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Tag Archive: injury

The ride of your life?

rollercoaster on holiday

As the summer season gets into full swing, many families will be looking forward to that much-anticipated break away, escaping to the sun, sea and sand of foreign lands for a week or two.

Whilst the adults might be happy enough to laze by the pool all day, chances are the kids might need a little more occupying and attention often turns to some of the local attractions, such as theme parks and waterparks.

Presented with a glossy brochure or website, families may be persuaded into booking excursions based on the strength of the images alone, which is often where problems can arise.

Although rides may appear controlled and well-maintained on the surface, safety regulations and standards abroad can often be less stringent than they are here in the UK. There have been several reports in the media lately, detailing horrific injuries sustained by holidaymakers abroad.

Dad-of-two, Jamie Norman, suffered serious injuries to his face, arms and legs after the trap door on a 60mph vertical slide didn’t open properly at the Aqualandia waterpark in Benidorm, Spain. Despite Mr Norman requiring medical attention, the slide re-opened after just 15 minutes.

Even more troubling was the death of a teenager who is believed to have fallen from the rollercoaster after a safety harness malfunctioned at nearby theme park, Terra Mitica,

Although rare, such incidents highlight the importance of carrying out detailed research ahead of visiting foreign attractions. The odd minor accident at such locations is, in all honesty, inevitable, but repeated reports of mechanical failures and dangerous near misses should instantly set alarm bells ringing.

Years of experience dealing with holiday claims has taught me that the great majority of travel companies protect themselves from accidents of this nature, particularly those involving alcohol or occurring within the resort complex. Loopholes included in the terms and conditions make it extremely difficult to make subsequent claims, so be sure to read the small print carefully when booking your holiday. Also watch out for excursions being sold by your rep in the resort. It may be that these are not covered under the package holiday.

And, above all, if you’re planning an adrenaline-fuelled day out when you get to your resport, ensure you have taken out a comprehensive insurance policy that covers the relevant activities. At least then, if, in the worst-case scenario, you do experience an accident abroad, you won’t be hit with a hefty medical bill for the privilege.

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01/08/2014 No Comments

Jersey introduces cycle helmet law

Bicyclists on their way home in the rain, properly dressed with

New legislation has been introduced in Jersey making it compulsory for children under the age of 14 to wear a helmet when cycling, in an effort to reduce the number of head injuries sustained in cycle accidents each year.

The first law of its kind to be passed in any jurisdiction in the British Isles, the new legislation was first proposed by Deputy Andrew Green MBE, Minister for Housing, in 2010.

Deputy Green, who is also Chair of brain injury charity, Headway UK, has his own personal reasons for supporting the bill. 26 years ago, his nine-year-old son, Christopher, was knocked off a bike, suffering a severe brain injury which impacted on family life to an almost unimaginable extent. Christopher hadn’t been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

The emotional and financial cost of living with brain injury can be limitless. Victims may need expensive and continuous care for their entire lives, responsibilities that often fall to already distraught family members, and, in some cases, they never regain the skills and memories held prior to the accident.

Even less serious cycle accidents can still be emotionally very traumatic, as well as resulting in personal injury that may require rehabilitation sessions and time away from education or work.

Compulsory helmet laws are a major step towards improving road safety for children. They automatically demand an increase in helmet-wearing rates and, with helmets being proven to reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 88%,

brain injury statistics have been reported to fall dramatically as a direct result – by up to 50% in some countries.

As a personal injury specialist, I find it particularly difficult when cases arise involving children, so feel very encouraged to learn that measures are being put in place to improve road safety for child cyclists.

Jersey is leading by example, but it is the decision of UK politicians as to whether the mainland now follows suit.

I, for one, would be fully backing the bill.

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30/07/2014 No Comments

Suarez ‘biting’ incident brings sports claims cases into the spotlight

By Jane Woodcock, Personal Injury expert and Senior Legal Executive at Neil Hudgell Solicitors

URUGUAY and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez may finally have bitten off more than he can chew as he has been hit with a four month ban from football for taking a chunk out of Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in their 1-0 World Cup win on Tuesday.

Television footage clearly showed the striker biting Chiellini’s left shoulder (although Suarez claimed he “bumped” into him and was hurt himself), bringing much scrutiny over the player’s poor disciplinary record, and the bad example being set on the world stage.

All the talk has previously centred on what length of ban he deserved, especially given he had twice been banned before for biting opponents on the field. Now, the debate between football pundits and in newspapers will be whether a four month ban – and nine international matches – is long enough.

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26/06/2014 No Comments

Dog bite victims: helping to claim for compensation for injuries and losses

Doctors Hospital Corridor Nurse Pushing Gurney Stretcher Bed

I know from first-hand experience the devastating effects dog attacks can have on people’s health and well-being.  At present I have two clients and recently settled cases for another two: all suffered dog attacks in different ways but all share the pain of physical and psychological scars.

Being attacked by a dog can, first of all, be a tremendous shock, particularly if the dog is one already known to you and which you thought of as friendly.  Many victims’ confidence takes a terrible knock; they are often afraid to venture out of the house or go to friends’ houses if there is the possibility of a dog being present.

Dealing with the physical effects of the bite can also be very painful and take a long time and much treatment.  Dog bites can be savage and the wounds inflicted require plastic surgery or other procedures.  Often, no matter how skilled the surgeon, the scars will always remain and that can be very difficult for many people to come to terms with.

It’s the psychological damage which results from being bitten by a dog which can be equally, and sometimes more difficult, to address and repair.  Counselling can help – and it’s important to get exactly the right support required by each individual.

These types of treatments can often incur additional costs as some victims choose to seek help as quickly as possible and this can often mean going privately, rather than waiting for an NHS appointment.  That’s often why I’m approached by dog bite victims.  Their priority is not to punish the dog or the owner but they do need some compensation to help them put right the damage they’ve suffered and get their lives as near as possible to how they were before the attack.

Seeking legal advice about dog attacks should be very straightforward.  A lawyer like me will interview a client and find out details of the case.  If it’s apparent there is a case to make a claim the first port of call will be to find out if the owner of the dog has pet insurance.  If this is in place, then it is often relatively simple to make a claim.  If the dog is not covered by pet insurance then it may be possible to make a claim on the owner’s household insurance or to sue them as an individual.

Generally, a dog bite claim is based on the nature of the injury suffered and any financial losses incurred as a result, for example, loss of earnings.  Typical pay outs range from £1,000 upwards but it’s impossible to give an exact amount as it depends so much on the individual circumstances of the claim.

I recently went to see the work of a Hull organisation called Pet Respect which is making a video to raise awareness of dogs and how to behave around them in the hope of reducing the number of attacks on children.  Having seen at first hand the devastating impact a dog bit can have on an individual, any initiative such as this film has to be welcomed.  I am always here to help a person who’s been attacked by a dog and welcome inquiries from anyone who feels they could benefit from my advice.

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27/01/2014 No Comments

Claiming compensation for personal injury or medical negligence? The 5 essential questions you need to ask your lawyer

By Sean Gordon, Senior Solicitor, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

Recent changes in the law* have affected the way that compensation claims operate for personal injury and medical negligence claims, particularly for those up to £25,000.

The changes mainly affect how much of their costs a client can claim back from the other side and, consequently, whether or not a client can expect to keep 100% of any damages recovered on their behalf.

Instead of keeping 100% of any damages won, a claimant may have to pay a percentage to their lawyer.  To avoid this and to ensure there are no deductions from any compensation, and you keep 100% of any damages you win, there are five essential questions to ask a lawyer before you agree to let him or her handle your claim.

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15/04/2013 1 Comment

Big brother is watching…

The story emerged this week of a Hull cab company who are reported to have been advised by their insurers to install CCTV in their cabs, on the supposed basis that some of the personal injury claims made against their drivers in the recent past (presumably by passengers and other drivers) may have been fraudulent.     The self proclaimed aim is to reduce the number of supposedly fraudulent claims against the company, and to thereby save money.

When I first heard this story a number of thoughts occurred to me.

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26/06/2012 No Comments

Fighting for the rights of the underdog?

Listen to any debate about law in general, or the English legal system in particular, and it probably won’t be too long before you hear it said that the system of justice in this country is perceived to be “the envy of the world”.  Those who have suffered injustice (perceived or real) at it’s hands will no doubt seek to disagree, but in the age of 24 hour instant news coverage from around the world, we increasingly get the chance to see how the legal systems in other countries  compare to ours,  and to note that the checks and balances which we take so much for granted from those who oversee our society, are often conspicuous by their absence elsewhere.

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18/06/2012 No Comments

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