Slip and trip news

 

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.

Slip on greasy floor at Starbucks

A 71-year-old woman has recovered compensation from Starbucks after falling in one of their coffee outlets.

In order to claim compensation the injured person has to be able to prove negligence. In this case Starbucks were to blame because staff had been told of the hazard by another customer but had failed to clear it up. Starbucks accepted full liability for the accident as a result.

Public places such as cafes, shops and supermarkets have a duty as occupiers to keep visitors – people they have invited onto their premises to use their services, or anyone visiting in the course of their employment – safe from harm. A spillage could be the fault of an unknown fellow visitor and the occupier will not always be to blame, but they must have a good cleaning system in place, and if it can be shown that they had been alerted to a problem but failed to deal with it within a reasonable time then they will probably be held to blame and liable to pay compensation.

Slip on fruit award of £112k

The media gleefully reported the case of the unfortunate shopper and the slippery fruit accident last week.

Shopkeeper Onkar Singh Gill was ordered to pay almost £112,000 in compensation after a customer slipped on a couple of grapes on the pavement outside the grocer’s shop. Samira Hassan broke both her wrists in the fall and has required care since the accident in 2005.

Although Mr Gill insisted that he and his staff had taken all reasonable steps to keep the pavement clear the court ruled against him and awarded compensation to the victim.

Kim Smerdon, a Personal Injury lawyer specialising in supermarket and shop accident claims, comments: “Supermarkets and shops owe a legal duty to visitors to keep them safe from hazards. The main causes of supermarket accidents are slips on spills of liquids or produce, wet floors and trips over boxes and pallets. Injured shoppers often believe they cannot claim or are too embarrassed to claim. If the accident could have been prevented then they may be entitled to compensation. Injured shoppers may suffer loss of earnings and family members may have to look after them.Compensation can help deal with these expenses.”

Slip and trip accidents result in thousands in compensation pay outs

Hundreds of thousands of pounds are being paid out to people who have injured themselves falling over uneven pavements paths and potholes due to local authority failure to properly maintain public areas. Payouts are covered by insurance and authority and council funding.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has reportedly commented: “The more serious injuries sustained in falls are not only distressing but can also impose major costs on the NHS, so sensible preventive maintenance makes sound economic sense.”

Kim Smerdon, a Specialist Personal Injury Solicitor at Boyes Turner, said “Slip and trip accidents are probably the most common types of accidents. They can cause serious injuries such as Head injuryBack injury and spinal injury and can lead to permanent disability and long term problems. Routine checks are carried out by local councils but do not always pick up problem areas. People should be encouraged to report broken pavements and pothole problems when they see them.

Boyes Turner have a dedicated Personal Injury Team who specialise in these types of claims, not only where the accident occurs in a public place, but also where there is a slip, fall or accident at work and can provide early advice.”

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.

Claims client

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