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Whiplash claims debate rages on



By Jane Woodcock, Senior Legal Executive, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

Whiplash injury claims seem to be a real bone of contention at the moment. Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has been particularly vocal on the topic, veering between demanding a reform of the claims system and calling for a ban on whiplash payouts altogether.

Amongst the company’s recommendations is the introduction of a new process whereby victims put their claims directly to the insurer of the driver who caused the crash. By cutting out the middlemen, Aviva expects that car insurance premiums will be cut by, on average, £60 per year – a real coup for motorists no?

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06/08/2014 No Comments

Poll refutes claims of growing ‘compensation culture’



By Sean Gordon, Senior Solicitor, Neil Hudgell Solicitors

The term ‘compensation culture’ seems to have been bandied about somewhat excessively of late, with insurance companies blaming disingenuous claimants for a surge in premiums and rising litigation costs.

Yet it appears that such statements may, in fact, be unfounded. A recent poll conducted by YouGov has discovered that the proportion of personal injury victims willing to claim compensation following an accident has actually decreased, from 29% in 2013, to just one quarter.

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05/08/2014 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

Have the Jackson Reforms brought the non-specialist firms out of the woodwork?

By Chris Moore, Medical Negligence expert and Senior Solicitor at Neil Hudgell Solicitors

One of the reforms introduced by Lord Jackson was to impose fixed costs on many personal injury cases from April 2013. Medical Negligence claims are not covered by fixed costs. Insurers have revealed that they have been alerted by an increase in firms seeking “delegated authority” for insurance cover  for clinical negligence claims. Authority is provided prior to a claim being brought and before experts reports have been produced.

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11/07/2014 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

Suffered from Professional Negligence?

Every day people up and down the country are consulting professionals for the paid use of their skill. Whether it is a surveyor, an architect, an accountant or indeed a lawyer who possesses such a specialised expertise, all owe a duty of care to provide a service according to the accepted professional standard. Professional negligence- or ‘professional liability’ as it is more accurately termed- arises where that duty is breached in such a way as to cause damage to be suffered by the client. A successful claim entitles the client to financial compensation from the negligent professional.

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20/02/2014 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

APIL Accreditation – Why these things matter

We were recently awarded the status of an Accredited Practice by APIL.  A worthwhile award or just another badge to wear for PR purposes?  I would very much suggest the former.  I am very proud of the firm achieving this award.

APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a long established body which has been fighting for the rights of injured people now for over 20 years.

APIL is a non-profit campaign organisation and its members are dedicated to helping to change personal injury law, protect and enhance access to justice and help to improve the services provided to victims of personal injury either through accident claims or through medical negligence claims

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30/04/2012 No Comments

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