Longridge: 01772 783 314 | Garstang: 01995 602 129 | Lancaster: 01524 581 306 
 
Longridge: 01772 783 314 
Garstang: 01995 602 129 
Lancaster: 01524 581 306 

Posts from June 2019

As every Personal Injury Law specialist knows the Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out five principles to help protect Clients who may struggle to make decisions: 
 
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he or she lacks capacity 
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him or her to do so have been taken without success 
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he or she makes an unwise decision 
An action taken or decision made under this Act for, or on behalf of, a person who lacks capacity must be in his or her best interests 
Before an action is taken or a decision made, regard must be had as to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action 
Brexit: the word that almost every person in the UK dreads hearing (especially those in Parliament!). 
 
A lot of us may think that Brexit won’t really affect our everyday lives, but it’s becoming more apparent that it could have an impact on things we take for granted. 
 
A number one concern for many holiday-goers, is driving. Currently, if you hold a valid driving licence in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you can drive in all countries in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), so this includes all of the countries in the EU, which you can find a list of here, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and, although its neither part of the EU or EEA, Switzerland. 
#1 - Sleeping in your car whilst over the limit 
 
Whilst it may not be inherently illegal, you would have to prove that you had no intention of driving your car, which can be difficult to prove. Under section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, you could face a penalty of ten points on your driving licence (a minimum, so beware as you could be looking at more), and up to a 12 month driving ban, as well as prison time. 
 
If you’re not over the limit, but you’re just tired, then rule 91 of the Highway Code recommends a 15 minute break for every two hours of driving, so just make sure you pull up somewhere safe, and where you are not causing any inconvenience to anyone else. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t pull over on the hard shoulder; this is for emergencies only, and parking up on the hard shoulder has been known to cause road traffic accidents. 
In the UK, children generally have to use a child car seat until they are either 135cm tall, or 12 years old (whichever event occurs first). After this, like ALL other adults, they must wear a seat belt. 
 
There are generally two types of seats you may look for: height-based seats, and weight-based seats. 
When we sit behind the wheel, we always make sure that our seat belts are fastened, we have enough fuel, and there are no issues with our vehicle. If you drive a BMW, there’s probably the perennial warning light of some sort on the dash, but you are forgiven for ignoring this. However, one thing we may seem to forget, is, are we wearing suitable footwear to drive? 
As we already know, expert evidence can play an extremely important part of your claim, which is why selecting the right expert is imperative. See our blog on instructing the correct expert for more information on this, by following the link below: 
 
 
Looking now more specifically, what do we think of when we say expert witness? MG Legal’s team, like any other, interpret this as meaning an individual supplying expert evidence would be an expert within their field. The expert would use their expertise to help propel the claim by giving evidence. 
Do's 
 
1. Identify Witnesses – Personal Injury Solicitors know it can be difficult but getting the contact details of any witnesses is a top priority. If you are able to, then you really should try to take the names, addresses and phone numbers of all potential witnesses. Keep a copy for yourself and a copy for your Solicitor. 
 
2. Gather Evidence – we’re certainly not asking you to don your white suit and start prodding the ground with a stick, but taking photos or videos of any injuries or damage can be incredibly helpful later down the line. Remember, the incident scene may not be the same the next day, and so gather as much evidence as you can, as soon as you have been injured. 
 
3. Report your accident – sounds obvious doesn’t it?! You would be surprised how many people fail to report accidents but get yourself on the phone to the Police, Local Authority and don’t forget your Insurance Company (in the case of a road traffic accident). Remember if you don’t report you may be denied the opportunity to claim compensation! 
 
4. Seek Legal Advice – appoint a reputable, professional Solicitor to guide you through the process of making a personal injury claim as soon as possible. 
 
5. Seek immediate medical attention – ensure you visit your doctor or A & E if your injuries require it. Your personal injury solicitor will ensure that the notes from A&E/GP are obtained prior to a medical report being prepared, explaining the injuries you have suffered. 
 
6. Keep a written diary – as events unfold be sure to keep a diary. You may experience new challenges within your daily life both physical and mental. Mowing the lawn or bathing may seem either impossible, post incident, or at the very least, a lot more difficult. It is also useful to keep a list, alongside any receipts, of costs which have been incurred as a result of your injury (such as parking tickets for hospital appointments or modifications which have been carried out around the home). A diary such as this could be very useful should your claim go to Court. 
We’ve all been there: you’ve just passed your driving test and your finally behind the wheel of your own car … on your own. It’s something that, quite a lot of people would feel, you aren’t quite prepared for. After all, before you pass, you’re not ever given the opportunity of being behind the wheel and left to your own devices.  
 
However, whether you’ve been driving for fifteen years, or five months, we all need to make sure that we’re doing our best to drive safely and be mindful of other road users, whether that be other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians or horse-riders. 
 
So, how do we stay safe on the road? Well, our expert team of Personal Injury solicitors in Lancaster have put together a list of the top five things to do (or not to do) to make sure you’re driving safely. 
We often use the initial consultation with our new personal injury compensation clients to ask them questions about their accident, and themselves, to help us to get the information we need to progress their claim. However, our team of personal injury solicitors in Preston also use it as a time to allow our clients to ask the questions they need to, to make sure they feel happy about how the claim process works, and what’s involved. But we don’t stop there. Our team is on hand throughout your claim to make sure that you can ask any questions that you might have. 
 
To help our clients get started, here’s a list of some of the most commonly asked questions that our road accident solicitors are asked… 
Accident - Injury - Claim - Compensation
Allegation - A claim made against someone, often without proof, or a claim that someone has engaged in an illegal act. 
 
Alternative Dispute Resolution (also known as ADR) – arbitration and mediation are sometimes used as an alternative way to settle a dispute without going to Court. 
 
After-the-event-insurance - an insurance policy taken out after an accident to help assist a Personal Injury Claim. 
 
Bankrupt - the legal status of a person or Company who is unable to repay its debts owed to creditors. 
 
Civil Procedure Rules – the rules governing the process of handling a claim which is at Court. 
 
Claimant – the injured person seeking to make a Claim for compensation. 
 
Collective Conditional Fee Agreement – similar to the “no win, no fee” concept, this is where funding is arranged for a private Client. 
 
Contributory Negligence – this is where the amount of damages that would normally be awarded to the Claimant are reduced to take in to account the Claimants own actions in sustaining the injury. 
 
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – A scheme funded by Government which allows for a victim of crime to claim compensation for their injuries. 
 
Culpable – at fault or guilty of something. 
 
Damages – often used interchangeably with the word “compensation” – comprising of both general and special damages. 
 
Defendant – The party against whom the claim is made. 
 
Disbursements – Any expenses incurred such as the cost of obtaining a medical report. 
 
Evidence – Something material to the case which will prove or disprove something. 
 
Fast Track Claim – A claim where damages do not exceed £25,000.00. 
 
Fraud – intentional misrepresentation or intentional concealment of an important fact. 
 
General Damages – Compensation for injuries. 
 
Incapacity Benefit – A benefit paid after 28 weeks of sickness. 
 
Industrial Injuries Disablement - A benefit paid to an employee who has been injured at work. 
 
Interim Payment – Damages paid to a Claimant before the Claim has completed – this kind of payment can assist with care fees or house alterations following an accident. 
 
Legal Expenses Insurance - insurance policy available through household and contents insurance and credit card facilities to fund a claim for compensation. 
 
Liability - legal responsibility for an accident. 
 
'Personal Injury Law' written on wooden blocks.

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