20 November 2020 | Comment | Article by Charlotte Fletcher
The UK’s biggest road safety event ‘Road Safety Week’ takes place this week co-ordinated by the road safety charity Brake. This year the campaign focuses on speed, and in particular the fact that there is “No Need To Speed”.
The Court of Protection team at Hugh James act as professional deputy for over 130 individuals who have lost capacity to manage their property and financial affairs following a brain injury, often due to road traffic incidents. For many of these individuals, the speed of the vehicles involved in such incidents tragically played a part in the catastrophic injuries sustained. We see the devastating consequences that such incidents have on an individual and their families, not just in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but often for the rest of their lives.
These individuals will often have received substantial damages to compensate for the injuries they sustained in incidents involving speeding vehicles. As a court appointed deputy, we manage the injured person’s finances if they are deemed to lack capacity and ensure that we work with our client, and their families, to give them the best quality of life . This will often involve purchasing and adapting suitable properties where our clients can live comfortably alongside their loved ones. We employ care and support workers to assist with day to day activities, as well as high quality case management and therapeutic input to assist with rehabilitation and recovery. We have arranged for our clients go on holidays, try new sports such as skiing and even travel in Africa, and it is lovely to see our clients forming new relationships, getting married and having children.
In our role as deputy we are in the fortunate position to see the positive difference that compensation can make to our clients’ lives following catastrophic injuries. However, we are acutely aware that these individuals may continue to suffer from significant cognitive and physical difficulties for the remainder of their life. They may never be able to return to the life that they, and their loved ones, had before but with expert legal advice we help them achieve the best possible outcome.
Having seen the considerable lifelong impact that a speeding driver can have, we urge every to take care and support Brake’s campaign that there really is #NoNeedtoSpeed.
In Wales, the Welsh Senedd backed plans earlier this year to make 20mph speed limits the default limit in residential areas. It is expected to fully implement this change by 2023. Evidence set out by the Welsh Government in reaching this decision suggested:
- 80 children were killed or seriously injured on Welsh Roads in the last year figures are available for;
- Even a 1% drop in average speeds is likely to bring about a 6% drop in casualties;
- There are 4000 accidents which result in injuries every year in Wales.
Having seen the lifelong difficulties our clients face following road traffic incidents involving speed, these are sobering statistics. It will be interesting to see whether other parts of the UK follow Wales’ lead in attempting to make roads safer for all its users by reducing the speed at which vehicles can travel in residential areas.
The Hugh James Neurolaw team provides specialist legal advice to individuals who have suffered catastrophic injury such as brain and spinal cord injuries. The multidisciplinary Court of Protection Unit stands alongside the Neurolaw team and supports claimants who lack capacity to manage their property and financial affairs following a brain injury. For more information about these services please ring the Neurolaw Team on 0808 501 7045.
The Neurolaw team is a proud supporter of the road safety charity Brake.
About the author:
Charlotte Fletcher is an Associate in the Neurolaw department and specialises in Court of Protection matters, assisting with providing professional deputy input to those who lack the necessary capacity to manage and administer their own finances.
Charlotte joined Hugh James as a paralegal in the Nursing Care Department in 2011 and dealt with NHS Continuing Healthcare Claims for three years before starting her training contract in September 2013. Charlotte spent the majority of her training contract in the Neurolaw Department at Hugh James dealing with both Court of Protection matters and catastrophic injury litigation.