family

 

As part of National Grief Awareness Week, Personal Injury trainee solicitor Ian Iliopoulos comments on seeking financial security following the death of a loved one in an accident or as a result of a disease.


Ian Iliopoulos
Ian Iliopoulos
Trainee Solicitor

Losing a loved one is never easy. It can be even harder when they have died unexpectedly as a result of an accident and especially when they leave behind loved ones who are financially dependant on them.

If a person is involved in a fatal accident that was not their fault, their dependants can usually bring a claim against the party whose negligence caused the accident. A claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows for dependents to bring claims for lost income, funeral expenses, and bereavement.

However, if a person suffers injuries as a result of their accident and then later dies as a result of those injuries they may still be entitled to compensation. Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 there are two main scenarios:

  1. A person has already started to bring a personal injury claim but dies before these are complete; or

  2. A person would have had the right to bring a personal injury claim had he not died.

    In both these cases, the estate of the deceased can bring, or continue to bring, a personal injury claim on their behalf. Therefore, their estate may be able to bring a claim to recover:

    1. General Damages

      These are damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity

    2. Special Damages

      These are damages for past loss of earnings, cost of care, medical expenses, cost of equipment, travel expenses, etc.

Although any money recovered will never replace a lost family member, it may help those left behind during times of financial uncertainty.

This is a complex area of law and while there is some overlap between a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, care must be take when deciding which route to pursue. Here at McMillan Williams, we have the expertise to guide you through this challenging process at what is undoubtedly a difficult time.

We Can Help

At MW we recognise the need to balance your grief with progressing the claim and have years of experience in advising bereaved families of their rights. Our Head of Department, Joanna Bailey, with years of experience in acting for bereaved families successfully acted for a bereaved family achieving an award approved by the High Court of £710,000.00 in 2013.  Small enough to care, big enough to make a difference.

If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a callback at your convenience.

Bereavement Damages

 

As part of National Bereavement Awareness Week, Personal Injury specialist Ian Latimer comments on the unfairness of bereavement damages awarded following the death of a loved one in an accident or as a result of a disease.


Ian Latimer
Ian Latimer
Solicitor

Whilst no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, £12,980.00 can be claimed as bereavement damages for the normal grief reaction following a fatal accident.  This sum is in addition to any award for financial loss.

Under the Fatal Accident Act 1976, only a spouse or civil partner of the deceased or the parents of a child under the age of 18 can claim, and this sum is shared between all those eligible. Where the parents of a deceased child were unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, only the child’s mother is eligible for the award. This was somewhat of an outdated approach in 1976 let alone in the 21st century but remains the position.

Although the government has proposed that cohabiting partners should also be eligible it is subject to the claimant having lived with the deceased for at least 2 years as the deceased’s husband, wife or civil partner.

Parliament’s Human Rights Committee has suggested that eligibility should extend to ‘two people living together in an enduring relationship’  and that the requirement to have been living together for 2 years should be removed as it is not a fair indicator of a permanent and loyal relationship.

We agree and are of the view that the reforms should be far more radical and far-reaching so that as in Scotland other relatives are eligible, such as the child who loses a parent, the parent of an adult child, brothers and sisters, grandparents and so on.

Further as in Scotland where there have been awards of up to £80,000.00 the bereavement award should not be a fixed amount but should be assessed according to the circumstances of each case.

We Can Help

At MW we recognise the need to balance your grief with progressing the claim and have years of experience in advising bereaved families of their rights. Our Head of Department, Joanna Bailey, with years of experience in acting for bereaved families successfully acted for a bereaved family achieving an award approved by the High Court of £710,000.00 in 2013.  Small enough to care, big enough to make a difference.

If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a callback.

National Grief Awareness Week

The week commencing 02/12/2019 is National Grief Awareness Week.


Joanna Bailey
Joanna Bailey
Partner - Head of Personal Injury

This aims to raise awareness of all aspects of grief and loss on a national scale. Given the attacks on London Bridge this last week, this event is sadly a timely reminder of its importance.

The week looks to offer access to a choice of tailored bereavement support to all those grieving in the UK and to those working with the bereaved and to ensure immediate access to support for all types of bereavement in local communities across the country. In addition, the week seeks to raise awareness of smaller front line organisations in the UK, and to give them a national platform to reach those in need in their local area.  For organisations that can help you please click on the link below:-

https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/family-life/bereavement-support/supporting-bereaved-people/further-help

We Can Help

As solicitors with extensive experience in acting for the bereaved as the result of an accident on the road, at work, or in a public place we seek to help the public to better understand how a claim can be made and to support those grieving the loss of someone they love.   Big enough to care, small enough to make a difference.

If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a callback.

Simple Complicated

Small accidents can lead to significant and lasting injuries, though you may not realise it at the time.


Timothy Pyant
Timothy Pyant
Partner and Deputy Head of Personal Injury

Many injuries at first appear minor with an estimated recovery time of 6-12 months in the case of soft tissue injuries. If the damages due to you on account of your accident are estimated to be below £25,000 your solicitor will probably start your case in the "Claims Portal". However, not all claims are as simple as they first appear.  Sometimes you do not recover as anticipated or go on to develop what are generically known as chronic pain conditions. This could be Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or Fibromyalgia.

Problems can occur if your solicitor does not recognise when your claim becomes more complicated. Alternatively, your solicitor might see that your claim is now more serious but they lack the experience to deal with it. If you continue to use an inexperienced solicitor, you could risk being advised to accept a much lower settlement than you deserve.

Quite often you will be required to use a specific firm of solicitors that has been nominated in the terms of your legal expenses insurance (often included with your vehicle cover). However, if you are unhappy with the service you have received, you are entitled to look elsewhere for something better.

We Can Help

We have over 200 years’ post qualification experience in our Personal Injury Team here at MW and invite you to contact us in order that we may provide initial impartial advise for free and, if your case has reasonable prospects, to represent you in your claim. Those dissatisfied with their current representation can be also assured of better assessment, care and fight with MW. We are “small enough to care, big enough to make a difference”.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience.

Ride-on Lawnmower

Why you should insure your lawnmower and maybe your scooter.


Ian Iliopoulos
Ian Iliopoulos
Trainee Solicitor

Do I need motor insurance for my lawnmower?

Under UK law (the Road Traffic Act 1988), motor vehicle owners are required to have proper insurance in place to cover the risk of damaging property or causing personal injuries to other people. UK law currently states that motor vehicles are cars, motorbikes, vans, buses, trucks etc. and that they need only be insured on public roads.

However, the UK is also subject to EU law and the rules there have changed in the last few years.

What does EU law say?

Under EU law the definition of a “vehicle” is much broader than it is in the UK. Under European Law known as the Motor Insurance Directive, a vehicle is “any motor vehicle intended for travel on land and propelled by mechanical power, but not running on rails, and any trailer, whether or not coupled”. This is a very wide definition and it is not clear what it covers.

In the past few years, there have been judgments made in the European Courts which have tried to narrow down which vehicles need motor insurance and which do not. As a result, the Motor Insurance Directive has been updated to include a new definition of “vehicle use”: any vehicle that can be used in traffic on public or private land regardless of the characteristics of that vehicle.

What vehicles need insurance?

All motor vehicles will need insurance if they are able to be driven on public or private land. This includes cars, motorbikes, trucks, vans, mopeds, tractors, ride-on lawnmowers, golf carts etc.

(Some exceptions to this law are likely to be smaller vehicles like electric bicycles or segways as they are thought to be less likely to cause serious harm to others in an accident)

Therefore, if you have a vehicle that you do not drive, it must be insured unless you officially register it as being off road. 

We Can Help

We have over 200 years’ post qualification experience in our Personal Injury Team here at MW and invite you to contact us in order that we may provide initial impartial advise for free and, if your case has reasonable prospects, to represent you in your claim. We are “small enough to care, big enough to make a difference”.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience.

Cycling Safe Streets

The theme of Road Safety Week is Step up for Safe Streets. This has to include safe streets for all - pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motor vehicles.


Philip Scarles
Philip Scarles
Solicitor - Health & Injury

I am a personal injury solicitor with over 30 years experience and have undertaken many types of road traffic cases. I have also been a cyclist for many years, having cycle commuted, toured, raced and for leisure. This article looks at the safety of our streets from a cyclist’s perspective.

Many roads in the UK are not perfect for cycling. On the contrary, we are all too familiar with the news of potholes on our roads, which cause damage to cars, let alone cycles.

Cycling accidents come in many forms. Examples are a collision with another road user, another cyclist, a pedestrian, with an animal, or encountering a pothole or swerving to avoid a pothole.

One of my ongoing cases is for a cyclist who swerved to avoid potholes and collided with a van, suffering life changing injuries and being unable to return to work. The case is similar to the claimant’s case in Curtis v Hertfordshire County Council, where a cyclist swerved to avoid a defect in the road, fell off and suffered serious injuries. Mr Curtis’ claim succeeded, but claims under the Highways Act 1980 are not straightforward and defendant local authorities often defend these cases, as is the position with my client’s case.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors we passionately represent cyclists and willingly take on the most challenging cycling cases. We know how to build the best possible case and who the best experts and best barristers are for these cases. By taking on these cases, we indirectly campaign for safer cycling streets. For example, a claim against a local authority for an accident caused by a pothole is, in an indirect way, a campaign to local authorities to take action to keep our streets safer for cycling.

The Personal Injury team at MW has more than 200 years’ post qualification experience, and with many cycling years experience too, we are “small enough to care, big enough to make a difference”.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience.

Road Safety Week 2019

In November 2007, as a Law Society Personal Injury Accredited solicitor acting for injured people and bereaved families as a consequence of road collision, I was asked to attend the launch of Brake’s Road Safety Week in London.


Joanna Bailey
Joanna Bailey
Partner - Head of Personal Injury

The theme then was the safety of children on foot and bicycle. Brake held 12 media launches across the UK, including a national press conference, raising awareness about the number of children killed and injured on UK roads, the importance of drivers slowing down around schools and homes, and the need for more 20mph zones.

Established in 1995 Brake continues to strive to draw to our attention to the unnecessary consequences of poor driving, seeking to embrace us all to think about the journeys we take in or on what kind of mode, reduce the speeds we travel at, improve the design of our roads to increase safety and press for new criminal charges like dealing with driving when using a mobile phone and driving under the influence of drugs.

I am proud to have supported Brake’s campaigns ever since 2007 appearing on the BBC, ITV, Sky News and BBC national and local radio on Brake’s  behalf. As the Head of the Personal Injury Department at McMillan Williams now our firm will be supporting this year’s event to be held between the 18-24 November 2019. This year’s theme is “Step up for Safe Streets” asking us to learn about, shout about and celebrate the amazing design-led solutions that will allow us all to get around in safe and healthy ways, every day.

We Can Help

If you want to learn more about road safety or need advice following a road collision we can help. With a team totalling more than 200 years’ post qualification experience we are “small enough to care, big enough to make a difference”.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience

Road Traffic Collision

The phrase "Road Traffic Accident" is now largely redundant.


Allen Harry Myers
Allen Harry Myers
Legal Executive - Health & Injury

The Police recognises this and for a very good reason. There is always a reason for a collision, they do not occur by accident.  Therefore the correct phrase is Road Traffic Collision (RTC) which has been universally adopted.

This is a view shared by our Personal Injury lawyers at MW. Whereas the Police will tirelessly investigate a serious collision for the purpose of securing a conviction we do the same for the purpose of pursuing a claim for compensation.

An RTC is any incident involving the coming together of vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists. You might be a driver, a passenger or perhaps even an innocent bystander injured in such an occurrence. If the incident was not your fault there is a possibility that you might be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Injuries, physical or otherwise, can take a considerable time to heal, some can be permanent, or may cause further health complications in the future.

Serious RTC’s can be life changing. Here at MW we recognise the physical pain caused as well as the psychological effect of being injured whilst using our roads.

We cannot take away the pain and suffering but we can expertly guide you through the process  of making a claim. We will support you at every stage and will, where we can, even arrange for rehabilitation at no cost to you as your claim progresses.

When conducting your claim we will consider the full impact of your injury and how it has changed your life and that of your immediate family. We will also consider the huge financial implications of your injury, both past, present and future.
We will take the time to meet you in person and to make sure we fully appreciate how your injury has affected you both physically, psychologically and financially.

The amount of compensation you might receive can be significant. The amount of that compensation will vary based upon the full nature and extent of the injuries sustained you. We cannot, with any accuracy, forecast what a claim is worth at the commencement but we will endeavour to obtain relevant information from you, and appropriate experts, so that we can properly advise you as your claim progresses.

The majority of RTC claims are conducted on a no win no fee basis which we can discuss with you.  In most cases we are even able to fund disbursements incurred, for example, medical report fees and even Court issue fees which can be as much as £10,000.00.

We Can Help

We have over 200 years’ post qualification experience in our Personal Injury Team here at MW and invite you to contact us in order that we may provide initial impartial advise for free and, if your case has reasonable prospects, to represent you in your claim. We are “small enough to care, big enough to make a difference”.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience.

Joanna Bailey, Keeley Lengthorn, Katherine Hodge and Stuart Henry joined forces this weekend to attend the 5th Annual Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) conference in Bristol.
 
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS is a debilitating condition which can arise after even the most innocuous of injuries or medical accidents. Among the array of symptoms, sufferers develops intense pain, swelling and cannot bear even the lightest of touches. It normally affects one of the limbs but can in some cases spread to other parts of the body. In the most severe cases it can result in amputation of limbs.
 
The charity Burning Nights was set up as a support for sufferers. The founder Victoria Abbott-Fleming is a CRPS sufferer herself and a bi-lateral amputee. MW are proud supporters of this fantastic charity and are also one of two leading firms on their legal panel.
 
Both Joanna Bailey and Kathreen Hodge took to the stage and spoke at the conference, not only to the plus 100 delegates at the conference itself, but this was also live streamed to thousands around the world. 

Personal Injury Claims for CRPS - Joanna Bailey

https://youtu.be/JQHJiZnafzk?t=14930

Employment Law and CRPS - Katherine Hodge

https://youtu.be/JQHJiZnafzk?t=15649

We Can Help

 

At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those suffering from CRPS which has developed following injury.

Instructing a specialist CRPS solicitor who properly understands the condition means our clients are supported throughout the legal process.   We provide expert support and guidance in what will be difficult and challenging times.  We work with organisations that can help support you, including the Burning Nights charity.  Based on our wealth of experience we will  seek to achieve a financial result that makes a real difference to your long-term security as we as providing the care and assistance you need.

If you would like to talk to us about your CRPS case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a callback.

 

Medical Negligence



Hasina Choudhury represented the Claimant JK (PR of the Estate of LK) v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 2297.


Hasina Choudhury
Hasina Choudhury
Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence - Adult Claims

The case was an appeal against the decision not to grant an extension of time or relief from sanctions following late service of the Defendants’ Defence to a clinical negligence claim brought by the Claimant. The clinical negligence claim arose following the death of her husband after a series of alleged failures in the care provided by the Defendants leading to a fatal delay in coronary artery bypass surgery. It was submitted that absent these failings, successful surgery would have been performed before the time of his death. The Defendants had sought several extensions of time for serving their Defence which had been agreed by the Claimant and granted by the Court. Nonetheless, the Defendants still failed to serve their defence by the agreed extension and were 5.5 weeks late. The Defendants denied both breach of duty and causation in their Defence and made applications for an extension of time for serving the Defence and for relief from sanctions. This application was heard by Master Gidden and dismissed. Applying the three-stage test in Denton v. TH White Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 906 the Master found that the Defendants’ default in serving their Defence was serious and significant; there was no good reason for the default; and that when considering all the circumstances the relevant application was the application for relief from sanctions which had not been made promptly.

The Defendants appealed, on the basis that an application for relief from sanctions was not required, since the order granting the final agreed extension for serving the Defence did not expressly provide a sanction for non-compliance. The High Court dismissed the appeal, finding that firstly, there was no need for the Defendants to make an application for relief from sanctions given that neither CPR rule 15.4 nor the Court’s orders extending time for service of the Defence prescribed a sanction in the event of default following Salford Estates (No. 2) Limited v. Altomart [2014] EWCA Civ 1408.

Secondly, whilst the Master was therefore in error in proceeding on the basis that an application for relief from sanctions was required, this was an application for an extension of time made after the expiry of the relevant period and the three-stage test in Denton still applied.

The question on the appeal was thus whether the error in approaching the third stage of the Denton test by treating the relevant application as the application for relief from sanctions (as opposed to the application for an extension of time for serving the Defence) was a material misdirection such that his decision could not stand. Having considered the relevant circumstances addressed by the Master, including the Defendants’ wrong assumption that a yet further extension would be “indulged” which was pivotal to the Master’s decision on this point, the Master’s misdirection was ultimately not material.

If, though, Mrs. Justice Lambert was wrong in her decision about this and the Master’s decision should be set aside, it was agreed that she should go on to exercise her discretion afresh, rather than remitting it back to the Master; and in these circumstances she would also refuse the appeal. Amongst other things, when considering the third stage of the Denton test, the application for an extension of time for service of the Defence had not in fact been made promptly. The Defendants’ initial application for an extension of time had been made by fax; and filing an application which attracts a fee by fax is permissible in only exceptional and rare circumstances of unavoidable emergency, which had not been the case here.

Jonathan Hand QC of Outer Temple Chambers was instructed by Hasina Choudhury of  McMillan Williams for the Respondent/Claimant

We Can Help

At MW,Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have been let down by the medical profession.  For a free initial assessment of whether you might have a valid claim, or to discuss your case with one of our dedicated professionals call us on 020 3551 8500 or  use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience.

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