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Fatal road accidents “lowest since records began”

14% fall in the number of people killed in road accidents in 2008

Encouraging news from the government has revealed another drop in the number of people killed in accidents on the road.  2,538 people lost their lives on UK roads in 2008, which is the lowest figure since records began back in 1926.

The 14% reduction comes on the back of less impressive news from the European Road Assessment Programme about road safety on the country’s A-roads which featured in yesterday’s blog post.

With a 7% overall fall in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads, the government has met its target to reduce the number of these types of accidents by 40% compared with the mid-90’s average.  As Transport Secretary Lord Adonis pointed out when the figures were released, “Every death on the roads is a terrible tragedy, but these figures show that every day last year one less person died on the roads than in 2007…”

Cutting down on the number of fatal road accidents

The minister also pointed out that there was still a long way to go with regards to fatal road traffic accidents, saying; “While this news is encouraging, seven people are still dying on the roads every day and we will continue to do everything we can to prevent these tragedies.”

Another reaction to the figures came from the motoring organisation the AA.  Their head of road safety, Andrew Howard, said: “Even taking into account the almost 1% drop in traffic due to high fuel prices and recession, these figures are an excellent step in the right direction.  If this trend continues the UK will soon restore its position as one of the safest countries in the world.”

As a law firm dealing with thousands of people injured in road traffic accidents every year, as well as the families of fatal road accident victims, Camps Solicitors sees the impact that a road traffic accident can have on the victim and their families.  Whilst these figures are definitely a step in the right direction, there are still areas for improvement, such as the safety of children, with the number of children killed in road accidents in the past year rising by 3 to 124.

Injured in a road accident that was not your fault?

If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, calling The Compensation Experts today could help you to find out if you have the grounds to claim.  If we take on your case, not only will we be able to recover compensation for your injuries, we will also be able to provide a complete accident management service including the recovery, assessment and repair of your vehicle.  What’s more, we will provide you with a like for like hire vehicle for you to use whilst your own vehicle is off the road.

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Guide to Personal Injury Claims
Our guide to personal injury claims has been compiled to give you information on the UK compensation claims process, what you can expect when making a claim for compensation, and who is eligible to make a personal injury claim. Anyone who has contracted a terminal illness such as occupational cancer, or has suffered a serious injury which was the fault of a third party, has every right to be compensated for their loss and suffering. However it is not only serious injuries which warrant personal injury claims, and even relatively minor injuries can cause considerable discomfort, significant loss of earnings and can have serious implications in later life. If you have been injured in an accident which was not entirely your fault, and that accident was caused by third party negligence, you may well be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries under UK law and should seek legal advice from a UK personal injury solicitor. Negligence and Personal Injury Claims In order to claim compensation for injuries, you must have sustained an injury due to third party negligence. Negligence in a legal sense is a failure to take adequate care in order to prevent an injury to another person from being sustained. Speaking plainly, it means that if someone is responsible for causing your injury, you can claim compensation from their insurance policy to cover the financial consequences of your injuries, and to compensate you for any pain and suffering caused. Even if the injury has been caused by someone without insurance, it may still be possible to claim compensation. With personal injury claims for compensation, there are four aspects of negligence which need to be satisfied. 1. That there was a duty of care to the claimant under the circumstances 2. There has been a breach of duty, by action or inaction which led to the injury 3. That an injury has been caused as a result of negligence and a breach in a third party's duty of care 4. That the injuries sustained could not have been avoided by any reasonable person under the circumstances An example of a duty of care could be a doctor's duty to treat a condition in a reasonable time frame, or it could be a supermarkets duty to remove potential hazards and make the store safe for visitors. Employers too have a duty of care, and must make sure workers are not placed at excessive risk and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure health and safety - such as providing safety equipment and training when and where appropriate. What is Contributory Negligence? Contributory negligence may be applicable in many personal injury claims, such as when a single third party is not entirely to blame for an accident and injury. Contributory negligence often applies in road traffic accidents where more than one driver is deemed to be at fault. The contributory negligence of each party which led to an accident and injury will mean each is liable to pay a proportion of compensation. Personal injury claims can also include the contributory negligence of the claimant, should they be partly at fault for either the accident itself or the severity of injuries sustained. This could be failing to wear a seatbelt or not seeking immediate medical treatment following an injury. A defence could use this as evidence of personal negligence and would attempt to have compensation reduced due to a failure in the personal duty of care The UK Personal Injury Claims Process Personal injury claims should always be made through an experienced personal injury solicitor, even in cases where the claims appear cut and dry. A third party may accept that they have been negligent and that they are liable to pay damages, but this does not mean that a personal injury solicitor should not be used. Often even strong compensation claims can involve a battle to get appropriate compensation, as third party insurers are keen to limit their losses. Using the services of a personal injury solicitor almost always improves the chance of success, and will help you get an appropriate settlement. Personal injury claims start with an assessment of eligibility, and a claimant will be required to prove there has been third party negligence. This involves collating documentation of injuries, appropriate reports of your injuries to the proper authorities, and proving any material that can support your claim, such as photographs of the hazard which caused a trip injury. Once a personal injury solicitor is satisfied that there is a case for compensation, they will issue a claim letter to the defendant outlining why they are deemed to have been negligent. The defendant is given a reasonable time to respond and is allowed to defend his actions (or inaction) and attempt to prove he is not liable for damages. When it can be proven that "on the balance of probabilities" an injury was sustained due to third party negligence, many insurance companies will decide to settle. Out of Court Settlements for personal injury claims can save on court costs, which can be considerable. It is expected that both parties can come to a mutually acceptable agreement on the level of compensation which should be awarded. When the negotiations stall, or when negligence is denied, the case will be taken to a UK court and the matter will be decided by a judge. Costs of Making Personal Injury Claims Legal costs associated with personal injury claims can be considerable, which is why many accident victims pursue compensation using a 'No Win No Fee' solicitor. Each solicitor will have a specific fee structure, which they will discuss with you before you enlist their services. No Win No Fee solicitors commonly advertise on television, and give the impression that it is a totally free service; with claimants later faced with a considerable legal bill should the case prove to be unsuccessful. It is important to ascertain the exact nature of the fee structure and to determine any costs for which you will be liable should the case not produce the desired result. Costs associated with making personal injury claims are called disbursements, and need to be paid as the claim progresses. Your solicitor may cover these costs initially; however, you may be liable for these costs should your claim be unsuccessful. Similarly, while many No Win No Fee solicitors claim that you will not pay their legal fees, you may end up being liable for those of the defendant should you lose your claim. The legal costs associated with personal injury claims should never prevent you from seeking legal advice. While there will be costs when cases are unsuccessful, our experienced personal injury solicitors can give you an idea of the chances of success before commencing a compensation claim and can advise you on insurance policies to ensure any legal costs are covered. After speaking to one of our personal injury solicitors you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with a claim. Many of our clients' personal injury claims are pursued on a 'No Win No Fee' basis, and we are always 100% clear on what your liabilities will be. Time Limit on Making Personal Injury Claims Personal injury claims for compensation must be made within a legally acceptable time frame, which is stipulated by the UK statute of limitations. Personal injury claims usually need to be commenced within 3 years of the injury date; however, there are various caveats which can reduce the timeframe for making personal injury claims. In almost all cases, instigating a claim as soon as possible after the injury has been sustained is the best course of action, while the accident is still fresh in the minds of witnesses. As time progresses, witness accounts become vaguer, and not taking rapid action can jeopardise the chances of making a successful claim. Not all personal injury claims are treated in the same way by the statute of limitations, so if you have suffered an injury and are in any doubt, it is important to consult a personal injury solicitor for advice. Work-related personal injury claims for industrial diseases are a notable exception to the statute of limitation. The 3 year claim period still applies, but it does not start until the date of knowledge of the disease is known. This could be when the first symptoms present, or when the diagnosis made by a medical professional that the condition is a reportable work-related illness. Since these two dates may differ by some degree, it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as you are aware that your injury is work-related, to ensure that you can make your claim in time. Personal injury claims for children are also treated differently, with compensation claims able to be made up until the victims 21st birthday, although often delaying a claim unnecessarily can lead to complications. A personal injury claims solicitor should always be contacted at the earliest opportunity, to ensure that any compensation claim does not become time-barred. Any claim which is not initiated within the correct legal timeframe is likely to be struck and will result in no compensation being awarded. Free Legal Advice for Personal Injury Claims If you have suffered an injury and it was not entirely your fault, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries, and it is important that you seek legal advice. Our panel of solicitors are experienced in all personal injury claims and are prepared to give you free legal advice and advise you on your eligibility to claim personal injury compensation. You will be advised of the chances of making a successful claim, the procedures which need to be followed to maximise the chance of success, and whether it is actually worth your while to pursue compensation. Our solicitors are always sympathetic and understand the distress and suffering which can be caused by injuries. They will offer practical advice in plain English and not put you under any obligation to proceed with a claim. Call our Freephone number today to speak directly with a UK personal injury solicitor. We look forward to having the opportunity to help you with any personal injury claims.
Passenger Compensation: Your Rights When A Flight Goes Wrong
The rules for cancellations, delays and overbooking are mightily tangled. Simon Calder unravels them to the Independent: Your flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked. What, if anything, does the airline owe you? This guide aims to help you understand when you are due compensation, and when you just have to put a dismal aviation episode down to experience. Q. Just remind me what the law says? The rules on passengers' rights known as EC261 apply to all flights from EU airports, as well as flights operated by EU airlines from airports outside Europe. The intention is to oblige airlines to do right by their passengers. They specify the care to which you are entitled when your plane is delayed or cancelled – or you are denied boarding even though you have a ticket and show up on time. But the rules are murky, and when airlines reinterpret them in different ways, they become positively labyrinthine. The rules on care in a delay are clear. Regardless of the cause, the airline must provide meals and, if necessary, accommodation until the flight departs. The trigger point depends on the length of the journey. For short flights (up to 1,500km, for example, Newcastle to Nice), it's two hours; mid-haul journeys (1,500 to 3,500km, e.g. Birmingham-Istanbul) three hours; and longer trips, four hours. Q. What about cancellations and delays? If a flight is cancelled at short notice (within a week or a fortnight, with slightly different rules on each), the airline must offer you the choice of a refund or alternative flight. They are also required to pay compensation if the cancellation was within their control. The original rules did not specify cash compensation for delays, but since they took effect in 2005 a succession of European Court of Justice judgments have concluded that if you are three hours or more late arriving, it amounts to a cancellation. So if it's the airline's fault, you can claim compensation. Q. And overbooking? Some airlines overbook, i.e. sell more seats than there are available, knowing there are often a number of no-shows. Sometimes they guess wrong. It should be a simple matter to solve the problem, by bribing passengers whose plans are flexible to travel later. But if the airline is unable or unwilling to find enough volunteers, they deny boarding to some passengers, who become eligible for compensation. Q. How much compensation am I due? The airline owes you between €250 and €600 in cash compensation unless it can demonstrate "extraordinary circumstances" caused the problem. A short hop qualifies for €250, a mid-haul earns €400, and a longer flight €600 (only €300 if you arrive three to four hours late). You must claim within the time specified under the Statute of Limitations – in England and Wales, six years, in Scotland five. The payment must be made by cheque or bank transfer, except if the airline obtains the prior signed agreement of the passenger to pay with vouchers for future travel. For example, Monarch offers a 20 per cent uplift if you accept vouchers that are valid for a year; the €250 cash compensation becomes €300-worth of flights. Q. Define 'extraordinary circumstances' The rules provide only a partial answer: "political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes". Court cases have gradually refined the concept of extraordinary circumstances. Most recently, the Appeal Court in London ruled that technical issues did not count. A passenger named Ronald Huzar claimed from Jet2 after a 27-hour "tech delay" on a flight from Malaga to Manchester in October 2011. Initially, his claim was turned down by a district judge. But after a succession of hearings, the Appeal Court judge, Lord Justice Elias, ruled that mechanical failure was "inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier" and not an extraordinary circumstance. Q. So, what's the problem? The airlines are understandably reluctant to payout. Several say they won't settle at present for a technical fault, because the case is going to the Supreme Court. Although Jet2 lost the case, it then lodged an application for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's judgment – an appeal to appeal about an appeal, if you like. Three Supreme Court Justices should decide by early November whether the appeal can proceed. The Civil Aviation Authority says: "Passengers, therefore, have a choice: either to ask and wait for their airline to reconsider their claim in the light of the judgment, or to take their claim to court." Q. Thomson Airways has a related case? The airline, part of Europe's biggest holiday company, has been rejecting claims dating back more than two years, rather than the Statute of Limitations stipulation. It asserts that: "All claims to do with 'international carriage by air' are subject to the framework of the Montreal Convention which provides that claims need to be brought within two years." But in a case known as Dawson v Thomson Airways, the Appeal Court ruled that the airline was wrong. The judge refused leave to appeal. But, like Jet2, Thomson has applied for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's judgment. It will be considered by the same panel of three judges. Q. My airline is based abroad and won't respond to my claim. What can I do? If passengers are unhappy with the response from their airline," says the CAA, "they can refer to the relevant aviation body in the country their flight was due to depart. Or put your problem in the hands of a no-win, no-fee lawyer such as Bott & Co, which has made a speciality out of EC261 claims. It will tackle the airline for you in return for 27 per cent of the payout, plus a flat fee of €25. Q. I heard that new rules are on the way? The original EC261 rules were poorly drafted, and subsequent court judgements have made them even more of a muddle. Many in aviation regard the levels of compensation as disproportionate, with the payout for a three-hour delay often higher than the cost of the ticket. They argue that the effect is to push up fares for everyone. Various amendments have been suggested, though none has been approved yet. Read more: Advice On Suing An Airline For Negligence No Win No Fee Compensation Explained Taking An Employer To A Tribunal Changes To Employment Tribunals Damages – Understanding Contractual Damages
5 Reasons To Use A Personal Injury Solicitor After Your Accident
Get a better service throughout your personal injury claim So you’ve been injured in an accident, and you weren’t to blame.  That might be bad enough but now you’re left looking at a hefty repair bill to sort out the damage to your vehicle.  Well, before you call your insurance company, consider the benefits of using a specialist solicitor to help you to make a claim after your accident. We’ve put together our top 5 reasons why you would be better off using a solicitor after your accident. A Personal Service If you’ve been injured in an accident, the last thing you want is to be treated like just another number in the system.  At The Compensation Experts, we treat all our clients as individuals; you will be assigned to a specific solicitor or senior staff member who will be your point of contact throughout your claim.  Within a day or two of contacting The Compensation Experts, we will also send out one of our staff members to visit you, face-to-face, at a time and place of your choosing.  This might be at work, at home or even to your hospital bedside.  This gives you an opportunity to get your side of the story recorded whilst it’s still fresh in your mind, which can be very important if your version of events is challenged at a later date by the defendant. An Expert Legal Service At The Compensation Experts, we have (in our opinion) some of the best legal staff in the country working on our client's claims.  These are people who have been dealing with claims for thousands of clients, often over a period of years or even decades, and who know all the ins and outs of the legal industry, in particular, those of the personal injury claims process.  We use our expert legal knowledge to make sure your claim is not under-settled and you receive every penny of compensation that you deserve. An Aggressive Approach To Litigation If someone else has caused you injury, we don’t believe they should be able to get away with paying you – the innocent victim – a derisory sum of compensation.  This is why at The Compensation Experts we aggressively pursue all of our claims with the insurance companies that represent the other side.  Our legal teams will press for you to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and we will advise you to let us take your claim all the way to a court hearing if we think we can secure you a better deal. Better Value For You Making a claim on your insurance company might mean losing your no-claims discount, having to pay an excess towards some of the repair costs for your vehicle or having to put up with a sub-standard hire car whilst your own vehicle if off the road for repairs.  At The Compensation Experts, you don’t have to worry about any of these things; we pride ourselves on offering a quality product – with no hidden catches – to all our clients.  This includes contacting your insurance company to safeguard your no-claims, recovering all the costs of hire and repair as part of your claim and providing you with a hire car of the same class as your own vehicle. Peace Of Mind From our experiences dealing with the victims of non-fault accidents, we know that after an accident you will have a lot more on your mind than sorting out your claim.  This is why at The Compensation Experts our motto is “removing the pain from your claim”.  This motto influences the way we deal with your claim from start to finish; we don’t want to place you under any undue stress during your claim that might prolong your recovery from your injuries.  Our staff will be sympathetic and understanding towards you during your claim; we will never put you under pressure to settle your case early and if you choose, we will keep our contact with you down to a minimum whilst you recover. Read more: A Guide To Disciplinary Hearings A Guide To Personal Injury Rehabilitation Claiming for Negligence by Professionals A Guide To Work Injury Compensation Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims – Putting the 5 mph injury threshold to the test
Probate Administration
Claims for mishandling a deceased’s estate have more than tripled over the last year, according to figures released by the High Court. There were 368 claims lodged for breach of fiduciary duty in 2013, up from 107 on the previous 12 months. The claims range from theft of assets by the executor to fraudulent distribution of assets to favour certain beneficiaries of the will above others. The rise has been attributed to the increased use of friends or family members as DIY executors and trustees, to save money. However, this can sometimes be a false economy. Amateur executors may not want the money of the deceased to go outside of their immediate family and so take matters into their own hands distributing the assets as they see fit, even if that means they are acting contrary to their responsibilities as an executor. The risk of mismanagement increases as more and more people take out probate themselves because many people believe the task to be simpler than it is and there will always be a group of executors who either administer an estate badly through ignorance or administer it fraudulently. Many families then find that it costs them more than they bargained for to use the courts to recover assets after a mistake or theft by the lay executor. Using a solicitor to deal with probate administration at least gives the peace of mind that all solicitors have insurance and should anything go wrong at least the beneficiaries can claim against this for compensation. Read More: Writing A Will: An Overview The Law About Wills Wills And Probate: Disputed Wills Inheritance Tax Explained The Role Of The Executor
Getting Help Recovering From a Motorcycle Accident
The Problem Studies by the government show that recent motorcycle caused deaths have decreased, but injuries have increased by over 10%. While this is obviously a good sign for safety in that lives are being saved, these injuries are nothing to ignore by any means. Common motorcycle injuries come in a wide variety of degrees, from minor bumps to seriously debilitating injuries and pain. These accidents can come at any time, to any rider no matter how experienced, so it is important to know how to handle them.  The Response When it comes to injuries, some riders will want a sense of justice, some will want help, and others will just hope to make it less likely to happen again. The outcome and attention of a claim can do just that and is the obvious response to an injury of any type involving motorcycles. Whether the rider is looking to his insurance or the responsible party, it is important that the financial, physical, and emotional burdens caused by a motorcycle accident are covered by the claim. Quite simply, injured riders deserve help, but how does one make sure they will get it?  A Helping Hand The answer is easy: hire a solicitor. An experienced solicitor will know exactly what an injured rider needs during his recovery. With their expertise and history, a proper solicitor knows exactly what will help the situation and what to expect in the future. Handling the claim, the solicitor will guarantee the injury is taken seriously and the injured person is treated fairly. Insurance companies may look to avoid paying out or shift responsibilities around, but a lawyer is the perfect defence against this. In this time of need, a helping hand can make a huge difference. With the pain of the injury and impact, it has on one’s life, having a solicitor to help smooth out the claim process will be invaluable.  Recovering Once it is clear what it will take to recover from the injury and all aspects of the burden have been sorted with the help of a lawyer, the future will be much easier. There will be much to handle before getting back to life as usual, from injury recovery to bike repairs, it will all be a hassle that can be greatly smoothed with the assistance of a proper lawyer. So if one suffers from the terrible tragedy of a motorcycle accident, it is important to quickly contact a solicitor and file a claim. Read More: Benefits Of Car Accident Payouts A Guide To Accident Compensation Claims When Injury Lawyers Offer their Services to the Car Accident Victims Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims – Putting the 5 mph injury threshold to the test Possible complications that may arise in a claim against motorcycle accident
Financing Medical Negligence Cases
Funding Claims Financing medical negligence cases is a matter that can often be resolved by the use of either the no win no fee scheme or legal aid for those cases it applies to. For those who are financially well off there is the option of privately funding a legal action however this option has almost fallen into disuse since the advent of the no win no fee scheme whereby the solicitor dealing with the claim takes most of the risk. A small percentage of cases are pursued using legal expenses insurance which is sometimes included in a house contents policy. Insurance provided by trade union membership can occasionally cover legal action however most trade unions now recommend their members who need legal advice to a panel solicitor who will deal with legal action using the no win no fee scheme. No Win No Fee The no win no fee scheme was introduced in 1998 and operates by the solicitor backing a case and taking a risk on his legal fees. A solicitor acting under the no win no fee scheme is only entitled to be paid his legal fees if he wins the case. If the case is lost then the solicitor will lose his legal fees. We offer the no win, no fee scheme so by talking to us today we can assess your case and individual circumstances and tell you if it is suitable for a no-win, no fee agreement. Legal expenses under this category can include the cost of medical records, medical reports and ‘after the event’ insurance which is usually necessary to safeguard the claimant in the event of the case being lost from the risk of being ordered to pay the other sides legal costs. Legal Aid Certain medical negligence cases can still be publicly funded by the Legal Services Commission which was formally known as the Legal Aid Board. There are strict parameters which must be complied with before an applicant will be granted a certificate of legal aid. The commission will need to be satisfied that the ratio between the value of the claim and the anticipated legal costs is within reasonable parameters. The board will generally not grant legal aid if the anticipated chances of success are less than 50%. The Legal Services Commission can, however, ignore their general rules and grant legal aid if the case is of exceptional importance to the applicant. Expert Lawyers Compensation Solicitors are specialist medical negligence lawyers operating throughout the United Kingdom. In England and Wales, our solicitors are all members of the Law Society clinical negligence panel and are franchised to make an application for legal aid for those cases it applies to. Less than 1% of UK solicitors are clinical negligence specialists. If you would like to talk to an expert lawyer just complete the contact form and a solicitor will phone you to give free advice without any further obligation whatsoever. Read More: The Complexities Involved in Medical Negligence Cases 10 Facts And Myths About Medical Negligence Compensation for Medical Negligence Understanding Hospital Negligence A Guide To Birth Injuries