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A recent BBC investigation into England’s NHS hospitals has revealed that 750 patients have been at the receiving end of mistakes that have been so serious that they should have ‘never’ happened. ‘Never’ events are classed “serious, largely preventable incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.” (NHS Patient Safety)
Some of the 750 unfortunate patients were either left with instruments/equipment inside their body post-operation, an incorrect implant fitted or even had the wrong body part operated on!
Each year there are 4.6 million hospital admissions so this figure may seem low, but when you go to hospital you expect to receive the highest standard of care.
If you feel you have been the victim of substandard clinical or medical care, then call Irvings Solicitors now on 0151 475 1999. We are personal injury specialists with experience dealing with medical negligence claims.
Over the years, there seems to have been a sort of stigma attached to someone who makes a personal injury claim and insurance companies have long been lobbying for changes to do away with so-called ‘ambulance chasers’. As a result, the Government have decided to take drastic measures in making significant changes to personal injury claims. The controversial changes came into play on 1 April 2013, ironically, on April Fools’ Day.
Out with the old…
Traditionally, solicitors like ourselves were able to charge a ‘success fee’ on your ‘basic’ legal charges, all of which we would claim back from the other side if your case was successful. This ‘success fee’ would allow us to not charge any fees for unsuccessful claims despite having spent hours working on the said unsuccessful claim. In addition, we were able to take out an insurance premium on your behalf which covers situations where you may have had to pay your opponent’s legal fees or your disbursements (medical records, medical reports, expert reports) if your claim was unsuccessful. The insurance premium would be recoverable from your opponent if your claim was successful. More importantly, under the old rules, you would receive 100% of your compensation.
… and in with the new
From 1 April 2013, solicitors are no longer able to recover their ‘success fee’ from opponents. Instead, this ‘success fee’ will have to be deducted from your compensation in the event you are successful and get compensation. Under the new rules, solicitors are still able to charge a 100% ‘success fee; but the amount deductable from your compensation will be limited to 25% of your compensation. [Example: Mrs B is successful in her claim for personal injury and she receives £2,000 compensation. The maximum that can be deducted from Mrs B’s compensation in respect of a ‘success fee’ is £500]. The insurance premium is still available to you however under the new rules; the insurance premium is no longer paid for by your opponent. You will have to pay for that insurance cover if your claim is successful
The changes will no doubt put many innocent victims off claiming compensation (which is rightly theirs) altogether because, let’s face it, the thought of your solicitor taking a ‘cut’ from your compensation is not an exciting prospect. But all is not lost, in order to try to balance the fact that solicitors will be taking a ‘cut’ from your compensation, the level of compensation you will receive for your injuries are to increase by 10% [Example: Mrs B’s injuries were worth £2,000 pre-April 2013 but under the new rules, her injuries would be worth £2,200].
It is still early days yet however it is envisaged that many solicitors/claims management companies will have no option but to operate on this basis in the long-term. So, whilst the lure of insurance companies settling your claim directly ‘cutting out the middle man who will take a cut from your compensation’ is perhaps an attractive alternative; it is important to remember that the insurer’s intention is to look after their own purse strings and where they can under-settle your claim, they will certainly look to do so.
Unfortunately, the changes are the nature of the beast. Although regrettably we have to take a ‘cut’ from your compensation if you are successful in order to cover our fees, you can rest assured that in return, we, at Irvings will plough the time, effort and expertise in making sure you get every penny of compensation that is rightly yours and not encourage you to under-settle your claim just so we can make a quick return.
At Irvings, our motivation remains the same – getting you the maximum compensation for your injuries; and that, is no April Fools’!
By May Lee
As of April 1st 2013 some major changes in the legal rules governing personal injury cases have come in – but do you know how these changes are going to affect you?
We’re all used to hearing the phrase “no win, no fee” – this is the agreement we’ve come to expect when bringing a personal injury claim. The highlights of this agreement is that if your claim is successful, your solicitors would usually recover their base costs from the other side and they would also be entitled to a ‘success fee’ which is a percentage uplift of the base costs. The success fee represented the risk that on some cases the solicitors took on they would not win the case and would therefore not get paid. As of April 2013, success fees will no longer be claimable from the other side.
In order to make “no win, no fee” agreements still viable for solicitors the only option for continuing with a “no win, no fee” agreement is that the solicitors are now allowed to take up to 25% of the client’s compensation instead of the traditional success fee that the other side would pay. In order to make the above a bit more palatable, a 10% increase in the sum awarded for damages has also been brought in, but you can’t escape the fact that claimants aren’t going to receive their full compensation in their pocket.
It is therefore more important than ever to bring your claim with a firm that understands the full importance of maximising your claim. Whether it be a small amount of travel expenses you’ve incurred or a significant amount of lost wages, we will help you get the maximum amount of compensation you can. So even if we have to take a small slice of your pie, it will be a slice of the biggest pie it can possibly be.
As the legal markets shifts and changes in line with these reforms it is almost certain that firms with unqualified (and cheap!) paralegals will be popping up everywhere so that firms can maximise their already slim profits. Here at Irvings we know that this isn’t the way forward – in fact we’re pretty sure it’s the way to professional negligence – so if you want to have qualified or trainee solicitors only working on your case then contact Irvings Solicitors where our 100% solicitors case handlers will maximise your compensation.
On the flip side, if you’ve already settled a claim and it was dealt with by someone who wasn’t qualified then your claim may have been undersettled – contact Irvings and we’ll investigate whether your professional was negligent.
If you’ve suffered from an accident that wasn’t your fault or you think you’ve been a victim of professional negligence then please contact Irvings Solicitors and we’ll take care of you from day 1.
In 1967 the Beatles sang about 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire and judging by the news this week there still are and not just in Blackburn, but all over the country. The report said a third of motorists have their vehicles damaged by potholes. However it is not just vehicles that get damaged by them, it is pedestrians too.
I have successfully pursued claims for people injured in their cars and on bikes as a result of hitting a pothole. I have also pursued claims for pedestrians who have fallen in the road because of a pothole or on the pavement, because the paving flags are uneven or a grid cover or water mains cover is sunken or broken.
All local authorities have a duty to go out every so often to check the roads and pavements for any defects. Unfortunately they don’t always do this or do it properly and people are injured as a result. It is often the case that the defect is only repaired after we have written to them about it and pointed it out to them.
Having pursued numerous claims over many years against local authorities we know the documents that we need to request from them and how to read and interpret them. I have seen examples of people trying to deal with the local authority themselves, but the local authority simply denying liability until we have taken up the case and requested all the necessary information from them.
So if you are the victim of a pothole, such as being injured because your car or bike has gone into one, or you have tripped over one or another such defect in the road or pavement then give us a call and we can do the hard work for you.
By Tim Ryan
Exercise is big business and a record number of people enjoy regular exercise and in particular go to the gym.
It does not matter if you go before or after work or during your lunch break, you need to be aware of the dangers that lurk in gyms.
Approximately 4.5 million people have gym memberships and they often attend a number of times a week.
With various different machines (some more complicated than others) and often very brief inductions or none at all, people are often then left to their own devices and due to this accidents can happen through no fault of the gym user.
We have experience dealing with cases when different types of injuries arise due to the innocuous visit to the gym. Instead of leaving feeling revitalised and refreshed we have heard horror stories of people sustaining various injuries while at the gym.
We have had cases were treadmills have been defective and/or not checked regularly or properly by gym staff. We have also had cases when people have used various different types of machinery only for frayed cables to snap and cause injury due to falling weights.
So the next time you go to the gym look out for the hidden dangers. Make sure you have a proper induction and are familiar with the machines that you use. Exercise caution when in the gym and if you do have the misfortune to have an accident then give us a call. We will be happy to offer free advice to find out if you have a potential claim or not and you will be in safe hands with an experienced team of Solicitors looking after your case from start to finish.
By Damien Gill
In horse racing the jumps season is in full swing, with Cheltenham just gone and the Grand National coming up. If you have a personal injury claim you will also have several hurdles and obstacles to jump, so how can you ensure that you stay the course and get the right result at the finish line?
The first job is to make sure you are not saddled with the wrong solicitor. That is if you have a solicitor at all, a lot of firms would not have a properly qualified person running your file. But if you come to Irvings you will have a solicitor (or trainee solicitor being supervised by a solicitor, riding side-saddle if you will) at the reins throughout.
When it comes to lawyers it is horses for courses and at Irvings we are personal injury specialists so you will not be handicapped with a solicitor who is unfamiliar with the course and distance. And if you already have a claim with another stable of solicitors, but are concerned that you have backed the wrong horse, you can hedge your bets and swap to Irvings mid-race.
We will get your claim to the winning post as quickly and efficiently as possible whilst making sure you get the right result at the end. Other firms will trot out the same old excuses why you claim is being held up, whilst ignoring your calls and not letting you weigh-in with your opinions, but we will harness our parade of thoroughbreds to make sure you end up in the winner’s enclosure.
So if you have a personal injury claim then my top tip is give Irvings a call, we run claims on a National scale and we will not be beaten!
Blog and horse racing related puns by Lee Wall
When you drive or ride to work, how is your commute? Do you have smooth roads to sail along or do you jolt and jitter all your way to work?
A shocking new survey reports that a third of all drivers have suffered damage to their car as a result of potholes over the last two years. Local authorities are responsible for 95% of the roads in England and Wales but due to funding issues the backlog in repairs are estimated to be at £10.5 billion. 20% of roads are classed as being in “poor condition”.
It’s not just the road conditions and the potential for car damage that are the issue here, but it is all too obvious that of the third of all drivers who have car damage, no small number of them will potentially suffer personal injury. And it is even worse for vulnerable pedestrians or cyclists. For the pedestrians it can just take crossing the road at the wrong place and they could be looking at a broken ankle or worse.
As for the cyclists, a shocking 15% of all cycling accidents are caused by potholes. Across all methods of transport, poor road conditions have been considered a contributory factory in 11 deaths and innumerable injuries.
Whatever the severity of the injury, whether you’ve a broken leg or suffered whiplash, you are entitled to claim compensation. If your car or bike suffered damage in the accident then we can help you reclaim the cost of that too.
Changes in the law mean that the “no win no fee” arrangement will be disappearing from the legal landscape shortly so don’t delay – claim now.
When handling a claim for injury ensure that you are being properly represented.
I have had three recent examples of one insurer ( who made 24 million from selling injury cases (yes their own clients cases) ) trying to manipulate injury cases for their benefit.
A case (when my client was dying of cancer but due to the car crash suffered an injury of a broken shoulder and so he needed lots of extra help toileting, getting up and out of bed) the insurer tried to delay admitting liability so as to avoid paying for his care needs, this despite their insured having written to apologise for causing the accident. We resolved matters by suing the Defendant.
A case where the client was hit twice by a car from behind. The first accident was the car drivers fault, the second was the fault of a third party driver who crashed into the car behind. My clients insurers insured both her car and the car behind as well.
Shamelessly they sought to bully my client into saying that only one bump had occurred, so that they could avoid paying (when my client refused, not only did they cancel her insurance they sought to reduce the pay out for her written off car by over 50%). We had to resolve this by suing the insurers.
The same insurers again sought to put their interests ahead of their client, seeking to admit liability for an accident in which their own insured denied liability. The effect would clearly prejudice their insured’s own case on liability as well as hit her insurance premiums.
These are recent and by no means isolated examples.
If you are injured in an accident, get proper representation or be warned your insurers may be short changing you.
By Tim Ryan
The care profession is supposed to be exactly that, caring. Unfortunately this is not always the case and with people living longer and more people having to go into care homes the problem is escalating.
A care home in Bolton has been closed today due to numerous instances of shocking neglect. The residents have been wearing winter coats indoors in an effort to keep warm, one of the residents hadn’t had her hair washed in 4 months and worse still others had developed bedsores which were potentially life threatening.
This kind of care, or lack of, is shocking but unfortunately is not as rare as we would hope. If you have had a friend or relative suffer an injury as a result of negligent care then please contact Irvings Solicitors.
We often boast of our 30 years of legal expertise but on top of this, we also pride ourselves on the level of care and service which we provide our clients. With Irvings, you can be certain that you will receive a much higher standard of care than the care which has supposedly been provided by the negligent care home!