • Employers to protect employees in the workplace
  • The owners and operators of public places, such as supermarkets, to ensure visitors are safe when visiting the premises
  • Local authorities to ensure highways and public places are well maintained and are safe to use
  • Medical experts and medical treatment providers to ensure that people are treated according to reasonable standards
  • Main contractors to protect sub-contracted employees.

If these responsibilities are breached then the person or entity has broken the law and should be held to account for their wrong-doings.

Why is it so important to pursue a claim? 

Justice

Morally, the most important reason for pursuing a legal claim is to achieve justice. If you have been injured through no fault of your own you have a right to ensure that the person or entity that caused the injuries is held accountable for their actions.

Proving negligence can be an extremely lengthy and complex task. The personal injury team at Boyes Turner has been operating for over 30 years and collectively has over 58 years of experience in dealing with all personal injury claims ranging from minor whiplash injuries to life-changing brain and spinal injury. Our extensive experience means you can rest assured that we have the skills and expertise to handle your claim and achieve the best possible outcome.

Treatments, medication and aids

Following an injury you may require treatment, medication and aids.

The type and level of injury suffered will determine exactly what your treatment requirements will be. Typical treatments, medications and aids that personal injury victims may require include:

  • Prosthetics after amputation
  • Walking aids such as a stick, a wheel chair or a motorised scooter
  • Stair lifts
  • NHS prescriptions
  • Over the counter medications
  • Non-NHS provided medical treatments and equipment
  • Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Holistic treatments.

The costs of these items can quickly add up and should not be paid for by a personal injury victim and should be recovered in a successful legal claim.

Loss of income

Many personal injury victims find themselves having to reduce their working hours, either temporarily during their recovery period, or permanently, in part or in full, owing to their ongoing disability.

In cases of fatal injury, the bereaved family may suffer extreme hardship from the loss of their former loved one’s income. Where the death of the family member was caused by someone else’s negligence and the financial loss to the dependant family can be proven, these losses can be recovered in a successful personal injury claim.

Care and assistance

Personal injury victims may require care and assistance with their day to day living following the accident. In cases of serious, life-changing injuries, the need for care and assistance can be life-long and constant.

Care needs may include:

  • Assistance with dressing
  • Assistance with bathing and toileting
  • Running errands and fetching items
  • Assistance going up and down stairs
  • Assistance with daily chores
  • Physical support
  • Assistance in getting to and from medical appointments
  • Psychological support
  • After care following surgery
  • Assistance with medication.

All of these types of care go over and above the usual care and assistance provided by a spouse or family member and can be very draining on the carer. The provision of this care sometimes also prevents the carer from going to work resulting in a further financial loss.

A successful legal claim would include a sum of money to compensate the carer for the care and assistance they have provided or in cases of severe injury, financial provision would be made for the employment of professional carers.

Out of pocket expenses

All personal injury victims will incur out of pocket expenses due to their accident, such as the  treatments, medications, aids and loss of earnings discussed above.  Further out of pocket expenses could also include:

  • Travel expenses in attending medical appointments
  • Parking expenses in attending medical appointments
  • Paying for professional assistance with household activities, such as gardening, window cleaning, decorating and general DIY that the injured person can no longer manage owing to their injury
  • Replacement clothing costs.

A successful legal claim would cater for these costs to be repaid to you.

Funeral expenses

Where the negligence has led to the victim’s death, reasonable funeral expenses will also be included in the claim.

If you or someone you know would like to discuss the possibility of pursuing a legal claim please call us on 0118 952 7137 for a free confidential discussion.

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The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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