The New Highway Code Rules from 29th January 2022

New Highway Code Rules, aimed at protecting vulnerable road users, are due to come into force on January 29th 2022, if approved by Parliament. A New Road Hierarchy will improve road safety for more vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, who are most likely to get injured in an accident.

The Hierarchy in order of highest priority will be:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horse Riders
  • Motorcyclists
  • Cars/Taxis
  • Vans/Mini Buses
  • Large passenger vehicles/Heavy Goods Vehicles

‘Those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others’.

It will be a car driver’s responsibility to be aware of cyclists, pedestrians, or horse riders.

When a car is turning into a road the driver should stop to let pedestrians cross even if they have not started crossing. This also applies to Motorbike riders, Cyclists and Horse riders.

Cyclists travelling straight ahead at road junctions will now be given priority over drivers who are turning left or changing lanes.

Cyclists will be required to give way to pedestrians on shared-use cycle tracks.

Cyclists are also now advised to ride in the centre of their lane to make themselves more visible on quiet roads and in slow moving traffic, or on the approach to junctions when it would be unsafe for a vehicle to overtake.

At OGR Stock Denton we deal with numerous accidents involving cars turning left at junctions and knocking over cyclists. In such cases the cyclist often sustains serious injuries which are life changing. The new rules are therefore welcomed and it is hoped will result in car drivers taking extra care, particularly when turning into roads at a junction.

We have also seen an increase in the number of accidents involving motorcyclists. We hope the new rules will go some way to reducing these and will avoid serious injuries which often result in substantial physical and financial consequences.

Why being a polite road user can land you in trouble.

Flashing your lights has universally been accepted as a code for allowing someone to have priority or thanking another road user. Some road users of course use a flash of the lights in not such a polite manner but rather as a way of intimidating. Such uses will no longer be permitted. The new code states:

Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.’

To make an appointment to discuss any aspect of Motoring Law or Road Traffic Offences please send us an email or phone 020 8349 0321.

RTA claims – how do you get the compensation you deserve?

RTAs (or RTIs – Road Traffic Incidents – as they are now known by the emergency services), are every motorist’s worst nightmare. Whether you are travelling on two wheels or four, a pedestrian or a professional driver, having an accident on the road can affect both your health and your livelihood.

Whilst most RTAs are fairly minor, others can be far more serious, resulting in life-changing injuries.

So if you are involved in an RTA, what are your options when it comes to claiming personal injury compensation?

Why can you claim compensation after an accident?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that every road user has a duty of care to drive in a manner that is safe and does not cause harm to other people, regardless of the location or conditions. If a driver breaches that duty of care by being responsible for what would otherwise be an avoidable incident, then you may hold them responsible and claim compensation. This financial payout can compensate any injury whether whiplash or more serious injuries that may require a lifetime of care.

If you do decide to make a personal injury compensation claim after an RTA, you’ll need to be able to prove that the accident was caused by the other driver’s negligence. Even if you are partly to blame for the accident you can still pursue a claim, although there may be some reduction in your damages to reflect contributory negligence. You will also need to prove that any injuries sustained were a direct cause of the RTA.

Obtaining the evidence

To prove your case, you will need evidence – and as much as possible. The best evidence is that collected at the time of the accident, so if possible (and as long as it’s safe to do so), take pictures of the scene and the position and any damage to vehicles before they are moved. Make sure you take the details of any witnesses to the incident as well, and ask them if they will provide you with copies of any dash-cam footage that may have captured the incident. And while it may seem obvious, do make sure that you get the other driver’s details. It is also worthwhile noting any CCTV cameras that may have recorded the accident.

Anyone injured in the collision will need medical attention. GP and Hospital records are important evidence as they will detail the nature of your injuries as well as treatment provided. They will also be useful in establishing that the injuries were a direct result of the accident, and not caused by any other event or action.

What level of compensation can you expect?

If your claim is successful, the amount of compensation you receive will entirely depend on the severity of the injuries. No two cases will ever be the same. Victim’s financial losses will differ with each claim. There are guidelines laid out by the Judicial College that provide  parameters for levels of compensation based on the severity of injuries. However, the case-by-case nature of compensation claims means that even these are only ‘guidelines’ and not definitive.

RTA compensation claims are usually divided into two categories – general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for pain, loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment of life and physical or psychological injuries that are a direct result of the accident. Special damages compensate for any financial costs associated with the incident, including non-NHS treatments, loss of income and care and accommodation costs (including any modifications to your property if the accident has left you disabled).

We will often arrange with insurers for an Immediate Needs Assessment to be undertaken to identify urgent care and treatment needs and negotiate interim compensation payments to cover the cost.

The clock is ticking!

Just like any other personal injury compensation claim, there is a time limit. Claims need to be lodged for issuing with the Court within three years of the date of the accident unless the limitation period has been extended. Things are slightly different if the injured person is a child. If the injured party is a minor, the three-year time limit only kicks in once the child reaches 18, and parents or guardians can claim on behalf of a child at any point up to their 18th birthday.

Get professional help

Making a personal injury compensation claim after a road traffic accident can be a complicated process, especially if the claim is contested by either the other driver or their insurance provider, or evidence is not clear-cut. It’s important, therefore, to ensure that you get professional help as quickly as possible. Personal injury claim specialists have extensive experience in the claims process and understand exactly what is needed to get the best outcome. They will guide you through the process, helping you to gather the evidence you need.

If you have been involved in an RTA and want to make a personal injury compensation claim, talk to a specialist advisor today. You can call email us or phone 020 8349 0321.

Medical negligence – when can you claim?

When you put yourself in the hands of medical professionals, whether it is your GP, a district nurse, or a specialist surgeon, you trust them to provide a standard of care you would expect from a highly trained medical professional. Your life is in their hands.

Sadly, not everyone’s experience of their medical treatment is a good one. Whether it be a mistake with a diagnosis, treatment or a serious error in an operative procedure, the result can be devastating not only to the patient but also to their loved ones.

Medical negligence does happen. When it impacts your life you require expert legal advice on how best to get the compensation you deserve and, as in many cases where life-changing injuries are the result, urgently need.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is very precisely defined. It is sometimes referred to as clinical negligence and is a failure to provide a patient with ‘adequate and appropriate’ healthcare. This failure results in the individual suffering either a worsening of their condition or complications that otherwise would not be expected to occur had the correct course of action been taken. To prove medical negligence you have to establish a breach of duty to provide reasonable care and that you have suffered harm as a direct result.

There is a legal test for medical negligence known as the Bolam Test. A breach of duty will not be established, and a medical negligence claim may fail, if the medical professional acted in the same way as any other body of professionals of a similar level of expertise and experience would do so in the same circumstances.

The Bolam Test is not, however, a ‘get out of jail free’ card for the medical profession.  For example a Surgeon failing to inform you of the risks of an operative procedure could still face a medical negligence claim.

Medical negligence can include:

  • Failure to diagnose a condition or making an incorrect diagnosis.
  • Failing to provide a patient with the correct information regarding the risks of an operative procedure so that they can give informed consent.
  • An error during an operation or procedure.

What’s a ‘never event’?

A ‘never event’ is an event that should never occur during a medical procedure, for example, leaving a piece of gauze or even a surgical instrument inside a patient during an operation. Despite the name, ‘never events’ can and do occur, and in many cases result in a medical negligence claim by or on behalf of the patient.

Can you take legal action on someone else’s behalf?

If you are the closest relative of someone who has been injured and is unable to pursue a claim for themselves (such as dementia sufferers) or has died as a result of a medical negligence, you can pursue a claim on their behalf. Parents and guardians of children under the age of 16 can also pursue a claim on the child’s behalf as their Litigation Friend.

Is there a time limit?

You have three years from the time of the act of negligence, or from when you became aware or ought to have been aware of such, to issue a claim for medical negligence. If the person affected is a minor then the three-year limitation period starts from their 18th birthday.

What are my chances of a successful outcome?

The vast majority of medical negligence claims are settled out of court, and fewer than two out of every 100 cases brought against the NHS result in a court case. The rest are settled out of court or dropped by the person bringing the claim.

These are however often difficult cases. It is essential that an experienced lawyer assesses the merits of a claim at an early stage so that a potential claimant is fully appraised of the risks from the outset.  With the right legal advice in appropriate cases you can have a good chance of winning your case. Establishing that the pain and suffering is a direct result of breach of duty is paramount to succeeding in a medical negligence case. This is where expert legal advice and guidance as to the appropriate experts to instruct is crucial. If you do bring an action against an individual or an NHS Trust you can claim compensation for the pain and suffering caused and for financial loss to cover ongoing treatment including physiotherapy, the cost of additional care or home adaptations as well as loss of earnings.

Medical negligence is rare. If unfortunately it happens to you or a loved one make sure you have the best medical negligence solicitors fighting for your rights and the compensation you deserve.

If you would like to talk in confidence to an expert about a medical negligence claim, please email or phone 020 8349 0321.

OGR Stock Denton successful in Road Traffic Accident (RTA) compensation claim

OGR Stock Denton has once again successfully acted for a Claimant in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) compensation claim against a Highway Authority. The firm’s Personal Injury solicitors represented a motorcyclist whose vehicle slipped on a manhole cover. The accident resulted in the client suffering a broken knee and wrist. Sitting in the Central London County Court, Mr Recorder Stephen Jourdan QC complimented counsel on the “clarity and cogency” with which the case was presented and awarded the Claimant £66,000 plus interest and costs.

Lead Partner Stephen Silverman, who has over 30 years’ experience in personal injury and dispute resolution law, was disappointed that the local authority did not make an early admission of liability to allow the team to arrange interim payments to cover the cost of the client’s rehabilitation. 

Stephen commented:

“As we often deal with highly complex personal injury cases, not only do we focus on getting significant compensation, but aim to secure an early admission of liability so the client can undertake a rehabilitation programme as soon as possible. Our clients’ health and wellbeing are incredibly important to us. Our solicitors are well known, not only for actively pursuing compensation but also for caring deeply for clients and their families at a time when their lives have often been turned upside down.”

Regarding his most recent success, Stephen went on to say:

“The importance of this case is that it recognises the obligation of Highway Authorities to maintain all aspects of a highway, including manhole covers. In this case, despite regular inspections, Transport for London failed to identify that the manhole cover was worn and polished so as to present a reasonably foreseeable and real danger to road users.

As a result of our successful arguments and expert evidence at trial, our client was able to recover damages for his pain and suffering, as well as for financial loss, including cost of repairs to his motorcycle  and loss of earnings, enabling him to move on from this traumatic incident.”

Working with Stephen and his team was Barrister, Tom Bourne-Arton, who is stated in Chambers and Partners as being:

“….efficient and sensible.” “He is quick to grasp issues and very efficient in turning work around.”

Thanks to the formidable reputation of its Personal Injury Lawyers, OGR Stock Denton can instruct highly experienced and respected Counsel such as Mr Bourne-Arton as well as top medical and Road Traffic Accident experts. This ensures our Personal Injury team, who are also members of APIL, can build robust cases and do their best to establish liability and secure the highest compensation available for their clients.

To make an appointment to discuss any aspect of Personal Injury or Road Traffic Accident claims please send us an email or phone 020 8349 0321.