Tag: Hampson Hughes

Top tips for anyone considering a career as a solicitor

Are you interested in a legal career? At Hampson Hughes, we are always keen to progress talent, having taken on many trainee solicitors in the last ten years.

 

But, getting a training contract can be tough, so we sat down with Hollie, Nick, Gary and Lisa to get some insight into their journeys, as well as a few of their tips for any inspiring solicitors.

 

NICK, PERSONAL INJURY SOLICITOR – ADMITTED TO THE ROLL JULY 2020

 

Initially, I studied Criminology and Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University before deciding to pursue a career as a solicitor. I went to BPP in Manchester to study the graduate diploma in Law before undertaking the LPC at BPP Liverpool.

 

I was delighted when I was awarded a training contract at Hampson Hughes. Getting a training contract is extremely competitive, especially at a top law firm. It wasn’t an easy process and I had to work hard to get my placement. There have been a number of trainee solicitors at Hampson Hughes before me who were all of a high standard, so I’m pleased to have joined the ranks and achieved my goal.

 

My advice to anyone considering a career in law is to expect ups and downs but to never give up your end goal. If you have faith in yourself and your abilities, you’re sure to get there!

 

HOLLIE, TRAINEE SOLICITOR

 

My journey with Hampson Hughes started in August 2019, once I had finished my LPC LLM at the University of Law in Chester. Despite early aspirations to go into psychology, I found that studying law at A-Level alongside personal experience and research ignited a passion for the legal side of healthcare. I gained as much experience in the industry as I could during my undergraduate LLB degree, and looked into many different areas of law but remained passionate about healthcare and particularly clinical negligence law.

 

Since joining Hampson Hughes I have gained invaluable exposure to clinical negligence law through assisting with all day to day aspects of client files, from initial client enquiries all the way through to trial. In July 2020 I became a trainee solicitor for the firm, and will be using this opportunity to become the best I can be in my field.

 

My advice for anyone considering law would be to never underestimate the knowledge experience of your peers and colleagues, be keen and inquisitive and put the hard work in! Furthermore, make sure you network as much as possible, utilising networking profiles such as LinkedIn to connect with as many professionals as you can.

 

GARY, SOLICITOR – ADMITTED TO THE ROLL DECEMBER 2019

 

I joined Hampson Hughes in March 2015, fresh from studying my LPC at the University of Law in Manchester. To be honest, once I had finished all my studies, I wasn’t completely sure what I needed to do next. So, I put my CV out there and luckily got a call within a few days from a recruitment agency who put me in touch with Hampson Hughes.

 

I accepted a role as a first response advisor. It was a great experience as I had never worked in an office environment before, so I was excited by everything going on and meeting the team. Within four months, I was promoted to a paralegal working for one of the heads of the RTA department at the time. After about 18 months in the role, I was offered a training contract to start in January 2018 which of course I duly accepted.

 

I started my training contract in 2018 and worked under one of the assistant heads of department. This exposed me to work of a higher difficulty and gave me the opportunity to learn from the senior team, following which I was given the chance to run my own caseload. Hampson Hughes helped me through my PSC and supported me fully through this.

 

I would definitely advise getting work experience in a number of different law firms before applying for a training contract as the job is much different to how it is often portrayed. The benefits of getting multiple work experiences is invaluable as it gives you an insight into different firms and allows you to find the one that suits you.

LISA, SOLICITOR – ADMITTED TO THE ROLL JULY 2020

 

I completed my LLB Honours Law degree at the University of Liverpool in 2011 before studying my LPC at the University of Law in Manchester. I completed the LPC on a part-time basis, whilst commencing my role at Hampson Hughes in July 2015 as a full-time paralegal.

 

When I had completed the LPC, I decided to undertake my LLM Masters degree in Professional Legal Practice, which helped prepare me for my role as a trainee solicitor. I began my training contract in July 2018 at Hampson Hughes. I managed to gain in-depth experience across a number of different departments, including clinical negligence, personal injury, costs law, housing disrepair, commercial law, holiday sickness and sexual abuse claims. Following my two year training contract and completion of my Professional Skills Course (PSC), I qualified in July 2020 as a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence department where I hope to continue progressing my career. 

 

My main tip for aspiring solicitors is to gain as much exposure as possible to a variety of different areas of law during your training contract. This will provide you with a better understanding of which area you want to pursue once you are qualified, whilst also giving you the opportunity to learn new skills and broaden your knowledge of the legal industry.

 

Read more from our team of legal experts in our other blogs, or find out more about making a claim by contacting our team on 0800 888 6888, info@hampsonhughes.com or via the contact form.

Tackling the myths surrounding workplace injury claims

Claiming against your employer can be a daunting prospect. As a result too many people decide not to make valid claims and suffer in silence.

 

The truth is you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable making a claim. Workplace accidents can cause serious physical and psychological injuries, as well as mounting medical costs and lost earnings. It is your right to seek financial support, compensation and ensure lessons are learnt.

 

Everyone is entitled to feel safe at work and the law is there to protect you if you’ve suffered an accident through no fault of your own. Despite this, we still come across many misconceptions about workplace claims, so we’ve collected and corrected the most common myths below:

 

MYTH #1: IT WAS JUST AN ACCIDENT. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN! – FALSE

 

Accidents don’t just happen. Research shows that over 99% of all accidents are preventable. The majority of the cases we work on are down to an employer having unsafe practices or systems in place, or failing to provide employees with the relevant protective equipment they need to perform their role safely.

 

£14,425 awarded to car workshop manager after employer refused PPE

 

It is your employers’ responsibility to do a full health and safety assessment to recognise any hazards which may cause an injury and then take steps to control and manage them in a safe manner. It’s important to remember that if you’ve suffered an accident at work you have a responsibility to highlight the issue and report to your employer as soon as reasonably practical, so your employer can ensure the necessary changes are made to stop the same accident happening again.

 

MYTH #2: AGENCY WORKERS CANNOT MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST THEIR EMPLOYERS – FALSE

 

The law ensures that all workers are treated equally. Every worker, regardless of whether they are a permanent employee or a temporary worker contracted by an agency, are protected by the same health and safety regulations from their first day of work. These employment rights extend to workplace injury claims.

 

 

MYTH #3: YOUR EMPLOYER WILL HAVE TO PAY YOUR COMPENSATION – FALSE

 

By law all employers – regardless of how small their business or how few staff they employ – need to have valid liability insurance in place to cover any claims made by employees following an accident at work. If you make a claim, employers will forward the details to their insurance company who will be responsible for dealing with it. If your claim is successful the costs will be covered by the insurance company and will not come directly out of your employers’ pocket.

 

Plant supervisor awarded £69,000 after workplace accident

 

MYTH #4: IF I MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST MY EMPLOYER I WILL LOSE MY JOB – FALSE

 

We understand many employees are worried about losing their job as a result of their claim. But remember, you are protected by law and have a legal right to claim against your employer following an accident. If your employer attempts to dismiss you as a result of a personal injury claim, then you would also be likely to be able to make a successful claim for unfair dismissal.

 

MYTH #5: LARGE COMPANIES ARE EXEMPT -FALSE

 

All companies are subject to the same health and safety regulations – even large corporate firms. There are no exceptions or legal protection for multinational corporations.

 

You should never be afraid to claim just because you feel you are taking on a large company. At Hampson Hughes, we have extensive experience claiming against big corporations. We will be there to guide you through the process every step of the way.

 

Delivery driver awarded £11,000 after he suffered a workplace accident

 

MYTH #6: YOU WILL HAVE TO GO TO COURT – FALSE

 

Fear of having to attend court is one of the biggest worries we come across from workers wanting to pursue a claim. It is important to remember, that the vast majority of cases are settled out of court – generally insurance companies prefer it if proceedings end amicably.

 

We do, however, have a small number of cases which end up in court, but even then it is still not always necessary for you to be present, as we attend on your behalf and appoint a specialist barrister to represent you and fight your case.

 

MYTH #7: YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE UNION’S RECOMMENDED SOLICITOR – FALSE

 

Many people think that if they are part of a union, they will have to use the solicitor recommended to them, but this simply isn’t the case.

 

You have complete freedom of choice as to who represents you and your case, and we are completely independent and not affiliated to any union, meaning that your case will not get stalemated.

 

MYTH #8: MAKING A CLAIM WILL BE TOO EXPENSIVE – FALSE

 

We handle our cases on a no win, no fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay a penny upfront of throughout your claim (we will recover most of your legal fees from the other side but will go through your funding options available carefully to find the best one for you), and only pay legal fees if your claim is successful. Ultimately, workplace injuries can lead to mounting hidden costs – such as travel expenses to and from the hospital or GP, as well as on-going medical treatments such as physiotherapy or counselling for example. All of these costs can be reimbursed as part of your claim, without which you would be further financially impacted.

 

At Hampson Hughes, we understand an accident at work can lead to lasting implications on your health, daily life, family and finances. We have a longstanding history in civil litigation and proven track record of helping our clients secure the compensation they deserve.

 

If you have been injured at work and wish to obtain free, confidential advice, please get in touch with our expert team on 0800 880 7864 or info@hampsonhughes.com

£25,0000 awarded to former cyclist following life-threatening accident

A former cyclist, who suffered life-threatening injuries after he was knocked off his bike, is calling for increased safety awareness as more people take to two wheels post-lockdown.

 

Pat Lee, from Liverpool is warning cyclists to be aware of the potential dangers of the road after being thrown from his bicycle when a car collided with him as he travelled home from work.

 

The 56-year-old was rushed to hospital following the incident in July 2017, being treated for a fractured skull, broken ribs and collarbone, and a dislocated shoulder, while neck injuries also meant he had to wear a collar in the months after the accident.

 

More than three years later, Pat is still “terrified” to get back on a bicycle and believes more needs to be done to educate both drivers and new cyclists on the rules of the road.

 

Factory worker Pat, who instructed Hampson Hughes Solicitors to seek compensation for his injuries, was awarded £25,000 following the accident.

 

He said: “I had been cycling home from work – taking the same route I always did – when a car ploughed into me from the left hand side as I went across a roundabout.

 

“The driver had failed to give way and drove straight into me, sending me flying up into the air. It was all very surreal – I remember a loud bang and then waking up with paramedics surrounding me. I had to undergo surgery for my injuries and was forced to take five months off work.

 

“I’ve been cycling ever since I was a child and my bike was my only mode of transport – but I’m absolutely terrified to get back on one now and haven’t done since.

 

“With us all being told to avoid public transport where possible and lots of people taking up cycling for a new way to exercise, we’re obviously seeing a lot more people on bikes on our roads. But, it worries me to think that many drivers – and indeed the cyclists themselves – are not clued up on road safety, including what is and isn’t the law.

 

“I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone and I truly miss getting out on my bike – so I’d urge anyone considering taking it up to really do their homework and, importantly, remember that not everyone on the road will be as sensible as you are!”

 

However, Niamh Wilson, Head of Civil Litigation at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, said Pat’s case is not unusual and more education is needed among drivers and cyclists.

 

She said: “Cyclists like Pat often rely on their bicycles as their main way to get around, so when that’s taken away from them, there can be a huge impact.

 

“Pat was very lucky to fully recover from his injuries, but the fact that he is simply too fearful to cycle on the roads indicates that we all need to increase our knowledge of cyclist safety, especially as more people buy bikes to get to and from work, or to enjoy the fresh air.

 

“Novice cyclists, and even people who haven’t been on a bike for 15-20 years are getting them out again to avoid public transport and it is vitally important that they are fully aware of the rules of the road and the severity of the potential consequences if they are not followed.

 

“Our team has worked with many cyclists who have had serious accidents on the roads, often due to motorists failing to abide by road safety laws, so it is clear that more education is required.”

 

 

A total of £25,000 was secured in compensation for Pat.

 

Have you been involved in a Road Traffic Accident?

If you’ve been injured on the road due to an accident that wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to claim road traffic accident compensation. Whether you’ve suffered a minor injury or something more serious, our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors can help you to claim the compensation that you deserve.

 

Find out more about road traffic accident claims, or call our team for free, no-obligation advice on 0800 888 6 888 or send an email to info@hampsonhughes.com

£14,425 awarded to car workshop manager after employer refused PPE

Eric Whittington, from Liverpool, suffered severe injuries at work after he was refused sufficient personal protective equipment.

 

The 49-year-old had asked for PPE, such as safety boots, upon starting work as workshop manager at an independent car dealership in 2018.

 

However, he was informed that, due to the nature of his role, such equipment would not be required.

 

His employer told him that his job would be mainly desk-based and he would not be needed on the workshop floor on a regular basis

 

However, Eric later found himself on the workshop floor and slipped on some spilled liquid – he believes that the appropriate safety footwear would have prevented this fall.

 

He said: “As soon as I started the job, I asked whether PPE would be possible, but was promptly told that this wouldn’t be needed. I’d worked in similar roles in the past and it had always been a given that safety footwear would be provided.

 

“Shortly after, I slipped while walking through the garage – I put my left hand down to try to save myself and severely injured myself in the process.

 

“I carried on working that day – even after telling my manager what had happened – but the next day the pain had worsened so I visited the hospital.

 

“It was incredibly frustrating as it was an accident that so easily have been prevented if I’d been given the appropriate safety boots or non-slip shoes.”

 

Eric, who has since left his role suffered post-traumatic arthritis in his left thumb, leaving him with a permanent decrease in function.

 

He added: “I wasn’t sure whether to make a claim at first or whether it would even be possible, but the team at Hampson Hughes explained everything thoroughly and made sure I was updated every step of the way.”

 

Niamh Wilson, Head of Civil Litigation at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, which secured a total of £14,425 in compensation for Eric, said: “Cases regarding PPE are, unfortunately, not rare and we regularly see clients come to us with similar experiences.

 

“The major concern here is that the employer in question deemed it unnecessary for Eric to be equipped with the appropriate footwear and made an assumption about his role. It’s therefore particularly poignant in the current climate that companies do not allow the safety of their staff to be compromised in line with budget constraints.

 

“Many businesses will be facing challenging times as we move through a post-Covid period, but health and safety is more important than ever before, and we’d therefore urge employers to take stock and review what they have in place for staff members.”

 

 

A total of £14,425 was secured in compensation for Eric.

 

Accident at Work

If you have suffered an injury at work you could be entitled to personal injury compensation, take a look at our Accidents at Work page for more information.

Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk.

Britain’s Bike Boom: Do you know how to stay safe on the road?

The government has committed £2bn to boost the number of people cycling across the country over the next five years.

 

As part of its ambitious plans to “build a healthier, more active nation”, it has pledged to overhaul the Highway Code and enforce quality control on new cycle lanes in an effort to make UK roads safer for cyclists. While it clearly recognises that public safety is a key priority, more education is needed among drivers and cyclists to address these safety concerns.

Lockdown encouraged millions of us to take to our bikes and it’s no wonder the government wants to continue this upward spiral – cycling alleviates pressure on crowded public transport systems and congested roads and switching from cars to bikes is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to cut emissions. But, there are still fears among cyclists about the lack of cycling infrastructure and a poll in 2009 revealed that almost 60 per cent of people are put off cycling by the idea of sharing the road with lorries or reckless drivers.

As more and more novice cyclists take to roads up and down the country, we ask how strong is their knowledge of the Highway Code now they’re on two wheels?

 

SO, WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW THE RULES OF CYCLING?

With the Prime Minister actively encouraging more bums on bicycle seats, we can expect to see the number of cyclists on our roads continue to increase as we ease out of lockdown.

This is a potential issue for a few reasons, though. While the Highway Code is tested for car drivers, no test is required to if we want to pick up a bike and get cycling. This, in turn, could mean a high number of new cyclists who have little knowledge of their rights on the road.

Not only that, but many of these new cyclists will have enjoyed travelling on previously very empty streets in the midst of lockdown. How will they fare when moved to busy roads and faced with congested junctions, and how will drivers cope with more people on the roads?

The government has promised to set out plans that will force local authorities to build new high quality cycle infrastructure – with a strong preference for segregated lanes. It has even revealed plans to give cyclists the right to ride in the wrong direction on one-way streets and proposed to reduce ‘unnecessary motorised freight’ like lorries and vans in UK cities and towns, by shipping freight to out-of-town depots. Our Head of Litigation Niamh Wilson was recently quoted in the Daily Mail exploring these topics in more detail.

Overall, these measures are welcome, but they will take time and even with these in place there needs to be more education and clearer messaging around safety awareness, so cyclists and drivers are fully aware of the rules of the road and the severity of the potential consequences if they are not followed.

 

COULD WE SEE AN INCREASE IN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS?

With inexperienced cyclists, we’re likely to see a rise in road traffic accidents, sadly. We already see huge numbers of road traffic accidents involving cyclists, where both the cyclist and car user have been at fault.

Recently, we settled a claim for cyclist, Pat from Bootle. While cycling home from work, he suffered a collision from a car who hit him due to the driver failing to give way to him as he travelled straight across a roundabout. Sadly, he suffered a fractured skull, dislocated right shoulder, broken ribs, fractured collar bone and skin abrasions. Fortunately, he made a fantastic recovery and was fully healed within two years of the accident.

Following a court case, we settled his claim for £25,000. This covered his costs for physiotherapy post-accident, as well as for his bike plus further compensation for damages.

 

DO YOU KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD?

While many of us should, hopefully, be very aware of the Highway Code for drivers, just how good is our knowledge of the rules for the road as a cyclist?

With conflating public opinion on cycling issues like, can you cycle on the pavement, do you legally have to wear a helmet and more, we’re putting the question to the public – give it a go and let us know how you get on…

Help us find out how well you know the rules of the road with this quick, fun quiz.

Have you been injured in a Road Traffic Accident?

If you’ve been injured on the road due to an accident that wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to claim road traffic accident compensation. Whether you’ve suffered a minor injury or something more serious, our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors can help you to claim the compensation that you deserve.

Call 0800 888 6888 or send an email to info@hampsonhughes.com.

Medomsley Detention Centre – Compensation for Abuse Victims

Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham was a correctional facility for young male offenders, operating from 1961 until the late 1980s. It was created to provide an alternative prison for boys and young men aged 17-21, with the aim of deterring inmates from committing more serious crimes later in life.

 

WHAT HAPPENED AT MEDOMSLEY?

 

Reports of physical abuse started to emerge in 1967, when David Watkins MP raised concerns about the treatment of inmates at the facility, after hearing claims from a mother that her teenage son was subjected to repeated beatings. The victim spent five weeks in hospital receiving treatment.

 

Mr Watkins took his complaint to the then Home Secretary but was told the claim was unsubstantiated. The matter was not pursued.

 

However, in 2003, prison officer Neville Husband was convicted of raping inmates throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He was suspected of operating as part of a paedophile ring and further investigations led to the arrest of Leslie Johnson, a storeman at Medomsley.

 

In 2013, Durham Police Force launched ‘Operation Seabrook’ to investigate allegations of sexual and physical abuse, primarily in the 1970s and 1980s. To date, 1,848 men have come forward to police to report allegations of abuse while detained at the centre.

 

Both Husband and Johnson have since died in prison of natural causes, and further cases have been brought against other staff members working at the centre.

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MEDOMSLEY VICTIMS?

 

It is believed that hundreds of boys and young men suffered at the hands of abusive staff at Medomsley, with a ‘short, sharp shock’ policy implemented to steer offenders away from a life of crime. However, the regime was, in fact, described as brutal and violent.

 

For some, the ordeal stretched to sexual abuse, with victims being raped ‘almost on a daily basis’.

 

Victims later told how their experiences there have had a major impact on the rest of their lives, with some reporting they hadn’t slept well for more than 30 years due to the severe anxiety and stress it caused.

 

HOW HAVE VICTIMS BEEN COMPENSATED?

 

It is estimated that In excess of £3 million has been awarded in out-of-court settlements to the victims of physical and sexual abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre.

 

Those who were physically abused can apply for between £1,750 and £5,000 subject to the amount of time served in Medomsley and permanent nature of injuries sustained.

 

Among those who suffered is victim Gary Wallace, who told the BBC that some wardens were “definitely sadistic”. He said: “If they did go a bit over and give you a black eye and you were due a visit they would cancel the visit by saying you weren’t too well, or you didn’t want to see them.”

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE A VICTIM AT MEDOMSLEY?

 

At Hampson Hughes, we have a team of highly experienced legal experts, who have acted for many victims of physical and sexual abuse, including those affected by the traumatic events at Medomsley Detention Centre. We recognise the trauma survivors have to deal with on a daily basis and handle all cases in a sensitive and confidential manner.

 

We are here to listen, advise and support you every step of the way. We provide access to the support services you need and ensure you achieve the compensation you deserve, so you can start to seek a sense of justice and closure.

 

For further information and free, no-obligation advice, contact our team on 0800 888 6888 or find about more about our work supporting victims of criminal injury and sexual abuse.

E-scooters: are they safe enough for our roads?

They’ve been hailed by some as the answer to both the climate change issue and the spread of Coronavirus, but are we really ready for electric scooters and, importantly, are they safe?

The UK’s first-ever pilot scheme of e-scooters was launched last month in Middlesborough, with hopes of getting people off buses as we battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

 

SO, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH E-SCOOTERS?

The vehicles, which can reach speeds of 12mph, were given the go-ahead by the Government in July, but a second trial period in Hartlepool was abandoned following the mis-use of 50 e-scooters in Middlesborough.

Incidents included teenagers riding them on busy, 70mph roads and underage users zooming through shopping malls, putting pedestrians at risk.

It had originally been the plan to start with 50 vehicles in Middlesborough and Hartlepool, before increasing this number to 1,000 across the wider area, according to The Independent. However, the vehicles have since been labelled by a local MP as “useful as chocolate fireguard”.

And, recent mis-use could also have a knock-on effect to insurance premiums for drivers, with claims set to soar to between £200 million and £2 billion a year, according to the Motor Insurer’s Bureau.

In the UK, the insurance industry pays for all incidents involving uninsured vehicles, not just cars. It means they are also liable for collisions involving golf buggies, ride-on lawn mowers, quad bikes and e-scooters.

As such, motorists could expect to be paying up to £50 more for their annual insurance policy.

 

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BEFORE E-SCOOTERS ARE ROLLED OUT?

With e-scooters being a very new way to travel and still in trial periods, we need to consider the impact they’ll have on both motorists and pedestrians, as well as those riding the scooters.

Our head of civil litigation, Niamh Wilson, said: “Before e-scooters are rolled out any further, we need more clarity on the rules of their usage. While we need to consider the safety of those using e-scooters, as well as pedestrians, we also need to think about the impact they could have on motorists’ safety.

“While they’re not meant to be driven any faster than, say, 12mph, there are clear examples of people flouting this rule and putting themselves and others at risk of injury.

“Questions around whether e-scooter users have to obey the Highway Code need to be addressed and communicated properly to all road users, with strict measures in place to ensure people adhere to the rules.

“Of course, there are many benefits to using e-scooters and we’d welcome their correct usage, but we certainly need clearer messages.”

 

If you’d like to know more about claiming for a road traffic accident, get in touch with our experts or call us on 0800 880 7862.

My journey to becoming a qualified solicitor

Potentially the biggest step in your legal career when striving to become a solicitor is the final stretch; completing your training contract.

Lisa Kane, who works on our medical negligence team officially entered the roll in July 2020. We spoke to her to find out more about her journey into law and what comes next for her as a fully qualified solicitor.


Congratulations on qualifying! How are you going to celebrate?

I plan to take a trip home to Ireland once the travel restrictions are lifted to visit family and friends where we will have a celebration (socially-distanced of course!)

 

What are you most looking forward to now you have qualified?

I am looking forward to providing excellent client care to those who suffered life-changing injuries as a result of medical negligence. I have always had a keen interest in this areas of law. I feel I can make a real difference to people’s lives by helping them settle their claim and draw a line under that difficult part in their life.

I hope to continue my career in the clinical negligence industry and look forward to gaining more exposure to a wide range of different cases, whilst improving my existing skillset with the support of my wonderful colleagues.

 

What challenges did you face during your training contract?

One challenge I faced was transitioning between departments to enhance my exposure to different legal areas. I have also faced difficult emotional conversations with clients who have experienced family bereavements or severe medical trauma, however, I have successfully dealt with these conversations with excellent feedback. This has helped to improve my interpersonal skills and build relationships with clients, which is vital for case progression.

I have always embraced challenges and feel they have made me a more versatile solicitor who is happy to apply my knowledge from these experiences to any new challenges that may arise.

 

Why did you choose Hampson Hughes to complete your training contract?

I began my employment at Hampson Hughes in July 2015 as a paralegal and I immediately felt at home with my team, who helped me settle into the role straight away. My colleagues also supported me throughout my studies over the following years and were always on hand to offer guidance during my progression in the firm.

Hampson Hughes is a leading name in the legal world with a focus on client care, so I knew that the firm was the right place for me to obtain my training contract!

 

What is your greatest achievement at Hampson Hughes?

My greatest achievement to date as a trainee solicitor was successfully challenging a provisional assessment costs award where the defendant, a Grade A Solicitor with over ten years’ experience, had made an application to strike out a default costs certificate as he had failed to comply with the relevant practice direction.

I had to draft a series of lengthy written submissions to the court based upon the Civil Procedure Rules, case law and the defendant’s conduct. During the application hearing, the court ruled in my favour and awarded my costs of the action in addition to enforcement fees totalling around £12,000 for the firm.

I was very pleased with this result as my opponent was vastly more experienced than me, yet I was able to successfully demonstrate to the court that his conduct was improper and the outcome was a great victory for the firm.

 

Finally, what piece of advice would you give to aspiring solicitors?

My best advice would be to try and gain as much exposure as possible to a variety of different areas of law during your training contract. This will provide you with a better understanding of which area you want to pursue once you are qualified, whilst also giving you the opportunity to learn new skills and broaden your knowledge of the legal industry!

 

Want to find out more about our team? Check out our blogs for the latest from our staff whether they’re writing about ongoing cases, or sharing advice to those aspiring to begin a legal career.

Road Traffic Accidents Caused by Drivers Using a Phone behind the Wheel

Traffic accident attorney

Drivers caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel in the UK, risk losing their licence. The number of drivers who have been caught responding to a text message, answering a call or using an app or navigation feature on their mobile phone while driving a vehicle in the UK is astounding, especially when you consider the risk they are taking.

We all laugh at viral videos showing people walking into lampposts whilst looking down and using their mobile phone, but the danger of distraction could easily lead to a serious accident on the road. If you can’t walk and use your mobile phone, what makes you think that you can drive and text?

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and if you don’t focus 100% on the road ahead, you are putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at serious risk.

In 2015, 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents involving a driver who has been using a phone at the wheel. (1) Yet a recent survey revealed that many drivers admit to performing distracting tasks while behind the wheel, including using their mobile phone. (2) The penalty for using a phone while at the wheel was doubled this year (2017) in a bid to deter drivers from the temptation to drive and text.

New drivers will now receive six points on their licence if they’re caught using their phone while driving, and also be required to retake their practical and theory test. More experienced drivers risk being banned.

Despite the change to the law, in the four weeks after the penalties were increased, police recorded a total of 5,977 instances of drivers using their phone behind the wheel. (3) However, not all road traffic accidents are thoroughly investigated to determine whether the use of a hand held device or phone was a direct cause of an accident. Only cases involving fatalities or life changing injuries are investigated for distraction via mobile phone.

In July, police released a video of a fatal crash involving a lorry driver who was video-recorded, via a dash cam, changing music on his mobile phone before hitting and killing one adult and three children, who were in a vehicle in front, which had stopped in traffic.

The shocking footage reveals the true devastation that can be caused by using a mobile phone while in control of a vehicle. To watch the video, visit The Independent.  The police urge drivers to put their phones in the glove compartment so that they won’t be tempted to use it while in traffic, at traffic lights or any other time while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Road traffic accidents involving a driver who has been texting or using their phone behind the wheel, can leave victims with serious and life changing injuries.

Our team of specialist road traffic accident solicitors are always on hand to offer legal advice and support to those affected by a road traffic accident that wasn’t their fault. For more information please feel free to contact us now on 0800 888 6888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Sources:

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39118523
  2. http://www.brake.org.uk/rsw/15-facts-a-resources/facts/1131-distractionfacts
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/29/200-drivers-a-day-caught-using-phones-on-uk-roads-after-crackdown

Cancer Late Diagnosis and Compensation

Cancer Late Diagnosis and Compensation

Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. (1) Whether its breast, prostate, lung, skin or bowel cancer, the diagnosis is usually the first step to preparing your mind and body to fight the disease. For patients who have received a late cancer diagnosis, the chances of survival are often significantly lower than those who detect the disease early.

The standard wait to diagnose cancer is two weeks in the UK, but for some patients, cancer is not easily identifiable and symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for other medical conditions. When a late diagnosis for cancer does occur, it is a failure on behalf of medical professionals. Their failure to diagnose cancer at an early stage or when a patient first brought concerns of symptoms to a GP or medical professional can mean that a patient can no longer be treated and the cancer may have spread to vital organs, which could result in a low life expectancy. Even if in a particular case, cancer can be treated and the patient has a good chance of survival, it is still a failure to diagnose cancer when first investigated and those responsible should be held accountable.

An article published in 2017 by The Guardian highlighted the issue further. According to the report, a study has shown that 71% of all patients diagnosed in accident and emergency departments with a form of cancer, had seen their GP at least once with symptoms. Of the group surveyed, those who sought medical help from their GP previously, 41% had visited their GP three or more times. The study which was published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that people diagnosed with cancer as an emergency have a worse prognosis than those diagnosed at an earlier stage.  Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is said to be so concerned of late cancer diagnosis that he is developing a plan to name and shame GP surgeries who fail to spot symptoms.  (2) According to the publication, diagnosis of cancer as an emergency, has been considered to represent a failure of primary care. (3)

Compensation for a patient who has been let down by the NHS or the private healthcare sector, can never make up for the medical implications that this can have on them, and their family. Additional pain and suffering that has been caused, when cancer is allowed to go untreated or the loss of precious time with loved ones, is unforgivable. Compensation could help patients become more comfortable and have financial support during the recovery process.

Compensation for families left behind after a cancer patient has passed on after a late diagnosis should help to ease any financial strain that may be present after a relative has died. Compensation could help towards funeral arrangements as well as provide support during this sad time.

If you or a loved one has received a late cancer diagnosis whether the disease can be treated or not, please contact our medical negligence team today to see if you are eligible to claim compensation. Our friendly team are always on hand to offer support and legal advice. Call us today on 0151 236 1222 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Sources

  1. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics-for-the-uk#heading-Four
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/22/cancer-late-diagnosis-half-patients
  3. http://bjgp.org/content/67/659/e377/tab-figures-data