Claims News

British Family´s Claim for Quadbike Accident Injury Compensation Settled for Au$12 Million

Posted on: July 19th, 2016

A claim for quadbike accident injury compensation, made by the family of a British woman injured working in Tasmania, has been settled for Au$12 million.

In December 2011, Holly Raper from Chorley in Lancashire was just twenty-one years of age and on the adventure of a lifetime, backpacking around the world. Unfortunately, the budding photographer was seriously injured shortly after starting work at the King Island Dairy Farm in Tasmania.

Holly had been told to round up cattle and was given a quadbike to ride. However, while herding the cattle, Holly came off the vehicle and suffered a catastrophic brain injury that left her in a coma for several months.

Due to the severity of the injury, Holly is now quadriplegic. She was flown home from Tasmania in March 2013, but has to be cared for twenty-four hours a day due to being unable to move, feed herself or communicate.

Holly´s family received a compensation settlement of Au$290,000 from the Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal but, as this is insufficient to pay for Holly´s medical care, her family made a claim for quadbike accident injury compensation against the owners of the King Island Dairy Farm – David and Jocelyn Bowden.

The Bowden´s denied liability for Holly´s injuries and claimed that they had been caused by her own lack of care. However, solicitors acting on behalf of the family found that Holly had not been given a helmet to wear or properly instructed on how to manoeuvre a quadbike.

During the compilation of the claim for quadbike accident injury compensation, it was also discovered that the quadbike has serious defects. The rear brakes had been disconnected, the rear wheel had been put on backwards and there was excessive wear of the steering mechanism.

A hearing to determine liability was scheduled for April. But, due to Holly´s medical experts residing in the UK, Judge Steven Estcourt flew to Manchester to hear testimony before concluding the hearing in Hobart. Ultimately, Judge Estcourt found in Holly´s favour, dismissing claims of contributory negligence and finding the Bowden´s liable for Holly´s accident.

The judge awarded Holly Au$12 million in settlement of the claim for quadbike accident injury compensation. The settlement will be put into a trust in the UK to pay for Holly´s future care.

Student Settles Injury Claim for a Cycling Accident due to a Faulty Bike

Posted on: July 6th, 2016

A third-year nursing student from Lincoln has settled her injury claim for a cycling accident due to a faulty bike for an undisclosed four-figure amount.

In the summer of 2013, Phyllis Bright and her boyfriend drove from Lincoln to the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District, and rented bikes from the Fairholmes Visitor Centre – intending to spend the day cycling around the countryside. Soon after the couple left the Fairholmes Visitor Centre, and started descending a steep hill, Phyllis realised that the brakes on her bike were not working.

Phyllis jumped from her bike to avoid hitting the stone wall of the Abbey Brooke Bridge and suffered multiple injuries due to landing on the tarmacked road. She was taken to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where she received treatment for cuts and bruises to her chest, legs and arms, and a jaw injury. Due to the jaw injury, Phyllis was unable to eat without pain for two months, and she now has multiple scars as a reminder of her accident.

Phyllis sought legal advice and made an injury claim for a cycling accident due to a faulty bike against the Peak District National Park Authority. In her legal action, Phyllis alleged that the rental bike had not been correctly maintained or checked for safety before being provided for her. The Peak District National Park Authority admitted negligence and a four-figure settlement of the claim was negotiated.

Speaking with the Sun newspaper after her injury claim for a cycling accident due to a faulty bike had been settled, Phyllis said: “Realising I had no brakes halfway down a steep hill with a stone bridge at the bottom of it was a scary experience. I never thought I’d end the day in an ambulance on the way to hospital with cuts and bruises all over me. I’m glad I can now begin to put this all behind me and move on with my life after receiving a settlement from the park authority.”

Claim for Psychological Injuries Resulting from a Car Accident Resolved for £30,000

Posted on: June 9th, 2016

A man´s claim for psychological injuries resulting from a car accident has been resolved for £30,000 after he was told he may not receive more than £3,000.

Warren Smith (50) from Lancashire was driving along the A671 between Burnley and Rochdale when, on March 8th, 2012, he was involved in a head-on collision with a car travelling on the wrong side of the road. Tragically the driver of the car that hit Warren´s was killed in the accident.

Mark suffered multiple injuries in the accident, and was taken to hospital where he received treatment for injuries to his chest, head and back. Mark was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD and depression – psychological injuries that still trouble him more than four years after the accident.

Unfortunately Mark was unable to maintain his job as a contracts manager as it involved driving long distances. Mark sought legal advice about claiming injury compensation, but was told that the value of his claim would be unlikely to exceed £3,000.

Wisely, Mark sought a second opinion and, after the psychological consequences of his accident were taken into account, Mark´s new solicitor believed his claim could be much more. Mark subsequently made a compensation claim for psychological injuries resulting from a car accident against the fatally injured driver´s insurance company.

The insurance company admitted liability for their policyholder´s negligence, but initially refused to make a viable offer of settlement. Eventually Warren´s new solicitor negotiated a £30,000 settlement of the claim for psychological injuries resulting from a car accident – enough for Mark to continue with his physical rehabilitation and the therapy he requires to overcome his emotional trauma.

Speaking with his local paper after the claim for psychological injuries resulting from a car accident had been resolved, Warren said: “People should not underestimate the consequences of car accidents and I am lucky to be alive. I am still haunted by the events of that day and my injuries are a constant reminder of the fact that someone died in the crash. But I am incredibly relieved that I now have access to the care and support that I need to move forward with my life.”

Claim for Antrim Road Traffic Accident Injury Compensation Settled in Court

Posted on: May 14th, 2016

A claim for Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation, made by a passenger in a fatal car crash, has been settled at the High Court in Belfast.

In July 2012, Rosie Sands (29) – an accomplished sailor and honours degree student from Exmouth in Devon – was staying with friends in Northern Ireland. Rosie and her friends had just collected another friend – 21-year-old Michelle Hulford – from Belfast Airport when the car they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a jeep on the A57 outside Doagh in County Antrim.

Michelle was tragically killed in the accident, while Rosie, the driver of the car and two other passengers were taken to hospital with multiple injuries. Rosie was treated for injuries to her back, abdomen and shoulder; but, on her return to Exmouth, she continued to suffer from flashbacks and nightmares, and was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Rosie made a claim for Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation against the driver of the jeep – Stephen Hamilton. Hamilton admitted liability for causing the accident in which Rosie and her friends were injured, but no agreement could be reached on the amount of compensation she was entitled to.

Consequently the claim for Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation was heard by Mr Justice Adrian Colton at the High Court in Belfast. At the hearing, the judge was told that Rosie´s injuries had prevented her from completing her honours degree in religion and education at Bath Spa University and competing in the British Sailing Championships.

Judge Colton also heard how Rosie´s life had changed “irrevocably” due to her injuries. Previously a Gold Standard sailor who had competed in the World Sailing Championship, Rosie´s injuries, Rosie was now unable to sail competitively. The judge was also told that Rosie had to abandon a planned career in the RAF or Navy.

Commenting that the evidence Rosie had given in support of her Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation had been “honest, understated, stoical and admirable”, Judge Colton awarded her £464,655 compensation in respect of her pain and suffering, loss of income and to cover the costs of her medical treatment.

Man Claims Campylobacter Food Poisoning Compensation following Moroccan Vacation

Posted on: April 26th, 2016

A man has made a campylobacter food poisoning compensation claim again First Choice Holidays after contracting the illness while on vacation in Morocco.

James and Paula Gratton stayed at the four-star Medina Gardens Hotel in Marrakech in March this year in order to celebrate James´ 51st birthday. A few days into the vacation, James started to suffer from the symptoms of food poisoning – a high temperature and stomach pains, accompanied by diarrhoea.

James´ symptoms worsened as the vacation progressed, and he was in considerable distress throughout the remainder of the vacation and during the couple´s flight home to Heanor in Derbyshire. Once home, James called the NHS Direct service who advised him to seek medical treatment at his local hospital.

At the hospital, James was prescribed medication to control his symptoms. However, the symptoms failed to ease off, and James had a stool sample tested by his GP – the sample testing positive for campylobacter – food poisoning usually caused by chicken that has not been prepared properly.

James consulted with a solicitor, and made a campylobacter food poisoning compensation claim against TUI UK Limited trading as First Choice Holidays – the holiday company through which James and Paula had booked their Moroccan vacation.

In his claim for campylobacter food poisoning compensation, James alleged that there had been a failure to adhere to acceptable standards of food preparation and storage, and it was this failure in the duty of care that led to him falling ill from food poisoning. An investigation has now started into the standards of food preparation at the Medina Gardens Hotel.

Speaking with his local newspaper about the claim for campylobacter food poisoning compensation, James said: “We booked this holiday as a way of celebrating my birthday and we’d been looking forward to it for a long time. But, in truth, it turned into a nightmare for both of us. I had to take some extra time of work to recover from the symptoms and I still don’t feel completely right.”

Council Found Liable in Cyclist Injury Compensation Claim

Posted on: April 4th, 2016

Scottish Borders Council has been found liable in a cyclist accident compensation claim and ordered to pay £100,000 for the injuries the cyclist sustained.

In December 1st 2013, David Robinson (52) was cycling with members of the Edinburgh Cycling Club northbound along the A701. As the team of cyclists approached the bridge crossing Biggar Water near the village of Broughton, the front wheel of David´s bike lodged in a metal groove in the road.

David was sent flying over the handlebars of his bike – fracturing his wrist and elbow. An investigation into the accident revealed that the groove was a joint between an old masonry arch that spanned the crossing and newer concrete deck widening that had been constructed in 1990.

The investigation also found that several parts of the joints used to connect the arch and concrete deck sat proud of the road surface, and that there was a small hole in the road immediately at the start of the groove in which David´s front wheel had lodged.

With this information, David made a cyclist injury compensation claim against Scottish Borders Council alleging that the council had failed to deal with a hazard that was, or ought to have been, “apparent to a competent roads engineer or inspector on a reasonable visual inspection”.

The council denied liability for David´s accident and injury – contesting the cyclist injury compensation claim on the grounds that the metal groove in the road did not constitute a defect and that there was no reliable evidence to support the allegations that the front wheel of the bike had actually got lodged in the groove.

The cyclist injury compensation claim went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh where it was heard by Lady Wolffe. The judge was told that the edges of the grooves would not have been exposed if tarmacking work carried out in May 2015 had been conducted properly and brought the rest of the road up to the level of the grooves.

The judge dismissed an argument by Scottish Borders Council that David should have been paying more attention to the road conditions, concluding that he was travelling with due skill and care, and there was no evidence to suggest David was riding his bike inappropriately.

Finding in David´s favour, Lady Wolffe said that Scottish Borders Council must pay him £100,000 in settlement of the cyclist injury compensation claim – an amount of damages that had been agreed prior to the hearing if the council were found at fault.

Court Awards Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries at the Entrance to a Church

Posted on: March 24th, 2016

The Belfast High Court has awarded a sixty-six year old pensioner £60,000 compensation for slip and fall injuries at the entrance to a church.

Angela McCluskey was visiting St Malachy´s Chapel in Armagh in December 2010 to light a candle on the anniversary of her niece´s death when she slipped on ice on the path leading up to the church entrance. The former hospital cleaner and school dinner lady fell awkwardly, dislocating her knee and sustaining ligament damage as a result.

Angela was taken to hospital, where she underwent surgery for her injuries, and discharged some weeks later in a wheelchair. Angela´s home in Armagh was adapted to account for her impaired mobility and she has since moved to a single-storey bungalow which is easier for her to negotiate with the aid of a walking stick.

After seeking legal advice, Angela claimed compensation for slip and fall injuries at the entrance to a church against St Patrick’s Archdiocesan Trust – the authority responsible for the safety of visitors to churches in Armagh. The Trust denied responsibility for Angela´s injuries, arguing that the path on which Angela slipped had been salted the previous evening.

The claim was resolved in a recent hearing at Belfast High Court before Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan. Judge Keegan heard that the Trust had no formal system in place to manage the church grounds at the time of Angela´s accident, but had been doing its best during a period of extremely inclement weather to keep the church open to visitors.

Judge Keegan found in Angela´s favour; commenting that although the path leading up to the church entrance had been salted the previous evening, it should have been checked on the morning of Angela´s accident to see if it remained a hazard. The judge told the court: “In my view the risk was clearly foreseeable considering the extreme weather at the time”.

The judge also rejected any suggestion of contributory negligence, saying that there were a number of measures that the Trust could have taken to prevent the risk of injury to visitors – even if it meant closing the majority of access points to the church and creating one dedicated path. Commenting that providing a safe route to visitors was not an “unrealistic standard of care to impose upon the defendant,” Judge Keegan awarded Angela £60,000 compensation for slip and fall injuries at the entrance of a church.

Pedestrian Refused Compensation for Tripping on a Pothole

Posted on: March 21st, 2016

A pedestrian who was injured when she tripped and fell on a hole in the road has been refused compensation for tripping on a pothole by her local council.

In December 2015, fifty-three year old Barbara Fielding from Blackpool in Lancashire was walking her dog along Windermere Road when she tripped on a pothole and fell onto her face. Barbara suffered a significant head trauma, cut lip and black eye, and was severely shaken by the fall.

On her daughter´s insistence, Barbara attended the A&E Department of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she underwent a CT scan to check against a potential brain injury. Although the scan came back clear, it was five weeks before the lump on her head went down and her bruising subsided.

During this time, Barbara suffered from depression and spent much of the Christmas holiday in bed. She has since changed the route she uses to walk her dog as the site of the pothole still traumatises her and, other than walking her dog, rarely ventures outside of her home.

Barbara also took photographs of her injuries and sent them to Blackpool Council, requesting compensation for tripping on a pothole. However, the council refused her request – stating that the pothole on which she tripped was not large enough to qualify for compensation.

In a written reply to Barbara´s request for compensation for tripping on a pothole, the council explained that it regularly conducts inspections of the town´s roads and will repair any pothole with a depth of 40mm or more. The council had inspected Windermere Road in June 2015 and not considered the hole dangerous at the time.

Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Barbara expressed her surprise at the council´s refusal to pay compensation for tripping on a pothole. “They say the hole isn’t big enough to be considered a pothole – but how big does a hole have to be?” Barbara said. “They know the extent of the injuries I had because they’ve got the photographs”.

Barbara is now considering her next course of action for, although the pothole on which Barbara tripped has now been repaired, Blackpool Council continues to deny liability for her injuries.

Editor´s Note: In 1978, Pitman v. Southern Electricity Board established the criteria under which it was possible to claim compensation for tripping on a pothole. Claims should be assessed on the length of time that a pothole has presented a risk of injury in relation to the volume of foot traffic on the road where it is located. The depth and width of a pothole should be considered immaterial. 

Family take Legal Advice about Costco Product Liability Claim after Hoverboard Fire

Posted on: March 4th, 2016

A family from Bradford has taken legal advice to see if they are entitled to make a Costco product liability claim for injuries sustained in a property fire.

In November 2015, Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram from Wyke near Bradford bought their two children a hoverboard from the Leeds branch of Costco as a gift for Christmas. On January 15 – while the toy was plugged into an electrical socket to charge its battery – the hoverboard burst into flames, setting light to the family home.

Fortunately a friend of the children – Jibril Faris (11) – saw the fire start and raised the alarm. Jibril, Tony (9) and Karen (8) escaped from the fire with minor burn injuries. The children – with Thu, who was also in the house at the time the fire started – were taken to hospital where they were treated for their injuries.

The Chiem family home was completely destroyed in the accident and – according to Thu – the children still suffer nightmares. “The kids could have been killed. They all believed they were going to die in the fire. Everything was ruined in the fire… it’s turned our lives upside down” Thu told BBC reporters.

The West Yorkshire Fire Service conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire and confirmed Jibril´s story that the fire was started by the hoverboard. A spokesperson for the Fire Service commented the likelihood was that lithium batteries in the hoverboard had overheated and exploded or ignited.

Now the family has taken legal advice to see if it is entitled to make a Costco product liability claim against the store at which the hoverboard was purchased. Thu said: “We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”

The family´s solicitor commented that the family would appear to have a Costco product liability claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 if it is proven that the hoverboard was faulty. A spokesperson for Costco UK said: “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.”

Bus Accident Compensation in Northern Ireland Almost £2 million in Five Years

Posted on: February 9th, 2016

The amount paid out in bus accident compensation in Northern Ireland amounted to nearly £2 million in the five-year period from April 2010 to April 2015.

Northern Ireland public transport services are run by Translink – a company responsible for operating Citybus, Ulsterbus, the Metro and Goldlink bus services and the NI Railway. In the five-year period from April 2010 to April 2015, the company paid out £1,647,000 injury compensation plus a further £301,000 compensation for material damage in bus accidents according to figures released by Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen.

Ms McIlveen was responding to an Assembly question from SDLP MLA John Dallat – who sits on the province´s regional development committee. Mr Dallat described the payouts of bus accident compensation in Northern Ireland as “horrendous” and said that the board of Translink needed to implement measures that would avoid bus accidents, and also review its policy on defending claims for bus accident compensation in Northern Ireland.

Translink issued a statement in which it said it was committed to delivering the highest safety standards for passengers and other road users. However, transport unions said that budget cuts were having a “devastating impact” on public safety. Last year the Department for Regional Development cut Translink´s budget by £13 million. Further cutbacks were made after the company recorded a £8.4 million loss.

A Translink spokesperson said: “It is important to put some context around these figures which cover a five-year period. The level of compensation paid out is less than 0.5% of our annual revenue, and more importantly, Translink’s annual level of compensation is also amongst the lowest paid out when benchmarked against other UK operators. We carry around 80 million passenger journeys every year and their safety is a top priority for everyone at Translink”.