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Kate Sweeney
 

Where and when are you most likely to have a car accident?

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Almost two thirds of road accidents happen on roads that have a speed limit of 30 miles an hour or less, and most accidents occur on rural rather than urban roads, and usually within 25 miles of our homes. There were 1,710 road deaths in the year ending...

Cosmetic laser treatment - do you know the risks?

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Laser therapies are medical treatments that use focused light, in a beam, which allows greater precision. But not only are laser therapies used in conventional medical situations, but also in cosmetic treatment. Have you ever stopped to ask what LASER...

Botox and dermal fillers - is it worth the risk?

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Non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as dermal fillers and botox injections are fast becoming the latest craze to hit the growing market of cosmetic treatments, with botox parties becoming ever more popular. Indeed botox injections are now just part of...

When permanent make-up goes wrong

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Most of the time you will never notice if someone has permanent make-up, because when done properly, it’s a tasteful, confidence boosting enhancement. But when not done properly, or by individuals without the necessary skills and experience, it can...

Beard transplant business is booming

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With the emphasis on looking your best no longer the reserve of women, male grooming has become a multi-billion pound worldwide industry. Beards are big, and the desire to have a thicker, fuller beard has fuelled a rise in the number of men undergoing...

The cost of obtaining a Hollywood smile

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Everyone wants that perfect smile which is why in recent years teeth whitening procedures have become more accessible and people are paying to have a whiter, brighter smile. Indeed it’s estimated that over 100,000 people in the UK undergo such...

Are you an ambler, a rambler or a scrambler?

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I like to think of myself as a scrambler, always dashing about, never enough time to get to where I need to be and intent on getting my daily fitbit target reached. And how frustrated am I when I get stuck behind the world’s slowest walker. For...

Action for Brain Injury Week

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It’s Action for Brain Injury Week this week and brain injury charity, Headway, is seeking to raise awareness of the impact of brain injury on injured people and their families by encouraging them to share their experiences and address the common...

PI reforms 'on hold' as Parliament faces snap election

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The announcement of a ‘snap general election’ on 8 June has dominated the news this week, but how these events will impact the planned Personal Injury Reforms, remains to be seen. The announcement yesterday in Parliament that the Prisons and...

Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury - Our Response

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The Government is proposing to make huge changes to personal injury and how we can claim when we are injured through no fault of our own - which includes removing all damages for people in road traffic accidents who suffer whiplash type injures and...

What is the 'small claims limit' and why does it matter to me?

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The way that personal injury cases are handled is changing. Up until now, anyone who suffered an injury through an accident or the negligence of another - and where potential compensation for that injury was above £1,000 - they would be entitled to...

Guide to making a winter holiday accident claim

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There’s nothing better than jetting off for some winter sun, leaving behind this cold, wintry snap and enjoying warmer climes. So whilst the rest of us are busy defrosting our cars, navigating slippy and icy roads on foot and in vehicles, many of...

Remember the dead, fight for the living - International Workers Memorial Day

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Today (April 28th) is the annual International Workers Memorial Day, an opportunity for everyone to remember and take action on behalf of workers who have lost their lives through work. Slogan “Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living”,...

Cyclists - How to stay safe on London roads

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Earlier this year it was reported that London cyclists had been involved in almost 23,000 road traffic accidents since 2010, and 80 had died over that time. This has fuelled the perception amongst many people that cyclists are taking their lives in their own...

Beware the Cybermen!

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MASS Manchester Region Co-ordinator/Partner and Head of Injury Department, Kate Sweeney, warns us to be on our guard and prepared for an attack! If you thought the 'Attack of the Cybermen' was simply an episode of Dr Who, then think again!...

Insurance for lawnmowers?

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The VNUK case was a Slovenian case, referred on appeal and heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It was a case involving a tractor on private, farm land. This is a case which has implications for not only motor insurers, but for any...

High Court confirm noise induced hearing loss is a recognised occupational disease

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The High Court has ruled that noise induced Hearing Loss should be treated as an occupational disease rather than an Injury at work after a challenge by Employers Liability Insurers. The Insurer's stance was criticised by the Court who confirmed that...

APIL campaign drives home tailgating dangers

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If you have some time today, take a one-minute break to have a look at the Association of Personal Injury Lawyer's YouTube animated cartoon on tailgating, available here: A Lesson in Social Graces is part of APIL's #backoff campaign...

Do we consider texting to be more important than someone's life?

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A lorry driver has recently been sentenced to 5 years and 3 months imprisonment after his lorry toppled over, crushing an Audi and killing two innocent passengers. It was later discovered that the lorry driver had received a text...

British student injured in NYC

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I was shocked to read that a 23 year old student is lucky to be alive after a New York taxi collided with her, severing her left foot last week. Sian Green, from Leicester had only arrived one day earlier and was thought to be enjoying some time with her...

Motorists warned over 'flash for cash' insurance scam

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We have been reading about a new area which criminal gangs are attempting to fraudulently benefit from a road traffic accident . Motorists are being warned about the new insurance scam they are calling 'flash for cash'. It’s said...

Woman survived being hit by train after trying to retrieve her bag

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A young lady from Anglesey, North Wales, has recently been injured climbing onto railway tracks to retrieve her handbag. Kirsty Owen was almost sliced apart after being caught by the steps of a fast-moving passenger train, as it passed through...

The dangers of hotel balconies

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When my sister recently decided to go on a post A-levels holiday with her friends to Magaluf, the first thing my mum said was “don’t be getting drunk and going on the balcony”. Sadly, for some parents warnings such as these have come too...

Hero dad dies in Wales trying to save sons swept out to sea

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I was saddened to hear about the recent tragedy with a father who drowned on holiday. He is believed to have been trying to save his two sons after they got into difficulty in the sea at Rhosneigr Beach, Anglesey, when the two boys were swept out...

Snake attack tragedy

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I was shocked to read that two small children died from an attack involving a snake that had escaped from an exotic pet store building below them. The tragedy occurred in Canada and in a statement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they believed the...

The Great British Summer

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I love the British summertime, even when it’s wet, but have particularly loved the incredibly good weather we’ve had, for what seems like ages! It’s a bit cooler now, and historically August is usually a little cooler than July, but it is...

Parking permit costs could fall following court judgment

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I read in the Telegraph recently how Councils across the country could be forced to cut the cost of residents’ parking permits following a landmark judgment in the High Court. Town halls had been previously raising funds from motorists parking...

Insurance chief refers to compensation culture

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I read in the Telegraph that the CEO at insurance company Axa has suggested that there has been an uplift in claims in what he describes as new injury battlegrounds such as 'stress' related injury as a result of a road accident or 'deafness'...

Tesco offers NHS dentistry

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I read in the Times how a Tesco outlet in Bedford became the first in England to offer an NHS dentist within its store. The brief details I read suggested that a local practice, Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH) had made the decision in approximately June...

Drivers confused by multitude of dashboard lights

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Britain’s motorists have been dubbed a nation of ‘dashboard dunces’ after research revealed they are often confused by the warning lights in their cars, according to a recent report in the Daily Mail. The study,...

Over 700 personal injury firms close 2012-13

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The BBC has reported that 735 claims management companies that handle personal injury claims have closed from March 2012 to June 2013. It is thought that this is a result of tougher laws on the practices of those companies. The ban of referral fees in April...

Spanish train crash killed 79 people

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I was shocked to hear on the news last week that 79 people were sadly killed in a train crash in Santiago de Compestela in North Western Spain and around 130 others have been injured. It has been reported that the train was...

Serious reactions to sun cream

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42 year old Claire Myers was on a family holiday when she applied the Piz Buin product. Within 36 hours her face, arms and legs swelled and became very itchy. Claire was admitted to hospital and was placed on an IV drip to bring down her allergic reaction....

Flesh eating maggots found in British woman's brain after holiday in Peru

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27 year old Rochelle Harris from Derby was complaining of headaches, shooting pains down her face and could hear scratching in her head during her flight home returning from her trip to South America with her boyfriend. After seeing her pillow soaked in...

22 children die in India after eating school meal

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At least twenty two children, aged between five and twelve, have died after eating free meals at a primary school in eastern India. At least another thirty five children remain in hospital in the capital, with ten of them remaining in a critical...

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: The silent killer on our roads

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Driving when tired is a known risk, highlighted by the Government’s shocking ‘Think!’ campaigns used to remind road users of the dangers. Some general advice given is to plan breaks into journeys and avoid travelling long distances at...

Hospital fined following patient death

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I read on BBC online recently that a local hospital has been fined £15,000 by the Health and Safety Executive following the death of a patient who fell from an open window. The confused cancer patient fell from a third floor window at Southend...

Feeling hot, hot, hot? Summer perils

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Unbelievably, at times this week Britain was hotter than Barbados, and as we rain-sodden Brits emerge blinking into the sunshine, nothing seems more appealing than the outdoor life. Who wouldn't want to camp, BBQ, swim and enjoy every...

Man sues for £150,000 personal injury claim, after being unable to send text messages

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A 59 year old IT specialist is currently suing his employers for £150,000 after an accident at work left him with injuries preventing him from texting and using other gadgets. The alleged accident took place at the IT specialist’s place of...

'Seagull Alley' claims another victim

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I read a recent article about how a seagull swooped on a teenage tourist in Newquay and plucked an ice cream from his grip. The Daily Mail reported that the teenager was eating the vanilla cone as he walked through an area in Newquay dubbed 'Seagull...

One in three 'distracted' by mobile phones

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Using a mobile phone while driving is an illegal offence but a recent study warns that using a phone as a pedestrian can be just as hazardous. Almost one in every three pedestrians are distracted while crossing the road - the majority by their mobile phone...

Twelve year old boy cheats death by 2 inches

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Josh Hassan, aged 12, has cheated death by inches after becoming impaled on a fence in front of his mother as he leaned over a spike to retrieve his football. The spike missed Josh's heart by a mere two inches when he was impaled on the fence near his...

Undertaking - is it illegal?

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I recently read an article which referenced how seemingly The Highway Code does not hold under-taking to be illegal. In towns and cities overtaking on the left is allowed, as per Section 163 of The Highway Code. It's perfectly acceptable if the car in...

Woman charged after pushchairs car crash

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It’s always sad to learn of children dying at such a young age, even more so when the cause involved a road traffic accident. I heard recently that a woman has been accused of two counts of causing death by careless driving after two toddlers died...

Two cyclists killed on A30

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I heard on the news last week about the two cyclists who were tragically killed on the A30 in Cornwall after a collision with an articulated lorry, near Newquay. What makes this more poignant is that the fact that the two, as yet unnamed, riders...

Luton firm fined following death of four year old

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The HSE have successfully prosecuted Kristian Childs, t/a KD Childs Stonework last week, following an incident in October 2005, involving the death of a four year old child. Mr Childs' firm had been subcontracted by Persimmon Homes to fit the...

Car, home insurance, it pays to shop around

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The BBC has reported how the city regulator has launched an investigation into insurance companies for overcharging customers when they renew their house and car policies. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says that automatic renewal can lead to...

'Don't get mugged by an insurer. Use a solicitor'

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Last week saw the launch of The Law Society’s Personal Injury Campaign, ‘Don’t Get Mugged by an Insurer. Use a Solicitor’, which is a new campaign to promote solicitors as the best source of legal advice in a personal injury claim. ...

One in ten women suffer holiday sex attacks

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A recent survey was conducted on 6,502 tourists passing through airports in Crete, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain and found that 8.6% of people fell victim to sexual harassment on their holiday, while 1.5% were raped. The survey also showed that one in...

Caught on camera

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It was most definitely a case of ‘the camera never lies’, when an engineer was yesterday jailed for insurance fraud. David Ribchester, 31, an engineer from Washington, Tyne and Wear, suffered an injury during a workplace accident and submitted a...

What do I have to do to get you to notice me?

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A new campaign launched by Lancashire Police has recently caught my eye. It consists of motorcycle policeman PC Dave Hurst sitting naked on a motorcycle and will appear on hoardings and billboards across Lancashire over the coming months. The...

Military families damages ruling 'a total nonsense' says former First Sea Lord

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The recent Supreme Court judgment of Smith and others v Ministry of Defence [2013] UKSC 41 has been criticised by Lord West, former First Sea Lord as 'a total nonsense', as it has opened up the door for potential damages for military...

Table dancing Tory MP suffers injury

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I read an online article today about how a Conservative MP has broken his foot after falling off a table while dancing in Soho. Immigration Minister Mark Harper had his foot placed in a cast after the accident at the central London bar. Mr Harper said in a...

Rule of the road: always look before you cross

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From an early age I was taught to ‘look before you cross.’ Traffic will usually come from the right hand side when you start to cross a road. So to cross the road safely I was told to check your right hand side is clear of traffic first, and...

Firm fined £50,000 due to massive safety failings

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The HSE were successful last week in prosecuting Sartex Quilts and Textiles Ltd at Manchester Crown Court, following an inspection in October 2011 in which multiple breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 were found. The firm, which employs...

Does road safety influence parent's choice of school?

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Findings from a survey recently carried out by AXA Insurance in relation to a Road Safe School campaign show that 86% of parents in the UK wish that they had more information regarding an individual school's road safety record to enable them to make an...

Four year old boy dies from falling mirror

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I was saddened to hear about a four-year-old boy who has passed away following an accident. The boy passed away four days after suffering serious head injuries when a mirror fell on him in Hugo Boss at the Bicester Outlet shopping village. A spokesman has...

Man loses sight from falling air hose

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An auto parts firm has been fined £20,000 after a worker lost his sight in one eye during a cleaning task. William Tickner was injured when the compressed air hose whipped him in the face. He had gone to disconnect the equipment after isolating the...

Sink or swim? The perils of pleasure boat trips

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I couldn't help but notice the publicity generated by last week's incident in Liverpool where the famed "Yellow Duckmarine" amphibious tourist vehicle "Quacker 1" took on submarine tendencies by sinking in the Albert Dock. ...

Morecambe Bay quicksand dangers

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A teenage girl has been rescued after she became stuck up to her waist in quicksand in Morecambe Bay. The girl had been walking along the sands close to the shore near Silverdale in early June. She was treated by paramedics before being transferred to the...

Health and safety breach on climbing wall

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I was dismayed to read that a 14 year old school boy fell approximately 4 metres in height from a climbing wall suffering injury. This accident was largely due to an inadequate safety management system put in place by Manningtree High School, who had a duty...

Speed camera success?

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Speed cameras have received a lot of criticism in the past in terms of whether they are actually effective in increasing safety on our roads and reducing the risk of injury. There is also a general perception that speed cameras are simply a method of...

Lane hoggers beware!

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A recent study has revealed that the three things motorists detest whilst out on the road are tailgating, hogging the middle lane and using a mobile phone whilst driving. I have to confess that number three is my personal pet hate, but I have a husband (who...

Calls for speed reduction on rural roads

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Although National Road Safety week isn't until November this year, road safety charity Brake are stepping up the campaign to lower road speed limits everywhere with particular emphasis on rural roads, with their aim being for the Government...

The Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Act comes into effect

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The above bill has now been given royal assent and comes into force in June 2013. How does this affect employees in the workforce who have suffered an accident? The existing legislation means that the onus is...

Deaf Awareness Week, get involved!

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This week, 6th-12th May is Deaf Awareness Week, coordinated by the UK Council on Deafness, the umbrella body for voluntary organisations working with deaf people in the UK, bringing together over 100 deaf charities and organisations. ...

Britain in a pothole repair crisis?

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Councils across Greater Manchester are facing a £50 million bill to repair potholes this year. Some town halls will be forced to borrow at least £14 million to cover the costs of the repairs. The towns...

13 deaths by blind cords in 3 years

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There have been 26 deaths involving blind cords across the UK since 1999, 13 of which have occurred since the start of 2010. Research indicates that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom and...

Paper firm fined after employee's death

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Merley Paper Converters have been fined £70,000 plus costs of £30,974, after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in a case heard at Northampton Crown Court. Densanka Todorovic was killed as she was standing...

Hot air balloon tragedy

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I was very saddened to hear the news about the hot air balloon tragedy yesterday. In 2010, I went backpacking and one of my destinations was Egypt. I had always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride and the...

First "crash for cash" resulting in tragic loss of life

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On 11th June 2011, four men were involved in a gang who staged an accident intending to enable them to cause compensation worth a total of approximately £20,000. Sadly, this staged accident went horribly wrong when an innocent victim...

Screeaaaaaammmmm... if you wanna go faster

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In just over four weeks, my family and I will be holidaying in Florida, home of the world's best theme parks. For some people, nothing beats the thrill of thundering down a rollercoaster track at high speed, myself included. However,...

"I've fallen in a pothole - what do I do?"

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Given the sheer volume of tripping accident claims that we receive from people who have been injured whilst simply walking down the street, this question is often heard in our offices. Firstly, if you have fallen over as a result of a...

Education for all

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Imagine living in a country where, if you think that as a female you are entitled to receive an education just like any male, there are terrorists who think that what you are really entitled to is a bullet in the head. ...

Been in a road traffic accident that wasn't your fault? Can you prove it?

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It may seem clear cut at the time, but even the most seemingly straight forward accident circumstances are sometimes disputed. Whether it is a driver emerging from a minor road, or slamming into the back of a stationary vehicle, there are often...

Acid attacks

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It cannot be imagination that there seems to be an increase in the incidence of, and a new spotlight upon the occurrence of acid attacks. For instance the recent Channel 4 documentary Saving Face on Wednesday 16th of January, which...

Woman fractures back in gym accident - fitness at a price?

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I read with interest in the media recently about a woman from Workington who suffered a horrific back injury whilst participating in an outdoor fitness class. Charlotte O'Donnell suffered a fracture to her back and spent a month in...

Portal extension "on hold"

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If you are injured in a road traffic accident, and this could be as a car driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or pedestrian, if your injuries are thought to be worth less than £10,000 then since April 2010, your claim would have been...

Man killed in workplace accident at bottling plant

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I was saddened to hear about a 37-year-old man who had died following a workplace accident at a bottling plant in Canada late last month. The workers were using a forklift truck to pry a piece of metal off a...

Wigan shoppers get drink drive shock with Operation Advent!

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Wigan shoppers out and about before Christmas had a shock when a mock crash was staged in the town centre to highlight the dangers of drink driving and to launch the seasonal drink-drive campaign. In 2011, 413...

Have a safe new year

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The Christmas and New Year holiday period is historically associated with disregard of road rules and laws which subsequently lead to accidents and loss of life and damage to property. Last Christmas there was a...

Christmas is the time for casualties!

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Christmas should be a time for festive fun but for some unfortunate ones it is a time of tragedy. Over the Christmas period accident and emergency departments are at their busiest, treating more than 80,000 patients,...

All I want for Christmas is a car in my garden!

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When it comes to the festive period many people like putting their Christmas decorations up. I am particularly one who gets in the festive spirit with lights and decorations all over the house! Everyone on the...

Smart phone or not so smart phone?

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Using smart phones for social networking while driving is more dangerous than drink driving or being high on cannabis behind the wheel according to research published recently by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. ...

Record personal injury payout for paralysed teenager

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What is believed to be the highest recorded personal injury award was approved by the High Court in London this week in the sum of £23m. Agnes Collier, 17, lost the use of both legs and most of the function in her arms following...

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 - Compensation reduced

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The new Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 comes into force today and any applications made on or after today, will be dealt with under this new 2012 scheme. Any applications already made will not be affected by the changes....

Women drivers being forced off the road

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With the advent of the forthcoming EU Gender Directive next month, up to a quarter of all female drivers could be forced off the road as a result of higher insurance premiums according to a survey from USwitch.com. ...

Fireworks and bonfires

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As the nights get darker and Autumn sets in, it will soon be Halloween followed by the celebration of Bonfire Night. My family and I will be looking forward to attending a bonfire and large fireworks display and I was interested to find out...

Remember, remember the fifth of November... 2011

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Now that the recent trick or treat holiday has passed, it is time for the next, Bonfire Night! When most people think of bonfire night the usual thoughts spring to mind, toffee apples, Guy Fawkes, fireworks and...

New proposals for young road users

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Drivers under the age of 24 could face new restrictions for the first 6 months after passing their tests. This new proposal was suggested in a bid to cut road accidents. The Association of British Insurers has also...

Looking good is a real pain

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Momentarily, I had a LOL moment when I read an article which said millions of Britons are injured every year by their clothing, with research indicating that nearly one in two adults will suffer aches, pains or injuries from bras, wallets, hats or other...

Leave it out... it's snow joke

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As the autumn nights draw in, and the weather turns chilly, the world becomes a more hazardous place. Dark nights when driving increase dangers on the road, however there is another danger which not many people take notice of when happily...

Big brother always watching...

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I saw an interesting article yesterday of a 58-year-old mother of 13, potentially facing prosecution and imprisonment for grossly exaggerating her claim for personal injury against Haringey Council. She suffered a knee...

Cocktail leads to removal of teenager's stomach

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We are all aware of the well-publicised risks of leaving drinks unattended in bars and nightclubs for fear of being ‘spiked’ with illegal or prescription-only drugs, such as Rohypnol. However, a recent worrying incident suggests that we also...

Accident prone lawyers?

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I laughed out loud when I saw a headline that lawyers are among the most accident-prone drivers in Britain. Self-serving or a case of art imitating life? Or does this prove beyond reasonable doubt, that solicitors and barrister are just bad drivers?...

Claimant personal injury damages to rise in 2013

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Further to the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson in 2010, the Court of Appeal has considered and handed down judgment in the case of Simmons v Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1039 to lead to a 10% increase in the amount that a successful Claimant...

Road Safety Week 2012 - '20's Plenty'

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With only 69 days to go to the start of Road Safety Week, an initiative sponsored by Brake, the road safety charity they have announced the theme this year is ‘Slower Speeds = Happy People.’ They will...

Uninsured drivers

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Police seized the millionth uninsured vehicle last month, which may be seen as the police cracking down on the issue. But many still argue that the fines are too lenient, leading to people, in this difficult economic climate, taking the risk as...

The Olympics are far from over!

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It’s Tuesday 14th August, many of the world’s athletes are leaving London and heading home and the nation mourns the end of a successful event which has made us all proud to be British. I’ve heard in the news that many sports...

Cycle for life

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Olympic cyclist Andy Tennant is backing a campaign by road safety charity Brake for safer streets to enable more kids to get out and about on bikes and protect those already cycling. The campaign calls for action to protect cyclists in...