Tag: personal injury

What do to if a dog attacks you, from a dog bite injury lawyer

April 12, 2021, By
dog bite injury lawyers guide to claims

From pets to working dogs, there are lots of tame, playful, well-trained dogs out there. All it takes is one negative experience with an ill-trained or out of control dog to make a lasting impact on someone’s life. In this blog, we share expert guidance from a dog bite injury lawyer within our personal injury team.

This information is for those who have been the victim of a dog attack. If you as an owner have been accused of a dangerous dog offence, you will need to speak with our criminal defence team.

What to do if a dog attacks or bites you

The first thing to do if a dog attacks or bites you is to seek medical attention. You may need an injection or emergency treatment to prevent infection. Don’t worry that once something is fixed or healed you won’t be able to make a claim; your medical records can be used as supporting evidence of any damage caused and treatment given.

Where possible, you should try to get details of the dog’s owner, such as a name, address and contact number.

It is also advised that you report a dog bite or attack to the police. If a dog has attacked one person, it is more likely that it will attack another. Having this on the police’s radar means they can work to identify the owner and prevent future attacks from happening. On reporting to the police, you will get a crime reference number that you can share with your solicitor should you need to make a claim.

Finding a dog bite injury lawyer

If you have sustained injuries resulting from a dog bite or attack, you can reach out to a respected dog bite injury lawyer to find out whether you have a claim.

Using a no win, no fee solicitor means that you will only have to pay for solicitors fees upon successfully winning your claim. All, or part, of those fees are likely to be recoverable from the insurers of the responsible dog if your claim succeeds. Our personal injury team operates on a no win no fee basis, so they will only take on your case if they are confident that they will win.

Claiming for a dog bite or attack

It is important to note that dog bites can have varying levels of severity and impact on people’s lives. This can range from physical injuries and scarring to psychological trauma or financial losses if the injured party cannot work due to their injury.

Because of this, there is no set amount for how much an injured party may receive if successful, as there are lots of factors to be considered when making the case for a claim.

To attempt to make a dog bite injury claim, the incident must have:

  • Happened in the last 3 years
  • Been somebody else’s fault
  • Caused you injury

It is also helpful if you can get information on the dog owner, such as their name and contact details, as well as whether they have pet insurance or home insurance. Additionally, if the police were contacted at the time of the incident the details can be shared with your dog bite injury lawyer at this point.

If there is evidence of the dog causing injuries in the past or acting in a dangerous way previously, this would also be helpful.

How our team can help

If you have been injured by a dog bite or a dog attack, one of our solicitors can come to visit you at home or in the hospital if required.

As well as compensation for your injury, we will work hard to ensure that any rehabilitation required to overcome injuries is covered, as well as any emotional support too. Considerations for additional care can be discussed with your solicitor as necessary, and you can trust in our team of personal injury specialists to work for the best possible outcome for you.

We will do our best to resolve your claim out of court to ensure it is managed most efficiently. If, however, your dog bite injury claim needs to go to court, we will be there every step of the way.

Please do not hesitate to contact our personal injury specialists if you have any questions at all about making a claim for a dog bite or attack. Call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and one of the team will be in touch.

Who protects against workplace injuries when the workplace is home?

February 25, 2021, By

Our Employment and Personal Injury teams join forces to help us to understand the responsibility of employers to protect against workplace injuries when staff are working remotely.

A variety of legislation is in place to govern Health and Safety in the workplace:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSW) 1999
  • The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (DSE) 1992
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998

Together, (the “Legislation”).

Under the Legislation, an employer has the same health and safety responsibilities towards employees who work from home and those who work in the office.

Employers are required to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees. They must also carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees to which they are exposed while they are at work, and the risks to others not in the employment of the organisation arising out of the work being carried out.

Employees also have a duty under the Legislation to take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and that of other people who may be affected by their activities at work. They are also expected not to interfere with safety and must co-operate with their employer to enable the employer to fulfil its health and safety duties.

What kinds of injuries could happen when working from home?

  • Tripping and falls caused by cables or obstacles;
  • Injuries arising from lifting heavy objects – especially without the help of colleagues to move equipment and objects safely;
  • Back, wrist and eye strain arising from incorrectly set up work station;
  • Stress at work from difficulty in striking a balance between home and work life.
  • Feelings of isolation and poor mental health due to the lack of social contact and availability of employer support;
  • Family members at home could be affected, i.e. an elderly relative could trip over a cable or a young child could have a delivery of boxes fall on them

An employer could also risk being reported to the Health and Safety Executive and/or a regulator for unsafe working practices, failure to have a homeworking policy in place and failures to undertake the necessary and appropriate risk assessments. As legal proceedings are usually public, there could be some level of reputational damage to the employer particularly if it is found they have failed to undertake the required risk assessments or been negligent or discriminatory in some way.

An important consideration

During the pandemic there has also been a marked increase in domestic violence and abuse, both reported and unreported. It is recommended that there should be a specific risk assessment which should also cover the possibility of domestic abuse.

If an employee discloses that they are subject to domestic abuse, the employer should allow the workplace to be open for those staff or make other adjustments to their home workplace in order to keep them safe.

Employers should look out for early warning signs of domestic abuse as they have a legal duty of care towards employees. Where identified, they should support the employees experiencing domestic abuse, keep records of incidents at work, when reported and actions taken.

An employee suffering from domestic abuse may well have mental health issues which could amount to a disability and all the normal obligations would then apply for an employer. There is an implied term of trust and confidence in the employment relationship; if an employer acts unreasonably or is unsupportive in their approach towards an employee suffering from domestic abuse, this could be a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence allowing the employee to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal.

What else can HR do to reduce the risks of workplace injuries and harm?

Employers must conduct a ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessment of their employees’ work activities. What is classified as ‘suitable and sufficient’ depends on several factors, including:

  • employee’s day to day activities;
  • how long they carry out those duties for;
  • equipment they use in carrying out their duties.

Most importantly, employers must review risk assessments regularly to make sure employees’ working environments at home remain safe and healthy. This includes ensuring that the work equipment used at home is properly maintained and is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

If undertaking a full risk assessment of potential home-working workplace injuries and risks is not possible, they should provide employees with information on working safely at home. This can include guidance on taking regular breaks and checking display screen equipment. The Health & Safety Executive’s practical workstation checklist here is useful and it would be prudent for an employer to ask employees to complete this.

The number of people who are exposed to risk of an accident increases as a result of homeworking. This will need to be risk assessed; whether an incident such as this will be covered by a work insurance policy completely depends on the type of cover the employer has.

Employers will need to ensure that there are effective supervision mechanisms in place to support those working remotely, including regular telephone or video calls through Skype/Zoom etc. Employees should be encouraged to share any problems they may have and not make assumptions about the level of support required.

Proactive monitoring of performance levels may also be an indicator of whether the employee is stressed or struggling, and employers can reach out if they notice a change. It is not enough to wait for an employee to raise an issue of stress if performance levels clearly suggest there is a problem.

Employers should be alert to the possibility that certain employees may have conditions which amount to a disability and will therefore trigger the need to make reasonable adjustments. For example, while there is no general duty for employers to provide equipment for homeworking, disabled employees may be entitled to auxiliary aids as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010.

Contact the team

Flexible working is likely to remain an option for many employees beyond the pandemic and so employers must ensure that remote working environments are safe for employees to carry out their work.

If you require any guidance on preventing workplace injuries and ensuring your staff are well when working away from the office, our employment team are here to help.

Call us on 0161 969 3131 or leave us your contact details and one of the team will be in touch.

Legal Services for people with disabilities, and their families

November 24, 2020, By

We have a breadth of services available to assist people with disabilities and their families. From planning for the future and getting finances in order, to personal injury claims, our cross-departmental team of legal experts can offer expertise and guidance. We will be with you every step of the way.

A snapshot of services for people with disabilities and those who have suffered significant injuries

Scroll through a selection of our services which may be helpful. This resource was used for a Disability Awareness Day we exhibited at recently. We thought we ought to share it with a broader audience so that people with disabilities and those who have suffered significant injuries can find legal services in one place.

– Court of Protection

Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to protecting their, or a loved one’s, finances whilst in care.

  • Who is managing the property & finances?
  • Has a full financial assessment been carried out?
  • Are the right benefits being claimed?

We can help.

At Slater Heelis, we have a dedicated Court of Protection team, which includes two Court appointed Panel Deputies, who can take on cases where a financial Deputy is required.

As Court of Protection specialists, the Private Client department act on behalf of people with disabilities or individuals who lack sufficient mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves. They will manage day-to-day financial affairs to ensure the protection of short and long-term care needs.

– Wills, Trusts & Power of Attorney

Our friendly experts can help with:

  • Court of Protection Applications
  • Acting as your Attorney, Deputy or Trustee
  • Financial planning & management, including trusts
  • Liaising with the Local Authority on your behalf
  • Power of Attorney
  • Tax planning
  • Wills

View our full range of Private Client services here.

– Birth Injury Claims

If you, your partner, or child has suffered an injury during the birth process then it is crucial to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Many people know all too well that injuries during birth may be life-changing and require long-term, or lifetime, care, assistance and rehabilitation. This can apply to either the mother or the child.

While we can adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in, there may be scope for compensation from a legal perspective.

Our experienced team of birth injury solicitors will work hard to secure an effective treatment plan, and ensure your family can focus on the most important aspects of physical and psychological recovery. For further peace of mind, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you will be dealing directly with a personal injury lawyer, not a junior.

Plus, the team operates on a no win, no fee basis. They will only take on cases with a strong chance of success.

– Brain Injury Claims

When a loved one suffers a brain injury through no fault of their own, families must seek immediate legal advice to safeguard that person’s health and recovery. Our specialist brain injury solicitors are here to support the injured person and their family, and to guide them through the claims process.

Beyond the immediate physical damage, brain injuries put a huge strain on finances, quality of life and family relationships. Our brain injury claims specialists will help to secure you the best possible care and maximise compensation for the injury.

We specialise in coordinating medical assessments, occupational therapy sessions and long-term rehabilitation. Our specialists save families a lot of stress by working directly with insurance companies and serious injury case managers throughout the claim process.

The team also liaises closely with our Court of Protection colleagues to advise on arrangements when a client can no longer make decisions by themselves.

– Clinical Negligence

If you, or somebody close to you, has suffered poor quality treatment at the hands of a medical professional, our clinical negligence solicitors can advise whether you have a claim.

Our clinical negligence solicitors deal with cases involving both the NHS and private sector. They understand how clinical errors and malpractice often put significant strain on families, finances, careers, and home life.

The team will strive to support recovery by helping you access expert analysis and treatment, and take the stress out of the claims process.

After an initial free consultation, we will be able to evaluate the most appropriate action to take. We can assist you with the NHS complaints process or private healthcare claims process covered by ISCAS (Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service), in addition to representation at inquest hearings.

With clinical negligence claims, it is important to act as quickly as possible, preferably within three years of an incident, to ensure we can progress your claim and secure early interim payments where due.

– Serious Injury Claims

If you have suffered a serious injury or illness because of somebody else’s negligence at work, on the road or in a public place, it is very important to get advice and support from a solicitor at an early stage.

Our specialist serious injury solicitors draw on decades of experience in relation to brain, spinal cord and many other serious injury claims when providing a clear assessment of your case and prospects of success.

Naturally, you may be concerned about the financial burden that comes with being absent from work for a prolonged period of time. We work directly with insurance companies to arrange an initial medical assessment, to secure early interim payments and to make sure that Insurers comply with every aspect of The Rehabilitation Code.

Our team puts just as much emphasis on the rehabilitation as it does the compensation. We will ensure you have access to first class medical care from the earliest possible stage.

With our support, you will have access to the physiotherapy, surgery or psychological treatment that can make a significant difference to your health and well-being, as well as the medical reports necessary to support your claim.

Get in Touch

Whether you are looking to speak with a specialist for more information of you know which legal service you require, please do not hesitate to contact us.

You can call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and the team will be in touch.

Cyclists: What to do if you’re involved in a road accident

July 12, 2017, By
Road cycling

Most cyclists will know the challenges of cycling on Britain’s roads, among them the condition of many routes. David Rowlands explains what you should do if you have a road accident because of disrepair on the roads.  

As a cyclist, if I’m involved in a road accident as a result of the road condition, what legal rights do I have and what should I do?

Nearly 100 cyclists have been killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads in the last two years due to potholes and other defective surfaces.

In 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, 46 people were knocked off their bikes because of unsafe road surfaces. A year earlier, 53 cyclists were killed or seriously hurt.

Under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980, local councils have an obligation to maintain public roads to a ‘rideable’ condition. But, as we know, this sometimes is not done to a good enough standard. As a result, cyclists involved in road accidents are left with injuries that are no fault of their own.

If you suffer damage to property, loss or injury due to a defect in the highway you may be able to claim from the relevant highway authority, usually the local council.

Photograph the Road Accident Site Condition

In the first instance, you should take photographs of the road condition and get a quote for any damage to your bike or other property. In this day and age, this is more possible than ever, as the most prepared cyclists invest in wearable cameras to cover their back in the case of an accident. Although photos are good for capturing the state of the scene of the road accident, wearable cameras are highly reliable as they sometimes prove exactly how the incident happened.

In some cases, wearable cameras help victims take away the complex process of the authority in questions contesting the case, as they have no reasonable grounds to argue the case.

The Next Steps

Following this, you should then report the defect the highway authority responsible for maintaining the road. It is also advisable to look on Potholes and see if the highway has already been reported. If it has, be sure to make a note of this.

A personal injury solicitor will then be able to give you some advice on making a claim.

In the unfortunate event you sustained an injury in the road accident, the claims process is quite complicated and lengthy, so you would be well advised to appoint a lawyer who is highly experienced in cycling accident claims.

If there is injury involved and/or the claim is worth a substantial sum, a lawyer may be able to accept the claim on a No Win No Fee basis. However, if it is a relatively minor claim (worth less than £10,000) and no injury has occurred you won’t be able to claim your legal costs back. In this case, you will either have to pay your legal fees yourself, or make a direct claim to the council.

If you do decide to take up matters with the council yourself, without legal advice or support, the council may well argue that they have a proper maintenance procedure in place which can be a valid defence to your claim under section 58 of the Highways Act.

Seek Professional Advice

Going alone in this case can be a lengthy process. You will need to submit a Freedom of Information request in order to obtain a copy of the procedure and details of when the site of the road accident was last inspected and/or repaired. If the inspection and repair records show that the maintenance procedure was not followed then your claim should succeed.

Having an experienced personal injury solicitor in your corner will help you to get back on your feet, and, more importantly, back on your bike.

It is worth noting that any claims for personal injury must be brought within three years of the accident, and all other claims within six years of the accident.