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Disabled daughter injured on bus(15 Posts)
My wheelchair bound DD went on a shopping trip with her carer (DD lives independently) when the bus reached her stop the driver pressed the button to bring out the wheelchair ramp....my DD went to move her electric chair out of the wheelchair/buggy bay. Unfortunately the driver pressed the wrong button that brought the automatic safety barrier in the bay down on my DD's wrist. My DD screamed and the carer rushed to the driver to say she had pressed the wrong button and the barrier was crushing my DD's wrist the driver said 'Sorry but there's no label on the buttons telling me what they are for! I was called to take my DD up the hospital and had to cancel my night shift and let down my client. My DD and I spent 4 hours in A&E and X-ray and my DD has a break in her wrist and is now in a lot of pain, in plaster and cannot drive her wheelchair, feed herself and use her phone etc..(she only ever had mobility in her damaged arm) The bus company have rung and apologised and said the driver had mentioned the buttons in her statement (unlabelled) although the cctv is unclear because people were waiting/getting off and crowding around my DD's chair. I've asked for a witness statement from carer...where do I go from here?
Plenty of solicitors will take this on a now win no fee basis.
Thank you Collaborate unfortunately these no win no fee solicitors also have a heavy fee taken out of any settlement. update; the bus company have admitted liability and we are now awaiting forms/hospital records etc...ATM my DD is in extreme pain and is unable to feed herself, drive her electric wheelchair and hold anything in that hand so is very fed up and frustrated.
If liability is admitted, you should have few problems reaching a settlement. You could ask for them to suggest a figure and then decide whether this is appropriate. Once you agree an amount, the side admitting liability usually pay for your solicitor to advise you about the settlement (not whether you should take it, just on the wording and what it means). Then you get a cheque.
Your poor daughter. Have you legal cover in your house insurance - they might be Able to advise you
I do not know for sure, but anothe sort of solicitor, who would charge a set fee, might see you free so you could explain what happened to see if it seemed likely to win.
Also could you ask Citizen's advice?
Have you got all the evidence you can?
Unfortunately since the MOJ changes to solicitors costs in injury claims in 2013 all firms take a cut of damages now - prior to 2013 they claimed their costs seperately. It's usually around 25% of damages awarded.
If you are thinking of self representing then make sure to include everything in the claim. The cost of extra care while recovering, any travel costs related to treatment of the injury, increased travel costs of your DD is having to get taxis instead of buses etc. For the injury if it is ongoing then you'll need a prognosis and value the injury based on how long it will be until it's fully recovered and also make sure to include psychological trauma if your DD is suffering that ( if she is now nervous of taking buses for example).
Here's a link to the JSB injury guideline which should help you value the claim
Thank you for your advice, unfortunately the carer who was with my DD had a car accident on the day afterwards so is still recovering (thankfully just badly bruised) so the witness statement may have to wait a lil bit longer...DD still in a lot of pain but today had an appointment through for the fracture clinic n Wednesday 1st August.
Unfortunately the really strong painkillers prescribed make her very constipated (which she gets anyway) so for now it's just Paracetamol.
Has the bus company's insurer been in contact yet to discuss your daughter's ongoing needs? Most insurers have access to rehabilitation companies that can assess your DD's current situation & arrange (and fund) additional care to address the fact your DD's injuries are seriously impacting her ability to attend to her basic needs & mobility. If they have already admitted liability there should be no barrier to dealing with the cost/arrangement of additional care before looking at/assessing the value of the actual compensation that would be paid in due course.
I'd suggest you obtain the bus company's insurer details & contact them to ask for their help with funding the additional care & assistance your DD requires due to the injury sustained.
the bus companies insurers sent me a form via email to ask for hospital address etc and N.I. number but that's about it...today we attended the first fracture clinic where a permanent plaster was applied but the consultant said it now seems to look like a sprain not a fracture so she has 3 weeks in plaster not 3 months but she's still in a great deal of pain.
Please don't try to do this yourself.
Even for the sake of % of the compensation going to solicitors.
What do you know about the following?
how to calculate costs of gratuitous care; deductions for benefits; the 10% uplift on damages; the Judicial College guidelines for levels of compensation; assessment of past and future loss of amenity; where to get an expert medical report dealing with both physical and psychological issues including the possibility of ongoing loss of facility and future orthopaedic complications such as osteoarthritis caused by the accident; how to prepare a claim form and a witness statement if the case can't be agreed; the appropriate rates of interest on different items of loss; the duty of disclosure on both parties; etc etc.
At the very least have a look at your DD's household (and car?) insurance to see whether she has legal expenses cover.
Omg! I'm ashamed to say I know nothing about these things..... update is I'm still having to initiate all correspondence with the claims company for Transport for London and whoever I ring they tell me they'll ring back at the end of the week and they are going through all the medical reports...there has been no offer of a settlement figure but they have said they may wAnt her to be examined by their orthopaedic specialists.. I have agreed to that going ahead but have heard nothing, DD still in pain and still having to wear her wrist print.
You really should get a solicitor. You are likely to get far more compensation via a solicitor as your daughter will be properly compensated for all the things Traviata has mentioned.
You might get a small pay out going direct but may then be inadequately compensated. It's worth paying for proper compensation.
If you don't get your own solicitor (& believe me, transport for London will be using their solicitor!) then you are leaving yourself and your daughter wide open to whatever they want to throw at you. You will have no protection, and no one fighting your corner.
What if the person who exmianes her is biased? If you had your own solicitor this wouldn't happen.
They are protecting themselves, why aren't you protecting yourself, and your dd?
Any solicitor fees will be paid by the other party.
Thank you for your help I'll check with the van insurance 'motorbility' to see if they offer legal cover.
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