Winter Weather Accidents – Your Questions Answered

Wind and rain has been the main feature this winter, but there are still predictions that we have a “big freeze” yet to come.

In our second Q&A session with the Bury Times,  we focus on winter weather accidents—particularly slipping on ice.

Image of icicles

© Jack Dagley | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Q.

I slipped on ice outside the supermarket in their car park and broke my wrist. I have been off work for six weeks and am falling behind with my mortgage payments. Can I make a claim and how much compensation would I get?  

A.

When an accident occurs on private land due to snow or ice, it may be possible to claim compensation from the owners of the land or those in charge of its maintenance and upkeep.

 

Supermarkets, shops and other commercial premises must take “all reasonable measures” to ensure that their visitors are kept safe while on their land.

 

This means that the owners/managers must take in to account weather forecasts, have salt in stock to melt the ice, clear pathways through snow, put up warning signs if necessary or close any pathways that cannot be cleared. If they haven’t taken enough steps then they will be found liable to you for your compensation and their insurers will have to pay you compensation.

 

For a broken wrist, it will depend on how severe the break was, whether an operation was needed and whether you will need surgery in the future—the present guidelines are between £3000-6000 and up to £40,000 for, depending on these factors. In addition you can claim for loss of earnings and other out of pocket expenses such as treatment and travel costs. If you fall into arrears with your mortgage you should also be able to claim any late payment fees charged by your lender. In addition, you will be able to have all medical treatment privately rather than waiting on the NHS queue enabling you to get on with your recovery.

 

Accidents from slipping on ice can occur in many places—at work or in public places. There is more information on our website www.nwlaw.co.uk

For all winter weather accidents – and accidents of any kind, the best course of action is to call us for FREE advice on 0161 772 9922.

 

At NW Law, we are Personal Injury EXPERTS and we would be happy to discuss whether or not you have the right to claim compensation for your accident.

 

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Save The Children – Christmas Jumper Day at NW Law

Today is Christmas Jumper Day in aid of the charity Save the Children.

It doesn’t usually take much of an excuse to get everyone at NW Law either dressing up or in the festive spirit, so today’s fundraising idea by Save The Children was one event that we definitely didn’t want to miss out on!

Naomi Wilson, the director at NW Law, offered to make a donation to the charity for each member of staff that joined in wearing a festive sweater for Christmas Jumper Day. She was delighted to see that all of the team members that were in the office today joined in the fun!

All participants also received a festive treat and a prize was to be given to the person judged to be wearing the best jumper.

Congratulations to Frances Jackson for this Christmas cracker!

Fran's Winning Christmas Jumper The back of Fran's Christmas Jumper!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We think that Save The Children is a great cause and what a fun and easy way to raise funds for the charity so that they can continue to provide help and assistance to children around the world.

Save The Children works in 120 countries, saving children and fighting for their rights. Their teams respond quickly to disasters and emergencies and do whatever it takes to save children’s lives.

In 2012, Save The Children responded to emergencies in 39 different countries – delivering life-saving food, water, healthcare, protection and education to 4 million children and their family members.

Some examples of the way that donations are spent are:

£66 could protect three children from deadly diseases.
£120 could give 40 children life-saving mosquito nets.
£500 could train five health workers to treat sick children.

For more information on Save The Children, please see

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/christmas-jumper-day


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The Daily Commute by Bike: Is it Getting More Dangerous?

Cycling is in the spotlight again, in light of the tragic news of another death on London’s roads.

This brings the number of deaths in London to 14 this year – however, six of those have occurred in the last two weeks alone.

As cycling becomes a more popular mode of transport, there are suggestions that an increase in the number of inexperienced cyclists who have decided to commute by bike could be contributing to making roads less safe.

Cycling - A Plea for Tolerance on the RoadsThe dangers are increased when you consider that a large proportion of motorists are not used to dealing with so many cyclists, so there is a possible lack of awareness of the rules of the road governing cyclists.

According to this article on the BBC website, theories suggest that as the sheer number of cyclists increases, motorists will be more likely to adjust their driving to accommodate them. But what advice is there to keep safe in the meantime?

Jason desk webJason Wiltshire is a member of the RTA department at NW Law. He is a keen cyclist and secretary of the Lancashire Road Racing club. Below he discusses the Department of Transport’s advice to cyclists, which are:

 

 

  • Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb
  • Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
  • Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  • Wear light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark
  • Follow the Highway Code including observing “stop” and “give way” signs and traffic lights
  • Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet

 

Jason:

I know from my own experience as a cyclist and being a member of the Lancashire Road Club that cycling is not as safe as it used to be.

It is good that more people are cycling and awareness has risen, but it is also noted that some less experienced cyclists do not help themselves when it comes to being involved in an accident.

Looking at the DoT guidelines that are listed above, the issue over lights is not an option – they are obligatory should you choose to ride at night. Many cyclists choose now to use lights during the day as well to increase their visibility.

High visibility clothing makes a huge difference and there are now hundreds of products available to suit every cyclist needs.

The two points that should be noted in particular are:   

  1. Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
  2. Wear light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark

The deaths in London recently do tend to centre around cyclists riding up the inside of large vehicles. Large trucks do have difficulty seeing cyclists in their blind spot.

Often cyclists have not given themselves an ‘escape route’ when the truck turns or move lane. This is made all the more difficult in Autumn/Winter as often windows are fogged or mirrors have moisture on them.

Recently large trucks have started fitting new mirrors to enable them to see cyclists and buses have placed large notices on the back of buses advising cyclists to be careful when passing on the inside.

Accidents caused by the excessive speed of some motorists, widespread mobile use and general impatience will only reduce with a shift in mindset or a change in the law.

 

Jason Wiltshire joined NW Law in July 2013 and is a member of our Road Traffic Accident Department. He has 15 years experience dealing with large loss RTA claims and motorbike and cycling accident claims.

Jason is available on 0161 772 9922 to discuss your cycling accident queries.

 

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Following an Accident…your questions answered

We are currently running a campaign with our local newspaper the Bury Times, where we answer some of the most common questions that people have following an accident.

We are aware that many of our clients are also based out of the local area. With that in mind, here are the first couple of questions.

A dedicated questions page has also been added to our website.

Image of Gentleman Looking at Car Damaged in Accident

What next?

Q: I have had a car accident and the other driver’s insurers have contacted me. They have offered me £1000 to settle my claim. My neck and my back are hurting.

Should I just accept the money to avoid the hassle?

A: The thought of getting your compensation early is a tempting one.

However, matters settled this way can often be undervalued by THOUSANDS of pounds. Insurance companies want cases dealt with quickly. To do this, they make what
seems to be a generous offer soon after the accident.

Unfortunately, many problems resulting from Road Traffic Accidents do not come
to light until much later. Settle early and you could miss out
on further compensation. This money could help with unforseen medical bills, transport costs and time off work. Leaving you out of pocket.

This is seen as such an important topic that The Law Society ran a campaign recently to stress that an accident victim should ALWAYS consult a solicitor before accepting any offer made.

See our previous post for more details.

 

There is no hassle to worry about!

Most cases can be dealt with by conversations over the telephone.

Don’t forget, though, that if you are in the area, you can always pop in at any time to discuss your claim.

 

Q: I think that I might have a claim for personal injury, but I am worried about the costs. How much will making a claim cost me?

A: Your initial advice is FREE. We can assess whether or not you have a claim at
that point.

Cases are run on a No-Win, No-Fee basis. If your claim is ultimately
unsuccessful, you do not have to worry about paying a fee for our work.

However, government changes last April mean that the costs of instructing a
solicitor may now be taken from any compensation that you receive.

For that reason, we suggest that you contact us for more information. We will then be able to discuss the options that are open to you.

Contact us on

 0161
772 9922

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Fun DIY Halloween Lanterns

Now that Halloween is here, we have decided to dispense with our usual legal updates on the NW Law blog and thought that we would do something a little bit more fun.

Pumpkins are, of course, the traditional method of decoration for the 31st October.  Go out for a walk tonight and you will see some wonderful carvings outside many houses on Halloween.

However, here is something a little different – the NW Law guide to making your very own Halloween lanterns using some old jars and tissue paper.

Spooky Hallowe'en Lanterns

The lanterns give a wonderfully spooky, shadowy glow to your rooms, they are great fun to make and could even be taken around on the trick-or-treat run.

To make the lanterns, you will need:

- PVA Glue

- Coloured Tissue Paper (Orange, Black)

- Black Clip Art Halloween Shapes (or your own drawings) – Bats, Witches, Gravestones etc.,

- A Very Clean Jar (jam jar, for instance – not too deep).

- Tea Light Candles (I actually recommend battery powered tea lights, as the jar may make it difficult to light ordinary ones).

First of all, rip the orange tissue paper in to small squares of around an inch to two inches. Then brush glue on the outside of the jar.

Stick the orange shreds of tissue paper on to the jar, covering the outside of it. Don’t worry about over-lapping or wrinkling the paper, that all adds to the charm and effect.

Once covered, you can then add your black silhouettes to the outside in any pattern you like.

Finally, once dry, place your tea light inside, turn out the lights, and watch the warm glow or the dancing shadows!

And wait for the “ooooooohhhhh!”

 

A different version of this article appeared on Yahoo!, written by our own Stuart Cofield.
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Government Puts Unfair Small Claims Changes on Hold

Imagine breaking your foot in an accident. The fracture will heal quite well, but it does mean that you will be off work for a month, resulting in a loss of earnings for you.

The first thing that you should look to do is contact legally qualified solicitors to help you claim compensation.

The Government has been discussing changes that would have meant that many accident victims would no longer be able to instruct a solicitor to assist them in such cases. This means that they would be left to fend for themselves in court.

Image of Gentleman Looking at Car Damaged in Accident

Road Traffic Accident – Small Claims

The value of such a claim is in the region of £3000.  Currently, the Small Claims Court only deals with personal injury matters that have a value up to £1000. Anything over that amount goes through the county court system.

The Government was looking at increasing the threshold so that the Small Claims Court could deal with many more personal injury cases.

 

 

Thankfully, news came in this week that common sense has prevailed and the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has decided not to raise the small claims limit for personal injury cases from £1000 to £5000 – for now.

 

If he had raised the limit, it would have been a disaster for innocent accident victims and their right to access justice.

 

The Government was looking at ways to reduce the cost of whiplash claims and the theory behind raising the levels to £5000 was that too much time and money is spent on sorting through lower value claims (such as whiplash claims) and fraudulent claims.

It is important to keep a check on fraudulent claims, but the changes to the system are so numerous and are being made with such speed that it appears that the Government view all accident victims as just part of a “compensation culture” and that they are claiming for compensation that they are not entitled to.

As an innocent accident victim, how would you feel being cast as a “scrounger” and being left to deal with all the legal aspects of claiming for your loss of earnings on your own?

Sending thousands of extra cases through the Small Claims system would do exactly that, leaving accident victims having to represent themselves in the Small Claims Court without proper legal advice, putting pressure not only on the public, but also on court time and staff.

A further turn of events would be that this would pave the way for insurers to increase the practice of settling claims directly with accident victims, many of whom would find taking the matter any further to be far too much hassle and would accept an offer much lower than they were entitled to.

 

We welcome the news that such measures have been put on hold.

 

 

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NW Law Opens Clinical Negligence Department

At NW Law, because we specialise solely in Personal Injury matters, we pride ourselves on the fact that we are Personal Injury experts.

Therefore, we are delighted to announce the opening of a dedicated Clinical Negligence Department.

If you are unhappy with the quality of medical treatment you have received, or have suffered because of a failure to meet standards in care or procedures, you may be able to make a claim for clinical negligence.

Claire Hutchinson, Head of Clinical NegligenceClaire Hutchinson is a solicitor at NW Law who deals with serious accidents and accidents in the workplace. She has over ten years experience in personal injury work and much of this experience has been in the area of Clinical Negligence.

Claire’s experience includes dealing with cases such as the failure to diagnose a broken limb, the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosing cancer and the failure to take account of an allergy causing anaphylactic shock and heart attack on the operating table.

The demand from both existing and potential clients led to the creation of our new department and we are very pleased that Claire has accepted the position of Head of Clinical Negligence Department within the firm.

This move will help us to focus on this complex area of law in much closer detail and continue to provide our high levels of service.

For more information on Claire and Clinical Negligence, please click here.

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Insurers Out to Rip You Off Again!

Imagine the scenario. You are at home, recovering from an accident and wondering what steps to take next. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door.

A stranger who says they represent the other side’s insurance company asks if you have a few moments to discuss your accident. He has all the details of the accident, so he must be official.

Insurer Offering Cash for Quick Settlement

Insurer Offering Cash for Quick Settlement
(image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net, Grant Cochrane)

You listen as he tells you how the company he represents can help cut out the waiting time that occurs when going through the legal system by organising a cheque as compensation for your accident almost immediately. He may even try and convince you by saying that solicitors are costly and you will end up with much less if you don’t settle directly with them and will be waiting years for your money.

Why wait? Just sign on the dotted line and the money will be yours.

Sound too good to be true?

Continue reading

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Motorists Urged to “Back Off” and Stop Tailgating

Apil’s new campaign calls for motorists to keep their distance.

As a firm of Personal Injury Specialists, we fight tirelessly on behalf of innocent accident victims to maximise the compensation that they deserve and require at this traumatic time.

After all, nobody wants to be involved in an accident. They can bring many health, financial and work issues that can be difficult to resolve. When an accident happens, we are around to help.

However, we are also keen advocates of attempting to ensure that accidents are avoided in the first place.

As mentioned in a recent post of ours, the government recently introduced a host of new penalties and police powers for dealing with driving offences.

However, according to APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers), “tailgating” (driving too close to the car in front) is commonplace and it is the cause of many accidents on our roads.

A campaign has been launched to highlight the dangers of tailgating, urging motorists to keep their distance.

An animated video has been created to show various social circumstances where being so close to one another would be uncomfortable, unacceptable and dangerous.

Discussing the campaign in a recent press release, APIL’s Chief Executive, Deborah Evans stated, “Tailgating can result in crashes and injuries which could otherwise have been avoided. All it achieves is suffering for the driver in front and probably a higher insurance premium for the offender.”

“Even putting aside the fact that tailgating is dangerous, it can be intimidating for the driver in front. It would be completely unacceptable for someone to stride closely behind you in a shop or to breathe down your neck in a queue, yet it’s almost tolerated on the road.”

The full press release can be found here http://files.apil.org.uk/pdf/press_releases/2765.pdf.

 
 

You can also read more and join in the campaign on APIL’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Back-Off/591229770915898

 

We’d love to hear your views. Have you had any problems with tailgaters?

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NW Law Hold A Bake-Off For MacMillan Coffee Morning

Last Friday saw NW Law hosting our very own version of the “Great British Bake-Off” in aid of MacMillan’s “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.”

Some of the magnificent cakes baked by staff at NW Law

NW Law Bake-Off for MacMillan Coffee Morning

 

As you can see from the photograph, some beautiful cakes were baked by members of staff, all of which tasted as good as they looked!

 

Although an arduous task, we managed to get through the cakes and plans are already being made for next year’s event!

 

 

 

 

 

All of the proceeds made from the sale of the cakes between us are being sent to MacMillan Cancer Support.

 

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