Latest compensation news from WinWales
09 November 2014
A mobile climbing wall company has paid £10,000 in accident compensation after being found to have improperly supervised a minor who was climbing without a safety rope.
After climbing to the top of the wall, 15 year-old Jade Raynor, let go in order to drop back down - not realising that the supervisor hadn’t attached the safety line to her harness. The fall resulted in a nasty fracture.
Jade said: “The accident has really affected me. I used to dance and play football and I can’t do those things anymore. I still have a lot of pain in my leg and back, but the company never acknowledged or apologised for what happened.”
The company denied accident liability throughout, but it was clear that it was in the wrong. Jade’s solicitor commented “the fact that the company failed to keep Jade properly secured at all times is clearly irresponsible, and resulted in a child being put at risk of very serious harm.”
17 October 2014
Tripping on a broken pavement usually causes little more than a grazed knee - for some though, it can result in broken bones or worse - here's how to claim.....
Part of the council's job is to keep public spaces safe and in good condition
Have you ever walked over broken or uneven paving slabs and thought "there's an accident waiting to happen"?
Well, count yourself lucky as chances are, someone else won’t see it.
We tend to think of tripping on a loose or raised paving stone as something that happens to the elderly or frail - those who aren't so steady on their feet. But the facts don't bear this out.
Fortunately, tripping and falling on a broken or uneven pavement usually causes little more than a grazed knee and a bruised ego.
For some, it can result in broken bones, muscle damage and other serious injuries.
One of the main jobs of local councils is to keep public spaces in good repair, safe and fit for purpose.
So if you suffer an injury from their failure to do this, then you can make a compensation claim.
How to make a successful claim...
1. Check the details
The surface defect that caused the accident must be reasonably serious.
As a rule of thumb, the raised paving stone or pothole needs to measure a minimum of an inch to be considered for compensation. Smaller defects do cause accidents, but the law tends not to hold councils responsible.
2. You only have three years
Secondly, if you want to make a claim, you need to do so within 3 years of the accident.
3. Is it 'reasonably serious'?
It must have caused a reasonably serious injury – a grazed knee that heals up after a week or two probably won't get much sympathy from a judge.
4. Keep everything
It's essential that you see a doctor immediately, that all your injuries are recorded, and that you get a certificate for any time you need off work.
Collect as much evidence of the accident as you can.
Take photographs of the scene - place a coin or box of matches next to the defect to show how big it is in comparison.
Make a note of the weather conditions, street lighting and so on - anything that might have contributed to your fall.
Try and get the names and contact details of any witnesses, and write a letter to your local council to report the accident, keeping a copy for your records.
Can you claim?
Your claim is not guaranteed to succeed, though, even if you have a serious fall and you do all these things.
Your claim can be rejected if the council can prove that they have a good system in place to inspect the pavement, and they have carried out these inspections on a regular basis.
An experienced lawyer knows how to challenge this kind of defence, and can greatly improve your chances of a successful claim.
(Daily Mirror article)
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.
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