Latest compensation news from WinWales
27 September 2014
Some of the jobs which cause the most fatalities and injuries in the UK are not the ones you might usually expect.
In the UK builders are putting themselves at risk - 39 people died in the construction industry between 2012 and 2013, the majority of them by falling from a height. According to the Guardian it is the most dangerous sector in the country, with more construction workers killed on British sites since 2001 than British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the same period.
It is an unpleasant job, but being a bin man also carries risks. Ten people died collecting, treating and disposing of waste between 2012 and 213 according to the Health and Safety Executive's latest figures. The industry has a fatality rate of 7.8 per 100,000 employees.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing is the riskiest industrial sector; accounting for approximately one in five fatal injuries to workers. Of the 29 workers fatally injured between 2012 and 2013 almost half were farmers, while another 17 per cent were hired hands in the industry. Five of these were killed by animals, while five more died by drowning or asphyxiation.
There are only three remaining deep pit coal mines in the UK but this once thriving industry is still a threat to workers. Between 2012 and 2013 there were two deaths and more than 150 injuries in the mining and quarrying industry. Due to the industry's small size, the fatality rate is the highest in the country at 9.6 per 100,000 employees.
While there were no fatal injuries in the retail industry between 2012 and 2013, there were 1619 "major injuries" in the sector with almost 7,000 injuries reported in total. For some shopkeepers it can be a risky business especially when criminals attack.
Car salesmen and mechanics are at risk in their jobs with eight deaths recorded between 2012 and 2013 and nearly 300 major injuries.
Education is the most injury prone sector according to the HSA with 1,736 people reporting non-fatal major injuries between 2012 and 2013, although there were no reported deaths in that period.
It may seem unlikely but one person was killed between 2012 and 2013 in the "libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities industry". There were also 46 non-fatal major injuries.
It might seem to be a sedate career path, but the HSE say that four people died in the rental and leasing activities industry between 2012 and 2013, with 70 people suffering from major, but non-fatal, injuries in the same period
27 September 2014
More than £13,000 has been awarded in injury compensation after an NHS Foundation Trust worker was attacked at work.
Andrew Eurich and a colleague were escorting a patient down a corridor using standard restraint techniques when the patient barged into him with force, resulting in Andrew falling into a fire door and tearing the cartilage in his lower back.
Mr Eurich was taken to hospital for immediate treatment, and despite physiotherapy and acupuncture treatments, Mr Eurich's pain continues requiring on-going injections to help alleviate his symptoms.
Because his injury limited him from doing any manual handling, he was not capable of doing his job and had to retire on medical grounds.
Mr Eurich said: “I don’t blame the patient for what happened to me, but I am very upset that it has ended my career. I had worked at the care home for seven years and thoroughly enjoyed my job, but I became physically incapable of carrying out the tasks that were required of me.”
04 September 2014
The media would have us believe that we live in a “compensation culture”, in which thousands of people play the system to receive pay-outs they don’t deserve. But a report recently published by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Trade Union Congress revealed that the opposite may in fact be true.
Entitled ‘The Compensation Myth’, the report found that whilst 610,000 people were injured at work in 2012-13, only 90,000 successful compensation claims were made.
This means that around 85% of people injured or made ill at work do not recover any compensation. Indeed, the report demonstrates that even the overall number of claims is dropping. There were 183,342 accident at work claims in 2002. By 2012, this had more than halved to 91,115.
04 September 2014
David Tucker from Burton on Trent was walking across a pedestrian crossing on Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, when a driver who had failed to stop at a red light hit David side on knocking him to the ground.
The 57-year-old underwriter was knocked unconscious and was taken to Burton Hospital for treatment.
A broken knee left David immobilised and off work for five months which included three months of intensive physiotherapy after he had got over the shock of the accident and the surgery.
David said: “It was very traumatic after my accident. Getting over the shock of being knocked down and unconscious was tough but adjusting to life with a broken knee made it all the harder.
“I relied on my wife to help me with everyday tasks as I wasn’t able to do anything for myself. My knee will never be as strong as it was. I can’t stand on my leg for long periods of time and I can’t sit down for too long either because my knee gets very stiff.”
14 August 2014
A kitchen worker at Pengar School in Llanelli, who was left in agony after continually lifting sacks of potatoes onto a trolley, has secured thousands of pounds in compensation from Carmarthenshire County Council.
The potato peeling machine in Tina Bowen’s school kitchen had been broken for a long period of time. As a result, she had to use a machine at a different school which left her manually lifting the heavy sacks onto a trolley and pushing them across a car park. She would then have to load the clean potatoes back onto the trolley in order to take them back to Pengar School to be cooked.
During one trip, Tina felt severe pain in her left shoulder. She was absent from work for six months, during which time she lost vital earnings and struggled with the simplest of day to day tasks.
“I can barely describe how unbearable the pain in my shoulder was during those six months,” said Tina.
“My movement was so restricted that I could hardly even dress myself. I wish that the management had fixed the potato peeler earlier or provided me with a safe alternative; this could all have been avoided.”
Margaret Thomas, UNISON Regional Secretary in Wales, said: “When important equipment breaks down, it isn't good enough for employers to just expect employees to lump it and make do - it's about putting safe alternatives in place. We are pleased that we were able to help secure Tina the compensation she deserved for her injury but remain baffled as to why the Council didn’t fix the problem in the first place to avoid the injury.”
14 August 2014
A recent case shows how drunken horse-play can lead to injury – but also that compensation can successfully be claimed in these cases.
In the incident, a lady had returned home from a night out with her then boyfriend who was somewhat the worse for wear. For reasons best known to himself he decided to give her a fireman’s lift whilst they were in the kitchen. Whilst doing so he lost his footing, slipped and dropped her onto the hard concrete floor resulting in a significant shoulder injury.
Understandably, the lady was initially reluctant to claim compensation, despite the serious nature of her injuries, because the claim was being brought against her boyfriend.
Initial investigations showed he was insured, and so letters of claim could be sent to the insurer. Having investigated the accident circumstances, the insurer made a speedy admission of liability, and a compensation settlement was agreed.
31 July 2014
There are around 25,000 incidents every year in the UK involving uninsured drivers.
Accidents happen – it’s a fact of life. It’s also the reason why we take out insurance.
But if someone else is at fault, then it’s that person’s insurance that pays for any damage or injury you suffer.
So what happens if that person isn’t insured?
All motorists are required by law to have a valid insurance policy. But as we all know, not everyone obeys the law. No-one knows exactly how many uninsured drivers there are on Britain’s roads, but a fair estimate is about 1.2 million. Which is roughly one driver in every 36, although that could climb to as many as one in five in inner cities.
The chances of being hit by an uninsured driver are about a hundred times higher in the UK than in Germany. There about 1 in 500 drivers are uninsured, while in Sweden the figure is about one in 1,000. So it’s a particular problem for law-abiding British motorists.
So what happens if you suffer injury or property damage at the hands of an uninsured driver?
Fortunately, you’re not completely unprotected.
There are around 25,000 incidents every year in the UK involving uninsured drivers, and they’re dealt with by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). This non-profit company is funded by the insurance industry, through a levy that we all pay on top of our insurance premiums.
Provided you are insured – even if it’s only 3 Party - you should be able to make a claim on the MIB. The process works in the same way that it would if the guilty party was insured.
Of course, it’s not always easy proving that it was the other person’s fault, and claiming from the MIB can be complicated and time consuming. So it pays to have an experienced legal representative to look out for your interests.
As well as helping you with the claiming process, your lawyer can ensure that you get the right kind of medical examinations, and any treatment that you might need.
Depending on the type of injury you have suffered, you may also need to claim for the cost of long-term care and rehabilitation. Your lawyer can also help you to do this.
Chances are, if you've been in a traffic accident you’ll probably be shaken up and may not be thinking straight. But what you do in those first few moments could be critical.
The first thing is to take a note of the other vehicle's registration number. If the driver's uninsured, it's quite possible that they will leave the scene without exchanging details. Try and get names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses too, and take photographs of the scene if possible.
You should contact the Police immediately and report the incident. You must do this within 5 days of the accident if there’s damage to property, and within 14 days if someone is injured.
You should visit a medical professional as soon as you can. Even if your injuries seem minor, and even if they don’t hurt, it’s essential that you have this confirmed, particularly if you’ve taken a bang on the head.
The sooner you start the claim process the better. Having a lawyer to fight your corner can give you peace of mind as well as making sure nothing gets missed. And if you enter into a no-win-no-fee arrangement, you won’t have to pay a penny in legal costs until your claim is paid.
(Daily Mirror article)
31 July 2014
An urgent review has been launched by ABMU Health board in South Wales after it was reported that a man died after having to wait for more than four hours outside the Accident & Emergency department of the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend.
The patient was brought to the hospital in an ambulance and was assessed by a doctor whilst still in the ambulance. After this he was admitted to the accident & emergency department at 11am and became unwell two hours after this. Later on, despite the efforts of staff to resuscitate the patient, he died.
A statement released by the ABMU Health Board said:
“We are deeply saddened to report the death of a patient in the emergency department of the Princess of Wales Hospital on January 16. We wish to express our sincere condolences to the patient’s family.
“Prior to being admitted to the department, the patient was in an ambulance, attended by paramedics, for over four hours.”
The review will look into the coroner’s report and determine whether the patient’s death was avoidable and what led to the length of time he was present in the ambulance outside of the hospital itself.
The accident & emergency department was extremely busy on the day the fatality occurred and the health board are determined to learn lessons from a very sad case.
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