We know that many people find legal compensation claims stressful, particularly when suffering from a personal illness or injury. There is nothing worse than being in an unfamiliar situation and not knowing what the future may hold.
At Hugh James our personal injury compensation specialists make it simple and straightforward for you. If you have suffered an accident or been injured you are probably asking yourself many questions:
Our team of personal injury compensation solicitors offer free advice and guidance, without obligation, on whether you can make a compensation claim. We have helped thousands of people across England and Wales receive millions of pounds in personal injury compensation for their injury, illness, accident or medical mistreatment.
£10,000 awarded to Welsh based teenager
Personal injury solicitors at Hugh James have successfully pursued damages for a 14 year old girl who suffered a personal injury. The teenager was injured after an accident at a South Wales building site where improper health and safety procedures were in place.
In June 2009, the Ystradgynlais Community Centre in Powys was in the process of being renovated. Due to building work, scaffolding had been erected and surrounded by security fencing. The claimant and her friends passed through the grounds of the community centre whilst making their way to a local South Wales Valley skate park. A friend of the claimant was able to bypass the security fencing to climb the scaffolding and swing from it. Whilst swinging, the young boy mistakenly struck a portion of the security fencing, narrowly missing the claimant’s face and knocking her to the floor. Injuries were sustained to the young girls left wrist, thighs and more notably her left shin.
A personal injury claim was brought against the building firm undertaking the renovation work. The builders were found to be negligent as they had failed to erect and secure the security fencing accurately. They also failed in their management of the building site by not carrying out regular inspections, nor did they inform the community centre of potential risks.
The building firm involved in this case admitted liability and subsequently paid the claimant £10,000 in personal injury compensation.
£37,000 compensation awarded to concrete finisher suffering osteoarthritis of the knees
Hugh James personal injury solicitors recently won a work place compensation claim for a client who suffered osteoarthritis of the knees as a result of his occupation and insufficient health and safety procedures by his employers.
Richard Antuch, Solicitor within the top ranked Personal Injury Team at Hugh James Cardiff concluded the knee osteoarthritis work place illness case and achieved compensation totaling £37,000 for the client. The client was employed by the same organisation for 30 years, as a concrete finisher. His role required him to spend prolonged periods of time kneeling on the floor whilst concreting, with the added strain of constantly having to get up and down throughout his shifts. This pattern of work continued throughout the majority of his employment, with knee pads only being supplied towards the end of his time with the organisation. However he developed osteoarthritis in his knees as a result of his employment.
Expert medical evidence concluded that the nature of the client’s work had accelerated the onset of osteoarthritis by a period of two to three years. Thus, he was required to undergo knee replacement surgery earlier than might have been the case if he had worked with adequate protection. Liability was admitted by the client’s previous employers and in September 2010 and the claim was settled in August 2011.
Richard Antuch, Solicitor within the Personal Injury Team at Hugh James solicitors says, “as a result of the defendant’s failure to comply with health and safety legislation implemented to protect individuals like our client, whilst at work, my client suffered osteoarthritis of both his knees earlier than expected having a direct impact on his quality of life and ability to work. I am pleased to have successfully settled this case resulting in my client being properly compensated not only for the pain and suffering the early onset of his symptoms has caused him, but also for other out of pocket expenses, including loss of earnings as a result of having to finish work early”.
Mr Keith Banwell BT Engineer hearing loss claim
Former South Wales BT engineer Keith Banwell has recovered compensation for damage to his hearing caused by his work with BT who admitted that they had negligently exposed him to excessive noise levels during his employment of over 20 years.
Keith, who is an ex Union elective Secretary representative, based in Merthyr Tydfil and Pontypridd, used a series of head tone sets throughout his employment with BT. His work also took him to many noisy factories and industrial sites. The head tone sets (also known as oscillators and amplifiers with a probe), were used to locate wires in BT’s own network. His hearing was damaged by the high-pitched noise that he listened to over the headsets throughout the day.
Keith suffered a gradual deterioration in his hearing which was first noticed by his family when he would mishear what they were saying or not hear them at all. He also suffers from tinnitus. He finds it difficult to follow conversations in a group of people or where there is any background noise.
Keith commented that “Hugh James provided me with fast, efficient, professional and excellent advice. I have recommended lots of my colleagues to Hugh James and will continue to do so”
Hugh James currently represent many past and present BT engineers who used this equipment. If you or you know of others who also work or worked for BT and used this equipment and you have hearing difficulty we may be able to assist you.
Hugh James recovers £190.000 compensation for a client who was advised by his original solicitors that a claim could not be made
Andrew Davies, solicitor and partner within the Clinical Negligence team at Hugh James solicitors Cardiff has recently settled a case of gallbladder clinical negligence brought against Cwm Taf Local Health Board, where damages totalled £190,000
The claimant (AJ) underwent surgery in 2001 after being diagnosed with stones in his gallbladder and bile duct. AJ underwent a procedure known as endoscopic sphincterotomy to remove the gallstones. After the procedure he began to suffer recurring pain and illness and over four years later in November 2005 was readmitted to hospital. Tests revealed that the gallbladder had become inflamed and required removal. AJ was placed on a waiting list for gallbladder removal surgery and given antibiotics as a course of treatment.
In January 2006, surgery was performed to remove the inflamed gallbladder and shortly after AJ began to suffer consistent abdominal pain. Tests were preformed, which highlighted abnormalities in liver function, prompting further investigation. An ultra sound scan showed that fluid, believed to have come from the bile duct had leaked into the abdominal area.
AJ began to deteriorate further and was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where he underwent additional surgery. It became apparent that he had sustained a major injury to the bile duct following removal of his gallbladder, which required reconstructive surgery. Due to complications from the initial removal procedure, AJ will continue to endure health issues. He is susceptible to further complications and may require additional surgery.
AJ issued a complaint against the Cwm Taf Local Health Board for what he considered to be gallbladder negligence. In response they cited that an inflamed gallbladder had made the surgery difficult and that the injury sustained was “forgivable”. AJ continued to pursue his complaint and instructed solicitors, who on receipt of an expert medical report, advised that a claim could not be made!
It was suspected that improper legal advice had been given which was confirmed by a secondary medical expert. AJ then instructed Andrew Davies of Hugh James Solicitors Cardiff to act on his behalf. Following the intervention by Andrew, on August 7th 2008 Cwm Taf Local Health Board admitted that surgery had caused harm and prolonged illness to the patient, which led to a settlement of £190,000 being awarded.
The entire episode was and will continue to be distressing for AJ whose life has changed dramatically due to medical negligence. Andrew Davies from the Medical Negligence team at Hugh James Solicitors is quoted as saying “this was a challenging case, it appeared everyone was against AJ but his belief and determination led to him receiving the compensation he truly deserved following an extremely difficult and life changing period”.
AJ also offered comment and said “I’m disappointed by the advice I received from my former solicitor. When I consulted Andrew Davies of Hugh James Solicitors he was very professional and had reassured me that there was merit in my claim. Andrew did everything possible to assist me during this difficult period and I regard him as a real gentleman, thank you”
Hugh James recovered almost £5million in compensation for client against Great Ormond Street Hospital for breach of duty
Mrs E’s son developed epilepsy at the age of 7 and despite changes of medication continued to suffer erratic seizures. He was referred to a Consultant Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital where it was decided to reduce the dose of his medications in an attempt to provoke his seizures in order for them to be recorded.
The boy received his (reduced) medications at the hospital and began a series of tests. The boy was to be monitored at all times due to the reduced medication and the subsequent risks of this. After being advised that his mother was leaving and that he was to be monitored by a nurse the boy was left alone in his room. He then left his room unaccompanied and went to the toilet unaided. There he suffered a seizure and his airway was obstructed. This led to inadequate ventilation and eventually, as a consequence of this, the boy suffered from a cardiac arrest which resulted in catastrophic brain injury.
The boy is now in a persistent vegetative state with heavy nursing needs. Over time the boy has improved to a low awareness state but has remained totally dependent for all activities of daily living.
Proceedings were served and Great Ormond Street Hospital subsequently admitted responsibility for the breach of duty. An initial offer of £4,083,700 was made but not accepted. A further meeting considered a number of factors and a proposed settlement of £4,923,553 was offered. This was deemed as reflecting a good settlement for the Claimant, and was preferable to the risks of proceeding to trial.
At the same time Mrs E brought a separate claim in her own right in relation to the nervous shock she sustained resulting from the actions which led to her son’s injuries. She was the 2nd Claimant in this case.
The initial offer of £12,500 was rejected by Hugh James who considered her pain, suffering and loss and the fact that she had undergone therapy as recommended but had not made the expected recovery. Mrs E was later reimbursed a total of £30,000.
Over £1million recovered for client against the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr
Following a road traffic accident Mr P suffered multiple injuries and was admitted to the Defendant’s Prince Charles Hospital. He had suffered serious, but not apparently life threatening injuries. He had fractures to his right femur, right foot, and left ankle. There were concerns however that he may also have suffered internal injuries.
He was treated for shock and was resuscitated overnight with fluids. He deteriorated during the course of the following morning and the clinicians responded by giving more resuscitation fluids on a number of occasions.
The quantities of fluid given were excessive and insufficient attention was given to recording and maintaining his fluid balance which led to the “flooding” of the air spaces in his lungs by fluid. Following this the Claimant sustained a catastrophic brain injury.
He now has limited awareness of his surroundings, cannot speak, is doubly incontinent, and is incapable of any voluntary movement.
The claimant suggested that the injuries could have been avoided however the defendant argued that the cause of the injuries were not preventable.
As there was no scope in this case for responsibility for only part of the Claimant’s injuries the result of the trial would therefore be “all or nothing”. Proceedings were served and the defendant denied liability.
A joint expert meeting took place to discuss the cause of his injuries and from this it was concluded that there was a strong element of uncertainty about the outcome of this case. It was decided that the litigation risks in this claim justified the consideration of a discounted settlement.
The defendant offered to compromise liability for 50% of the value of the claim but this was rejected because there was concern that the claimant could be in a position where the compensation could only meet a proportion of his future needs.
Following this the claim was finally settled and court approval given for a lump sum payment of £1,407,946.48. In addition to this there will be annual life time of payments of £104,874.90 for the Claimant’s future care and future case management costs.
Acclaimed for its specialist expertise in catastrophic injuries, especially those arising from RTAs and motorcycle accidents, as well as severe psychiatric injury claims. Also houses a dedicated nursing care department. Clients say: “They’re an excellent firm. The calibre of litigator they have is first-class – I can’t criticise any aspect of the way they run their cases.” In terms of market standing, “They’re rightfully at the top of the pile.”
Chambers UK 2014
Product liability specialist Mark Harvey heads the practice at Hugh James. Catastrophic/neurological injury matters are led by ‘absolute expert’ Andrew Harding, who is also an ‘excellent’ Deputy. Associate Cari Sowden-Taylor is ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘client focused’, and consultant Sian Warren is a ‘first-class PI lawyer’. The firm is known for its group action work, acting for members of Nacods and the Royal College of Nursing. Gareth Morgan leads on disease work, and Iain Scott heads the multi-track team.
The Legal 500 2013
Hugh James’s Cardiff office earns praise from experts, peers and clients for its “exemplary” personal injury service.
Chambers UK 2013
This Cardiff-based group remains the market-leading firm for claimant personal injury work in Wales. The firm maintains a caseload of workplace accidents, industrial diseases, and multimillion-pound catastrophic brain and spinal injuries.
Group head Mark Harvey is praised for his “innovative” approach to personal injury matters. He is best known for his expertise on cases with an international element. His colleague Andrew Harding is a head injury specialist and leading partner in the firm’s comprehensive Neurolaw unit. He also acts as a Court of Protection Deputy for numerous individuals with brain injuries. Chambers UK 2012
Cardiff-based Hugh James continues to lead the field for claimant work in Wales, with a formidable personal injury offering across the board on EL/PL, catastrophic injuries and industrial disease matters.
The “extremely able and experienced” Mark Harvey focuses on advising personal injury claimants in litigation involving medical devices, vehicles and consumer products.
Andrew Harding specialises in brain injury and Court of Protection work, and is available to act as a deputy to those with traumatic brain injuries. Sources praise his “extensive knowledge of the field.”
Chambers UK 2011
Hugh James is praised for its ‘professionalism, care and concern’, and has specialist teams in areas such as group actions and industrial disease, while high-volume accident claims are now handled through its legal outsourcing service Involegal LLP. Andrew Harding leads on catastrophic injury cases. Mark Harvey is praised for his ‘conviction, personable approach and clear advice’, and handles harmful product and overseas accident cases. It continues acting for miners union NACODS on osteoarthritis claims.
Legal 500 2011
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