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Latest compensation news from WinWales

Accident Compensation: millions unclaimed every year (Daily Mirror article)

27 June 2013

As many as one in four adults have suffered from a personal injury or accident within the last five years, yet only 20 per cent of those have actually gone on to make a claim. That’s leaving millions of pounds compensation unclaimed every year. 

This is according to Personal Injury 2012 - a piece of research carried out by YouGov into the personal injury claims market. 

The report shows that road traffic accidents (RTAs) make up the majority of personal injury claims (50 per cent), while accidents in a public place ‘shop premises, public highways etc’ (excluding RTAs) account for 21 per cent and accidents in the workplace account for 16 per cent.

Mixed attitudes to compensation

In among the statistics, the report also shines a light on the some of the nation's mixed attitudes towards personal injury compensation as a whole.

While many recognise that without the help of the legal profession and "no win, no fee" agreements, insurers would try to avoid paying out for legitimate claims, there is also an underlying perception, driven by the UK’s big insurance companies, that the number of claims are getting out of hand.

Consumers also recognise that whiplash sufferers should receive compensation for their injuries - unless the motor accident occurs at very low speed, but at the same time there is a feeling that the number of claims currently in the system for whiplash is too high.

The main reason respondents gave for not pursuing a personal injury claim is that they deemed their own injury to be ‘not bad enough’ to warrant a claim.

Consequently they should seek medical advice first before making a decision, as people often under estimate the long-term effects a seemingly minor injury can cause.

The second biggest reason given for not making a claim is that the respondent did not believe in claiming compensation. Often this attitude is supported by numerous news stories of bogus claims, but few genuine injury victims would challenge the right to reasonable re-dress.

The research states that while the majority of claim settlements involve sums of less than £2,500, the average payout is £4,707, so it’s well worth taking 30 seconds of your time to see if you qualify.

According to the YouGov research, personal injury claims companies rate very highly in terms of helpfulness and the friendliness of their staff, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch.

Source:  Daily Mirror


Companies fined £60,000 after rail worker accident

05 June 2013

Babcock Rail and Swietelsky Construction have been fined £36,000 and £24,000 respectively following an investigation into a work place accident in March 2009.  Two staff at the Whitemoor Rail Depot in Cambridgeshire were crushed whilst carrying out repairs to a ballast regulator.

The railway workers were injured while using a hydraulic car jack to support an internal part of the ballast regulator, and it was found that they had not been properly trained to carry out the work.

The car jack had not been designed for the work being done, and it collapsed, causing serious injuries to the two workers.  An Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) investigation concluded that the companies had failed to properly carry out the necessary safety briefings, training, or risk assessments for the work.  This led to the workers improvising the method of repair, at considerable risk to themselves.  

Tom Wake, Principal Inspector for the ORR in the South East, said: “No employee should ever be set to work on dangerous machinery without appropriate support and training. In this instance…….. Swietelsky Construction and Babcock Rail caused two rail workers to suffer serious head injuries ……. because of poor planning and lack of employee training.”

As well as the £60,000 in fines, the companies were also ordered to pay £30,000 in legal costs.


Bridgend man wins injury compensation case against McDonald’s security guards

30 May 2013

A self-employed man who suffered severe head injuries after being attacked by security guards has been awarded injury compensation after help from solicitor Anthony Welsh.

The bricklayer, Ian de-Schoolmeester from Bridgend, was attacked after he and a group of friends were told to leave a branch of McDonalds in Cardiff, in December 2010.  The security staff, who were subcontracted from RAS Securities by McDonalds, punched Mr de-Schoolmeester and threw him to the ground with such force that he required emergency hospital treatment, including brain surgery.  He has recovered steadily following the attack and has now returned to work, but the injuries are likely to have on-going consequences including mental fatigue.

A security guard who was prosecuted following the attack escaped conviction due to insufficient evidence or witness statements. The judge criticised the failure of the police to bring more prosecutions.  Mr de-Schoolmeester instructed solicitors to claim for injury compensation - arguing that RAS Securities was responsible for its employees’ appalling behaviour.  RAS Securities settled the compensation claim out of court.

Solicitor Anthony Welsh said: “RAS Securities have a responsibility to ensure its staff are properly trained, do not abuse their position and behave appropriately when dealing with people, whatever the circumstances. It is shocking that one of its security teams can have so lost their collective self control that one of them nearly killed my client. And while his attacker goes unpunished, Ian has to try to rebuild his life as best he can while living forever with the impact of the assault.

”This compensation does not make up for the extensive injuries our client has suffered or the promising future he has lost but we hope it provides some sense of justice.


£7,700 awarded after pavement trip accident

26 May 2013

A man injured after tripping on a pavement located within a recently completed housing estate, has received £7,700 in accident compensation from the building company responsible.  A section of the pavement had fallen significantly, leaving an unexpected ‘step’ which caused the tripping injury.

The housing estate had only recently been completed, and so the injured man’s solicitors contacted both the local authority and the building company to establish who was responsible for the maintenance for the pavement.  When both parties denied any wrong-doing, court proceedings were commenced to determine where the responsibility should lie. 

A compensation settlement was achieved before the end of the trial, with the building company granting the accident victim £7,700 in compensation for his injuries.


Injured care worker wins accident compensation after assaults at work

18 May 2013

An injured care worker who needed to give up her job after being repeatedly attacked by a violent teenager has been awarded accident compensation.  The local Borough Council admitted liability after it was shown that the youth should have been moved to a secure unit as soon as his violent behaviour had been identified.  Instead, the teenager was able to attack the care worker five times over an eight month period before he was finally moved.

The woman, who had been working as a carer for nine years, was hit with a chair, threatened with shattered Perspex, and punched a number of times.  Despite undergoing physiotherapy, she is now unable to undertake some of the tasks needed to do her job, and she may not be able to return to work.

 "After I reported the first incident I thought my bosses would have this youth transferred to a secure unit which would be able to provide the correct type of care for him in a safe environment. But nothing changed and he kept on attacking me.

"It was extremely frightening going into work not knowing what he would do next and wondering how far he would take things."

Solicitor John Mullen said: "Too often those working in caring and health environments are put in situations which make them vulnerable to assault.

"Employers have a duty of care to their staff and must take all reasonable steps to protect them from assaults at work.  It is astonishing that this council allowed a series of attacks to take place before taking any action.”


North Wales Police target motorcycle accidents in safety drive

14 May 2013

Officers from North Wales Police will be stopping and talking to bikers “to educate them about the dangers” of riding in “challenging” areas like Snowdonia.   Operation Focus, now in its 10th year, is being run by police hoping to reduce the number of bike-related accidents and deaths.  Officers will patrol roads where traffic collisions are most common, including the A494, A5104, A5, A470 and the A487.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing, in charge of the force’s Roads Policing Unit, stressed “This isn’t about catching bikers out, we want them to enjoy the roads, but most of all we want them to ride safely and responsibly”. 

He added “Responsible riders are welcome to visit the area and take in the stunning scenery and landscape, but even they face risk of death or serious injury by underestimating the risk posed by fatigue brought on by a combination of driving long distances and concentrating on navigating challenging and unfamiliar routes.”


Finger crush injury man receives £11,000 accident compensation

14 May 2013

A factory worker who suffered a crushed finger as a result of a faulty crane mechanism has successfully sued his employer for accident compensation.  His injury lawyers were able to show that he had received insufficient training in operating the crane.  As a result of the lack of training, he had not realised that the crane grab was defective, leading to the accident at work. 

After being admitted to hospital, the 26 year old needed to undergo accident emergency surgery, followed by over three months of follow-up medical treatment, and was unable to work for eight weeks.  The man, a GMB Union member, was left with a deformed index finger after the accident, which he was unable to bend normally.    

The employer admitted liability and settled the injury claim out of court for £11,000.


£4,000 awarded to car accident victim

18 January 2013

A parked motorist who suffered injuries to his back, neck and knee in a road accident has been awarded £4,000 in compensation.  He was minding his own business waiting for a friend whilst parked at the side of a main road when the incident occurred. 

Another driver, travelling at speed, misjudged the distance and crashed into his vehicle, pushing it up onto the pavement.  Despite an initial refusal to accept the blame by the defendants, the man’s solicitors were able to secure him the injury compensation payout.  


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