Month: January 2014

Your Solicitor, Your Choice

By Chris Lackner, Hampson Hughes Solicitors

You have the right to select your legal representation – the decision does not rest with your insurance company.

Panel solicitors

If you have been injured in a Road Traffic Accident, you may find that your insurance company refers you to its choice of solicitor – known as panel solicitors.

Panel solicitors frequently experience a conflict of interest. If the panel solicitor is in a financial arrangement with the insurance company, how can that solicitor be truly independent?

EU Law enshrines your right to choose the solicitor of your choice. The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 state that you have the right to choose your own solicitor.

In order to minimise costs, insurance companies often attempt to settle claims as quickly as possible. However, unquantified compensation awards may not fully reflect the damages to which you are entitled – especially where the duration of your recovery is unknown.

Hampson Hughes Solicitors – the personal injury experts

Hampson Hughes has developed a strong nationwide reputation for providing a first class bespoke service. We act independently, and we will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.

Selecting Hampson Hughes Solicitors as your preferred legal representation – as opposed to panel solicitors – will ensure that you are treated as an individual. This means that your recovery will be managed properly, rather than been viewed as a potential long term financial loss.

Hampson Hughes does not answer to shareholders – unlike insurers and their solicitors – which allows us to make certain that your claim is processed in a manner befitting your best interests. We have a wealth of legal knowledge and we have access to a wide range of medical and engineering specialists – allowing for your claim to be processed swiftly and professionally.

For more information please call us today on 0800 888 6888, or email .

Why is my case taking so long?

By Jennie Harrison, Hampson Hughes Solicitors

A common question faced by the Hampson Hughes Road Traffic Accidents team is “how long will my case take to settle?”

Increase in fraudulent claims

Unfortunately, this is not a question that is easily answered, as insurers are increasingly on the lookout for fraudulent claims – meaning that any investigation carried out by an insurer may now take longer.

The Association of British Insurers estimates that undetected general insurance claims fraud totals £2.1 billion per year. This equates to an average of £50 extra on the annual insurance premium for the individual policy holder. According to a recent Insurance Fraud Bureau news release, there were 6060 reports from the public of suspected fraudulent insurance claims in 2013 – equal to one report every 87 minutes.

We often find that a client’s claim has been referred to the insurer’s ‘claims validation team’ or ‘insurance fraud team’ for further investigation prior to the insurer admitting fault. The insurer is under no obligation to advise us as to their concerns or issues during the investigation – this means that it is difficult for us to adequately advise our clients on the exact reason for the hold-up.

Various reasons for a delay

In reality, there are many potential reasons as to why an insurance company may not be in a position to progress a personal injury claim. For example, the insurer may experience difficulty in contacting the defendant, and therefore cannot gain an understanding of his or her version of events.

If the third party insurers do not agree a deal, court proceedings may be issued. However, in order to comply with the pre-action protocol for personal injury claims, the client’s claim must satisfy certain criteria. Initially, the claim must be submitted electronically via the ‘MOJ Portal’. If the third party insurers deny liability for the accident – or do not respond within the given time frame – they will be given three months in which to carry out an investigation. If liability is either denied or remains undetermined after this period, court proceedings can be considered.

Whether there has been an increase in fraudulent claims, or simply an increased awareness, solicitors and clients are now forced to provide more and more substantiating evidence.

Third party investigations

Investigations carried out by Third Party Insurers are becoming increasingly extensive – including searching social media for possible links between parties, and inspecting the client’s accident history.

If a claim is issued at Court, and the Defendant has concerns over the validity of the case, the Court will often order the Claimant to disclose various documents – which may include documents such as medical records, ID, details of previous accidents, and mobile phone records.

Whilst fraud claims are properly handled as sensitive and serious matters, Claimants may feel that insurers ‘go overboard’ in their investigations (in that insurers may appear to explore seemingly abstract details in search of ‘alarm bells’ – such as establishing whether an accident has occurred in an area known for producing a high frequency of accidents).

Hampson Hughes Solicitors – the personal injury experts

Here at Hampson Hughes, we understand the frustration felt by our clients where claims do not progress as smoothly as anticipated.

That is why we will ensure that you fully understand the processes involved. So as to progress with your case as quickly as possible, we will seek the evidence we need in the early stages of your claim, and we will make regular contact with third party insurers.

If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a road traffic accident caused by a negligent third party in the last 3 years, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888.

Injuries whilst skiing or snowboarding – What is your right to claim for compensation?

Around this time of year – as the weather draws in and the cold really hits – many people take the opportunity to head to Europe for a skiing or snowboarding holiday. Unfortunately, accidents are all too frequent, and not everyone returns in one piece. These accidents can often result in personal injury – an example of a personal injury taking place during recreational activities is the recent high profile case involving Michael Schumacher.

The question is this: “do you have the right to claim compensation for an injury suffered whilst skiing?”

Injuries suffered whilst skiing could be the result of a variety of factors. It is worth mentioning that a number of these injuries could be due to personal error – an individual attempting a slope beyond his or her own ability, for example. However, a good proportion of incidents occur due to no fault of the injured individual. Examples of where liability for a skiing accident could lie include faulty equipment, the negligence of other skiers, and professional negligence on behalf of a skiing instructor. Many people may consider an injury suffered while skiing to be an unfortunate aside to a fun adventure, yet there may justifiable grounds on which to seek compensation.

The most common – and successful – type of claim is brought under a piece of legislation called ‘Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations, 1992’. This provides the claimant with the right to pursue a claim where the tour operator is deemed to have been at fault (subject to eligibility – for instance, the holiday must be a package holiday). This law affords the claimant the right to bring a claim in the UK, meaning that any damages awarded will be in fitting with the standard UK basis. This avoids the potential for disputes to arise over issues such as jurisdiction and the level of damages to be awarded – and also resolves any issues over the application of foreign law that could lead to the involvement of foreign lawyers.

In all incidents involving skiing, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible (e.g. the details of the parties involved, the circumstances under which the accident occurred, etc.). Advice from a solicitor should always be sought in order to discuss your best possible prospects of success.

If you have been injured in an accident whilst skiing or snowboarding, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors – we will go the extra mile to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.

For advice on all areas of Personal Injury, call Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888.

Hospital Payout – Girl Injected with Glue

A 10-year old girl has recerived £2.8 million after she was mistakenly injected with glue – directly into her brain – at Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital, London.

What Happened?

Maisha Najeeb suffers from a rare condition in which the arteries and blood vessels in her brain are susceptible to entanglement.

Maisha had previously benefited from the embolisation procedure – which involves deliberately blocking problematic blood vessels so as to prevent future complications.

However, on this occasion the syringe containing the glue (used to clot the vessels) was mistaken for the syringe containing the dye (used to highlight blood vessels in scans).

What was the Outcome?

Maisha, now aged 13, was awarded a £2.8m lump sum by Judge William Birtles at London’s High Court.

The teenager will also receive £383,000 each year until the age of 19. From the age of 19, Maisha will receive £423,000 each year for life – she is expected to live into her 60s.

Maisha’s father Sadir commented:

“Her life is ruined. All her dreams have been broken. I hope that by bringing this case,
lessons will have been learned to avoid this happening to other families.”

Maisha has lost the majority of her bodily and cognitive functions as a result of the incident. The compensation will go towards accommodation and care support.

Medical negligence compensation claims – expert advice

Medical negligence compensation may be available where the service provided by a medical professional falls below the accepted standards of practice.

Following an instance of medical negligence, you could benefit from rehabilitation support. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to help you to access a complete package of support, including:

•Income support
•Transport (e.g. wheelchair access vehicle)
•Home adaptations (e.g. access ramp, stair lift)

If you believe that you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation, speak to our expert team of personal injury solicitors today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email .

Source: View Article

Medical Negligence Claims Against The NHS

Image of blue and white NHS sign on the side of a pale building with a blue sky in the background

NHS Medical Negligence claims 2008-2013:

Hampson Hughes | MJLD Bikramthon Charity Challenge

Sunday 26th January 2014, saw a number of Merseyside’s Junior Lawyers embark on a totally unique mammoth charity challenge.

People took part in the bikramthon consisting of 3 x 90 minute back to back classes whilst in the unbearable heat of the Bikram Yoga hot room

Hampson Hughes very own Kesiena Ovien and Erin Tabinor were two of those who completed the challenge.

Both said it was extremely tough but the aches and pains they are feeling today are totally worth it given the charity benefitting is so deserving.

The event was kindly arranged by Bikram Yoga, Liverpool in an attempt to raise funds for CHIC’s Cancer Support Group.

It is estimated the event will raise approximately £1100.

Medomsley Detention Centre – Child Abuse Investigation

A 10 year old investigation into child abuse at a former County Durham detention centre was reopened last year following further allegations against inmates and staff.

View original article here

The investigation was reopened in August, 2013. Since this time, Durham Police has received 143 statements documenting the crimes that took place.

Victim Speaks Out

Ray Poar has waived his right to anonymity and has spoken openly of his ordeal at Medomsley.

Mr Poar was 17 when he was placed in the facility – as punishment for stealing biscuits. He recalls being woken after wetting the bed, and being forced to bunny hop naked in the showers.

He said:

“When I couldn’t make it to the showers I was kicked. We knew we couldn’t turn around to them and complain to them about what had happened with Husband because they were part of it, they were the ones that were kicking us about every day. The odd punch in the arm, the ribs, the back of the knees, every day they were doing it. You had nobody to talk to.”

The investigation highlighted Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson as being two staff members at the centre of the paedophile ring. The men were imprisoned in 2003 and 2005 respectively, and have both since died.

Renewed Investigation

Det Supt Paul Goundry has described Medomsley as a “brutal regime”, commenting that:

“If you ended up in the kitchens you would almost certainly be raped and sexually assaulted”

Mr Goundry has outlined three key objectives. These are to uncover exactly what happened, to then bring those responsible to account, and to offer support to victims.

Sexual abuse compensation claims

If you think you, or someone you know, may have been affected by events at Medomsley – or by any similar case – and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Source: View Article

Life as a Trainee Solicitor at Hampson Hughes Solicitors

By Rebecca Zaidi

In June 2011 I was fresh out of law school and I applied for a job at Hampson Hughes. I had undertaken work experience in various law firms in Merseyside and at a firm in London but I had never worked full-time at a law firm.


During my interview the Managing Director informed me about Hampson Hughes’s humble beginnings and the firm’s future goals; the firm was founded only two years earlier in 2009 and had already undergone a considerable expansion. Following the interview I found myself to be very excited about the firm and I was delighted when I was told that I had been successful.

First day nerves

I remember my first day clearly; I was nervous but excited and determined to impress and learn as much as possible. There were around 50 staff at the time and the office environment felt young and vibrant. Some of the firms I had previously visited felt old fashioned and ‘stuffy’ and I was relieved to find out that the legal profession wasn’t all the same.

Initially I was trained as a First Response Advisor. My role was to take the initial calls from clients who had been involved in an road traffic accident. I remember being quite nervous to speak on the phone but after a few days I became more confident and enjoyed speaking to many clients each day. It felt good to know that I was helping people and also generating business for Hampson Hughes.


After two months I was given a promotion and I moved from First Response Team to assist a solicitor. My role completely changed and I learned more about the law and how to run a case; as time went by I was given more responsibility and began to run my own case load. The Directors were always there to give me help and advice so I never felt like I was ‘in over my head’.

As the months went on, the firm was gradually expanding and we were slowly taking over the building; we needed more space to house our ever-expanding staff. The fact that Hampson Hughes was growing in this current economic climate just goes to show the commitment and work ethic of the Managing Directors which filters down to all our staff. I feel proud to work for a company which has developed and grown in such a short time; we now have more than 300 employees which is considerably more than the 50 staff from my first day.

Move to Albert Dock

In September 2013 Hampson Hughes moved to a much larger office space in Liverpool’s Grade 1 Listed Edward Pavillion in the city’s iconic Albert Dock. Everyone was so excited about the move and there was a buzz around the office.

September proved to be a fantastic month because as well as moving offices I was awarded a Training Contract. I was ecstatic and so grateful to Hampson Hughes for giving me this opportunity; all of my hard work and commitment has paid of and I have a great sense of achievement.

Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division

In addition to working at Hampson Hughes I am a member of Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division (MJLD), having been elected to the role of Treasurer. I attend monthly meetings with fellow committee members to discuss ideas for fundraising, education and social events. As Treasurer, I must ensure that all income and expenditure is properly recorded and monitored. The MJLD is a great way to network and meet new friends from the legal profession.

I also volunteer as a mentor for BPPs ‘Access to Mentoring Scheme’ for a student who is currently studying law. The scheme offers benefits to both students and mentors and I find it particularly rewarding to help a student who is eager to pursue a career within the legal profession.

I very much look forward to becoming a fully qualified solicitor next year and I feel privileged to work with motivated and inspiring individuals. I am eager to progress and look forward to the future!

Can you claim for injuries suffered on a plane? The Montreal Convention and PI

A question that can frequently be asked in the world of personal injury work is one in relation to accidents that occur during the course of transit on a plane. Who is responsible? Who has jurisdiction? And what rights does a claimant have?

This is a matter that is often considered by personal injury practitioners but the answer is not necessarily one that is known. The correct legislation that governs this issue is known as the Montreal Convention and the UK is a signed party to this treaty making it enforceable under law in England and Wales.

The Montreal Convention provides a claimant with a cause of action, which is tortious in the UK, if they are injured during the course of air transit regardless of where in the world this took place or which nation’s airspace. The Montreal Convention is quite onerous on air carriers and provides them with a near strict liability regime for personal bodily injuries which occur within the aircraft.

The relevant section within the treaty for personal injury practitioners is under Article 17 of the Convention and states that an air carrier will be liable for the bodily injury of a passenger providing that the accident took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking, which essentially provides no room for rebuttable by an air carrier as a Defendant where a claimant is able to prove the circumstances are applicable. The only question that remains something of a potential sticking point for claimants in bring an action under the Montreal Convention is what will be deemed as an accident.

This matter has been considered most recently in the case of Barclay v British Airways [2008] in which the term accident for the meaning of the Montreal Convention was given a definition. An accident is deemed to have been ‘a distinct event, not having been any part of the usual, normal and expected operation of the aircraft’, essentially meaning that there has to be a specific event beyond a passenger’s normal use of the aircraft, for example a spilt drink or perhaps the arising of a defect in the footway. Providing a claimant can satisfy these criteria then they will every right to bring a successful claim against an air carrier for any bodily injury suffered.

The important thing to note however is that the limitation date to bring a claim under the Montreal Convention is limited to 2 years and differs from usual standard of 3 years to bring a claim for personal injury in England and Wales.

Personal injury compensation claims with Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you have been injured in an accident in an aircraft in the last two years then please contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors and we will be happy to provide you with advice. We will be happy to seek to pursue a claim on your behalf and we at Hampson Hughes will ensure we do everything we possibly can to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. For advice on all areas of Personal Injury, call Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 – Is it fair, just and reasonable?

A man in his 40s who had died after sustaining injuries while operating machinery in a factory in Newton Le Williows. The victim, in his 40’s, caught his arm while operating machinery. The HSE and Merseyside police are currently investigating the incident. However, even if the machinery is found faulty, due to the recent government reforms, there is likely to be little comfort brought to the family of the deceased.

Previous case law

Under previous case law, a claimant only needed to show that work equipment was defective, not necessarily negligence of their employers. However since 1 October 2013, people injured or killed in the course of their employment will be unable to establish civil liability purely on the basis of health and safety regulatory breaches under section 69 of 
the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. The government’s intention is that claimants will have to return to using the common law and prove their employer has been negligent, otherwise their claim will fail.

Stark –v- Post Office

Mr Stark, a postman when his cycle front brake snapped in two, the front wheel locked and Mr Stark was thrown over the handlebars. The bicycle was supplied by the Post Office.

The brake had snapped because of metal fatigue or manufacturing defect and the defect would not and could not have been discoverable on any routine or rigorous inspection. The court found the Post Office had done their best to maintain the bike and had done everything they could to check for faults.


On appeal, the question for the court was whether the Post Office had breached their statutory duty under regulations 6 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 that says that “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. Was that an absolute duty, or a duty just to take reasonable steps to keep the equipment in good order?

The Court said the duty was not breached as it required a reasonable level of maintenance. But the Court of Appeal have overturned the decision and ruled that the regulation imposes an absolute duty, and, since the bike broke, the employers must have been in breach. The Court had to interpret both European and UK law. Even though the Directive did not require an absolute duty, the Directive imposed minimum standards and specifically said that where domestic law provided for greater protection, the Directives did not seek to reduce that protection. Since the wording in the Regulation used words that in other UK health and safety law imposed an absolute duty, Regulation 6 could be interpreted in light of UK case law that where an employer “shall ensure”, the duty imposed by the regulation is an absolute one. Parliament had written an absolute duty and it must be assumed that was intended. The employer was in breach and Mr Stark got his compensation

Employees and civil claims

Employees were entitled to bring civil claims for damages against employers who were in breach of certain health and safety regulations, even if the employer had taken reasonable steps to protect their employees. With today’s changes, this position has been reversed – no civil claim can be brought for breach of a health and safety statutory duty unless the regulation expressly provides for it. This means, in most cases, employees will now have to prove that the employer was negligent and that the injury and loss were caused by that negligence.

The effect of such reforms will undoubtedly cause ructions and make establishing liability against employers increasingly difficult. While there is recourse to prosecute for corporate manslaughter, with only 4 convictions in the past year, and fines seemingly being the harshest sentence imposed on employers who should have taken further steps to protect their dutiful employees in is hard to see how the government reforms will help innocent victims of negligence seek the compensation they rightly deserve.

Accident at work compensation claims

Should you, or someone you know, have been affected by an accident at work our Employee Liability Team are here to provide expert, confidential & free advice now. Call 0800 888 6888 or email