Ryanair

What can you do when your flight is delayed or cancelled?

With Ryanair’s massive cancellations recently, air passengers are understandably getting very frustrated. Being stranded at the airport often makes us feel at the mercy of the airline, especially given many airlines are not prone to let their passengers know of their rights. So, what rights exactly, do passengers have?

Please note the text below applies only to those passengers who are either:

  • flying within the European Union with an either EU or a non-EU airline
  • Arriving in the EU on an EU airline
  • Departing the EU on either an EU or a non-EU airline

Flights arriving in the EU, but are operated by non-EU airline are NOT eligible for compensation under EU Regulation No 261/2004. If you’re bored out of your mind at the airport and have nothing better to do, you’re welcome to read the law in detail here, or you can read our summary below.

If your flight is delayed for more than 2 hours, the airline is required to provide food and drink. For overnight delays, you are also entitled to hotel accommodation. If your flight is delayed for 3 hours or more, you are also entitled to a financial compensation, the exact amount depending on the length of your flight:

  • Short-haul flights (up to 1,500km) – €250
  • Medium-haul flights (1,500km to 3,500km) – €400
  • Long-haul flights (more than 3,500km) – €300 if the delay is between 3 and 4 hours, and €600 if the delay is longer than 4 hours

The price you paid for your ticket does not affect your compensation, meaning it is entirely possible to get a €250 compensation for a £20 flight.

You can submit your request for compensation directly to the airline. However, airlines tend to contest, delay, and reject requests for compensation, making the process arduous and tiresome. If you do not want to deal with the airline, or you have tried and were unsuccessful, you can instruct solicitors who specialise in Flight Delay Claims to deal with the airline regarding your compensation claim on your behalf.

How Much is a Whiplash Injury Worth?

The most common type of injury in road traffic accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury which affects the neck and occasionally the back, as well. It is caused by a sudden jerk motion which most frequently occurs on vehicle impact. This type of injury is quite painful and can have a significant negative impact on the quality of life. The symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, tenderness and pain in shoulders, upper back or arms, fatigue, dizziness, among others. The symptoms of whiplash can take about 48 hours to manifest and can last for several months.

If you suffered a whiplash as a result of a road traffic accident which was not your fault, you can claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance. The amount of compensation you can expect depends on the severity of your injury. If the symptoms of your whiplash lasted for 8 weeks, you can expect anywhere between £1,300 and £1,500 in compensation. For injuries lasting 6 months, your compensation should be between £2,100 and £2,200. If your whiplash affected your back as well as your neck, your compensation will increase. In addition, the compensation will cover any expenses you incurred due to your injury, including the cost of the medication, treatment, missed wages, and any additional reasonable expenses you would not have otherwise have.

If you suffered a whiplash injury in a road traffic accident which was not your fault, please get in touch with our Personal Injury experts. LA Law works on the No Win – No Fee basis, meaning that if your claim is not successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees to us (T&C apply). If your claim is successful, we will deduct an industry standard success fee from your compensation. Call us today at 01273 613 300 to discuss your compensation claim.

Case Study Burns v Burns (2016)

Burns v Burns (2016) is an interesting case regarding Will writing, client’s circumstances and proving capacity.

The Facts

  • Mrs Burns died in 2010. Her Will, which was made 5 years before (2005), left her half share of her home to be split equally between her two sons, Anthony and Colin.
  • Colin owned the other half share of the property.
  • In an earlier Will made in 2003, Mrs Burns had left her half share of her home to Anthony solely.

 

The Dispute

  • Who was entitled to the half share of the property valued at £26,000? Was it equally between Anthony or Colin, or solely to Anthony? The 2005 Will took precedence over the 2003 Will, but arguments were made against this:
  • That the 2005 Will should be set aside due to Mrs Burns having lacked at the time, the requisite capacity and knowledge to approve her Will. He provided selected evidence: witness evidence from family members, medical evidence (occupational therapy assessments), to prove that she had short term memory loss and had difficulties with analysis and single task planning;
  • That the solicitor who prepared the Will had not taken the necessary steps to identify these faults in capacity, and had not properly examined the previous Will to ensure that her present requirements had not differed substantially;
  • That the solicitor who drafted the Will had not applied the Golden Rule as established in Kenward v Adams: which is to provide evidence that a practitioner is satisfied as to the capacity and understanding of the testator and has recorded his examination and findings.

 

The Verdict

  • Despite these arguments, it was held that the latest 2005 Will was valid. There were a number of reasons raised:
  • The witness evidence from the testator’s family members lacked fair-mindedness;
  • The assessments carried out on Mrs Burns at the time were not designed to prove Mrs Burn’s testamentary capacity;
  • The solicitor’s instruction notes were coherent and Mrs Burns had taken active steps to find her previous Will for at the solicitor’s request;
  • The solicitor was experienced in drafting Wills and in usual situations the Golden Rule would have been raised but there was no indication at the time of its apparent need;
  • That finally, as pointed out in Parker v Felgate: ‘What is required at the date of execution is that the testator understands that he is executing a will for which he has previously given instructions…’ the Golden Rule is not a mandatory rule but a guideline for good practice. The solicitor who had drafted the Will was very experienced, had read the Will to Mrs Burns and had reached his own conclusion about her capacity.
  • The combination of these facts (after a subsequent failed appeal) meant that the Will from 2005 remained valid and Mrs Burns’ half share was split equally between her two sons.

Social media and road traffic accidents

You have just been involved in a road traffic accident. Regardless of the injuries, you’re quite shaken up. Your first instinct is probably to post about it on your social media accounts, hoping your friends will provide you with some much-needed emotional support.

The problem with social media is that it is available to everyone, including the third party insurer. By posting the details of your accident online, you may inadvertently give the opposing side a wealth of information which they can use against your claim, even if your post seemed innocent. It is their job to use all of the available information, often including social media posts, to construct a story which supports their side of the argument. Photos can be misinterpreted and words can have multiple meanings.

This goes even further than the accident itself. After two miserable and painful weeks following your accident, you decide to venture out of your bed and go grab a drink with friends for half an hour. Your mate snaps a photo and tags you on social media. You come home and realise that, although your pain is now a bit worse, it was worth it because you feel better mentally. The third party insurer, on the other hand, sees the same photo and has a very different thought process. They see someone who has clearly overinflated their claim, as they are out partying during the time they claimed they were in severe pain.

The safest thing to do is to altogether avoid posting about your accident on social media accounts and amend your privacy settings. Setting your profile on private, however, will only slow down their investigation, as they often find a way around privacy settings.

If you need any further advice on how to handle your personal injury claim, please contact LA Law for a free consultation or Tweet us @lalawltd and join in the discussion.

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Personal Injury

There is a considerable amount of misinformation and hype surrounding the personal injury sector. Many people that want to claim are frightened off by negative publicity. Unfortunately those fighting for the insurance sector and opposing the rights of the claimants have employed many tactics to cast doubt on the integrity of the industry and claims process. They’ve been extremely economical with the truth about personal injury claims and have spread damaging myths. We’re hear to clear up some of those common misconceptions. Read on.

Myth: You have to go to court to win compensation

Truth: There is no need to go to court in order to win your compensation. Although it is not always possible to avoid court action due to issues between the parties, the majority of personal injury cases will actually be settled out of court as insurance companies prefer it if proceedings end amicably. So the vast majority of claims are not subject to court action. However if your case is passed on to litigation we have a team on hand ready to guide you through the process, every step of the way.

Myth: It takes years before you get your money 

Truth: The majority of personal injury cases are straightforward and will take between 8 and 12 months to reach their conclusion. However if there are issues on liability, the more complex claims will inevitably take longer to conclude. Don’t panic, we aim to minimise delay and hassle to obtain the best possible results for you, the client.

Myth: Conversely there is a view that compensation is easy to acquire.

Truth: Damages are recovered only to genuine individuals with good cause for making a claim. Remember, to make a claim for personal injury compensation you have to have suffered an injury that warrants medical attention and causes pain, leads to an inability to live life normally and results in additional losses.

Myth: I’ll have to pay huge solicitors fees

Truth: Not at all. If you don’t win your case, you don’t have to pay. If you do win you’ll have to pay a percentage of your compensation as the solicitor’s fee, but you’ll still normally get 75% of your compensation. Remember, this is only when you win. Otherwise – no win, no fee. Simple.

Myth: The “compensation culture” is booming

Truth: Most of the common myths that are often latched on to by the media are cheap shots at claimants. We’ve all heard phrases unfairly labelling personal injury claims and individuals making those claims portrayed as looking for free cash, and are entirely responsible for the compensation culture they say is ‘sweeping the nation.’  The compensation culture doesn’t even exist. The blame game is invented to erode the confidence of claimants to pursue their claim and receive a fair settlement with access to justice that they rightly deserve. You can read an interesting article here to support this: http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/comment/fact-or-fiction-debunking-personal-injury-myths)

Finally, we suggest signing the petition below to help prevent  firms of solicitors going out of business, leading to unemployment in the legal sector and restrict access to justice for thousands of people. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/113810

http://www.lalawltd.co.ukdev/contact-us/ or Tweet us @lalawltd and join in the discussion.

Defendant lawyers to oppose small claims limit rise

An interesting article in today’s Law Society Gazette which reports that Defendant Solicitors are to oppose the government’s proposals to raise the small claims limit and abolish compensation for minor whiplash injuries.

It has been stated that Defendant lawyers will put forward an ‘independent and principled’ stance on personal injury reforms that will differ from the one taken by insurers. The group says it will not join any claimant alliance to oppose reform, but instead will try to persuade the government to adopt proposals which limit the changes to whiplash claims and not personal injury more generally.

The proposals were put forward by George Osborne back in November. Osborne said he would remove legal costs by transferring  personal injury claims of up to £5,000 to the small claims court and end the right to cash compensation for ‘minor’ whiplash claims.

Only two years ago the government ruled out increasing the small claims court limit because there were no adequate safeguards to protect genuine claimants. There are still no adequate safeguards but they will now consult on the new proposals and details in the new year. Sue Brown, chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society, said the NHS and benefits system will be left to pick up the bills currently met by insurers. ‘A substantial increase in the small claims limit and the removal of the right to claim general damages for low value whiplash will have a hugely detrimental impact on the ability of accident victims to seek redress and justice,’ she said. ‘It cannot be right to deal with the purported compensation culture by removing the right to claim compensation from those who suffer injury as a result of negligent driving, in order that the insurers for the negligent driver can save money.’

The government consultation is expected within the coming weeks, with implementation likely by April 2017.

 

Happy New Year

Last year we decided to come up with a plan on how we could give back to our local community…We’ve come a long way since then and throughout 2015 have raised money and supported various different charities;

Starting with our Macmillan Coffee Morning

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Our Spooky Bake Off for the British Heart Foundation

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Celebrating Christmas for The Clock Tower Sanctuary

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And finally our Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children UK

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rsWe have also volunteered with the RSPCA. Our staff members have been volunteering their time to help out with the RSPCA down here in Brighton and we’re hoping to continue this once a month in the New Year.

AAnd one to watch out for…We have partnered up with The Martlets Hospice for a joint event happening in Spring this year!

We start as we mean to go on and we look forward to seeing what the New Year has in store. From all of us we wish you a very Happy 2016.

LA Law Case Published in Lawtel – Success Story

Keoghs, acting on behalf of the Defendant in this case, applied for a review of a decision that the costs in the claimant’s personal injury case should not be limited to fixed portal costs.

In February 2014, LA Law issued Court proceedings on behalf of Miss Elena Gratix, a minor. The case was transferred to various courts around the country before arriving at the instant court in August 2014, when it was ordered that the matter be listed for an RTA PI protocol stage 3 hearing. On making that order, the court was unaware that the claimant had issued an application in June 2014 for the case to be allocated to the fast track under
CPR Pt 7. The application stated that the claimant had exited the portal as settlement had not been reached, and that stage 3 hearings in claims involving children were only appropriate where damages had been agreed. The application was granted and the case was allocated to the fast track. The order contained a notice stating that the defendant had to apply to have the order set aside or varied within seven days. No such application was made and the claimant served the particulars of claim. The parties subsequently agreed damages and the matter was listed for disposal in November 2014, whereupon the court dismissed Keogh’s argument that costs should be restricted to portal costs.

Keoghs submitted that the claimant should be restricted to portal costs because of unreasonable conduct, relying in particular on
CPR r.45.36(2)(b) to argue that the claimant had acted unreasonably by discontinuing the process set out in the protocol and starting proceedings under Pt 7.

HELD: It was key that it was not an act of the claimant that had caused the matter to exit the portal. The parties had disputed whether the stage 3 oral hearing was appropriate. The court had agreed with the claimant that such a hearing was not appropriate and had taken the matter out of the portal by ordering that it be referred to the fast track. The court’s subsequent procedural directions were then followed by both parties through to a disposal hearing. The remedy available to the defendant was to apply to set aside or vary the order within seven days, which they had failed to do. In those circumstances, the claimant had not acted unreasonably at all, and it was not appropriate to limit her to portal costs. The defendant’s application was refused (see paras 9-11 of judgment).

 

 

We are very proud of this particular result as it has been officially published in Lawtel and shall be used as a precedent by other firms.

Shortlisted for the Modern Law Awards 2015

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LA Law are proud to have been shortlisted for the Modern Law Awards 2015 in the categories of Client Care Initiative and ABS of the Year (26-100 employees).

The award ceremony will take place at The Hurlingham Club in London on 19th November, and the night will be hosted by ‘A comedy hero for our times‘ Jimmy Carr.

The Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards were launched to celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in entrepreneurship, market development, business management and best practice in the modern legal services arena. ​These exclusive awards reflect the ever-increasing reorganisation, new legal entities and business dynamism of legal service providers since the Legal Services Act came into force. The Modern Law Awards offer a unique and timely opportunity to celebrate not only innovative business leaders but those changing the face of business strategy and development, regulation management and client care throughout the organisation – for both short and long-term gain.​​Champions in ABSs, new legal entrants and pre-existing law firms that have successfully led engaging, relevant and new strategies for gold-plated services and business growth will be praised in the third of these national awards. The winners will be chosen by a cross-industry panel of high profile judges and announced at a glittering ceremony. The Modern Law Awards are the perfect opportunity for the sector to showcase and set the benchmarks for best practice in the ever diverse, challenging and exciting new landscape for the business of law.

We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for both awards and would like to say well done and thank you to every member of our team for their hard work and support of LA Law.

We’re really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us here at LA Law but for now it’s back to hard work…

Fair Settlement for Child – Success Story

LA Law have recently settled a child case demonstrating we are unprepared to accept any offer below what a claim is worth and we will put pressure on insurers to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for our clients.

In this case our client Miss Rudd, a nine year old child, sustained whiplash injuries as a result of a road traffic accident whilst travelling in the at fault vehicle.  LA Law attempted to settle the claim on the MOJ Portal however AXA, the Defendant Insurers, raised causation as an issue so the matter proceeded through the Court process.  Medical evidence was obtained and we instructed Counsel who valued the claim at £1,500 however the Third Party made an insulting offer which LA Law refused to accept.  LA Law continued to negotiate and put pressure on the insurers who eventually conceded and agreed to settle the claim in full the sum of £1,500 in line with our valuation.

The settlement was agreed by the Court at Infant Settlement Approval Hearing and the funds have now been deposited into a child trust fund where interest will accrue until Miss Rudd reaches the age of 18 years.