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Cyclist deaths are now at a five-year high

More and more people are taking to their bicycles as concerns are raised over car pollution, saving money on fuel and improving health. The government announced last week that they were going to inject a massive £94m cash injection to promote cycling. Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich will share £77m, with four national parks getting a further £17m.

A Cycling Revolution?

The money is set to improve existing and fund new cycle routes. The government says it also wants to cut red tape to facilitate cyclist-friendly planning.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted to start “a cycling revolution”. The government is aiming to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle, as well as encouraging more people to take up cycling.

Greater Manchester will get £20m of the budget to build or improve a huge 30 miles of cycle paths and create new 20mph speed limit zones around the city.

But Will Safety Improve?

Cyclist deaths rose 10% to 122 during 2012, with serious injuries increasing to a massive 3208 up by 4%, the latter increasing for the eighth consecutive year.

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said: “No amount of cynical spin from David Cameron will make up for the fact that, immediately on taking office, he axed Cycle England, the Cycle Demonstration Towns scheme and the annual £60m budget to support cycling that he inherited.

“Since then he has axed targets to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads, reduced traffic enforcement, cut the THINK! awareness campaign and allowed longer HGVs.

“Tragically the number of cyclist deaths is now at a five-year high, reversing the progress that was starting to be made, and reports of new casualties are becoming a weekly occurrence,” she said.

Both Cyclists and Motorists Need to Take Heed

Of the 122 deaths in 2012, 106 are known to have taken place due to a collision with a motor vehicle, while a number of the remaining deaths are still being investigated. In 61 of the fatalities, a car was involved, but others involved Lorries, HGV’s, Buses, Taxis and Motorbikes.

Why Are Serious Injuries Increasing?

Debbie Wainwright, Associate Solicitor at Hattons Solicitors said, “It is reasonable to assume that the more cyclists that take to the road the higher the risk of accidents and without suitable cycle routes and safety in many places, accidents will continue to happen. Increasing dangerous road conditions are another cause of problems for cyclists with large potholes, ice and raised road surfaces, which the government is yet to tackle to the extent needed for safe road conditions. It is great that the government are attempting to take action but is it too little too late? Only time will tell.”

If you need legal advice on making a claim after a cycling accident call our friendly legal team on 0800 298 9690, email info@hattonssolicitors.com or fill in the Claim Now form to the right of this screen.

Information taken from BBC News online article on 12th August, The Times online article 2nd January 2013

Mystery over too many serious head injuries in halton

Reportedly the borough of Halton has the highest number of serious head injuries in the country* with the figures showing that someone suffers a serious injury nearly every other day.

Halton is closely followed in the statistics by Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Warrington and the Wirral. These figures are particularly worrying as there does not appear to be a particular reason for this.

Serious injuries can include brain, spinal, and head injuries as well as severe burns or scalds, loss of sight, amputations or any combination of these. The consequences of these injuries would be traumatic and life changing for the victim.

Legal Advice Is Vital to Make Sure You Are Covered for Long Term Injuries

In many instances where a serious injury is suffered, responsibility for the injury will rest not with the victim, but with another party. In those circumstances, the victim is entitled to claim compensation from the responsible party.

Going about obtaining this compensation would be a daunting task for anyone when faced with aggressive Defendants and Insurance companies, often trying to either deny they were responsible for the injuries you have sustained, or trying to argue that your injuries have not had as devastating effect on your life as you know they have.

As such, it is vital that you as an accident victim obtain legal advice from an independent specialist in this type of work to fight your corner for you, and that you do not try to deal with the matter yourself directly with an insurance company.

It is important that you act fast as you only have 3 years from the date that you suffered the serious injury to make a claim.

Whilst in serious injury cases it may be some time to establish the full extent of your injuries, and their effect upon your life, it is still far more beneficial to involve a Solicitor in your claim as early as possible, to ensure that the correct approach to dealing with your claim is taken

Expert Solicitor Debbie Wainwright Describes the Difference Compensation Can Make

Associate Solicitor Debbie Wainwright has worked at Hattons Solicitors for 9 years, with vast experience of dealing with seriously injured accident victims and understands the devastating effect an accident can have, not only on the person injured but also on their loved ones. ” It’s a sad fact that these clients have to often adjust their whole lives, needing long term specialist care. It can make such a difference to their future quality of life, and also their loved ones, by receiving the compensation they so deserve.”

Debbie is prepared to go the extra mile to help her clients. She is a committee member of the Halton and St Helens branch of Headway – The Brain Injury Association, which provides assistance and support for both the victims and their families. She has pioneered a fundraising bike ride with 5 of Hattons staff, for the Headway that rose over £2200.

Serious Injuries – why choose Hattons?

Our team of expert solicitors can help you in many ways. We understand which experts to instruct to assist you, including specialist medical experts to assess the long term effects of your injury, and rehabilitation experts to help you try to get your life back on track. At Hattons we embrace a rounded holistic approach to rehabilitation for our clients ensuring that the client’s individual interests are kept at the centre of the case. With no two clients the same, we make sure that we meet the individual needs of each client to get the right result of them.

Serious Injury Case Studies

Cyclist Collided with a Lorry – Hattons Help Obtained £70,000 Compensation

The cyclist lost consciousness for several hours and suffered a fractured skull and neck pain. They went on to be at risk of epilepsy, a slower sense of mental reaction and developed short temperedness and irritability. Compensation helped the victim who struggled to return to work on a full time basis.

Motorcyclist Collided with Car – Hattons Help Secured £200,000 Compensation

The motorcyclist suffered a number of serious injuries to their joints and internal organs and then developed depression, needing years of care following the accident. Compensation has gone towards helping to improve their quality of life.

If you would like advice on making a claim for compensation after a serious injury call our specialist team on 0800 2989690, email info@hattonssolicitors.com or fill in the Claim Now Form and we’ll ring you back.

* Published by the South West Public Health Observatory. Statistics are taken between 2008-11.

Man gets £11,000 in Damages after an Accident at Work

Factories and warehouses can often be hazardous places to work in and too often companies do not have adequate health and safety procedures in place. This can lead to very serious injuries such as loss of limbs, burns and scaring and even lead to fatality.

Warehouse Worker Gained £11,000 in Compensation

Recently a warehouse worker from St Helens was injured at work and with the help of Hattons Solicitors gained £11,000 in damages.

He was working with an electric pickup truck in a warehouse attempting to manoeuvre between two other stationary trucks. As he was watching another truck come towards him, the wheel of his truck hit a hole in the floor causing the truck to jerk and he wrenched his arm.

The man reported the accident to his workplace and filled in an accident form, which was important as there was then an official record of the injury happening.

Warehouse Accident Caused Long Term Pain

Unfortunately he suffered severe pain in his right elbow, neck and shoulder and after 4 weeks of trying to deal with the pain at work, was signed off. After suffering with the pain for a few months he decided to make a claim for compensation as he started to lose earnings and realised that the injury could be long term.

These kinds of factory and warehouse injuries can be far too common, with workers not receiving the right training to use industrial equipment safely. Hattons Solicitors also recently gained £12,500 in compensation for a man in Ipswich who suffered a fractured leg in an accident at work where an electric truck collided with him.

Make a Claim Sooner Rather Than Later as Time Limits are Strict

There are strict time limits on how soon you can make a claim for compensation after an accident at work, so it is best to pursue your claim sooner rather than later, as this will assist in preserving evidence.

Should you choose to use Hattons Solicitors to represent you they will first ensure your injuries are assessed thoroughly – not just in the short term – but in the long term, so that any lasting effects are identified and ultimately properly compensated for, if your claim is successful. Where necessary, they will also arrange private medical treatment, such as physiotherapy, to assist your recovery. They will ensure you recover all your losses and are properly compensated as a result of any accident that is the fault of your employer.

If you have any questions about an accident at work that you may have had, you can call Hattons friendly professional team on 0800 298 9690 or fill in the claim now form.

Dementia and Power of Attorney

What is dementia?

Dementia is a disease of the brain, the most common being Alzheimers Disease, but it can also be caused by other vascular issues cutting blood supply off to the brain, potentially following a stroke or other less common illnesses. The term describes many symptoms, ranging from the very minor, to very serious cases.

Dementia in England

In their 2012 report, the Alzheimer’s Society state:

  • That 648,895 people in England currently suffer from dementia, with the UK total being some 800,00 people.
  • This equates to just 1 in 1400 people aged between 40 and 64, but reduces to 1 in 25 people between 70 and 79, and 1 in 6 people aged over 80.
  • Two thirds of cases were reported in women.
  • Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community, with just one third living in care homes.
  • The report speculates that over the next 40 years, these numbers will double.
  • Only 40% of people currently suffering with dementia get the problem diagnosed.

Power of Attorney

A Power of attorney is a legal document whereby a person (donor) appoints another (the attorney) to assist them in aspects of their day to day life, should be they end up affected by the above issues.

Type of Power of Attorney

There are two types of Power of Attorney available that are advisable as smart planning for the future.

1. Property and Affairs

This document allows an Attorney to manage the finances of the Donor should they lose competency to manage their own affairs. This can range from the very simple such as paying day to day bills for the Donor, to the very serious such as selling a house, or making arrangements to pay care home fees, should the Donor have to go into a home.

2. Health and Welfare

This document allows an Attorney to be involved in all aspects of the Donor’s health and welfare, again should they lose the capacity to manage these affairs for themselves. This can be an especially useful document for an Attorney if decisions need to be taken regarding the Donor’s care, allowing them to put forward the Donor’s position to the relevant authorities, who otherwise may treat the Donor simply as another statistic, taking cheaper options that may not necessarily be what the Donor would need or want.

Other Attorney documents are still legally valid to be registered if they were signed and witnessed prior to October 2007.

The Effect of a Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney gives a Donor peace of mind that should the worst happen to them, they have already appointed someone they trust to manage their various affairs.

In many ways, it is the same as having an insurance policy guarding against a risk, which is statistically proven to be increasing.

Don’t Delay in Organising Power of Attorney

As with most insurance policies, the earlier you have them in place the better. The Power of Attorney can only be granted by the Donor whilst they have the mental capacity to do so.

Should this capacity be lost, other options are available to would be Attorneys, but these are usually far more expensive, and take longer to arrange than the Power of Attorney document.

If you would like more information about Power of Attorney please click here.

Should you wish to go ahead with, or receive further information about a Power of Attorney, please contact us on 0800 298 9690 or fill in the call back request form to the right of this screen.

Miner Vibration White Finger

Are You A Miner Who Claimed For Vibration White Finger?

It has come to light that many miners who previous claimed for vibration white finger could have received negligent advice from their former solicitors.

Under the British Coal Vibration White Finger Litigation scheme, launched in 1999 by the Department of Trade and Industry, nearly 180,000 former coal miners brought claims for the damage done to their hands. This was as a result of excessive use of vibratory tools in the course of their employment meaning that they received compensation.

Up to 50,000 Miners Could be Affected

However, many did not get their full entitlement and their claims were under settled.

Many miners, perhaps as many as 50,000, were not properly advised by their legal representatives of their possible entitlement to damages for “services”. This means that their claim did not compensate them for their need for assistance with everyday tasks that they could no longer do because of their condition, such as DIY, gardening, window cleaning, decorating and car maintenance.

Were you one of those claimants?

If so, you may have a claim against your former solicitors for their failure to give proper, and in some cases, any, advice on your entitlement to a services claim.

The value of such a claim can be substantial, running into many thousands of pounds, as the loss claimed is calculated on an annual basis until the age of 70.

Following a case in Leeds County Court there is now a set procedure for ex-miners who did not claim for services damages, as a result of the inadequate advice of their former solicitors, to sue those solicitors.

There is, of course, no automatic right to compensation under what is termed the “VWF Professional Negligence Litigation”. Therefore Hattons Solicitors are offering legal advice to help potential claimants. The claimant needs to establish that the advice on services was not given or was inadequate, and that there was in fact a claim for services as the condition was serious enough, and the individual was struggling with certain tasks.

Hattons Can Advise You On Your Options

Hattons Solicitors can advise you of your best options and answer any concerns or questions that you have before processing any professional negligence claim.

We work closely with our clients to keep them informed about their claim and our clients can also be reassured by having access to our online file view system to find out where their case is up to at their own convenience.

Click here to visit our Vibration White Finger section

For more advice on this issue of Vibration White Finger Professional Negligence, contact our friendly team on 08000 111 560 or fill in the Claim Now form to the right of this screen and we will call you back.

PIP Breast Implant Problems

Many women have been left emotionally distressed after the media’s recent investigation and coverage into the PIP Implant scandal.

PIP Implants Estimated 7% Chance of Rupture

Between 2001 and 2010 the PIP breast implants were manufactured and supplied by the French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), and it has been alleged that they have a 7% chance of potential rupture. It has been reported that this compares with only around 1% of other implants chance of rupture.

Industrial Silicone Used In PIP Implants

The disturbing thing is that the problems have happened due to the company PIP trying to cut costs by using an industrial, as opposed to a medical grade, silicone. This industrial silicone is alleged to have been used as a mattress filler, which PIP’s legal team refutes.

Naturally many patients are understandably worried about the health implications with 40,000 women potentially affected. Although the NHS are offering to provide scans to try and detect problems and if so remove the PIP Implants free of charge, many private cosmetic clinics are refusing to follow suit. This has left many women not knowing who to turn to. In fact there have been rumours that some cosmetic surgeons are refusing to review a patient’s implants until the person signs a contract waiving any current or future claims against the clinic, which is particularly worrying for women if future problems occur.

Surgeons/Clinics Could Be Sued for Breach of Contract

Certainly where the implant is one of the later industrial silicone made implants and where there are signs of it rupturing women could be able to seek legal action because the implant is a ‘defective product’ and not of satisfactory quality.

If a breach of contract is proven then the remedy is in damages to put the patient in the position that they would have been in had the clinic/surgeon not breached their contract and had they not been sold defective implants. Despite the fact that the goods are now inside your body and surgery is needed to replace them, this does not leave the law ineffective and the same rules apply. Any expenses incurred and damages for the further surgery and effects of the medical issues caused by this scandal may also see compensation for personal injuries being paid to the victims.

Hattons Solicitors clients can be assured of a professional expert team who will sensitively listen to your problems, and clearly tell you what action can be taken.

At present we are awaiting confirmation as to whether or not a group litigation order is going to be made and we shall provide expert legal advice and representation in these uncertain and worrying circumstances.

Hattons Can Advise You On Your Options

We have a highly experienced legal team who are here to help.

Hattons Solicitors can advise you of your best options and answer any concerns or questions that you have before processing any claim.

We work closely with our clients to keep them informed about their claim and our clients can also be reassured by having access to our online file view system to find out where their case is up to at their own convenience.

Click here to visit our medical negligence section

If you would like legal advice concerning a PIP breast implant please call our legal team on 0800 298 9690 or alternatively fill in the Claim Now form and we will call you back.

Exposure to Asbestos in Merseyside

One in Eight Men Have Had Exposure to Asbestos in Merseyside

Some estimates indicate that every one in eight men could have had exposure to asbestos at work in Merseyside. This could mean that approximately 13,600 men in Liverpool could have had exposure to asbestos. One example of exposure to asbestos could be through artex which was heavily used in the 1970’s.

Exposure to Asbestos in Merseyside Caused By Tonnes of Asbestos Passing Through the Docks

You could have been exposed if you used to work on the Liverpool Docks as in the recent past it was used to import huge amounts of asbestos, exposing thousands of Dockers. In 1975 it is reported that 25.3 tonnes of asbestos passed through the docks with stories of fights where workers used the dust as snowballs. The imported asbestos was mainly used within local industry for example in local car plants and the construction industry, exposing workers to asbestos dust.

Woman Have Also Suffered From Exposure to Asbestos in Merseyside

Even women workers were affected as Merseyside had several bag warehouses where the left over asbestos bags were taken to be recycled, again causing exposure to asbestos. Women who had exposure to asbestos by washing their husband’s dusty clothes have also become ill.

If You Have Had Exposure to Asbestos Seek Medical Attention

Sadly these kinds of statistics cannot illustrate the worry and misery of families who suffer when a family member is struck down by an asbestos-related disease that should have been prevented. The diseases are often progressive, disabling and too often fatal, severely affecting the families left behind.

Here at Hattons we are advising anyone who thinks they may have had exposure to asbestos and could be affected to seek immediate medical attention.

Click here to visit our Asbestos Related Disease section

If you feel that you want justice for the pain and suffering caused by exposure to asbestos then you can call our local legal team for confidential advice on 0800 298 9690 or fill in the Claim Now form to the right of this screen.

This article is based on information provided by the The Liverpool Occupational Project and Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group

Asbestos in Schools

Asbestos in Schools is Quite Common

It’s not widely known that asbestos in schools is quite common. In fact it is reported that the majority of our schools contain asbestos. If asbestos in schools is in good condition and undamaged then a system of management can be effective. However, there is increasing evidence that a significant number of schools are not managing their asbestos effectively and that in many cases the asbestos in schools is not in good condition.

Effective Management of Asbestos in Schools is Essential

Much of asbestos in schools is hidden and a proper survey including air-testing can determine the safety of the school environment.

The effective management of asbestos in schools is essential. There is even a parliamentary committee being requested by teachers unions to deal with the problem.

Recent Case Example of Asbestos in Schools

A teacher died from mesothelioma in January this year after working in asbestos-contaminated schools in Bradford. The geography teacher worked between 1967 and 1996 and had helped with the cabling of computers which involved being exposed to asbestos lagging dust. An inquest recorded a verdict of death due to industrial disease.

Mesothelioma caused by Asbestos in Schools has claimed the lives of 92 teachers and lecturers between 2001 and 2005 alone.

Click here to visit our Asbestos Related Disease section

If you feel that you want justice for the pain and suffering caused by being exposed to asbestos or would like more advice about asbestos in schools then you can call our local legal team for confidential advice on 0800 298 9690 or fill in the claim now form to the right of this screen.

Information gained from the website www.asbestosexposureschools.co.uk and Michael Lees

Redundancy – what are your rights?

More than 1.3 million workers have lost their jobs during this recession and there are substantial public sector job cuts to come. Even if you do not face redundancy, it is likely that you know someone who will. It therefore pays to know your rights.

When can you claim unfair dismissal?

If you have more than one year’s employment, you may be able to claim unfair dismissal if the redundancy was not genuine or your employer did not follow the correct procedure. You have to move quickly though – you only have three months from the date your employment ends to start a claim.

In following the correct procedure, your employer has to consult with you individually in a series of meetings. This gives you a chance to come up with suggestions for avoiding your redundancy, consider any other jobs your employer may have available and go through the payments you will receive. You will usually have the right to appeal if you are made redundant. If more than 20 employees are affected, there are additional obligations.

The criteria for making you redundant must be non-discriminatory

Where a job is at risk and there are others doing the same job, you will all be put into a pool and scored against agreed criteria. Those with the lowest scores will be made redundant. The criteria must be objective and non-discriminatory and could include qualifications, experience, performance, disciplinary record and attendance.

If you are selected for redundancy, your employer must consider if there is any suitable alternative employment available. You also have the right to paid time off work to look for another job or arrange training.

You could be entitled to statutory redundancy payment

For anyone who has been employed for more than two years, you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. This is calculated using a formula based on your age, length of service and weekly pay, capped at £400 per week. If your employer refuses to pay, you have six months to bring a claim. If your employer is insolvent, you can claim the payment from the National Insurance Fund. If you are made redundant and your employer does not want you to work your notice period, you should be paid in lieu of notice. You should also be paid for any holiday you have accrued and not taken.

You may be offered an enhanced redundancy payment, in return for signing a compromise agreement giving up any employment claims. You will have to take legal advice on this agreement and a contribution towards your legal fees is usually paid by your employer.

If you have been told your job is at risk of redundancy, we can tell you what your rights are. If you have been offered a compromise agreement we can advise you on it. If you have been made redundant and think you may have a claim, you should contact us as soon as possible.

For more information on employee redundancy click here

If you need redundancy legal advice call our legal team on 0800 298 9690 or fill in the Call Back Request form to the right of this screen.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Deaths From Asbestos Related Illness Set to Rise Over Next 10 Years

Asbestos is the single biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK causing or greatly accelerating industrial diseases, with deaths from asbestos set to rise.

Estimated Peak in Deaths from Asbestos Towards 2020

It is a stark fact that the number of asbestos-related diseases, and deaths from asbestos, continues to rise even today and will keep on rising for the next 5 to 10 years. What is even more disheartening is that knowledge of the hazards of asbestos has been in the public domain since mid 1960.

Asbestos was banned in UK construction in the mid 1980’s, but certain materials were still manufactured and used until 1999.

Asbestos Related Illness Can Take Over 40 Years To Show Effect

The reason why illness and deaths from asbestos exposure are still rising is due to what is called the latency period, which is the time from exposure to an illness becoming apparent. Someone exposed to asbestos dust can take 10, 20 or even over 40 years to show any effects.

Maintenance Workers See the Biggest Increase in Workers Affected

Surprisingly, the largest increase in those affected are maintenance workers such as electricians, plumbers, heating and telephone engineers, rather than those who worked within the asbestos industry, although of course they are still affected.

Hattons have represented a number of people employed in the building trade who have been exposed and developed illness. They are often involved in the demolition or refurbishment of older buildings, drilling holes into the asbestos which causes dust and then at a later date illness.

There Are No Safe Levels of Asbestos

There are no safe levels of asbestos and the affects of exposure to asbestos can be horrific. It is thought that one fibre can cause the most potent condition mesothelioma though there are lots of medical and legal guidelines as to how much exposure proven in a certain way is needed to establish a link with asbestos as a cause of a particular condition.

Therefore we at Hattons Solicitors are proactively working to raise awareness of asbestos related diseases and the steps that people need to take if they think they have been affected.

Hattons Solicitors Actively Involved In the Fight For Justice

In fact, Hattons Senior Partner, Bruce Hatton, has for many years been actively involved in the fight to get justice for asbestos victims who, for example, are dying of mesothelioma or disabled through asbestosis.

Bruce commented,

“I have worked in the personal injury and industrial disease sector for over twenty years, and right from the beginning I have been passionate about getting justice for the victims of asbestos related diseases.

“Often I have had to work on tragic cases where a family have asked me to help them after their loved one has become very ill or even passed away and time and time again I’m shocked at the circumstances in which workers have become exposed asbestos and developed such a debilitating condition as a price they paid for doing a hard day’s work.”

Bruce Advises That The First Step Is To Seek Medical Attention

“My advice to anyone who thinks that they have been exposed to asbestos in the past and is having health problems is to seek medical attention immediately. Make sure that you mention your exposure to asbestos and think about the period of exposure and the ways in which you could have come into contact with the dust. It can often take a long time for symptoms to show and so illness can only become apparent often up to 40 years after being exposed.”

Bruce has been a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel for over ten years, and has been a member of APIL and the American Association for Justice for many years. He has appeared personally before the Coroners Court, the Magistrates Court and the County Court, as well as taking clients’ cases to the High Court, the Court of Appeal and even abroad with Litigation in the USA.

Click here for more information on asbestos related illness and how to make a claim

Call Hattons For Confidential Legal Advice

If you feel that you want justice for the pain and suffering caused by being exposed to asbestos then you can call our local legal team for confidential advice on 0800 298 9690.

Hattons would like to see employers working to prevent deaths from asbestos, so if you would like more information on asbestos in the work place training then visit www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos

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