NICB releases new personal injury claims data for 2009

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recently released new data detailing questionable personal injury claims for last year, examining many medical claims suspected to be fraudulent that had been referred to the NICB by its membership in 2009.

The Crime Bureau, which is based in the US, found that last year questionable medical negligence claims rose ten per cent to 28,553 in comparison with their 2008 numbers, which totaled 25, 945.  The top five American states that produced the high figures were Texas, Florida, New York, California, and Illinois, while the top five US metropolitan areas were Houston, Tampa, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.

The larges type of loss, bodily injury, accounted for 45 per cent of total questionable claims with 12,838, which was followed by 4,636 questionable personal injury protection claims, which accounted for 16 per cent of the total.  Additionally, the type of policy that was most often referred to the Crime Bureau, personal auto insurance, was responsible for 71 per cent of 2009’s total figures at 20,147 questionable claims.

Joe Wehrle, president and chief executive officer for the National Insurance Crime Bureau commented on the new data, stating that approximate one out of three questionable claims for 2009 were related to suspicions of medical fraud, a figure that has been quite obviously growing.  Mr Wehrle added that if the current rate of growth that has been observed for the first six months of the current year continues unabated, the 2010 full year figures will be 13 per cent higher than last year’s, most likely resulting from the efforts of criminal rings to extort and rob money from medical insurance companies and their clients.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has made the full report available for the public and other interested parties at www.nicb.org.

What to do if you suffer a personal injury at work

Unfortunately personal injuries do happen in the workplace even though there are a large amount of health and safety rules and regulations that employers must comply with.

However, because there are so many Health and Safety regulations, the chances are that you will be able to claim personal injury compensation if you have suffered a personal injury at work.

Accidents at work could be caused by dangerous working practices, equipment or materials, a failure on the part of the employer to provide adequate training, the actions of other colleagues or slip and trip hazards.

All UK employers are legally obligated to take out adequate insurance cover in case an accident at work occurs. And if an employee is threatened by an employer for making a personal injury claim, the employer can be fined or even imprisoned.

So what should you do if you suffer a personal injury at work?

All injuries, including minor ones, should be written up in the ‘accident book’. All companies, except very small ones, are legally obligated to maintain such a book. The purpose of the book is two-fold. Firstly as a record that can be referred back to at a later date and secondly as a way of making the employer aware that there is a problem so he can take action to stop a similar accident happening in the future.

If you feel you have suffered any financial hardship as a direct result of the accident, you’ll probably want to file a compensation claim. Members of a trade union may be able to obtain legal advice through the union but most people will want to find a solicitor who is experienced in personal injury at work cases.

There are several personal injury lawyers listed on this website, all of whom will be able to give you the expert advice you need on how to proceed with your claim for compensation.

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Record personal injury compensation awarded to Manny

After a mammoth 12 year legal battle, Manny Helmot has been awarded record personal injury compensation of nearly £14 million.

Helmot was a former champion cyclist who in 1998 represented Guernsey in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpar. Later that year, whilst out training, he was hit by a speeding car. He underwent a nine month hospital stay with severe brain injuries and is now partially blind, suffers from double vision and mental health problems and can no longer use his right arm.

His family engaged the services of an accident solicitor who sued the car driver’s insurance company and pursued the family’s personal injury claim through the Guernsey courts.

Meanwhile, the UK courts may be about to witness a rise in personal injury claims against manufacturers of antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel, from AstraZeneca.

British researchers have now found that these drugs can increase the risk of life-threatening blood clots. AstraZeneca has said that it will review the latest findings but stands by the risk to benefit profile of the drug.

One may have expected the drug company to take the matter more seriously when you consider that last month they agreed to pay out just under $200 million in settlement of around 17,500 personal injury claims in the U.S. that directly related to Seroquel after legal claims that its use led to an increased risk of diabetes.

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Will no win no fee be commonplace in personal injury cases?

Proposals from Lord Young’s report on health and safety were leaked to the press over the weekend and this has caused concern amongst personal injury solicitors. It is thought that the report will be officially launched at next month’s Conservative party conference.

Leaked information published by the Daily Telegraph stated that ‘good samaritan’ rescuers and members of the emergency services will not be subject to personal injury claims unless there is proof of reckless disregard. And schools will not be liable for injuries sustained by children when on school trips or during sporting activities.

Introducing immunity for some people and organisations would be a retrograde step, according to Stuart Henderson of Irwin Mitchell. It is rare for a personal injury compensation case to be brought against the emergency services but if a member of the police force is driving to quickly in pursuit of a criminal and he mounts the pavement and knocks down a child, he should not have immunity from being sued, he added.

There are also concerns over conditional fee arrangements. Lord Justice Jackson is currently conducting a review of conditional fee arrangements and some people worry that they may be abolished completely. Whilst reforming the system would lead to significant cost savings, abolishing CFAs completely would mean some serious cases may not come before the courts.

Jackson’s review will also contain recommendations concerning damages-based agreements. DBAs are no win no fee arrangements whereby solicitors receive a percentage of the awarded damages. They are currently commonplace in employment tribunal cases but as yet are not permitted in court litigation.

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Personal injury solicitor service company ISO Limited announces new firm to use its service

Insurance Services Office Limited, one of the UK’s leading personal injury solicitor service companies, recently issued a statement announcing that Cogent Law is to use its Personal Injury Claims Assessment Service.

Accident solicitors Cogent Law decided to implement ISO’s PICAS service in order to speed up the process in which personal injury claims were handled; PICAS is designed to eliminate the need for any written reports or manual reviews to be processed by claims handlers for insurance providers, ensuring that Cogent Law can produce settlements that are consistent in addition to fast-tracking personal injury claims.

Designed by ISO to allow for a greater level of transparency, PICAS has been praised by industry insiders for the benefits its use can bring to all parties involved in a settlement dispute.  Additionally PICAS is the only solution in the industry to take the personal injury claim process into the digitised realm.

Following Cogent Law’s implementation of PICAS, the firm commented, any claims that utilised the service for processing needs have been settled in a more timely manner, aided by the information that had been stored in its digital state.  Cogent Law also commented that by including software for the writing of professional medical reports eliminated the need to decipher details from external medical reports, enabling procedures to be more consistent in regards to settlements.

Cogent Law senior partner Nick Addyman stated that since his firm had implemented PICAS, he has been able to provide settlements that have been fairer, faster, and more consistent than the average of the injury solicitors industry, commenting that the new digitisation has reduced the amount of manual administration and paperwork by a significant margin, which then reduces the costs to his clients that are associated with such necessities without losing control of any aspects of the claims process.

Clergyman wins substantial medical negligence compensation

Last week a former clergyman was awarded substantial medical negligence compensation after doctors failed to discover that he had a brain tumour.

The 42 year old man consulted his doctor in July 2000 after suffering severe headaches. His GP referred him to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre where specialists diagnosed him as a migraine sufferer.

However, his condition deteriorated and he went to the Eye Hospital in Birmingham. The hospital ordered an MRI scan and it revealed a huge tumour. The man had emergency surgery at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the tumour was removed.

The man retained the services of a personal injury solicitor to handle his claim for personal injury compensation. The lawyer pointed out that the man’s tumour went undiagnosed for four years because the original consultant failed to review the CT scan findings. This led to his client’s ambitions being wrecked and his loved ones undergoing enormous stress.

Although the CT scan had identified the brain tumour, the records were simply filed away and the patient was not notified of the problem, he added.

The personal injury lawyer has asked the health trust concerned to explain what lessons have been learnt from this incident, and what procedures have been changed, to safeguard future patient safety in the NHS as a whole.

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4th birthday celebrated by personal injury solicitors Accident Consult

In celebration of a major milestone, personal injury solicitors Accident Consult Ltd., one of the leading companies based in the UK that has made a habit of helping hundreds of clients work out their personal injury claims, commemorates the 4th year of their online presence.

The company, which has been aiding its clients in all manner of ways as accident solicitors, have worked claims as varied as motorcycle, car, and road traffic accidents, crush, work, or public place accidents, medical cases such as  back or head injuries or animal attack injuries, construction accidents, and medical negligence cases, to name a few.

Accident Consult has many highly skilled solicitors and barristers at their disposal with several years of experience, which has led to a high success rate for several years, helping hundreds of clients in the process.

A spokesperson for the company suggests that anyone suffering from either a negligent or deliberate act of someone else, taking action should be the appropriate response, as any injuries lead to pain, lost work, and high medical bills; if a hospital stay is required, the spokesperson continued, a substantial loss of earnings could be a result, and compensation claims will help recover any losses.  The spokesperson concluded by stating that Accident Consult holds the belief that the entity responsible for someone’s injuries should be held accountable for the results of said injury.

In celebration of their 4th birthday, Accident Consult is offering a scheme, uniquely known as “no win, no fee,” in which services do not need to be paid for if any action brought about on your behalf is not decided in your favor.   The company is so confident in its abilities to successfully pursue their customers’ claims that they have decided to guarantee their compensation rate at 100 per cent, based on their employment of highly capable solicitors and lawyers and making the scheme at absolutely no risk for customers.