Ministry of Justice confirms personal injury small claim limits

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cars on road copyThis Government has confirmed that plans to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 are definite; yet only for incidents relating to road traffic accidents.

The Ministry of Justice will be imposing a threshold of £2,000 for all other personal injury claims.

If you have a whiplash claim, move fast as the Ministry of Justice are pushing plans to cap whiplash compensation payments, as well as banning offers that don’t provide medical evidence.

This is set to be implemented around October 2018.

According to justice minister Sir Oliver Heald, he expects insurers to ‘fulfil their promise and put the money saved back in the pockets of the country’s drivers.’

He also thinks that millions of claimants are unfairly impacted through higher premiums.

What are the caps?

Damages will now be limited heavily depending on how long the injury remains, as well as time taken from work, calculated at £225 for up to 3 months; £450 for up to 6 months; and £765 for up to 9 months.

Compensation up to two years is to also be capped. Starting with a cap of £1,190 for up to 1 year; £1,820 for up to 15 months; and £2,660 for up to 2 years.

Other injuries sustained from road traffic accidents wont be subject to this reform, as the Government is focusing on protecting genuine whiplash claimants against those that aren’t.

Rupy Sandhu, a Solicitor at Claim Today Solicitors, said: “Whilst the Government has good intentions in reducing the amount of fraudulent claims being made, this new reform is deeply unfortunate for genuine clients claiming against whiplash. I would definitely encourage those who experience whiplash to still claim as they should not be denied the compensation they deserve.”

Have you been involved in a road traffic accident? Whiplash? Considering claiming for compensation? Start your claim today by filling out this contact form or calling us direct in 0800 093 9392.

In the news: Mum wins £9m in wrongful birth case

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A mother who has won a record £9million compensation, after giving birth to a badly disabled boy after a ‘wrongful birth’.

Omodele Meadows gave birth to her son Adejuwon in September 2001, however found him to be severely disabled with a form of haemophilia and autism.

Four years prior to the pregnancy, Ms Meadows had visited her GP surgery to be tested for the haemophilia gene, after discovering another member of her family carried the gene.

She was mistakenly given the all-clear by a doctor, as a blood test confirmed that she was not a sufferer.

Only after Adejuwon’s birth did she undergo detailed genetic testing that confirmed her as a carrier of the rogue gene.

Ms Meadows went on to sue GP Dr Hafshah Khan, whose lawyers ‘admitted that, but for her negligence, Adejuwon would not have been born.’

The court heard had Ms Meadows been referred for genetic testing in 2006 she would have been identified as a carrier before she became pregnant. 

Lawyers for the GP agreed to pay Ms Meadows £1.4m in compensation for the additional costs of bringing up Adejuwon relating to his haemophilia.

But they refused to pay out a much larger sum to include the extra care costs relating to Adejuwon’s autism.

Now, High Court judge, Mrs Justice Yip, has upheld the mother’s claim in full, awarding her £9 million, a record payout in a wrongful birth claim.

Matters like this are tragic and support in a number of ways would be your number one concern. If you have a wrongful birth or misdiagnosis claim, call us on 08000 93 93 92 to discuss whether you have a claim and how we can help support you.

Claim Today celebrates double 10 year staff anniversary amid sector changes

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Vicky 10 year PRPersonal injury firm Claim Today Solicitors celebrated two members’ of staff reaching ten years with the company this month.

Vicky Blodwell, head of Personal Injury at the firm, and Rupy Sandhu, a team leader within that department, have been with the company since 2007.

Both trained to become solicitors at DBS, working their way to Assistant Solicitor and subsequently Senior Lawyers, to their respective titles, which they have since held for a number of years, between them successfully claiming millions in compensation for their clients in that time. 

The firm marked the occasion with a gift presentation in the office alongside speeches by Directors and from those within the personal injury department, speaking mainly on the themes of commitment, dedication, and durability; facets that underpin their approach to a career in the personal injury department.

Commitment and dedication in an ever-changing legal sector

The milestone achievement for the pair comes as more changes to the personal injury legal sector are forthcoming, with rises to the small claims limit and the Ogden rate U-turn adding pressure across the sector.

On the landmark month of staff anniversaries, Chairman, Davinder Bal, said: “Ten years of dedication and commitment to personal injury clients is incredible in an environment of constant change and challenge in the personal injury sector.”

“Vicky and Rupy have both been true role models for the firm, with client care and team development at the heart of everything they do, able to take in their stride all the changes in the sector.”

Vicky Blodwell said: “Ten years is a particular milestone to have reached and I am fortunate to have worked with a supportive team which has made them so enjoyable. Thank you to everyone I have worked with during that time and particularly to the clients who have always provided me with such a strong focus.”

Waiting times increasingly an issue for NHS

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Hospital waiting room 2 copyAlmost 40,000 patients admitted for treatment had to wait up to 18 weeks for it to begin; whilst A&E stations missing their waiting time targets by the biggest boundary in a decade, research shows.

Over 13,000 patients have had to wait more than 26 weeks before seeing any signs of impending treatment.

Most hospitals are given the target that 90% of patients begin treatment in 18 weeks or less, yet only just 87% of patients actually fulfilled this criteria.

Waiting time figures in NHS hospitals in England have reached the worst for almost seven years, however the median wait in February was around 10 weeks, up from 8.4 weeks in 2012.

This means that patients using the NHS are having to live with their injuries for longer and impeded from working at full capacity or living comfortably for longer than they should be.

Dr Barbara Hakin, national director of commissioning operations for NHS England said the strain was due to the increased demand for resources:

“The NHS has continued to deliver good services for patients with last week seeing the highest number of emergency admissions this year.”

“In the last 12 months we have seen more than 22million patients at A&E, an increase of 2.7% on 2013-14 with more than 5.4 million emergency admissions, an increase of 4% on the previous year. In the face of this intense and ongoing pressure our staff continued to admit or treat and discharge more than nine out of 10 patients within four hours. This represents an incredible effort by NHS staff over the course of the year.”

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NHS clinical negligence bill continues to rise

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The NHS spent almost £1.6bn on clinical negligence lawsuits last year, causing a strain on the resilience of their finances.

The National Audit Office released figures showing that NHS litigation bills have quadrupled in the last century.

Sir Amyas Morse, head of NAO, voiced that: “The cost of clinical negligence in trusts is significant and rising fastm placing increasing financial pressure on an already stretched system.”

Proposals are said to be under discussion, however predicted savings are holistically still below the amount being paid out to fund said lawsuits.

The NAO thinks that by 2020, litigation costs could reach £3bn.

Richard Lodge, a medical negligence practitioner, said that “An important question is whether savings could be made with a more collaborative approach to litigation. If the NHS is made at a much earlier stage and helped the parties to work together that may impact the bottom line”

One proposal may include fixing the amount legal firms can recover from clinical negligence cases, as well as providing families affected by injuries alternative options to lengthy court disputes.

Disabled people set to receive higher benefit rates

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The Department of Work and Pensions announced new guidelines on Thursday, seeing certain claimants of the Personal Independent Payment receiving higher benefit rates.

Under new guidance, benefit assessors will judge the rate of risk a disabled person faces, as well as the likelihood of said risk occurring. Supposedly this will bring about an increase of £70 to £90 for up to 10,000 claimants.

The push is said to increase entitlement including those particularly that suffer with conditions affecting consciousness, such as Epilepsy.

PIP, introduced in 2013 to replace the Disability Living Allowance, allowed for human assessment as well as regular check-ups, measuring the effect a disability has upon everyday tasks. Yet this process has received backlash saying that many are denied benefits when they need them.

Debbie Abrahams MP, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary told the independent; ‘While we welcome any increase in support for those who need PIP, this is a drop in the ocean of the funding that the courts have ruled should rightfully go to recipients.’

PIP is said to contribute to additional costs disabled people have to burden, as well as giving them to opportunity to lead independent lives. 29% of people on PIP receive the highest level of support, compared to 15% still under the Disability Living Allowance.

Road accident claims the target in controlling motor premiums

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aa1Motor premiums have reached a record high since 2012. The Association of British Insurers claim that they have increased by £45 from the same point as last year.

They don’t believe that personal injury claims have influenced the latest rise but recognised that, as well as motor premiums, both premium tax and average repair bills have also risen massively.

Nonetheless, the organisation has urged the government to ‘push through’ plans to introduce a tariff for whiplash injuries, and to increase the discount rate for compensation payments, making up to £2.5bn in savings in the motor insurance industry.

Rob Cummings, head of motor and liability at the ABI voiced that ‘The UK’s Government’s proposals to deliver a personal injury compensation system that is fair for claimants, customers and taxpayers alike should help ease the pressure on motor insurance premiums’.

To further the claims that the government will be reforming fees, Lord Chancellor David Lidington confirmed his plans to ‘press on’ with increasing the small claims limit for road traffic accidents to £5,000, and on other personal injury claims to £2,000.

Advocating for the victims

In 2016 alone, road traffic accidents in the UK caused 1,792 deaths and 179,592 injuries, 24,101 of which were serious or critical. That’s an average of 5 deaths and 492 injuries, 66 of which are serious, each day on the road.

The legal industry through accident claims has long been a bastion of ensuring that quality case management is maintained, as well as streamlining the number of claims that are taken forward, refusing claims that are fraudulent or exaggerated.

Vicky Blodwell, Head of Personal Injury at Claim Today Solicitors, said that Lidington is using solicitors’ firms as a scape goat to bring down motor premiums, despite the figures mentioned in the report:

“We as personal injury solicitors deal with victims of events that are avoidable and yet can have such an impact on peoples lives. We’re there to ensure that they get the help they need, and can recover without the stress of having to think about losing out on work while they recover, as they can claim it back.”

“By restricting the practice further, it is scapegoating this vital support for victims and placing them at a massive personal cost and disadvantage.”

Have you been involved in a road traffic accident and considering claiming for compensation? Start your claim today by filling out this contact form or calling us direct in 0800 093 9392.

Is the NHS wasting time?

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clock-705672_1920Time wastage on typical operating lists is preventing an additional 280,000 emergency operations from being carried out each year, according to research published by regulator NHS Improvement.

Looking at data from over 100 NHS trusts in England in 2016, it found that on average, two hours were wasted daily on the typical operating list. Non-emergency operations are routine, and are scheduled by an operating theatre list of patients.

Waiting times for said routine operations are on the rise, with demand outweighing supply of resources. The question is whether or not the NHS needs be more efficient, or given additional funding.

NHS Improvement claims that planning the lists more effectively whilst reducing the amount of early starts and finishes would have brought down the amount of wasted time. They also believe that striving to reduce the amount of last-minute cancellations would enable otherwise wasted operating slots to be filled.

On the other hand, it may not be so simple as to say reduced operating time is down to inefficiency of planning. Even though paying surgeons to get as much work done as possible seems logical, local health commissioning groups are already being stretched, without having to fund additional procedures.

It is safe to say that the funding over efficiency debate will not be concluded soon, yet the NHS is trying to find ways of conducting more operations, with the same amount of money. Nevertheless, a call for the Government to increase funding for the NHS is not likely to cease.

Have you suffered from medical negligence? Call Claim Today Solicitors on 0800 093 9392 to speak to an advisor and see if you can claim today.

Hip implant patients take DePuy to court

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DePuy, manufacturer of hip implant products, is facing a lawsuit from more than 300 patients looking for compensation for the pain and suffering caused by their “failed” metal-on-metal hip implants.

The initial pain and subsequent early revision surgery, as well as the need to source more conventional hip products, have slowed down recovery times, forced patients to miss work, and put their families through unneeded stress and worry.

If you’ve had a hip replacement that has gone wrong or caused more upset and pain, give Claim Today Solicitors a call to see if you could be entitled to compensation on 0800 093 9392.

NHS putting £65bn aside for negligence claims

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Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence at the hospital

Medical negligence caused by professionals working in the NHS cost the health service £1.6bn last year, prompting the body to set aside £65bn for existing and future claims, according to the Centre for Policy Studies.

The £1.6bn figure places the cost of medical negligence at £24 per person, almost triple that you see in the United States which is at £9 per person.

What this does show, alongside the expensive nature of claims in the first place, is that levels of care and medical practice within the NHS are a cause for concern.

The number of claims have risen more-or-less every year up to a peak of over 9,000 claims in 2012, before declining after legal aid was revoked for personal injury claims. However, claims are rising again as the health service becomes more stretched.

If you have been the victim of medical negligence by the NHS, you should feel entitled to claim compensation to ensure that you are able to recover and get back to living as best you can.

Call Claim Today Solicitors on 0800 093 9392 to speak to an advisor and see if you can claim today.

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