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Fatal Road Accidents: What Happens Next?

Fatal Road Accidents What Happens Next

If a loved one has been involved in a fatal accident, we understand that the thought of making a legal claim may seem impossible at what will already be an incredibly difficult time. Whilst there is no sum of money that will ever begin to compensate you for your loss, we understand that you may be worried about how you will cope financially going forward.

 

That’s why at Bonnar Accident Law, our experienced solicitors will always treat our bereaved client’s relatives with compassion and care.

 

Tragically there were 1,752 fatalities from road traffic accidents reported in the UK in 2019. We understand that behind each statistic, is a family dealing with the devastating aftermath. We have significant experience handling fatal road traffic accidents and we are here to help every step of the way.

 

Am I Entitled to Claim?

 

If someone else was at fault in causing the accident we can help you to claim compensation to ensure that you and your family don’t suffer any unnecessary financial hardship. The law allows close relatives of the deceased to make a claim, which can be any of the below:

 

  • A spouse or a former spouse
  • Civil partners of the deceased.
  • Children, grandchildren, adopted children and other descendants
  • Parents and grandparents of the deceased
  • Brothers and sisters

 

In certain circumstances, other relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased may also be entitled to claim.

 

What Does Compensation Cover in a Fatal Road Traffic Accident Claim?

 

The amount you could be awarded in a successful claim can vary greatly, as it’s very much dependent on a variety of factors.

 

  • Bereavement Award

This covers grief, distress and suffering for the loss of a loved one.

 

  • Actual Losses

This covers the expenses if you were caring for your loved one between their accident and the time of their passing such as any medical costs. It also covers the cost of the funeral and the legal cost of dealing with your loved one’s estate.

  • Loss of Earnings and Services

If you or your loved one were unable to work in the period between their accident and when they passed away the loss of earnings can be covered. Services include any duties your loved one may have performed such as childcare or caring for another family member.

  • Dependency Losses

If you and your family depend on the income of your loved one, the long-term financial loss will be carefully calculated to ensure the deceased dependents are financially supported in the future. This can include income, pensions and benefits.

 

How Can We Help?

 

Following a fatal road traffic accident, the police will have carried out a detailed investigation into the circumstances that caused the accident. We will gain access to these reports and speak to the police offers involved, whilst also instructing our own independent road accident investigators to review the police evidence and findings.

 

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, our solicitors have the expertise and experience to guide your family through the claims process step by step and we will work tirelessly to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for each family member who has a claim.

 

If you would like to discuss your options for making a compensation claim as a result of a fatal accident, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

Working at Height: The Risks and Challenges

Working at Height The Risks and Challenges

Working at Height The Risks and Challenges

Working at height is defined as working in a place where a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. A fall from a height can result in serious and life-changing injuries, anything from broken bones and mental trauma to irreversible damage to your internal organs.

 

Tragically, statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that falls from a height accounted for the largest number of fatal accidents in the workplace in 2019/20.

 

Whilst these accidents are most commonly seen in the construction industry and cleaning industry, in any job where you are required to work from a height, however high or low that may be, you need to know the risks you face and the steps you can take to avoid them. We will examine these steps in this blog, and we’ve also included a handy guide to some of our key Do’s and Don’ts of working at height.

 

The Dangers of Working at Height, and How to Avoid Them:

  • Roofs

There are three types of roofs that present a particular risk when working at height; fragile roofs which aren’t structurally sound enough to support you or your equipment, sloping roofs which can present a serious challenge with maintaining stability, and flat roofs which present a risk due to their unsecured edges. To overcome the challenges of these roofs, we recommend using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and utilising both roof ladders and crawling boards where necessary.

  • Unsecured Edges

When working at height, unsecured edges present a significant danger not only to you, but to the people below who could be injured from the risk of falling objects. Ensure that before any work commences that walkways, access platforms and scaffolding all have the appropriate measures in place. Guard rails are often the most common choice to prevent this type of risk.

  • Weather Conditions

Bad weather can pose a serious danger to those working at height, especially strong winds which can make access more dangerous and could cause any unfastened materials, as well as your equipment, to come loose. Heavy rain or icy weather greatly increases the chance of you slipping as it impacts your stability. Although shelters can be formed and PPE can protect you from the elements to an extent, in poor weather we would always recommend postponing any work at height.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Working at Height:

  • Do check that everyone you are working with is fully trained and competent for working at height.
  • Do consider emergency situations and make sure access is safe to the workplace at height.
  • Do ensure that equipment is stable and strong enough for the job. Be sure to check this regularly.
  • Do take extra precautions when working on or near fragile services.
  • Do provide protection from falling objects.
  • Don’t overload ladders.
  • Don’t overreach on ladders or stepladders.
  • Don’t rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces.
  • Don’t use ladders for heavy tasks, only use them for light work and for a short period of time, usually for no longer than 30 minutes.
  • Don’t let anyone untrained or inexperienced carry out any work at height.

 

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) was introduced to help prevent injury or death caused by falls from a height. These regulations aim to minimise the potential risk to workers, and they place a duty of care on employers to ensure that they do everything possible to prevent employees from falling whilst a work, or carrying out risk assessments, and ensuring their workers are supplied with the appropriate equipment and training.

 

If your employer fails to take any of these precautions and you suffer an injury as a result, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

 

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

 

Pedestrians are amongst the most vulnerable people on UK roads. Whilst there are many different methods of transportation that we can take advantage of, at one point or another, everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, without the protection of a vehicle, or any safety equipment, pedestrians are vulnerable to serious injury. This can range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, to serious life-changing injuries.

 

Tragically, in 2019, pedestrians accounted for 27% of all road traffic accident fatalities in the UK, which was the highest proportion of any group besides car occupants.

 

Behind the statistics, are real people who are struggling with the consequences of being in a pedestrian accident.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we understand that if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you may be facing distressing and uncertain times and might be unsure of what to do next. This blog will guide you through your next steps, as well as our top tips for staying safe as a pedestrian.

 

What to Do If You’re in a Pedestrian Accident?

  • Seek Medical Attention

Of course, the priority is to ensure that you’re out of harm’s way and that the emergency services have been called. Even in the case of minor injuries, it’s important to see your GP after in case your condition worsens.

  • Report the Accident

All road traffic accidents involving injury must be reported to the police and you should obtain a police report/incident number.

  • Take Photographs

If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the surrounding area, and your injuries.

  • Collect Information

Make sure to exchange details with the driver/s involved in the accident, as well as anyone who might have witnessed it.

 

Our Top Tips for Pedestrian Safety

  • Stop, look, listen.
  • Stay alert, don’t be distracted by electronic devices such as your phone that can take your attention off the road.
  • Choose a safe place to cross the road, such as at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights.
  • Even at a pedestrian crossing, always pause before you step onto the road and check both directions to ensure there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t assume a driver has seen you. Always try where possible to make eye contact before you cross.
  • If there is a footpath, use it. If not, stick to the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic, and keep as close as possible to the side of the road.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Think Bike: Safety on the Road

Think Bike: Safety on the Road

Think Bike Safety on the Road

Think Bike Safety on the Road

 

The number of people choosing to cycle, whether it be for the health benefits or as a way to get to work, has significantly increased in recent years within the UK – with an astonishing 3.2 billion miles cycled on our roads every year.

Unfortunately, cyclists are also amongst the most vulnerable road users within the UK and there is a serious risk from not only poor road conditions or faulty equipment, but also inattentive drivers.

In fact, when the UK began its first lockdown in 2020, the month of March saw cyclist fatalities double the average for that time of year, with 14 cyclists in Great Britain and one in Northern Ireland victims in road traffic incidents.

While this wasn’t a long-term trend and there are fewer cars on the road, we don’t want the risks of cycling to outweigh its clear benefits which are it is economical, environmentally friendly, and a fun way to get around. So, how can we make sure that cyclists and drivers are looking out for each other and keeping one another safe on the road?

 

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Ride decisively and make sure to keep clear of the kerb
  • Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet
  • Always wear high visibility and reflective clothing, especially after dark
  • Make sure to always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  • Avoid riding up the inside of vehicles as you may not be seen
  • Use appropriate hand gestures to signal left/right turn taking
  • Take extra care at junctions and roundabouts, and make sure to give clear timely signals

 

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Always keep an eye out for cyclists
  • Check for cyclists before pulling out at a junction, when doing a manoeuvre or when changing lanes
  • Take an extra look in your mirrors and blind spots
  • Leave plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist
  • Be aware of Advanced Stop Lines. These allow increased visibility for vulnerable road users such as cyclists. You must stop at the first white line if the traffic light is amber or red and when the green light shows, allow the road user time and space to set off
  • The lower your speed, the less risk you are to a cyclist, so take extra care to drive a little slower in residential areas and areas without cycle lanes

 

If you do find yourself injured due to a cycling accident, you may be due compensation if the accident was caused by the actions of another road user, if the road or cycle lane was in poor condition, or if your injury was due to an equipment failure.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our no win no fee solicitors.

BP to offer one-off payments if claimants waive right to sue

In the hope of drawing  a line under the crisis and in an attempt to quantify total costs, BP has announced its intention to cap its liabilities from the Gulf of Mexico disaster by offering those affected one-off compensation payouts in return for them waiving the right to sue.

Tens of thousands of affected people in the Gulf, particularly those in the fishing and tourism industries, are weeks away from bankruptcy but it is very difficult to calculate future lost earnings. There is also no way for claimants to know if they can expect more compensation if they sue BP in the courts…but that, of course, would appear to be the idea.

Ken Feinberg, who was appointed by the White House in June to administer the claims process on behalf of BP, will take charge within the next three weeks. BP has committed to pay $20bn into the fund in a series of instalments over the next three and a half years. When he takes over this month, for the first time claimants will be offered a one-off sum based on their future lost earnings, provided they agree not to sue BP as the company seeks to re-build its reputation.

“The fund will offer lump sum payments in return for an agreement not to pursue claims in court,” a spokeswoman said. Claimants will also be able to receive an emergency payout to cover their lost income for up to six months without waiving their right to sue BP. Claims from those directly affected by the spill, such as fishermen, will qualify but uncertainty surrounds those more indirectly affected. For example, many owners of beach apartments in Florida – even where no oil hit the shore – face bankruptcy because holidaymakers stayed away. It seems that a scheme designed to simplify and fast-track compensation payments may not be quite so simple after all.

In our view in its highly regrettable that the media spotlight continues to be targeted at the environmental cost of the oil spill whilst the 11 workers who died in the explosion receive scarcely a single reference by comparison. Let’s hope that the fate of the wrongful death and personal injury compensation claims on behalf of the victims’ families is monitored with the same level of scrutinty as the thousands of loss of earnings claims.