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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Driver on mobile phone causes car crash

“If my story can even stop one person from using their mobile phone while driving, then it was worth sharing what happened to me.”

A woman was using her mobile phone behind the wheel when she crashed into the back of a taxi. She had a young baby in the back of her car and thankfully neither of them were hurt.

The taxi driver on the other hand was not so lucky.

“I could see her in my rear view mirror talking on her mobile. I think she must have been going about 35mph and I knew she was going to hit me, there was nothing I could do to stop it.

“I now have arthritis in my right foot and have a limp which I will always have now.”

Being a taxi driver, his injuries mean he will always be restricted in his ability to drive and therefore he won’t be able to work as much as he did previously, losing a significant amount of money.

“If she hadn’t been on her phone and actually concentrating on the road, it wouldn’t have happened. My injury, physio, mental impact and the costs involved – it could have all been avoided if she wasn’t using her mobile phone.”

Sadly, this is not a rare cause of road traffic accidents as drivers continue to use their phone behind the wheel, with Scottish drivers more likely to take the risk compared to the rest of the UK.

After coming to Digby Brown, we sued the other driver for compensation. They admitted fault and tried to under-settle the case for £2,000.

With expert evidence, we negotiated an increase of 13 times this offer - settling the case at £26,000.

“I’m so happy Digby Brown were there for me after the accident. They helped me physically, mentally and monetary get through it all and I can’t thank them enough.

“At the end of the day, I’m still here and I can live with my injuries. The other driver and her baby weren’t injured either. You just have to accept it and I got some form of justice in the end with Digby Brown.”

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Friday, January 25, 2019

Digby Brown funds tickets to “The Greatest Snowman” for charities

Digby Brown were proud to support Circus Starr again this year with their production of “The Greatest Snowman”.

Circus Starr was founded in 1987 and provides free places for disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children.

This year Digby Brown were able to offer places to a number of local children’s charities including: The Yard, Caudwell Children, The Brae Riding for the Disabled, Finding Your Feet and Bobath Scotland

Performers at the 2019 performance from Circus Starr

For parents the performances offer the opportunity to take their children along to something that they would have previously not considered an option.

One of the parents from the Dundee show said: “I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Caudwell Children and Digby Brown for providing us with the opportunity to visit the circus in Dundee. It was the first time that my son attended such an event and he enjoyed it so much! He even asked to go to the circus again!

“To be honest, I avoided taking my boy to various events due to his challenging and unpredictable behaviour. However, this opportunity taught me that my boy is able to concentrate and is ready to go to events.”

Caudwell Children (Scotland) arranged for families to attend all three performances and were inundated with requests for tickets, saying:

“At Caudwell Children (Scotland) we receive requests from families who feel attending this type of event would be really beneficial to supporting their child with disability. These Circus Starr tickets offer families the opportunity to attend an event that offers a fun but relaxed environment, enabling families’ time away from the demands and constraints of daily life.”

Performers at this year's Circus Starr.

Families from The Yard attended the Edinburgh event and they have had great feedback from the families that attended: “Adam had a lovely time it was great not to have a big wait before hand and staff were very friendly. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and would recommend this to anyone who gets tickets in the future.”

The team from Circus Starr said: “At Circus Starr we pride ourselves on bringing fun and accessible arts to those that need it most, and we couldn’t do it without the amazing support of businesses like Digby Brown. Their continued generosity is simply amazing, and means that underprivileged children throughout Scotland get to make magical memories that can last a life time.”

Find out more about our work with Scottish charities or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Supporting the launch of Headway Dundee & Angus

Digby Brown were delighted to sponsor the launch of new charity Headway Dundee & Angus, supporting people with a brain injury across the area.

The launch event was held on Wednesday 28th November at The steeple Church in Dundee from 10am until 2pm.

It kicked off with Chris Stewart, Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors and Head of the Serious Injury department, who welcomed over 80 attendees that came along.

Speakers from the charity included Colin Robertson and Issy Robertson giving a background about the work of the charity and what it means to members.

Other speakers included Ruth Waugh from the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership about services in Angus for people with acquired brain injury and Dr Lorna Langrell and Alison Hewitt from the Robert Ferguson Unit shared their knowledge about the impact of brain injury and the need for adjustment.

The charity then officially opened in a ribbon cutting ceremony by Colin Robertson from Headway Dundee & Angus and Baillie Helen Wright from Dundee City Council.

Colin Robertson, Chairman at Headway Dundee & Angus said: “The impact of brain injury can be severe and, in some cases, lifelong. It can mean losing both the life you once lived and the person you once were.

“But we know that with the right support, at the right time, there can be life after brain injury.

“We will be working hard to make sure brain injury survivors and their families get the support they need in this community.”

Chris Stewart said: “We firmly believe in the importance of giving something back to the community which is why we support Headway.

“Every day we see the benefit that comes from the charity and its volunteers through the irreplaceable support they provide brain injury survivors.”

Headway Dundee & Angus will meet every two weeks at Steeple Church to offer advice and support to those with brain injury, their families and carers. You can read more about the launch of the charity at The Courier.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Experimental 20 mph speed limit in Dundee – is it a good thing?

Since May 2018, traffic in and around “The Glens” area in Dundee has been subject to an experimental 20 mph speed limit which is set to be reviewed next May where it may become permanent and rolled out in other areas of the city.

This reduced speed limit was introduced by Dundee City Council in direct response to the area’s residents’ concerns about road safety, noise and air pollution following a city wide consultation in 2016.

One of the roads subject to this 20 mph speed limit is Johnstone Avenue, which is a busy route very close to St Johns High School and Kings Park School.

95% of the residents of Johnston Avenue who responded to the consultation were in favour of reducing the speed limit to 20 mph limit. This is not really surprising when residents have reported seeing cars being driven at speeds of up to 70 mph in the area.

This is clearly reckless behavior and fortunately an exception rather than the norm. Still, speeds of up to 40 mph in this area would not seem to be uncommon.

The main concern with regards to road safety is the risk vehicles driven at excessive speeds pose to pedestrians in the area – and school children in particular. This is a valid concern.

This year, Transport Scotland reported a rise in the number of pedestrians killed in road traffic accidents in 2017. Last year, they reported the highest number of child pedestrian fatalities in the last ten years, clearly highlighting the need for change.

Research has shown that the risk of death for pedestrians struck by cars increases significantly the faster a car is travelling.

Around 95% of pedestrians struck at speeds of below 20 mph will survive.  At speeds between 20 to 40 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians are killed.

And it is not just pedestrians who benefit by a reduction in impact speed: the probability of serious injury to a belted front seat car passenger is three times greater at an impact speed of 30 mph than that at 20 mph.

But while lowering the speed limit in and around “The Glens” was popular, only 51% of those who responded to the 2016 consultation were in favour of implementing a 20 mph speed limit in general in Dundee.

To be effective, however, reduced speed limits have to make sure drivers slow down and there is some skepticism as to whether they actually do.

Currently, the reduced speed limit in the area is only using signs and road markings. Without further traffic calming measures and enforcement, Dundee City Council are relying on motorists taking heed of the speed limit reduction and slowing down.

One representative from the council is suggesting that it was for residents in the area to set an example by adhering to the 20 mph limit around their homes.

The effectiveness of the experimental 20 mph limit in and around “The Glens” is yet to be seen. 

If drivers adhere to the speed limit, it will more than certainly reduce the risk of fatal and serious injuries to other road users, which can only be a good thing.

Let’s hope that they do.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dundee road casualties are dropping – is it enough?

In June 2009, the Scottish Government set national road accident casualty reduction targets for 2020 with the aim of improving road safety and reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads by 40% and 55%.

Provisional statistics for 2017 published by Transport Scotland reveal a continuing downward trend of reported road casualties in Scotland with the lowest numbers recorded since records began in 1950.

Sadly, however, there were still over 9,000 reported road casualties which included 146 fatalities and 1,580 people seriously injured. These statistics show that further measures are required to ensure our roads are as safe as possible for the individuals using them.

At a local level, provisional figures for Dundee City show that the total number of accidents and casualties is dropping, although the number of fatal and serious injuries reported remains the same in 2017 as the 2013 to 2017 average being one fatality and thirty three people seriously injured.

The overall reduction is good news. However, despite statistics showing the picture is improving, it is important to remember the devastation on a human level that is caused by fatal and serious road accidents.

To continue with these improvements, Dundee City councilors are being asked to agree to £150,000 of new road safety measures at areas across the city. Over a dozen locations have already been identified for improvement work in the coming year, but these changes may not be popular with everyone.

Earlier this year, an experimental 20 mph zone was brought into force targeting specific residential areas around Dundee. These measures were not universally popular with residents but they could potentially become permanent and rolled out to other areas of the city from next May.

Although the lower 20mph speed limits will mean longer journey times for drivers, which can be frustrating, driving at 20mph instead of 30mph can make a big difference if you are involved in a road traffic accident.

A belted front seat passenger is three times more likely to be seriously injured in an impact speed of 30 mph than 20 mph. For pedestrians, that difference could be life saving.

Around 95% of pedestrians who are struck at speeds below 20 mph will survive. At speeds between 20 to 40 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians are killed.

We act for a number of individuals injured as a result of accidents on Dundee’s roads as well as family members of loved ones sadly killed as a result of these accidents. We see first-hand the devastation that these road accidents cause and welcome improvements that can avoid destruction on our roads.

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