Sometimes it’s the personal injury lawyers who are to blame

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 3 March 2015:

It’s not something that’s easy to face or even to talk about, but sometimes the injured suffer because their personal injury lawyers are to blame for suffering.

In fact, there’s a very noteworthy example of this that just hit the news this week in the form of how 42 year old Shaunna Baynes ended up in a world of pain and suffering after celebrating her 40th birthday. Shaunna had a fantastic time visiting Graceland in the United States – the woman is a self-avowed Elvis fanatic – only to suffer damage to her hip and a broken nose on the flight back when she stumbled over a British Airways worker.

After getting home, the injured woman contacted a personal injury solicitor to seek legal advice in making an accident claim against British Airways. However, the solicitor firm neglected to make a personal injury compensation claim in time, resulting in Shaunna being given £2,000 from the lawyers instead as a consolation prize.

Now, I will say that the solicitor firm at least did the right thing in owning up to its mistake and paying the poor injured woman out of their own pocket. However, I also have to say this: what sort of incompetent pillocks manage to cock up so badly like this?

Do you know what happened? The solicitor in question thought he had three years to make a claim when the limit is actually two. For someone who claims to have had years of experience dealing with personal injuries, an oversight of this level is the equivalent of forgetting that you need to have your licence and insurance before getting behind the wheel to drive. It’s infuriating and absolutely unbelievable that people like this have been operating in this world.

Who knows what other ways these solicitors have cocked up other cases? They could be ruining lives and bollixing up court cases left and right. It’s rather an embarrassment to the entire personal injury community, if you ask me; I know I would be absolutely bloody mortified if this happened to a law firm I was involved with. Lord, I would never be able to show my face in public again

Claimants victimised, but not by personal injury solicitors

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 21 Jan 2014:

Everyone always seems to think that personal injury lawyers prey upon the injured by convincing them to bring spurious claims, but often that’s not the case!

In fact, there’s been a spate of new revelations this week that demonstrate this fact all too well, much to the detriment of anyone. The worst part, though, is definitely the source of this anguish for the injured: the very people that they should be able to trust implicitly, like doctors and police officers.

Don’t believe me? Look up PC Sugra Hanif, a police officer that just got hauled in for allegedly going through official police records, taking the names and phone numbers of residents that were involved in accidents, and then aggressively ringing them up and trying to convince them to bring a personal injury compensation claim in order to line her own pockets. You see, PC Hanif was receiving as much as £700 for each successful referral – and apparently money like that is better than serving the public as a member of the police force.

This is a perfect example of how it doesn’t take a personal injury solicitor to ruin the life of someone who’s been in an accident. Apparently the woman would ring up these injured people several times a day in order to try to browbeat them into bringing claims. I swear I can’t think of too many things that are more reprehensible than something like this.

Actually, I take that back – I certainly can think of something worse! In fact it’s pretty much as low as you can get – Shahid Ayyoub was recently convicted of having a case of roaming hands after he was found to have more or less fondling a woman in a doctor’s office under the guise of examining her for whiplash. Yes, that’s right – this man is a doctor. Not only that but he comes from a family of doctors, including several of his siblings. Two of his own children are even studying to go into the medical field, but apparently their father just doesn’t seem to be able to get his thrills anywhere but from his female patients.

So yes, the daft bastard got caught and now faces more or less public humiliation for his actions. For what it’s worth, he absolutely should be subjected to public ridicule, considering how he violated that woman’s complete trust – and who knows if this isn’t just the first patient who had the courage to come forward!

The accident prone line the pockets of injury lawyers

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 14 Jan 2014:

It seems that the number of accident prone Brits seems to be reaching new highs, and the nation’s personal injury lawyers are working overtime as a result.

One of the biggest sectors that’s growing at such a bizarre rate happens to be the kinds of accident claims that are made by schoolchildren, if a new report can be trusted. Research indicates that more than £3 million has been spent by taxpayers on personal injury compensation claims in London, Birmingham and Manchester alone this year.

Now I’m no stranger to a few bumps and scrapes in my time as a pupil – even the most studious and bookish child can end up with scraped knees on more than one occasion – but I certainly don’t remember being so clumsy as to become injured to the point where I needed to make a claim for injury compensation! Then again, maybe conditions have deteriorated in these schools to the point where it’s much less safe than it was in the past – all I know is that the £3.3 million that’s been paid out is just the tip of the iceberg, as the rest of the schools in the UK are probably resulting in injuries that will end up just as costly – if not even more so!

Of course, there are more than just schoolchildren getting injured nowadays. In fact, one very high profile case that just came to my attention involved a car accident in Northern Ireland that injured one woman so severely that she could end up with a claim in the millions – £5 million to be exact!

Truth be told, the poor woman’s injuries were quite catastrophic, especially since they involved head trauma. Her injuries were severe enough to impair her thinking and decision making abilities, necessitating her to be under near-constant supervision – and I’m sure this could easily last the rest of her life, which is why the estimates are so high for what she could end up receiving. Those with an inside track on the case say that she’s likely to get a lump sum payment as well – now that’s a serious bit of cash!

Still, I’m sure she would much rather just be able to think clearly instead of having the £5 million – I know I would. Just goes to show you, it doesn’t matter how much money you get from a compensation claim if your life has been altered so completely!

Poor maintenance and training driving injury claims up

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 7 Jan 2014:

The Government is always quick to blame ambulance chasing personal injury solicitors on raising claims figures, but it’s not always that cut and dry.

In fact, there are plenty of fingers pointing at local councils and Government-run service providers as being the ones responsible for high personal injury compensation awards lately. Don’t believe me? Well think about this: a new story broke this week about how something like £300,000 in damages has been paid out to school teachers and college lecturers in Scotland as a result of poorly-maintained schools over the last year.

The Educational Institute of Scotland published figures lately that specified how the lion’s share of injuries suffered by staff in schools north of the border are due to injuries such as slips and trips. School grounds in bad repair are almost exclusively the culprit. This isn’t to say that there are some other issues at play – one poor teacher ended up so injured after an assault by a student that he ended up with a £130,000 personal injury compensation claim – but the majority is still absolutely due to these schools not being refurbished or maintained properly.

So where’s the blame lie here? Can you really tell me that it’s injury lawyers running up large legal bills on the backs of spurious personal injury claims? Don’t be daft – these injuries are real and they’re only happening because of the poor conditions teachers and lecturers are working in. Even the instances of assault could be due to lax security measures in these schools – and that’s all on the local authorities that are responsible for these schools and no one else.

So that’s a local problem, you say. Well what about a more general one? Like, oh I don’t know – perhaps the entire NHS in Wales shelling out over £117 million in medical negligence claims over the last three years? The NHS isn’t getting out of this one, though – doctors and medical staff aren’t getting the training they need, and they’re certainly not being given the right amount of time off to recover from long, grueling work shifts.

It’s especially bad for junior doctors, who commonly work 12 to 16 hour shifts for up to two weeks at a time without any sort of relief. Are you telling me this is truly the best way to do things? Did no one think this would lead to horrible medical injuries from exhausted staff? Bloody idiots.

‘Compensation culture’ row set to start up once more

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 17 Dec 2013:

The bogeyman of ‘compensation culture’ has raised its nasty head once more, putting personal injury lawyers in the crosshairs yet again.

You know it would just be so much easier if all the personal injury solicitors running around enticing otherwise honest Brits to bring all these spurious accident claims would just stop. I mean it’s obvious that all the problems our local authorities are facing is all due to the fact that there are all these duplicitous lawyers out there whipping hapless Brits into a frenzy. It could never be the fact that perhaps someone got legitimately injured and deserves to be compensated for their injury, could it?

Oh no, of course not – the £1.7 million that Worcestershire County Council has had to spend on personal injury claims over the past four years are all because there are an inordinate number of scammers and fraudsters being encouraged by injury lawyers. Every single one of those 3,300 claims were completely fabricated! So what if the county council has responsibility for all these roadways and parks and stretches of pavement and all those other areas that are open to the public and should be maintained by the council? It couldn’t possibly be due to the fact that there’s too many bloody potholes on Worcestershire roads, are there?

It’s not just Worcestershire, though. There’s a row up in Northern Ireland as well, with an SDLP MLA stating that the Department of Regional Development is paying altogether too much on personal injury compensation claims – to the tune of £20  million over the 2012-13 financial year. He even went as far as to call the runaway compensation a ‘gravy train’ that needed to be derailed before it was too late.

Now £20 million is an awful lot of money, isn’t it? Hey, I wonder something – do you think that the roadways in NI could have been kept in better shape last year for less than £20 million, or would it have cost more than that to keep things in good nick? If it’s the latter, maybe people should stop complaining and just be thankful that they were let off easy. If it’s the former – well that’s what you get for shirking your duty to your residents!

Injury lawyers will take your case – even if it’s silly

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 25 June 2013:

Now I’m not about to come out and say that someone’s personal injury compensation claim is silly or spurious, but sometimes I wonder about these claimants.

Look, I’m all for the way personal injury solicitors in the UK come to the defense of those that have been injured, especially when it comes to a personal injury at work. I think it’s important to have your rights as a worker defended, especially when it comes to being safe and free from harm whilst on the job, but sometimes I find out about instances that makes me question all that – like when one bloke bent his finger and now wants £150,000 in compensation because he can’t send text messages any more.

I swear on my mum I’m not making this story up – it’s 100 per cent real. An IT specialist fell down some stairs at work, according to his personal injury claim, and now he’s claiming damages for ‘personal injuries’ that include damage to his right index finger to the point where he needs to have his adult son send his texts for him. I can understand that this could be more than a bit of a bother for someone who makes his living as n IT worker, but is it just me or does your off hand work just as well for making texts?

I mean, compare this case with someone with actual life-threatening injuries, like how a worker ended up nearly pinned between a girder support and the floor when a massive one-tonne metal cutting tool fell atop him. The man somehow miraculously survived – though onlookers were convinced he was crushed to death in an instant – and he only received some £70,000 for his injuries.

Perhaps this second fellow should have used the first bloke’s injury solicitors, especially if he only got around £70,000 for his pain and suffering – which included post-traumatic stress disorder from having a gargantuan piece of manufacturing equipment fall upon him. Again I’m not trying to compare apples to oranges here, but when you drop one orange down the stairs it’s in shedloads better shape than when you drop a bloody anvil on a basket of apples, isn’t it?

The HSE isn’t the only worry on the minds of these firms

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 18 June 2013:

Work accidents will quickly call down the ire of the Health and Safety Executive, but firms have even more to worry about when injury solicitors get involved.

It’s bad luck for any company that ends up not only getting prosecuted by the HSE but are almost guaranteed to face an expensive personal injury compensation claim due to the involvement of one of their employees. In fact, not just one but two instances of serious workplace accidents in the news this week are perfect examples of how the businesses involved are going to have a very rough go of it once the personal injury solicitors get through with them.

The first story is sadly a tragic one, as it involves the death of one 37 year old employed by Adis Scaffolding. David Vickers of West Yorkshire was tragically slain when a truck overturned and crushed him; the HSE inspectors sent out to investigate the incident discovered that a skip that had been in the process of being loaded on the lorry had caused the accident as it had been improperly secured, leading to Adis Scaffolding being dragged into magistrates’ court and prosecuted by the HSE for their role in not following health and Safety guidelines.

The firm was fined an eye-watering £300,000 by the courts; on top of that, there was another £120,000 in legal fees that Adis was ordered to pay. This is of course only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s most certainly waiting in the wings: a massive wrongful death lawsuit to be brought by Mr Vickers’ family is almost a forgone conclusion, and is likely to see the company out an even larger sum of money as a result; I can only wonder if Adis Scaffolding is going to end up in administration after all these crippling legal fees.

Of course, you don’t have to end up losing your life to bring an accident claim against your employer – something that one poor bloke that was injured by a pressurised air hose will likely decide once the HSE has finished with his firm. Faltec Europe has ended up in some very hot water recently as well after the HSE found it had neglected to provide enough training to the unnamed man before telling him to clean a paint fume filter with a sprayer that used high-pressure air hoses.

The man had finished his job and was preparing to move on to his next task when he forgot to vent his sprayer’s air hose before disengaging it, resulting in the hose to start whipping about like mad and smashing him in the face. The poor man actually lost his sight in one eye because the hose hit him with such force, and with the HSE investigation determining that he wasn’t given the right training to prevent such incidents, Faltec Europe is set up to be positively raked over the coals by the magistrates’ court and the injured man’s solicitor team eventually as well.

Solicitors hard at work making claims for injured Brits

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 19 Mar 2013:

It seems like personal injury solicitors have been having a field day recently with the number of accident claims being made left and right.

First up, I just read how a golf spotter has made a personal injury compensation claim against a golfer whose golf ball hit him in the eye and partially blinding him, if you can believe that. I suppose golf isn’t quite as relaxing and safe a sport as I thought!

The poor sod struck by the ball, David McMahon, had been Working the Scottish Amateur Champion of Champions competition at Levan Links at the time of the accident, had been on the 6th hole. Mr McMahon was tending to a pair of golfers that had strayed from a path, only to be struck in the eye on his way back to his golf buggy by Gavin Dear, a golfer that had been coming down the 6th hole.

Mr McMahon’s right eyeball actually suffered a traumatic rupture, which is most likely just as gruesome as it sounds considering that it permanently blinded him in that same eye! To his credit he has since sought legal advice and is asking for a £50,000 compensation award.

Meanwhile you’ve got to look out for more than just golfers, especially if you frequent beauty salons, as I just read how one woman has brought a personal injury claim for the allergic reaction she suffered after being fitted with a set of false eyelashes. They were Jane Rolfe’s first ever set, yet the morning after they were fitted in Brentwood’s Debut Beauty Salon, the woman awoke with more than just a bit of soreness in the eyes – only to be told by salon staff that it would go away on its own.

Now, you don’t need me to tell you that it didn’t go away on its own. In fact, things got much worse, which prompted Mrs Rolfe to have to call on her GP and start a regime of antihistamines and steroids to remedy the situation.

Making matters worse was the fact that the poor woman was in so much pain that the salon couldn’t possibly remove her false eyelashes. Instead, the woman had to remove them by herself, only to end up suffering from soreness and impaired vision that lasted until a visit to a specialised eye hospital, where the staff there provided her the treatment she so sorely needed.

I hope Mrs Rolfe sues the pants off the salon after having been subjected to such an ordeal! Hopefully her personal injury lawyers will be skilled and experienced enough to prevail on her behalf and earn her that compensation award she so richly deserves.

Injured toddler’s parents seeking compensation on her behalf

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 5 Feb 2013:

According to personal injury solicitor experts familiar with the case, the parents of an injured toddler are seeking compensation on her behalf.

Sophie Dedek, the nine month old child in question, suffered her injuries after a staff member at the Kids 1st Day Nursery slammed the door one one of her tiny little fingers. It was only little Sophie’s second ever time at the Newcastle upon Tyne-based nursery when the incident occurred.

Worse yet was that the nursery’s staff were so thick that they didn’t even realise how serious the little girl’s injuries were at the time. The toddler’s hand was wrapped up in a towel by one nursing staff member while a different one rang up the child’s dad, telling him that she’d suffered a little nick to her finger.

Sophie’s dad nearly lost his mind upon arriving to pick up his daughter, only to discover that poor little Sophie’s finger had been completely severed. He immediately rushed her to hospital, but medical staff were unable to reattach the digit; perhaps if staffers at the £900 a month  private crèche had kept the severed finger tip in better shape, which hey found just rolling about on the floor in the wake of the incident, things might have gone better for the infant.

Both Sophie’s mother and father have since made a personal injury compensation claim against the nursery on behalf of their maimed child, and rightly so. Of course, a nursery spokesperson has already begun to try spinning the incident in order to minimise the impression of their liability for the incident, remarking that nursing staff acted quickly to to follow any health and safety guidelines to the letter an to apply the proper first aid at the time.

The spokesperson also made it a point to add that nursing staff did indeed call an ambulance, only to have the operator deem it unnecessary in an obvious attempt to squirm away from the chopping block.

94pc of legal professionals say access to justice to suffer

INDUSTRY ROUND UP FOR WEEK ENDING 25 DEC 2012

Next year is bound to bring a reduction in access to justice, causing many in need of injury compensation to suffer, a majority of legal professionals say.

The news is positively chilling this week, as a new survey revealed that an incredibly overwhelming 94 per cent of personal injury solicitor experts believe that those in need of help making a personal injury claim will be left high and dry when it comes to access to justice in April of next year when new government legislation goes into effect. These personal injury lawyers fear that the new Legal Aid bill, which has been brought forward as a way to reduce runaway premium pricing when it comes to motor car insurance, will end up crippling any victim of a road traffic accident on the hunt for a lawyer to help them prevail on their claim, as the proposed changes will cut nearly 60 per cent from the fixed fees these lawyers can collect.

Onetime president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, David Bott, conducted the survey that discovered that the lion’s share of injury lawyers are fearful that these newly reduced fees will do little more than reduce access to justice for only those claimants with incredibly high monetary compensation awards, as it will simply not be cost-effective for most law firms to take on cases that won’t maximise their pay. the survey found that an even higher 96 per cent of respondents found the new legislation to be entirely excessive, whilst a nearly identical 95 per cent indicated that legal firms specialising in personal injury compensation claims will be hard pressed to remain in operation past the April 2013 deadline.

These aren’t the only steps the Government is taking in the new Legal Aid bill that could effectively backfire when it comes to benefiting the injured. The new legislation would also see an end to law firms paying for cases by banning the taking of referral fees, a move that only 16 per cent of those surveyed would result in aiding the injured; meanwhile 77 per cent of respondents were emphatic in their belief that this referral fee ban would benefit no one but the insurance industry.

Children’s book creator prevails on medical negligence case

One children’s book creator has prevailed on he recent medical negligence case, winning a personal injury compensation award of £250,000 for a laser eye surgery that went terribly wrong, leaving her with permanently blurred vision.

Jan Fearnley, a writer and illustrator of the children’s book Mr Wolf’s Pancakes, had attended a private clinic to correct her short sightedness through laser surgery, but the forty seven year old woman, who had once been short listed for the prestigious Blue Peter children’s literature award, was left with even worse vision after the supposedly ‘routine’ surgical procedure. Dr Haralabos Eleftheriadis, the ophthalmologist who carried out the procedure at the Guildford, Surrey-based Ultralase Clinic, not only botched the procedure by ‘fumbling’ the high-powered surgical laser during the surgery, but also informed Mrs Fearnley that she was simply ‘imagining things’ when she found her vision blurred after the procedure was complete.

The woman, who was left with permanent scarring on her cornea as a result of the laser surgery, said in a recent interview with the Mail on Sunday that she had reason to believe that Dr. Eleftheriadis was fully aware that the irreversible damage suffered to her eyes was why she was experiencing vision problems afterwards. After seeking legal advice, Mrs. Fearnley launched a personal injury compensation claim, successfully litigating against the ophthalmologist’s insurers for a total of £250,000 for the damage done to her eyes by Dr Eleftheriadis.

While Dr Eleftheriadis was found by the General Medical Council to have acted in both an inappropriate and unprofessional manner regarding the circumstances surrounding Mrs Fearnley’s injuries, the council relented in suspending the ophthalmologist’s registration in the face of the man agreeing to supervision and further training.