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Pauline Smith
    • Pauline Smith

    • Personal Injury Executive and Senior Associate
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Fatal injury to employee sees firm facing large fine after investigation by Health and Safety Executive

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North Somerset Magistrates’ Court recently heard a case, brought about as a result of an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, where an employee of a fencing company suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a stack of falling timber....

Is your workplace cutting corners?

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I’ve been lucky enough to go on holiday in the UK this year – staycationing is the new norm for many people now. A big part of a holiday is being able to go out for a nice meal, and leaving the cooking and washing up behind. ...

HSE prosecution against school following fatal accident

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An investigation by the HSE into a fatal accident during a school’s evening performance for family and friends of pupils, has culminated in The Leys & St Faith’s Foundation school, based in Cambridge, pleading guilty to breaching Section...

Is your rented property bad for your health?

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If you live in a rented property in England which is rented from the council, from a housing association or rented from a private landlord, then you have the right to live in a home which is safe for you and your family and “fit for human...

Stress Awareness Month - April 2021

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Stress is part of modern life. Despite every conceivable gadget being invented to make our lives “easier”, we have never been so stressed. The covid pandemic has certainly contributed to people’s worry and concern in a big...

£1 million fine for the former owners of Drayton Manor theme park

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Over the last few years there have been a number of high profile stories about accidents in theme parks causing catastrophic injuries. The HSE have recently successfully prosecuted Drayton Manor Park Limited (now in administration) for causing the death of...

Potholes - are we taking potluck on our roads

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The UK weather doesn’t seem to be able to make its mind up, does it? Last weekend – the end of February - was reminiscent of a late spring day, with the sun beating down on the majority of the country. Quite a different picture from just...

The importance of responsible pet ownership

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I have read quite a few scathing comments on social media recently about people who have maybe found themselves with more time on their hands over the last 12 months, and made a decision to buy or rescue a four legged friend, as an addition to their...

Working from home - how are you coping?

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As I begin my daily commute to work, padding across the landing from bedroom to bathroom, then to the spare bedroom, where my home office is now situated, I am reminded of how Bill Murray felt every morning in the film Groundhog Day. Given that we are...

Working outside in winter - what could and should your employer be doing?

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UK winters are no joke. From November through to February, and even beyond those months, if you are working outside, the chances are that you are going to encounter bleak weather conditions. OK, your employer can’t alter the weather, but...

Smart motorways - smarter, but are they safer?

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We have all seen the introduction of the smart motorway in our local transport network, and more than likely have become frustrated in a traffic queue caused by the road works to transition the existing hard shoulder or three lane carriageway into...

Seven things you should do following an accident

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If you are involved in an accident there are some things you can do to help us to acheive the best possible outcome for your claim. 1. Take photographs at the scene Take photographic evidence of the scene...

Drive safe this December

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It’s the 2nd of December 2020 and shops are now open for trading, following the national lockdown. Given that Christmas is just over 3 weeks away, the likelihood is that town centres and cities are going to be packed with festive shoppers. ...

How is a claim for personal injury valued?

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As a personal injury file handler, this is one of the questions that I am most frequently asked by my clients – how do I go about assessing how much an injured person should receive for their injuries? There is a process to this, and whilst it...

Potholes - the plague of the road user

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Did you know that councils in the United Kingdom receive a complaint about a pothole on average every 46 seconds? And that a staggering 700,000 complaints about them were made up to August 2019? And councils are taking this problem very...

What should I do if I have been injured in an accident?

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So you’ve fallen in the street, or in a public place like a shop or at work. You might have gone to the hairdressers or beauty therapist, and now you’ve got an allergic reaction, or your hair is snapping off. What if you’ve hurt yourself...

Mental health issues following a personal injury

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Stressed, anxious, worried, depressed? Does any of this sound familiar? It is estimated that at any time one in ten of us is experiencing some kind of imbalance in our mental health. Thankfully, mental health awareness has moved on in leaps...

The pothole problem in England

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Personal Injury analysis: Pauline Smith, senior associate executive and Abigail Roberts, paralegal, both at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, discuss England’s ‘pothole problem’, highlighting where the problems stem from, personal injury issues...

Keeping your children safe over the Easter holidays

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The Easter holidays are approaching, and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have launched a campaign, which focuses on pedestrian safety. Their Family Safety Week runs from the 1 st to 7 th April 2019, and with the school...

Is hayfever affecting your driving?

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Is it still winter? I hadn’t noticed given the unseasonably warm February that the country is basking in at the moment, with temperatures upwards of 16 degrees being recorded in some areas. Time to get the car windows open and the...

How long do I have to make a claim after an accident?

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So you’ve been injured at work, and need to be off for a few weeks whilst you recover. Your employer is seemingly understanding and tells you that they’ll pay your wages – if you don’t make a claim. But what if...

Time to Talk Day 2019

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Thursday 7 th February 2019, is “Time to Talk Day”. Designed by Time to Change to raise awareness in relation to all types of mental illness, and lead by charities Mind , and Rethink Mental Illness , Time to Talk Day is encouraging...

Young Carers Awareness Day 2019

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Did you know that in every secondary school class, it is likely that some of those children will be carers to parents, guardians or siblings who suffer from disabilities, chronic or even terminal illnesses? What effect does this responsibility have on the...

What to do if you are injured as a result of winter weather

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As I look out of my office window onto the view of the canal, I see a typical January day. Freezing fog, frost and the remnants of snow laying on the ground. A typical internet search of winter weather news doesn’t bring any cheery...

How to report an accident

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What happens if you’ve had an accident in the street, in a supermarket, or restaurant, or you’ve injured yourself at work? What if you have gone for a pampering session and it’s gone horribly wrong? How do you ensure that your...

Can I claim compensation after being attacked by a dog?

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Britain is considered to be a nation of dog lovers, and the best estimate is that there are approximately nine million dogs in the UK, with 26% of the population owning one as a pet. Dog owners are responsible for making sure that their dogs are...

Britain braced for 'Beast from the East'

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We’ve all seen the weather reports about the impending cold snap that is approaching from Siberia, alarmingly labelled “The Beast From The East”. Some meteorologists, whilst not exactly taking this with a...

What to do if your car is damaged by a pothole

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I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but my daily drive to work currently feels like I’ve signed up to an “off-roading” driving experience, due to the sheer volume of potholes and defects which appear to have developed...

Ski accidents - how to stay safe on the slopes

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Christmas is over, and whilst for some the holiday season is some way off, for skiing enthusiasts, winter marks the start of the most exhilarating time of year for them – their chance to hit the slopes, and experience the sheer glory of Mother Nature...

US teen snaps spine due to incorrect seatbelt position

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I read in the media this week the story of 13 year old Matthew Parks of Louisiana, who suffered a "Chance fracture" to his spine when his family's vehicle was involved in an accident, and ended up in a ditch in August this year. ...

MP's crucial debate on dangerous dogs

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Today, the 15th of October 2013, sees a busy day in Parliament as MPs prepare to debate the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013-2014. A key part of this debate will centre around changing existing legislation concerning dangerous dogs. ...

Children miraculously escape serious injury

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This week I read of not one, but two alarming incidents, where the small children of two families thankfully escaped serious injuries, in separate accidents. In York city centre last week shoppers were enjoying the sunshine, and some organised summer...

Lucky escape for cyclist

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A man out for a cycle ride with a friend in Peterborough a couple of weeks ago, got more than he bargained for when the wheel of his bike hit a tree root and he fell off, impaling himself on a tree branch. The man, whose name ironically, is Adrian Wood,...

Drop in fatal injuries to workers

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The HSE have last week published data revealing a drop in the number of fatalities for workers . The figures revealed that within the period April 2012 to March 2013, 148 employees died, compared to 172 in the previous year. Compared to other...

Manchester school children in "runaway" bus scare

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Last week, 28 schoolchildren from Mottram Primary School in Manchester had a lucky escape when the bus that they had boarded in readiness for a school outing to Bridgewater Hall careered down a hill with no driver on board. The bus thankfully only travelled...

Food Safety Week 2013 - You are what you eat

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The Food Standards Agency have launched their "Food Safety Week" taking place between the 10th and 16th of June, following on the back of some quite frightening statistics. More than a million people in the UK alone suffer from food...

Wigan Council say "Twenty's Plenty"

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My local Council, Wigan, is putting pedestrians' safety first, with a formal proposal to introduce a mandatory 20 mph limit on most of the residential roads within the Borough. They have formally given notice within the local press and in...

Girl burned in cocktail fireball

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I read about a case recently, of an 18 year old girl, Charlotte Swaby, who suffered burns as a result of an alcoholic cocktail that had been purchased for her in a bar "exploding" in her face. The incident, which occurred over three years...

How safe are you in hospital?

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I read an article in the tabloids last week which said that Blackpool and Wyre NHS Trust had started a scheme whereby they issued slippers to all their in-patients as a result of them having many claims made against the Trust because of patients falling on...