Mr M was a self-employed sheep shearer but after an accident on a farm, he was left with permanent eye damage. Our solicitors at Digby Brown investigated and pursued a claim against the farm to compensate him for his injuries, securing over four times the initial offer.
Our client was injured at work, sustaining a crush injury to his right thumb, with scarring and loss of sensation, when a spreader beam toppled over. With expert advice and funding, the claim settled for £8,000, over 3.5 times the pre litigation offer of compensation made by the insurers.
After a woman tripped on a temporary manhole cover being used by Fife Council, breaking her shoulder, she initially pursued a claim for compensation herself. However, she approached Digby Brown for a second opinion on the compensation offer made by the council. In the end, with our help, the case settled for a six figure sum, many times more than the original offer made.
A front seat passenger injured in a road traffic accident contacted Digby Brown for legal advice about making an injury claim. Our specialist personal injury solicitors negotiated with the third party insurers and settled the case for £6,000 - over three times the initial offer.
Mrs M. was involved in a high speed crash on the M74 whilst travelling on holiday. Esure represented the driver at fault and persuaded Mrs M. that they could deal with the claim on her behalf. After almost 3 years of no progress and poor medical intervention Mrs M. contacted Digby Brown. We raised a court action and £7,500 was obtained in settlement.
Our client contacted Digby Brown after he suffered whiplash and a soft tissue injury to his chest in a road traffic accident. The insurers made him an offer of £1,648 but we secured a final offer of £6,500 - approximately x 4 the initial offer made by the insurers.
Mr S. was employed by Aberdeenshire Council as a roads worker but was injured after he was trapped between a lorry and a chipping machine used to lay gravel. He developed arthritis in both knees and was unfit to return to heavy work, eventually retiring on ill health. His injury at work claim settled for £250,000 - over ten times the original offer - compensating him for his injuries and future loss of earnings.
Mr P. was involved in a road traffic accident in which he was hit from behind by a third party vehicle. Previous solicitors had secured interim payments on Mr P's behalf totalling £2,852 but failed to secure any more compensation. After Digby Brown took over the handling of his case, Mr P's case settled for £300,000 gross of benefits received.
After Mr M. was injured in a road traffic accident, he initially dealt with the insurance company of the negligent driver directly - rather than seeking the assistance of a solicitor. However, he was unhappy with the offer made by the insurers and contacted Digby Brown. After arranging for the right reports from expert medical professional and raising an action in the Court of Session, Mr M.’s claim settled for £7,500 – over five times the original offer.
Learn more about clients we have helped or if you would like to speak with someone about your circumstances, please either call us on 0333 200 5925 or text help to 83310. Alternatively you can fill in our online form.
Inverness injury lawyers at Digby Brown dispute wage loss for client on a zero hour contract for workplace injury claim.
After initially instructing another firm, Mr Sharkey got in touch with the solicitors in Digby Brown's Ayr office and realised that they were the right lawyers to fight for his work accident claim.
Our client was injured at work when he tripped and fell over 14 feet through a floor. Solicitors in Digby Brown's Edinburgh office managed to secure fair compensation following his ordeal.
Our client was injured when a coffee machine at her place of work malfunctioned and exploded leaving her disabled. Our solicitors were able to secure £180,000 in compensation for her injuries.
Digby Brown Edinburgh help Mr Queen after a high street lawyer failed to obtain fair compensation for his accident at work.
Stewart Dewar was working as a delivery driver when he badly injured his back at a delivery to a supermarket in Stirling.
Mr MacDonald was working for a building supplies company in the Highlands when he was injured using a saw.
Our client was unable to return to work after his accident and was medically retired. Our Dundee solicitors secured £120,000 - six times more than the original offer.
Mr H was employed by a construction company and was working on a local housing development in Fife when the accident happened.
Martin was employed as a Tree Surgeon by a local company in Aberdeen when he was injured by a chainsaw.
Stuart McLean was seriously injured at work when he and his team were taking down an old warehouse in Fife, negatively impacting on his future career and job opportunities.
Sheila broke her wrist in an accident at her work in Edinburgh when she slipped on water. She had been working at the factory for almost 29 years as a process operator.
Mrs Robertson was injured as a result of the negligence of a fellow employee at the cafe where she worked.
Our client was injured at work, sustaining a crush injury to his right thumb, with scarring and loss of sensation, when a spreader beam toppled over.
Gordon Lorimer was seriously injured in a work accident that could have been prevented if the right health and safety regulations had been followed.
Our Inverness office secure over five times the original offer using new Pursuer Offer.
Mr P. was injured whilst at work and although his injuries at first did not appear very serious, he was forced to give up his job as his injuries developed.
Mr R. was unable to return to working as a welder after he was injured working in the Highlands.
Our client injured his hand in an industrial accident at work and his employer denied liability for the accident.
Following Mr X’s accident at work, he found it painful to drive and carry out his role at work but his employer ignored his requests for compensation.
Mr N was working for a firm manufacturing aircraft parts in East Lothian when he was injured in the face by a metal rod he was using.
Mr V. worked for a demolition company when he was injured by a defective container door at work.
Mr Meadows suffered a nasty injury during a lifting operation at work. Specialist solicitors secured 5 times more compensation for Mr Meadows.
Our client had not long returned to work after an operation on her foot. She was using crutches when she fell at work, aggravating her foot injury.
"The compensation has secured my future and my daughters’ future which was my main priority."
Mrs P worked in a local factory in Fife when she was injured in a fall at work. She came to Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy office for help making a claim for compensation.
Our client injured his back in an accident at work. He couldn’t return to heavy manual work and was made redundant at work.
When Raymond came to Digby Brown after his work accident, our solicitors obtained liability and began negotiations to reach a six figure settlement.
Mrs H. suffered a nasty forearm fracture after slipping on a wet floor at work, a hair salon in Edinburgh. The salon refused to accept full responsibility for her injuries.
Mr W. was injured when he fell from a ladder whilst working as a roofer. Had someone been footing the ladder, the accident could have been avoided.
Ms C. was working as a sales assistant in a soft furnishings store when she was injured carrying out her job.
Mr J, a young man who had just started a job with a manufacturing firm, suffered knee injuries after a heavy piece of metal fell on him.
Digby Brown's personal injury lawyers were able to use their legal funding to help a client achieve a 3-fold increase in compensation following an injury in an accident at work.
If you have been injured at work and would like to speak with someone, please either call us on 0333 200 5925 or text help to 83310. Alternatively you can fill in our brief enquiry form.
Cycling in Scotland has never been more popular. For recreation, for commuting, for sport however it is now a sad fact that cyclists are now starting to overtake motorcyclists in the number of serious accidents which happen on Scottish roads. When you take into account that helmets are not compulsory and the safety clothing used is nowhere near as robust, it is easy to see why serious injury occurs when a cyclist is hit in a road traffic accident.
Numerous situations occur where the motorist will fail to see the cyclist and if you add into the mix the potential for bad weather creating poor visibility, the state of the road network or diesel spillages it does make cycling a potentially hazardous activity.
Digby Brown has seen an expediential rise in personal injuries from those involved in bicycle accidents in our Scottish cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Dundee especially, with these claims accounting for some very serious injuries.
In addition to our existing case load Digby Brown acts for the British Cycling Federation for members in Scotland which has again seen an explosion of popularity but leading to an increase in personal injuries.
Unlike your fellow motorist you are unlikely to have an insurance policy and therefore do not have an organisation at your back to fight your side, if the accident circumstances are disputed.
We would suggest giving Digby Brown a call, explain what happened and we will be able to help.
We will explain the process of making claim, the process of funding the claim, on a no win no fee basis, and what you should do next. It is likely your injuries will have caused you to take time off work, caused additional expense, in the least your bike will require repair if not replacement – these days, that can easily run in to hundreds of pounds.
We have the expertise to help, call 0333 200 5925, text help to 83310 or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you.
They call it a hidden disability but for those closest to someone who has an acquired brain injury it is anything but hidden. It is hard to imagine or understand the consequences for someone who is affected by a brain injury.
Digby Brown Solicitors has been helping the families of a loved one who has sustained a brain injury as a result of negligence in an accident, for many years. As a firm we are personal injury specialists but that doesn’t really tell the story.
Digby Brown has worked with people and been involved in Scotland with organisations involved in brain injury for over 40 years. The experience built up over this time truly allows us to call ourselves experts in our field.
Does that help you? Not really. As a family member of someone, who is a patient in hospital or has been recently discharged, you are still reeling from the immediate aftermath of a serious brain injury accident. You will have many questions. Some of them you might not at this stage want to know the answer to. We understand this, we have helped many other families in the same situation, over time, come to terms with the situation and deal with the issues.
We have a long standing relationship with Headway, both locally and nationally, we are recommended by the Child Brain Injury Trust, and work alongside Momentum, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and the Huntercombe Group. Additionally, we are members of the Scottish Head Injury Forum and the Brain Injury Network Group.
Digby Brown provide in-house Welfare Rights advice and specialist advice in relation to Additional Learning Support for children with brain injuries. We understand that early intervention in a personal injury claim may involve the provision of advice and advocacy in relation to the benefits system. Children similarly may need support to ensure they obtain their legal entitlement under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004.
It is crucial that brain injury claims are properly investigated through the correct medical and expert evidence to ensure cases achieve the maximum compensation. Unfortunately, this can be expensive.
We are able to offer complete case funding through our Compensate funding package, giving you access to justice with no financial risk.
To start the legal process, we urge you to pick up the phone or email to have a chat. By providing detail about the accident and how the injury occurred will help our legal team assess your case and determine how likely it is for your claim to succeed.
Call Chris Stewart, Partner and Head of the Serious Injury Department, on 0141 566 9541, to discuss your families circumstances and see if we can help.
Digby Brown Solicitors have specialist motorcycle department that help those who have suffered a personal injury as a result of a motorcycle accident in Scotland that was not their fault.
The Motorcycle Law Department (MLD) is comprised of a team of highly experienced and qualified motorcycle accident lawyers representing victims of motorcycle accidents in Scotland.
At Digby Brown we have the expert knowledge and requisite experience to deal with both straightforward and complex motorcycle accident claims. We are motorcycle accident claim specialists.
We understand that as a result of a motorcycle accident which was not your fault:
We offer you direct access to our team of expert lawyers and we focus on the needs of our clients from the moment we are first contacted. We have gained a reputation for being formidable litigators acting at all times in the best interests of our client.
Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers handle cases throughout Scotland. They can help you.
If you would like to talk to someone about a motorcycle accident in which you were injured either contact us on 0333 200 5925 or complete our brief enquiry form and we will be in touch.
Using our no win no fee package, Compensate, we can provide you with the information and support you need by giving you expert advice on your motorcycle accident claim.
We can assist you in getting back on the road and obtaining accident compensation for both personal injury as well as the damage to your motorcycle.
There are many aspects of your motorcycle accident claim that we can help you with; motorcycle accident claims can be made for:
It is a recognised fact that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries due to the lack of protection a motorcycle affords compared to a car. It is therefore vital that accident victims are represented by an expert lawyer.
At Digby Brown we have specialist serious injury solicitors to assist those with spinal or brain injury.
Learn more about the process of making a claim for those involved in a motorbike accident or read about clients we have helped with a motorcycle accident claim.
To speak to someone about a motorcycle accident in Scotland in which you were injured, please call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our short personal injury enquiry form and someone will be in touch.
The claim process for a motorcycle accident commences as soon as you get in touch either by e-mail or by phone.
Your enquiry will be allocated to an experienced lawyer who will provide you with initial advice. As soon as possible we will arrange a non-chargeable, face-to-face meeting. We operate on a “No Win No Fee” basis.
A claim will be intimated on your behalf to the third party (party at fault). Thereafter, we will deal with the third-party insurers setting out your case and asking them to admit liability.
If liability is admitted, we will value the claim. It will be necessary to obtain a medical report outlining the extent of your injury. This will be arranged through our network of independent medical consultants.
We will submit a valuation to the third party insurer as soon as we can. This valuation will include a claim for the injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident, loss of income, damage to your motorcycle and kit, expenses and insurance excess.
Thereafter, we will enter into negotiations towards settlement. If an offer is received following conclusion of that process, we will contact you and provide all necessary advice as to whether you should accept or reject the offer. If the offer is inadequate we will raise a court action on your behalf.
If liability is denied, we will fully investigate your claim and advise you on the prospects of success should it be necessary to raise an action in court on your behalf.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an organisation set up to compensate the victims of crimes of violence in the UK.
The time limit for making a criminal injury claim is two years from the incident. In the case of a child the two year period will run from the date when the child reaches the age of maturity. The time limit may be relaxed in cases of childhood abuse depending on circumstances.
Compensation is based on a tariff system. The scheme sets out a large number of specific injuries each of which has a prescribed monetary value. No compensation is payable unless the injury attracts a minimum value of £1,000.
Loss of earnings is not payable unless the absence from work exceeds 28 weeks. Other expenses such as dental charges can only be paid if the claimant has been off work for more than 28 weeks.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority scheme has a number of important provisions –
If you have criminal convictions these will be taken into account and may prevent or reduce an award depending on the number and seriousness of the convictions and how recent they are.
It is important to note that if the CICA does make an award, the award will not include your legal costs. These will have to be paid out of the award. For that reason it will not be possible for us to act in low value cases and it would not be economic for you to instruct a solicitor in such cases.
At Digby Brown we specialise in criminal injuries claims involving serious injury, particularly brain injury. In appropriate cases we offer no win, no fee through our funding package, Compensate.
Victims of violent crime can suffer devastating physical and psychological injury. Digby Brown’s experience and expertise in acting for the victims of criminal assaults allows us to assess the prospects of success. If we form the view that a case has reasonable prospects of success, we can fund the case from start to finish. In the event that the case is unsuccessful, we will cover any liability to meet the client's own outlays, eg for medical reports, and will not charge a fee.
Using our expertise we have obtained awards in excess of £2 million.
For expert advice on your criminal injuries compensation claim please call 0333 200 5925 or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you.
At Digby Brown Solicitors, we believe we are the only firm in personal injury in Scotland that operates by using specialist departments depending on either the type of accident, injury, location or circumstances. The law is always changing and to really be an expert, you need to specialise.
We feel that “personal injury” is too broad an area to truly consider yourself an expert. Therefore, we have split the firm into specialist departments which deal with:
Each of these departments is managed by experienced solicitors and headed by one of Digby Brown partners – an expert in that field. For the client, this gives them the very best advice from experienced lawyers who know their specialist area inside out. To understand more why it is important that you should only deal with specialists, please visit our department pages.
If you would like to discuss your circumstances please either call us on 0333 200 5925 or text help to 83310. Alternatively you can fill in our brief personal injury enquiry form .
Digby Brown is a specialist law firm in Scotland and we have been working in the field of accident compensation claims for personal injuries for many years.
Our success is built on our people. Our formula for success is using, from the outset, highly qualified and experienced lawyers combined with what we believe is an excellent level of service.
We understand that an accident is a traumatic experience. We know as well as the physical pain and suffering, the disruption to your lives and those of your family can be enormous.
We are here to help, to listen and to understand your individual circumstances. To put right what we can and at least make sure you have been financially compensated for your losses as a result of your accident and the injuries you have sustained.
We know you have a choice when it comes to choosing which law firm to use for your personal injury claim. Whether it is adverts, which regularly appear on the television, or the many websites offering to take on your claim.
In Scotland we truly believe we have the best injury lawyers and in 2019, 2018 and 2015, we were named Firm of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards.
We know through keeping records for many years what level of compensation you should be obtaining for your loss after an accident.
Our records show that our lawyers gain, on average, three times the pre-litigation offer.
Combining this with our ability to fully fund your case with no win no fee funding from the outset, you will never be asked to pay a penny towards this cost, means you couldn’t be in safer hands to access the justice you deserve.
If you would like to discuss your circumstances please either call us on 0333 200 5925 or text help to 83310. Alternatively you can fill in our brief personal injury enquiry form.
Digby Brown has many years of experience in working for victims of industrial diseases.
We handle a wide range of industrial disease cases from Asbestos disease to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Hazardous substances and Industrial Deafness and tinnitus.
We pride ourselves on being experts in this field, particularly in asbestos-related conditions, where we recently won a landmark ruling for a pleural plaques compensation claim.
Industrial diseases can take years to manifest and the cases can be difficult to prove. It can often be difficult to trace insurer to make payments, but Digby Brown's industrial disease solicitors have the expertise and experience to assess your case, advise you on the best way forward and give you the very best chance of success possible.
Wherever possible, our industrial disease solicitors like to follow up the initial discussion by arranging a face to face meeting with you, either in our office, hospital or we are happy to come to your home if this is most convenient.
At this first meeting we will explain exactly what steps we will be taking and the process involved in seeking financial compensation. We will also let you know what you can do to help us. We will fully explain how we fund the case through our no win no fee compensate funding scheme.
In Scotland, the three year period for an industrial disease claim will start to run from the date when a person should have been aware that their symptoms were related to their employment.
The three year period may well start to run prior to any medical diagnosis by a doctor.
For this reason, if you believe that you may have a condition which could have been caused by your working conditions, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Call us on 0333 200 5925, or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you to discuss your particular circumstances.
Fortunately most medical and dental treatment is carried out well. Sometimes, however, treatment is not performed as expected or mistakes happen. Clinical or medical negligence occurs when treatment falls below the acceptable standard and causes unnecessary illness, injury or death. If there is clinical negligence, it may be possible for you to seek compensation for the consequences you have suffered.
Treatment may have been provided through the NHS or through a private healthcare provider and can involve hospital doctors and staff, surgeons, GP’s, dentists or other specialists providing healthcare.
Unlike many personal injury cases, establishing clinical negligence is extremely complicated and the decision as to whether to pursue a legal claim should not be taken lightly.
In most cases when sub standard treatment appears to have taken place, it is helpful to seek an explanation and answers through the NHS complaints procedure described below. This can help to clarify important aspects of your care and enables us to advise you more fully.
If you have already made a complaint and still feel that you wish to discuss matters further, please complete a simple Clinical Negligence form. The more information you provide the easier it is for us to advise you. If you would rather speak to someone directly about your circumstances then please call us on 0333 200 5925, however we will still require you to make a formal complaint directly.
Often clients contact us because they want an explanation for what has happened to them and an answer to questions that they have. Every NHS organisation has a complaints procedure and this can usually be found on the organisation’s website.
You can find out more making a complaint about the healthcare in Scotland on NHS Inform. To make a complaint, you will need to contact the complaints department at your local NHS board which you can find on NHS Inform. The NHS is obliged to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and to investigate it in a timely manner.
Complaints about NHS services must be either:
Complaints received after this period may be investigated if the Chief Executive accepts that it would have been unreasonable for the complainant to make it earlier and where it is still possible to investigate the facts.
Once you have made a complaint to the NHS, find out what happens next.
To succeed in a claim for medical or dental negligence it is necessary to prove that the treatment that was provided fell below the appropriate standard of care. That standard is judged by the standard of other professionals practising in the same field. It is therefore necessary in every case to obtain an opinion from one or more medical or dental experts.
It is also necessary to prove that the unacceptable treatment was the cause of an adverse outcome and what that was. This can be very complex. Experts reports will always be required.
Medical and dental negligence cases are amongst the most complex cases you will find. It is important to instruct a solicitor you know is fully equipped for the task. That means instructing a specialist clinical negligence solicitor with a track record.
Chambers Legal Guide and the Legal 500 Guide review law firms in Scotland and can confirm whether the firm you wish to instruct is specialist in clinical negligence. The Law Society holds a register of solicitors accredited in this field. You can access these publications free on the Internet.
Sue Grant is an accredited by the Law Society as a specialist clinical negligence lawyer. She is recognised as a “Leader in her field” by Chambers Legal Guide and is on the panel of AVMA (Action for Victims of Medical Accidents) and accredited by APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers). Sue heads an experienced team of four based across Digby Brown's Edinburgh and Glasgow offices. Digby Brown is consistently ranked Band 1 in Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession and Tier 1 in Legal 500.
In certain circumstances we understand that speaking about what happened can be very difficult, specifically cases involving the complicated area of childbirth resulting in Cerebral Palsy or other birth related problems. You can find further help in Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy.
If you would like to talk to someone about your experience, or need expert advice on a possible claim, our medical negligence team can help. Please complete a simple Clinical Negligence form and give as much detail as you can. This will assist in our ability to fully understand your circumstances and best decide the next steps to be taken. This advice is, of course, free of charge.
Alternatively, if you think you may have been wrongly charged for continuing care costs after a serious injury, we would encourage you to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, giving brief details of your family's circumstances.
Our credentials in Personal Injury Law are strong and reflect the wealth of experience and expertise we hold. Digby Brown is the only firm in Scotland to be top ranked for personal injury by both the top independent legal directories in the UK: Chambers Guide to the UK Legal profession and Legal 500 respectively with three of our specialists rated “Leaders in their Field”.
For many years the firm has achieved a number of awards in litigation, 2015 saw an unprecedented five legal awards won, 2016 a further two at the Law Awards of Scotland and in 2018 we were again named Firm of the Year at the Scott and Co Legal Awards.
We have recognised through our work with other referring solicitors and correspondent firms that personal injury cases can cause unique difficulties to a general law practice. Due to the pressures of time, continual legislative changes and the under settling of cases by insurers - from Digby Brown’s experience, due to the difficulty and risk in litigating, clients do not always receive the best possible service or outcome in their compensation claim.
On average, our clients receive three time the pre-litigation offer made by insurance companies.
The Network has been set up to address this and offers a partnership approach to running personal injury cases.
Whether travelling abroad on holiday or business few people like to think that their time away will be ruined by an accident, but each year many Scottish holidaymakers are involved in accidents abroad.
Accidents on the road, in hotels and swimming pools do happen.
An outbreak of food poisoning can turn a holiday or cruise into an ordeal.
Digby Brown can help with all types of accident abroad claims.
Our specialist Foreign & Travel Law Department can help you to receive the compensation you are entitled to, whether you have been injured in an accident on holiday or you are a foreign national who has been injured in Scotland.
That is why you need expert advice from an experienced lawyer.
Our Foreign & Travel Law Department has successfully recovered compensation for clients who have been injured abroad on holiday or on business. We have also helped clients who have been injured while travelling abroad for example, on the plane.
In addition we have acted for hundreds of foreign nationals who have been injured in Scotland and have recovered millions of pounds on their behalf.
We provide translation and interpreting services so that language is not a barrier.
Our membership of The Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL) and the American Association for Justice (AAJ) gives us access to a global network of specialist personal injury lawyers.
If you have been injured in an accident abroad we can ensure that you obtain prompt expert legal advice.
Although it may be possible to pursue certain foreign accident claims in the Scottish courts, the time limit for bringing a claim may be governed by the law of the place where the accident happened.
The foreign time limit may be shorter than the Scottish time limit of three years.
In addition, the damages which can be recovered may be regulated by the law of that country rather than by Scottish law.
It is important that you take specialist advice as soon as possible.
Contact us for free advice on –
Digby Brown LLP is today Scotland’s largest specialist personal injury practice. We are rated Band 1 by the leading independent publications, Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession and Legal 500.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis. We are able to offer a complete funding and insurance package through our litigation funding company, Compensate.
This gives our clients access to justice with no financial risk.
For further information call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you by return.
Having a spinal cord injury is devastating, we understand that. Having a spinal cord injury is life changing, we accept that. In one moment in time everything has changed, the world is turned upside down and will it ever turn right again?
There will be many questions which may not at this stage have any answers. We are here to try and help where we can. To try and sort out what we know we can help with and to put you in the best hands to adjust to the rest.
The cause of the spinal injury can vary greatly. However, statistics show road traffic, sporting or industrial accidents are mainly responsible for the majority of accidents. Where the injury is the fault of another and in many cases this can be unclear or disputed, you really need the help of the experts in this field – Digby Brown Solicitors.
The firm has over 40 years' experience dealing with every aspect of someone who has sustained a spinal cord injury.
Making a claim for compensation after the accident is just one aspect of the package of measures which needs to be considered and implemented to try and ensure that the process of rehabilitation and adjustment can begin.
Digby Brown aim not only to help our clients receive full and proper compensation for their spinal cord injury, but also to help them achieve the best outcome physically, psychologically and emotionally.
We try to start this process from the moment we take on the case, rather than waiting for compensation to be awarded.
We subscribe fully to the Rehabilitation Code of Practice and to the (APIL) Association of Personal Injury Lawyer’s Best Practice Guide to Rehabilitation. We recognise that the medical condition and quality of life may be improved by early intervention, by the carrying out of an immediate needs assessment and by early interim payments.
Digby Brown provide in-house Welfare Rights advice and specialist advice. We understand that early intervention in a personal injury claim may involve the provision of advice and advocacy in relation to the benefits system.
Children similarly may need support to ensure they obtain their legal entitlement under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004.
We appreciate that proper investigations for a spinal injury claim can be expensive which is why we operate similarly to no win, no fee basis. This means we are able to offer complete funding through our Compensate funding package. This gives our clients access to justice with no financial risk.
We have been helping people claim the compensation they deserve for over 40 years' and this experience means we are truly specialists in spinal injury compensation claims.
We have a dedicated department for spinal injuries which consists of a team of nine people based in the Glasgow office of Digby Brown. This includes two welfare rights advisers as well as our Client Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager. Head of the Department is Chris Stewart and Partner to Chris is Moira Kay who leads the department in its casework and is rapidly building formidable legal experience and reputation in her field.
We work closely with Spinal Injuries Scotland, a national voluntary organisation concerned with helping people suffering from a spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends, along with those involved in the management, care and rehabilitation of the injury.
Every November, we organise the Winter Dinner Dance which has raised £550,000 for Spinal Injuries Scotland over the last decade.
We are recommended by Spinal Injuries Scotland as their solicitors of choice for anyone in Scotland with a spinal cord injury.
If you would like to talk to someone about your circumstance, we would urge you to call Chris Stewart, Partner and Head of the Spinal Injuries Department, on 0141 566 9541. Please call, we are here to listen.
This year’s Head Injury Information Day in Glasgow proved to be the biggest and best yet with 38 exhibitors and over 400 people coming along to the DoubleTree Hotel on Wednesday 22nd May.
Exhibitors came from across the Glasgow area to share information about the support they can offer someone with a brain injury and included Child Brain Injury Trust, Headway Glasgow, NHS Lanarkshire Community Brain Injury Team, Quarriers Renfrewshire Head Injury Service and Visibility.
These Head Injury Information Days are the only events of their kind in Scotland, offering vital information about the support available locally for people with a head injury and their families.
Often, people with a brain injury can feel isolated and they don’t know where to turn to for help. We hope these events can help bridge this gap as no-one needs to go through this alone, there is help available.
This year’s theme was ‘Vision and Breakthroughs’ featuring presentations from leading professionals in the field including Professor Tom McMillan who discussed head injury and the criminal justice system and Professor Madeleine Grealy who spoke about how exercise changes your brain.
Chris Stewart, Partner within the Serious Injury team at Digby Brown, discussed a wide angle view of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the ripple effect for family, friends, work, spouse and children.
Lisa Ross, ABI Survivor and Peer Support Development Worker from Momentum Scotland also spoke about her experience offering a unique insight into the impact of brain injuries after her incredible recovery was highlighted in the national media including the Daily Record and The Scotsman.
If you would like to look at the presentations from the Glasgow event, please visit the HiiD website.
Kirsten Smith, CSR Manager said: “We are delighted to have welcomed even more people to our ninth Head Injury Information Day in Glasgow during Action for Brain Injury Week.The aim of the event is to increase awareness of brain injury and its impacts by inviting attendees to hear from experts in the field and meet with some of the fantastic services available to support so it is fantastic that so many people came along on the day."
Our next Head Injury Information Day is taking place in Edinburgh next week on Wednesday 29th May.
We are delighted to announce that Gordon Dalyell, Partner from Digby Brown’s Edinburgh office, has been appointed the President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) - the body’s first ever Scottish leader.
Gordon, who has been with the firm since 1998 and is Head of our Network department, earned the position following his sector-leading work in road traffic and workplace injuries, and cases involving miscarriages of justice.
His new role with APIL will allow him to further campaign for the rights of people across Scotland - and indeed the rest of the UK - who have been injured through no fault of their own.
On stepping into his new role, Gordon said: “As I step into this role I will work as hard as I can to ensure that the interests of injured people are at the very forefront of everything we do. It is only fair that people injured, often critically, through no fault of their own have the chance to rebuild their lives. Damages must meet their needs.
“What we do is really important, for our clients, of course, but also for wider society.
“At times, we do need to remind ourselves that every day, all of us, can and do make the difference to the lives of people that need our support and help.
“As president I look forward to helping APIL do more for injured people by continuing our campaigns to improve their lives, and defending them when Government reforms fail to recognise what is fair.”
Fraser Oliver, Chief Executive of Digby Brown said: “The whole of Digby Brown is incredibly proud to see Gordon named President of APIL - especially the first Scottish one.
“Gordon is highly regarded within the personal injury sector, as well as across the wider legal community. He has been a passionate campaigner for decades while fighting for the legal rights of those who have been negatively impacted by the actions of others.
“Quite simply, he does everything he can - both in and out of the court room - to improve safety across the UK so each and every one of us may get home safe to our families.
“Everyone who knows Gordon knows there is no person more suited for the job and on behalf of everyone at the firm, we wish him all the very best in his new role with APIL.”
Digby Brown’s Industrial Disease team once again set out to raise vital funds for not-for-profit charities Asbestos Action (Tayside) and Clydebank Asbestos Group by enduring another walk of near marathon proportions.
On Friday 3rd May 2019, the team set off from Croy at 8am - armed with blister plasters, energy bars and a healthy respect for long walks - and embarked along the Forth Canal Pathway. This 20-mile route - which ended at the International Asbestos Memorial - symbolises a mile for every year that asbestos has been banned in the UK.
The team taking on this challenge included Fraser Simpson Head of Digby Brown’s Industrial Disease team, Euan Love, Nick Dochnenko, Jillian Walker, Mark Nicholson, Gary Ross, Caitlyn Maccabe, Siobhan Mortimer, Sarah Dunn, Nadia Pearson and Zuerika Riley.
With a combined history of over 40 years, the demand for support from both charities continues to increase as the number of asbestos victims grow year-on-year. In addition to raising funds, the team hopes to have raised awareness of the tremendous support and advice which both of these charities provide to sufferers of asbestos conditions and their families.
Hope Robertson, Secretary for Clydebank Asbestos Group, who was joined by colleage Bob Dickie, paid tribute to the walkers as they finished their journey.
She said: “This year marks 20 years since the ban on asbestos use in the UK but that does not mean our loved ones and communities are in the clear - just because something is confined to the history books does not mean its effects are.
“It takes just one fibre to contract an asbestos-related condition with signs of an illness not emerging until 40 years later.
"It’s crucial that everything is done to offer support to those affected by asbestos exposure and we’ve worked tirelessly to do that."
John Fearn, Manager for Asbestos Action, added:“But it’s only possible due to the generosity and support of individuals and communities such as this great team of walkers.
“So to everyone who has helped us I just want to extend our warmest thanks - you help us help others.”
Asbestos-related diseases occur when people breathe in asbestos fibre which can lead to benign conditions like pleural plaques where the lining of the lungs calcify or terminal cancers like mesothelioma which can prove fatal just weeks after diagnosis.
Thousands have been affected across Scotland because employers, particularly in construction and shipbuilding, failed to provide workers with safety equipment or breathing apparatus.
To this day asbestos-related conditions claim around 3,000 lives in the UK every year – that’s a higher death toll than those killed on the roads.
The walking team, which included specialist industrial disease lawyers from Digby Brown Solicitors, amassed an incredible £8,000 via an online fundraising page with the legal firm matching their total.
It follows the same team’s efforts last year when they raised £8,000 after completing a marathon 26-mile trek along the Fife Coastal Path.
Fraser Simpson, Partner and Head of Industrial Disease at Digby Brown, said: “Having fought for countless individuals and their families over the years it’s these personal impacts and memories that inspire us with each passing mile.
“Digby Brown understands the impact of asbestos-related diseases - not just to the sufferer but the knock-on trauma that can be experienced by their loved ones.
“Clydebank Asbestos Group in the west, and Asbestos Action in the east, are truly indispensable to those who rely on their support and we are honoured if our humble contribution in any way adds to their ceaseless efforts.”
If you would still like to donate to the cause, please visit their Just Giving Page “Digby Brown Croy to Clydebank Marathon Trek” to support the essential work of Asbestos Action and the Clydebank Asbestos Group.
A taxi driver was sitting at temporary traffic lights when he was hit by a distracted driver on their mobile phone.
“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.”
After visiting the hospital, medical staff said he had whiplash injuries from the crash. Although these are thought of as minor injuries, they can have far-reaching consequences and are often underestimated.
For our client, it meant he couldn’t drive. Being a self employed taxi driver, this was a big problem made worse by the fact the accident happened a few weeks before Christmas - one of the busiest seasons for the taxi trade. This meant he was losing a substantial amount of money every hour that he was not able to work.
Chris Ritchie, solicitor in our Dundee office, took on the personal injury case against the other driver. The other driver admitted fault for the accident and her car insurer’s made an offer of £2,000 to settle the case – before any medical evidence had even been collected.
Without proper medical evidence, it is impossible to really know if this was a fair offer or not and we advised our client to turn down the offer until more evidence had been collected as we were confident he was owed more compensation.
“It was ultimately my decision at the end of the day whether or not to accept the offer on the table but I trusted the advice I was given by Digby Brown. I knew they had my best interests at heart.”
We went on to get two medical reports and a forensic accountant's report to calculate how much our client had lost because of the accident.
“The attention to detail was unbelievable, nothing got past him – he went out of his way and way over the hill plus a further ten miles for me.
“It was the best service from the very first minute right to the end – I wouldn’t have gotten that anywhere else. There was a real personal touch.”
Further negotiations led to further offers being put forward in the sum of £7,500, £8,120 and £12,500. However, the other driver’s insurers were refusing to consider any claim for his loss of earnings – which was significant considering his injuries.
The medical report showed our client would not recover fully. He will always be restricted in his ability to drive and will never be able to do the same level of work as he did before the accident, impacting his earnings.
They said that the forensic accountant's report prepared by ourselves was unnecessary and described our clients claim for lost earnings as 'ludicrous'.
We raised the case in court and ultimately settled his case for £26,261. This is over 13 times the first initial offer they made which is why it is essential that you don’t accept an offer before properly investigating a case and getting medical evidence.
“The settlement was mind blowing. I was given the best advice at all times and it resulted in me getting 13 times more that than the first offer.
“They were the very best people to deal with it all - god help any other solicitor up against them.”
The team in our Ayr office were thrilled to be able to present a cheque for £12,053.74 to local charity partner Ayrshire Cancer Support.
The team managed to beat their fundraising total from the previous year, raising over £23,800 for the charity over the past two years.
This year the team held various fundraising events including their annual Burns Supper and Ceilidh, a Lucky Square raffle and took on the 5 Ferry Challenge - a 52 mile cycle which includes 5 ferry trips across Argyll.
The cheque was presented on the 1st of May to Nicola Eyres, Corporate Fundraiser from Ayrshire Cancer Support.
Sandra MCCall, CEO of Ayrshire Cancer Support said: “Digby Brown Solicitors in Ayr have really pulled out all the stops raising such a fantastic amount of money to help people affected by cancer in Ayrshire.
“The team in the Sandgate office have been a pleasure to work with, and it’s really reassuring that national companies like Digby Brown care about the communities in which they live and work.”
Damian White, Partner and Head of the Ayr Office said: “The team have thoroughly enjoyed supporting Ayrshire Cancer Support and have worked incredibly hard over the past year to beat the amazing total we raised last year.
“Ayrshire Cancer Support offer such a wide range of services that are essential to people locally and we are very proud to have been able to support such a great charity over the past two years."
Head Injury Information Days – major annual events bringing together people living with brain injuries, their families, friends and carers alongside charities and support groups working in the local area - are coming to Glasgow and Edinburgh once again this May.
Both Head Injury Information Days are organised and run by Digby Brown. Our Glasgow event is supported by the Brain Injury Network Group in Glasgow, an informal network of organisations who work with people with acquired brain injury and the Edinburgh event is supported by the local brain injury community.
It is a completely free event and open to everyone. It is a fantastic opportunity to speak with others living with a brain injury, their families and carers, learn more about the support available in the local area and hear from professionals working in the field of brain injury.
Over 25 local exhibitors providing support and help to those with a brain injury
We have thirty-eight local organisations exhibiting at our Glasgow HiiD and twenty-nine at Edinburgh HiiD. They will provide free information on the support they can deliver locally on a range of medical, legal and welfare issues to individuals and families affected by acquired brain injury.
Presentations from leading experts in brain injury
Both Head Injury Information Days will also feature presentations from leading professionals working in the field as well as looking at life as an ABI survivor.
This is the ninth year the event has been held in Glasgow attracting thousands of people from across the West of Scotland.
This year, the Glasgow and West Central Scotland Head Injury Information Day (HIID) will be held in the city’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Cambridge Street on Wednesday 22ndMay 2019, running from 9.00am to 3.30pm and will be focusing on the theme ‘Vision and Breakthroughs’.
You can also head along to presentations about how exercise changes your brain, looking into an accessible future with rehabilitation and hearing first hand from an ABI survivor plus much more.
Find the full list of exhibitors and speakers within our Glasgow Head Injury Information Day programme.
This is now the third year that we have held a Head Injury Information Day in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and this year the theme is ‘Overcoming Obstacles’.
The day itself will be held at the capital’s Sheraton Grand Hotel at 1 Festival Square on Wednesday 29th May 2019 and will run from 9.00am until 3.30pm.
You have the opportunity to hear from speakers about overcoming behavioural problems, discussing the issues in claiming Personal Independence Payment (PiP) and hearing about the day in a life of an ABI survivor – to name just a few.
Find the full list of exhibitors and speakers within our Edinburgh Head Injury Information Day programme.
Kirsten Smith, Digby Brown’s CSR Manager and organiser of Head Injury Information Days, is encouraging anyone affected by a brain injury or working in this field to attend. Kirsten said:
“Brain injuries are often called a ‘hidden disability’ but for those affected by an acquired brain injury and their families, the reality is far from hidden. Fortunately, no-one has to deal with a brain injury alone, there is a vast amount of support available locally from organisations throughout Scotland.
“The Head Injury Information Days have helped thousands of people find help, support and advice and this year’s event is looking like it will be our biggest one yet.
“The day is completely free for anyone to attend and I would really encourage individuals and families living with a brain injury to come along.”
Our Inverness office have chosen Mikeysline as their charity partner for 2019 and kick started fundraising efforts with a race night on Friday 26th April at Mercure Hotel, raising an incredible £2,300.
Mikeysline and The Hive Project provide much needed support and advice to those in the Highlands including a text helpline and the Highlands first out of hours mental health crisis centre. They aim to reduce social isolation and help vulnerable people maintain their mental health.
Pictured above: Graeme Watson from Mikeysline and Ruth Webster from The Hive Project
As part of the race night, there was both a horse and jockey prize for each race and winners walked away with anything from a chocolate hamper to a round of golf for four.
For those that didn’t do as well in the races there were still plenty of chances to win on the night with a round of vintage style Heads & Tails and an auction.
Graeme Watson from Mikeysline said: "We were delighted to attend the Race Night and were overwhelmed by the generosity of all who attended. The amount raised was amazing.
"Our sincere gratitude to everyone in the Inverness office of Digby Brown who helped organise the event, particularly Lauren, Sarah, Sam and David. We look forward to working with Digby Brown on future events."
“Thanks to all of the fantastic local businesses who donated prizes and the attendees for making it such a success. The Race Night raised a phenomenal total for our charity partner Mikeysline, which Digby Brown will now double. We hope to see you all at the next one.”
As of yesterday, Police Scotland will be targeting reckless drivers who are speeding, using their mobile phones or are not wearing their seatbelts in a bid to improve road safety.
The latest figures from Transport Scotland show 146 people were killed on Scotland’s roads in 2017. Although the number of road casualties has fallen to the lowest level since records began, there are still drivers who continue to put themselves and others at risk.
Chief inspector Mark Patterson confirmed that since April 2019, 16 people have died in road accidents across Scotland, with a woman killed on Sunday after a crash in Moray.
He said "We will stop drivers who are behaving selfishly and irresponsibly, and enforce the road traffic laws with the appropriate penalties. My message to all drivers is quite clear - obey the law and #drivesmart."
Drivers caught could face serious penalties including having their license suspended or being disqualified. For new drivers who passed their test within two years, six penalty points could see them losing their licence and they would need to apply for a provisional license again and resit the theory and practical tests.
However, despite the serious penalties and the risks involved, drivers continue to engage in dangerous behaviours on the road and some wrongly believe it is okay to drive and text a friend when they’re sitting at lights - but they are still not legally permitted to do so.
The law is in place to protect everyone on the road as even a second of distraction behind the wheel can have life changing consequences.
Sometimes it can be unclear as to who is actually at fault for an accident, and all too often people can blame themselves for something that may not be their fault “If only I had…”
If you have been in an accident and you’re not sure who was at fault, it is always best to get a second opinion from an experienced and reputable personal injury firm. Our expert solicitors can navigate you through the legal process to determine whether or not you have a claim.
However, if you know the accident was entirely your fault, chances are you will not be able to claim for your injuries.
When there is more than one person responsible for causing an accident that you think you may have caused then fault can be shared. This is legally called ‘contributory negligence’.
This means if you are involved in an accident which was caused by your actions and those of others, then you may still be able to make a claim for compensation.
If this is the case, you will have a percentage deducted from the total compensation you are awarded and this is determined by how much you contributed to causing the accident.
For example, if you were in an accident where it was proved both parties were 50% responsible then a 50% deduction would be made from your final settlement.
This is often the case in accidents where someone may not have been paying full attention either at work or on the road. It can also involve vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
For more information, see our blog What happens if pedestrians are partly to blame for the road accident?
The driver of a vehicle is responsible for the safety of their passengers. If they are responsible for causing an accident and you were a passenger you are entitled to make an injury claim, even if no other cars were involved.
This is also the case if you are a passenger and another driver is responsible for causing the accident.
If you are unsure about whether or not you were at fault and you have a claim, you can get in touch with us by filling in our enquiry form or by calling 0333 200 5925 to know for certain.
Sunday 28 April is International Workers Memorial Day. It is the annual opportunity to reflect on those who have lost their lives, as well as those injured through accident, or exposure to dangerous substances, in the course of their employment.
This year’s theme is removing dangerous substances from the workplace. Of course, there have been regulations in force since 1992 that deal with controlling dangerous substances. These regulations originated in Europe and have improved conditions for workers across the United Kingdom, leading to less people losing their lives at work.
It is perhaps appropriate to consider this impact, particularly when our relationship with the rest of Europe continues to be so uncertain.
The year before the first European referendum, and also the year in which the Health and Safety at Work Act was passed in1974, saw over 336,000 non-fatal injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
By 1992, a raft of regulations, originating in Europe, were introduced into the UK and that figure had reduced to 170,000.
Continuing strengthening of the measures, allied to heightened awareness within workplaces, led to the number of reported injuries reaching 111,000 by 2012.
A reduction of 67%.
When considering the figures since 2012, we need to bear in mind that in that year, the requirement to report injuries was changed from those that involved an absence from work for a period of three days or more, to those that led to a seven day or more absence.
However, the number of reportable accidents has reduced and plateaued over the last few years at around 70,000.
The importance of continued vigilance cannot be overstated. It was therefore very encouraging to see the All Party Parliamentary Group on Working at Height (APPG) produce a balanced and pragmatic report in February this year.
Whilst concentrating on those who work at heights, a number of the recommendations and principles apply equally across the wider workplace environment.
The first recommendation was for enhanced reporting of accidents involving falls. This would include providing more detail about the accident circumstances.
In addition to the provision of further information, serious consideration should be given to reverting to the previous system of reporting accidents involving absences of three days or more.
The second recommendation related to the appointment of an independent body to allow confidential, enhanced and digital reporting of all near misses and accidents that do not qualify for RIDDOR reporting.
This data would be shared with government and industry to inform health and safety policy. This is a sensible policy which again should be extended across all industries.
This point also highlights the issue of underreporting. The Labour Force Survey consistently suggests that around one half of workplace accidents are simply not reported as they should be, which puts the scale of the issue into a sharp context.
A further recommendation was to extend the Fatal Accident Inquiry system within Scotland across the UK.
Inquiries for deaths within the workplace are mandatory. Lessons ought to be learned from every avoidable death, and any measure which facilitates this ought to be welcomed.
The APPG also suggested that further consultation should take place on a couple of issues, notably, a major review of work at height culture. This should include an investigation into the suitability of legally binding financial penalties in health and safety, funds which could be used towards raising awareness and training, particularly in hard to reach sectors.
The question of enforcement has long been a thorny one. The level of prosecution in relation to health and safety breaches has been pitifully low.
Of particular concern is the reluctance of the Crown, especially in Scotland, to prosecute employers for failing to have in place employers liability insurance, which is compulsory, and has been since 1972.
Employers who think avoiding insurance premiums is fine are hardly likely to be investing in health and safety measures, leading to higher incidences of accidents in their workplaces, a point picked up by the APPG.
The time has long since passed for the creation of an Employers Liability Insurers Bureau (ELIB). Similar to the Motor Insurers Bureau, which was created in 1946 to deal with claims on behalf of those people injured by uninsured or untraced motorists, the ELIB would deal with those injured, almost inevitably through no fault of their own, within the workplace, and where no insurance was taken out by the employer or relevant contractor. Any review, such as suggested by the APPG, should certainly consider carefully, the establishment of such a body.
Each of us expects those who go to work to come back in the same condition as when they left. There are proactive steps that we can take to ensure that the number of those injured, or killed, in the workplace is reduced to the absolute minimum. We should be taking those.
“There’s nothing I can do to change what happened, I can’t turn back time so I’ve had to accept what happened to me.
“What I would say is that I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through what I had to go through. I’m a lot better now and Digby Brown helped me move on from the accident.”
Our client was only 24-years-old when he sustained a L4 spinal injury all because a driver was going too fast and lost control of their vehicle, crashing into a bus shelter.
“My memory is quite bad now so I can’t really remember what happened. I’ve been told I was a passenger on a bike and someone was giving me a lift home. They were going about 100mph and doing wheelies and lost control, hitting a bus shelter.”
As a result of his injuries, he was only able to walk short distances with the use of ankle splints and crutches and was expected to need a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
He also suffered from very severe neuropathic leg and foot pain, which had a very poor response to medication and proved difficult to treat. On top of this, he suffered a head injury.
“Everything changed. All the day-to-day things you take for granted take a lot longer and you may need help to do, like personal washing. The recovery was very difficult but the main issue was the pain, I didn’t really care about anything other than that and was suicidal because of it.”
The driver responsible was convicted in court for dangerous driving and their insurer admitted liability for the accident.
Suzanne Williams, Associate Solicitor in our serious injury team, secured an interim payment from the insurers and helped set up a comprehensive package of care including a case manager, regular physiotherapy, psychology, massage and acupuncture to combat his pain. He was also able to employ a support worker to assist him with getting out into the community.
“The care and physiotherapy put in place helped me become more mobile, independent and manage the pain. Physiotherapists would come in and take me for a walk or some exercise which helped a lot.”
By the time the case settled, he was going on walks up a local hill with his physiotherapist, was achieving walking distances of 1 to 2 miles and had managed to reduce or completely stop most of his pain relief medication.
“I’ve stopped using wheelchairs and using a walking stick to get about as I’m trying to get better. I don’t like getting a lot of help from people or specialist equipment.”
We instructed a number of experts for this case including a spinal surgeon, neurosurgeon, neuropsychologist, neuropsychiatrist, consultant in pain management, dentist, care consultant, accommodation expert, physiotherapy expert, consultant urologist, pension expert, and vocational expert.
In the end, the case settled in the sum of £3.1m.
“It was the first time I had ever done this so I didn’t know what to expect. Everything went smoothly and Suzanne would always get back to me quickly.
“I think if I went to a smaller firm they wouldn’t have done a proper job and I wouldn’t have got as much.
“My life wouldn’t be as good without the compensation, it helped my recovery a lot and gives me money for the rest of my life for the care I now need.”
Mrs Taylor was shopping with her husband for a piece of jewellery to celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary when they slipped on the tiled walkway leading into the shopping centre.
“It looked like someone had taken buckets of water to the floor, there wasn’t any part of the floor that was dry. There was no handrails so I held onto my husband and we tried to be very careful as we made our way along but I slipped and fell.
“I knew something bad had happened as I was in terrible pain, I thought I was going to faint. I kept going in and out of consciousness.”
Mrs Taylor had fractured her leg and badly bruised her elbow.
“We had booked a holiday to celebrate our Golden Wedding anniversary but it was ruined because of my injuries from the accident. It was also my 70th birthday a few months after but I wasn’t able to enjoy that either because of the pain I was still in."
Mrs Taylor contacted the shopping centre and they sent flowers and advised someone from their legal team would be in touch to discuss her claim. However, she never heard anything back so after 10 weeks, she sent another letter but again, heard nothing from them.
“I was so angry with the way they had treated me, they didn’t seem to care at all. I didn’t know what to do but I was determined to do something. My cousin suggested getting in touch with Digby Brown.”
“It was such a relief, it had been so stressful and traumatic and Joanne took it all off my shoulders. Her patience was amazing.
“Anything I wanted to know I was always given an answer, I wasn’t worried at all because I knew that Joanne was dealing with it. It felt good to have someone on my side.”
Joanne got in touch with the shopping centre and they admitted liability for the accident. She instructed reports from medical experts which were sent on to the insurers for the shopping centre. Shortly after an offer was made for £8,000.
“I didn’t know what to expect and it was beyond my expectations. The amount that Joanne had managed to get was amazing.
“Everything was fabulous, I’d tell anyone that was in a similar situation to me not to waste time and just go straight to Digby Brown.”
After recently announcing their local charity of the year was Support in Mind Scotland, our Kirkcaldy office kicked off their fundraising in style with their annual quiz night. The night managed to raise over £500 for the charity.
The quiz took place on Thursday 18th April once again at the Kirkcaldy Rugby Club.
As well as the quiz which was hosted by our legendary quizmaster Innes Laing, who also happens to be a Partner in the Kirkcaldy office, there was an auction for tickets to Rangers V Hibs at Ibrox as well as the ever popular raffle. The raffle included some spectacular prizes such as a trip on the Maid of the Forth, family tickets to Knockhill and a cut and style at Dom Migele.
Support in Mind Scotland are a charity who provide support and services to those who live with mental health problems or live day to day with a mental illness. They offer a wide range of services across Fife including family support and peer support groups.
Colin Leslie from Support in Mind Scotland said: “We are delighted and grateful that Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy office have wasted little time in beginning their fundraising efforts for Support in Mind Scotland’s mental health services in Fife. I am glad the quiz night was a roaring success and am sure that this will be the first of many successful events in the coming year.”
Lianda Barnes, Partner in the Digby Brown Kirkcaldy office said: “We are so proud to have raised such a fantastic amount at our first fundraiser of the year. Support in Mind Scotland offer a fantastic range of services to support those who experience difficulties with their mental health.”
Kim Leslie, Partner at Digby Brown, discusses the questions that remain over the rights of victims after the UK Government abolished the ‘same roof rule’, which previously prevented victims from criminal injury compensation if they lived with their abuser.
Victims of violent crimes in the UK can apply for compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which has operated since 1964. When it was established, the “same roof rule” prevented victims receiving compensation if they lived in the same household as their assailant.
Since then, the rule has been amended - but not for victims who were abused between 1 August 1964 and 1 October 1979 and lived under the same roof as their attacker.
This has been widely challenged by the legal profession across the UK and one case, JT v First-tier Tribunal and CICA , found it was unlawful discrimination and a breach of human rights.
As a result, this led to the rule being abolished and the change of law is expected to come into force at the end of April or early May 2019.
However, it has become clear that this not only abolishes the rule, but allows for those who previously applied to the scheme and were refused on the basis of the same roof rule, an opportunity to reapply.
Figures published indicate that the CICA have refused about 4,000 applicants previously. It is hoped that the CICA contacts those affected to advise that their application can be resurrected, and they can get criminal redress.
You can read the full article on Journal Online: Rights after “same roof”.
An employer cannot legally dismiss you if the reason relates to pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave. To do so can be considered automatically unfair and an act of discrimination.
Unlike other claims for unfair dismissal, you do not need to have completed two-years’ service with your employer to challenge a dismissal.
If you have suffered from pregnancy discrimination, you can pursue an Employment Tribunal claim. If you are successful then you can ask to be reinstated to your old job, or re-engaged in another role, or be awarded compensation.
To succeed at Tribunal you have to show firstly that your employer knows or believes that you are pregnant and the main reason that you have been dismissed is because of your pregnancy or any reason connected with it.
Employers will not usually admit that your dismissal was due to your pregnancy and may try to rely on other reasons. You can legitimately be dismissed during your pregnancy, for example due to gross misconduct, but the onus is always on the employer to show your dismissal was not due to your pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Maternity are also a protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and you will also be entitled to make a claim for discrimination if you have been treated unfavourably.
This may be in relation to your employer failing to provide the rights you are entitled to such as time off for medical appointments, maternity leave or statutory maternity pay.
On your return to work you will have the right to return to the same job and the right to request flexible working conditions.
If you are dismissed or you have been treated unfavourably due to pregnancy or maternity leave then you should take advice without delay because the time limit to challenge this behaviour is very short.
A claim to the Employment Tribunal must be lodged within 3 months (less one day) from the dismissal or the act of discrimination complained of.
If you feel you have been dismissed or treated unfavourably due to being pregnant, during maternity leave or upon your return to work then please get in touch with one of our specialist employment solicitors who can help and advise on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our online enquiry form.
On the 6th October, Mr M was involved in a road traffic accident in Shetland when a driver drove out of a junction, directly in front of him.
Unable to avoid a collision, he collided head on into the side of the other vehicle. Fortunately, both parties were able to walk away from the accident.
It wasn’t until later that he found himself unable to work as a result of his injuries from the crash. In his profession, he was responsible for driving heavy agricultural machinery and farming but due to his ongoing back pain, he had to stop working altogether.
Mr M got in touch with his car insurance who passed his case along to a firm of solicitors who valued his case at only £2,000.
Due to three-year timebar issues, he only had a couple of months left to legally make a claim for injury compensation so the case was passed to Digby Brown’s office in Inverness where Solicitor Joanna Corrance handled the case.
“My car insurance company passed me to a law firm to deal with my case. They didn’t seem to be getting anywhere but as soon as Joanna at Digby Brown got involved, everything seemed to move so quickly.”
Three years had passed since the date of the accident and he was still unable to work.
On that basis, we carried out further medical investigations and concluded that he had developed a chronic pain syndrome as a result of the car accident.
The case was complicated by pre-existing medical conditions which would have stopped Mr M from working until a normal retirement age. However, his injuries from the accident had accelerated this, causing him to stop working earlier.
The defending solicitors acting on behalf of the other drivers insurers argued that there had been no acceleration and that Mr M had stopped working as a result of his pre-existing conditions, not the injuries from the accident.
They made an offer to settle the case at £30,000 but this was too low and was rejected.
Following a period of negotiation between our Inverness office and the defender, the case eventually settled at £155,000.
Having Digby Brown by your side can make a real difference. In this case, we were able to carry out extensive medical investigations which ultimately resulted in a settlement of more than 77 times what the other firm valued the case.
“I couldn’t think any higher of Digby Brown and everything they did for me, it was a tremendous service and I couldn’t be happier. My solicitor Joanna was first class to deal with and I don’t think I would have received as much of a pay out if it hadn’t been for Digby Brown.”
There are no legal vacancies available at this moment in time.
There are no support vacancies available at this moment in time.
Please check back again soon.
Please note that the application process for 2019 summer placements is now closed. We will be accepting applications for 2020 summer placements from 1st January 2020. Please see below for more information on our summer placement programme and we look forward to receiving your application next year!
A summer placement with Digby Brown is a fantastic opportunity to experience the culture and ethos of the firm, whilst also gaining valuable hands-on work experience with us.
During your summer placement with us, you will be providing assistance on current client cases – reviewing medical records, taking statements and attending client meetings/consultations.
You will also be carrying out worthwhile legal research, which could potentially be added to the firm’s central bank of law journals. You will be given full training and support by one of our solicitors, ensuring that your placement is beneficial and informative.
The summer placement scheme gives you the chance to experience a day in the life of one of our trainee solicitors and may just convince you that a traineeship in personal injury with Digby Brown is the one for you!
Our summer placements take place for four weeks in June, in either our Glasgow or Edinburgh offices and are paid internships.
At Digby Brown, we demonstrate our commitment to being an employer of choice and recognise the importance of our people’s contributions to the firm, via our competitive salary and benefits package. As well as providing our staff the highest quality training and development opportunities.
As a member of the Digby Brown team, you can expect the following benefits:
We also organise two large social events each year – one at Crieff Hydro in the summer and another in either Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dundee at Christmas time. The idea here is to get staff from all seven offices together in a social environment.
The team in our Dundee office were delighted to raise £7,146.80 for local charity Food Train.
The local charity provide a variety of support services, which are delivered by volunteers to the elderly to allow them to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Services include food shopping, befriending and a “Meal Maker” service allowing volunteers to share an extra portion of their meal with an elderly neighbour.
The Dundee office have been taking part in all sorts of activities to raise money this year for the charity including the Edinburgh Marathon Relay, a race night, banana bread competition and their year round tuck shop.
Grant Simpson, Regional Manager for the Food Train said: “On behalf of Food Train I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff for their amazing fund raising efforts throughout the year and to Digby Brown for matching the monies raised. This donation will make a huge impact to the work of Food Train in Dundee.”
Robert Kernaghan, Partner in our Dundee office said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed raising funds for such a fantastic charity. The Food Train offer a great variety of services to the elderly across Dundee allowing them to remain independent. The work that the volunteers do should really be commended and we are glad to be able to support the services they offer.”
The team in our Inverness office were delighted to be able to present a cheque to local charity Headway Highland yesterday for £6,730.66.
Our Inverness office have been busy holding various fundraising activities over the last year including raffling luxury hampers at Valentine’s Day and Christmas, a fantastic race night and supporting Headway Highland at their family day out at Landmark Forest Adventure Park.
Headway Highland offer crucial support to individuals who have suffered a brain injury as well as their families in the local area.
Lee Gordon from Headway Highland said: “Headway Highland were thrilled and delighted to receive a cheque for £6,730.66 from Digby Brown Solicitors in Inverness.
“Headway Highland would like to pass on their sincere and heartfelt thanks to all Digby Brown staff for giving their time and energy to help raise such a fantastic amount.”
David McGowan, Associate in Digby Brown’s Inverness office said: “We have worked with Headway Highland for many years so it was great to be able to raise such a fantastic amount for such a worthy charity.
“Headway Highland offer vital services to those who have suffered a brain injury, in addition to providing support to their families. The money raised will go towards the services they provide and we are delighted to know that the money raised will offer support to those in the local area.”
Lara graduated from Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid in July 2012 and qualified as a Spanish Lawyer. Thereafter, Lara graduated from The University of Glasgow in June 2014 and qualified as a Scottish Solicitor and Notary Public in January 2018. Lara joined Digby Brown in April 2019.
Our Kirkcaldy office have announced a new charity partnership with Support in Mind.
Staff within the office nominated the mental health charity and will be fundraising throughout the upcoming year, beginning with a charity quiz on Thursday 18th April at Kirkcaldy Rugby Club.
Charity Support in Mind have Fife Services based at Levenmouth Community Enterprise Centre but they also offer “Group Help” throughout the region including Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Glenrothes and St Andrews.
They offer three main support services which are: Families Support Project, The Hearing Voices Project and Resilience to help tackle mental health issues such as dealing with every day stresses and those who experience voices and sensory disturbances.
Frances Simpson, Chief Executive of Support in Mind Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Digby Brown have chosen to support our Fife Service as their charity partner for the year and we are really looking forward to working with their colleagues.
“Any funds Digby Brown raise will make a big difference to the people across Fife who access our services, and the events they plan to hold will further raise awareness of mental health issues in the area.
“Digby Brown clearly have a proud record of supporting charitable causes in Fife, and it is a pleasure to become the latest organisation to benefit from their community spirit.”
Innes Laing, Digby Brown Kirkcaldy Partner, said:
“We are proud to have an office in Kirkcaldy and be able to help people locally by being an active part of the community. We are delighted to be supporting Fife Services of Support in Mind who deliver pivotal support to individuals and families experiencing mental health issues in the Fife region.”
If you would like to come along to the charity quiz night to raise funds for Support in Mind Fife Services, please contact Shona Ewing on 01592 610232 or by emailing Shona.Ewing@digbybrown.co.uk.
For the last three years, each of our seven offices across Scotland have nominated a local charity to support and we have been proud to support charities such as Cash for Kids, Fresh Start, Food Train Dundee, MacMillan Cancer Support and Finding Your Feet - to name just a few.
This year we have done something a little different and each of our offices have chosen a local mental health charity to support for the upcoming year.
Considering the type of work we do – personal injury, employment, family law – we help people who are going through a very difficult and often traumatic time in their life. This can often have a knock on impact on their mental health and we are proud to support mental health charities that are helping improve people’s wellbeing.
Brothers in Arms offer support to men, of any age, who are down or in crisis and empower them to ask for help when they need it, without feeling a failure if they do.
(From left to right: Kevin Moulds and Ashleigh-Jane Mitchell from Digby Brown Glasgow office, Daniel Proverbs from Brothers in Arms, Kirsten Smith, Fraser Ewing, Gillian McCarron and Mat Piskorz from Digby Brown Glasgow office).
Health in Mind charity has been set up to promote positive mental health and wellbeing by offering a range of services such as Counselling, Therapies, Day centres and Befriending in the community.
Support in Mind Scotland seek to support and empower all those affected by mental illness, including family members, carers and supporters.
Wellbeing Works promotes better wellbeing for those who face mental health challenges: building confidence, learning new skills, connecting with others and having a positive impact. They have been providing support and services for people of Dundee for more than 50 years.
Mickey’s Line is a charity in the Highlands founded in 2015 for those in emotional distress, lonely or isolated.
Sunrise Partnership offers a free, confidential service for children and young people up to age 18 who have been affected by loss and bereavement.
(From left to right: Paul Thomson, Neil Davidson, Amy Shand, Kerry Whyte and Carrie-Anne Mackenzie from Digby Brown Aberdeen office, Eileen Wheeler from Sunrise Partners and Kimberley MacLennan from Digby Brown Aberdeen office).
Beautiful Inside & Out (SCIO) is a Scottish registered charity, supporting bereaved parents and siblings of suicide victims; promoting feelings of self-worth.
Last year alone, we raised over £60,000 for our charity partners and we hope to take this figure and add more this year.
Brian was working as a dispatch manager in Glasgow when he was asked to remove a canopy/extractor fan from the ceiling.
The engineer, who was also with the health and safety director, told him to go up into a loft space and remove the rods so the extractor fan could be taken down - but the entire floor gave way and he fell 20 feet.
“Almost six years later and I still struggle to sleep thinking about what happened.”
He had extensive injuries including a fractured pelvis, broken left collarbone and internal injuries. He was intensive care for four weeks.
After the accident, he had physiotherapy and saw a psychologist as he couldn’t sleep due to the anxiety from the accident and had symptoms of PTSD.
“It turned my entire life upside down. I’ve always worked since I left school and have been with the same company for over 30 years. It wasn’t just me, it affected my whole family – my wife, my daughter, my mum and dad, friends – everyone.
“Being stuck in the house staring at four walls and being by yourself all day really hit me psychologically.”
When he returned home, he had to use crutches and a wheelchair – he was housebound for 6-7 months. After undergoing surgery, he still needs pain relief but can get about on one crutch.
Brian couldn’t go back to work because of his injuries. He needed help to make a meal, with washing and dressing and he couldn’t drive so had to rely on family members or pay for taxi’s.
“Not being able to walk and do anything for myself, and I mean anything, was a nightmare. I couldn’t do the whole daily living and had to depend on everyone else.
“I knew there was something seriously wrong so I went to a firm my neighbour recommended. They said the case was too big and complicated for them to deal with but put me in touch with David Nellaney at Digby Brown.
“From the first meeting, David was brilliant.
“He helped with every detail of my case including making sure I got the care I needed and saw the right specialists. He put a Case Management Team in place so we could continue to get the after care and different advice we needed.”
Going forward, Brian will have to pay additional costs such as adapting his house and additional equipment and aids to help with day-to-day living.
Although his work admitted liability, they made no offers in compensation to settle the case. David raised the case in court and after presenting expert witnesses, secured more than £2million in damages.
“The compensation and help from Digby Brown helped me recover and go on after what happened.
“I’ve been able to pay for a brace which has taught me how to walk again. We’ve had the house adapted so I can now use the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea for the first time and put in a walk in shower so I can clean myself without help.
“There are still some days I can’t get out of bed because of the pain. But I’m better now and I’ve been able to care for my family and give back what they’ve done for me.
“I would give all the compensation back if I could rewind time and stop the accident from happening but I can’t. The compensation has helped me regain some sense of freedom and enjoy the time I have with my family.”
The team in our Aberdeen office were delighted to present Northsound Cash for Kids with a cheque for £6,533.50. Cash for Kids were selected by the office as their continued charity partner for 2018.
The funds were raised throughout the year at a variety of events and fundraising activities including a gruelling 10K, the Edinburgh Marathon Hairy Haggis Relay, Tough Mudder and a recent race night which raised over £2,000 alone.
In addition to this the office was a registered drop off point for Cash for Kids Mission Christmas and spent time at the warehouse helping to sort presents into age categories, ready to be delivered to disadvantaged children in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area.
The cheque was presented on Tuesday 2nd April to Louise Douglas, Charity Fundraising Executive from Northsound Cash for Kids. Louise said: “We cannot thank Digby Brown enough for supporting Northsound Cash for Kids again this year – they raised a phenomenal £6,533.50, which helped us to support local children with the basics such as clothes, beds, carpets and ensuring that disabled children have the equipment they need.
"We also supported groups providing much needed activities and food for children during school holidays. Local children often go without a meal during the holidays and your support ensured that we were able to help."
Neil Davidson, Partner in our Aberdeen office said: “This is the second year we have chosen Cash for Kids as our charity partner for the year and we are elated to have been able to raise such a fantastic amount of money for them.
“The services offered by the charity are so important to so many families across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and it is great to know that local children will be able to benefit from the money raised.”
Towing a caravan can have its difficulties, especially if you haven’t done it before. Like anything, the more you do it the easier it becomes but there are things you can do to help reduce the risks.
Firstly, you must establish if you are legally permitted to tow.
If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:
Maximum authorised mass (MAM) is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded. If you wish to tow anything heavier, you must pass the car and trailer driving test.
If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.
A car’s towing capacity is the maximum weight they can tow. It’s usually listed in places such as the handbook, doorsill or V5 registration document. Towing capacity is the maximum weight a car can tow safely and you should check with your manufacturer.
To try and work out the towing capacity yourself, you need to know two figures: the kerbweight of the car and the maximum mass of the caravan (called ‘maximum technically permissible laden mass’, or MTPLM).
As long as the mass of the caravan is 85% or less of the car’s kerbweight, the car should tow it with no difficulty. However, if the weight of the caravan is between 85% and 100%, caution should be taken, and only people who are experienced with towing should proceed.
If the caravan is heavier than the car, that car should not be used as a towing vehicle.
The maximum width of the caravan (for a standard towing vehicle) is 2.55m, and the maximum length for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3,500kg is 7 metres.
If your car does not have an integrated tow bar, you will need to have one fitted.
This needs to be ‘type-approved’, in other words it has to meet EU regulations and be designed for your car.
You must have clear view of the road behind you when towing a caravan or trailer.
If your caravan is wider than the rear of your car, you should fit suitable towing mirrors, this is a legal requirement.
Your caravan must have a working brake system if it weighs over 750kg after it’s been loaded, and brakes must be kept in good working order.
You must also use a breakaway cable or secondary coupling in case the caravan becomes detached from your car.
Weight distribution plays an important role in the stability of your caravan. If you fail to load your caravan correctly, it may cause it to sway or yaw.
It is recommended to load the heavier items directly over the axle, with the medium to lighter items at the front and back of the caravan.
Loss of control could be caused by driving on uneven terrain, wind, overload or imbalanced loading.
When you leave home or a campsite, it is important to remember to:
These are just a few tips to overcome the dangers of towing a caravan but proper planning and preparing is essential to make your journey easier, safer and stress free.
Our first Head Injury Information Day for 2019, in partnership with Compass BISL, was a huge success in Dumfries & Galloway.
Feedback from attendees was that the day was “Very professional and informative", "Fabulous day. Best informative day I have been to of late" and “nothing else like this in the area."
We understand that living with a brain injury throws many challenges for individuals and their families. It is often referred to as a ‘hidden disability’ because the injury is not clearly visible to those than do not know the person.
This free event brings together people living with a brain injury, their families, carers as well as professionals working in the field. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other people with a head injury, find out what support is available in the local area and hear from leading experts.
Presentations were delivered throughout the afternoon covering a range of issues:
There were also over twenty exhibitors on hand to share information about the services and support available after a serious head injury, including A Chance for Life, Case Management Services, DG Voice, Epilepsy Scotland, Relationships Scotland Dumfries & Galloway and Visibility.
Kirsten Smith, CSR Manager at Digby Brown said: “We were delighted to work alongside Compass BISL to host an event that welcomed local people, professionals and so many great organisations to highlight the tremendous help and support available locally for those with a brain injury.”
David Sawden, Rehabilitation Centre Manager, Compass BISL said: “The feedback we have received from people on the day has been fantastic and I think everyone who attended came away with something from the day. Presentations were excellent and there was a real positive vibe and good buzz throughout the day.”
The next Digby Brown Head Injury Information Days will take place in Glasgow and Edinburgh this May. For more details, please see Head Injury Information Days.
Shonagh Kirk got in touch with Digby Brown after she was involved in a multi vehicle accident all because a driver wasn’t paying attention.
Shonagh was a passenger in a car travelling along the Standing Stane Road when they came across a queue of traffic waiting for a vehicle ahead to turn right.
“The traffic was backed up and then all of a sudden it sounded like fireworks going off behind us as the cars behind us went into each other and then hit our car.
“Everyone started getting out of their cars and the end car started to reverse and it looked like he was about to drive off. He noticed everyone else getting out and he stopped and got out too.”
Shonagh’s car was the third car which was hit in the line of traffic, luckily they managed to avoid colliding with the car in front. Despite this, the vehicle she was travelling in was written off and a previous neck injury she had was aggravated.
“I was already seeing the doctor and a surgeon about the issues I had with my neck. My surgeon said the accident has definitely made it worse. I was already taking painkillers and I’m having to take a much stronger dose.”
In addition to her neck injury, Shonagh suffered from psychological injuries after the accident.
“I’m so scared to drive, I was already a nervous driver and the accident has made it ten times worse. Now whenever I am sitting in a queue of traffic I feel like I’m just waiting for something bad to happen.
“It’s affected my work too. As part of my job I have to drive a lot and sometimes if I’m too nervous other people have to do it for me.”
“Having a local office made things so much easier as it meant I didn’t need to travel there in the car. At that time, the thought of driving was just too much for me.
“My solicitor Ryan was spot on, he helped me through the process and was very informative the whole way through. He was great at keeping in touch, providing updates regularly and he didn’t push us into making a decision quickly.”
The Standing Stane Road is well-known for accidents and there have been calls made to reduce the speed limit across the whole stretch of road.
“The driver that caused the accident had just come from a 40mph limit into the part of the road where the limit is 60mph, and he was speeding along.
“I feel like I could be more understanding if it turned out there has been a mechanical failure on his car, but he was a young driver just not paying attention to the road in front and was going too fast."
Ryan made appointments for Shonagh to see medical experts in relation to her injuries and the anxiety that was caused by the accident.
Once the medical evidence was submitted to the insurers an offer of £6,225 was made which was fair for the injuries Shonagh had received.
“I was really happy with the offer we received, I wasn’t expecting so much!
“I would definitely tell anyone that found themselves in a similar situation, 100% go to Digby Brown. Everything was professional from start to finish and I really couldn’t fault the service at all."
The long-awaited Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) was finally opened in full on 19th February after 14 million working hours.
The 36-mile road provides a direct link between the south of Aberdeen at Stonehaven with the north at Tipperty.
Stewart Mackie, Chief Inspector of road policing in the north of Scotland, anticipated and predicted that the road would be the safest in the country and prevent more than 80 road traffic collisions per year.
Transport Scotland claimed the AWPR will provide a range of benefits to people and businesses across the north east, including:
In the first month of opening we want to consider the positives and negatives this new road has brought to the north east of Scotland.
Not only has the AWPR decreased congestion in the city centre, but it provides much needed safer routes between Aberdeenshire towns as well as an uninterrupted road between the north and south of Aberdeen.
According to Transport Scotland, feedback from businesses and the public has been overwhelmingly positive. Access to Aberdeenshire businesses has improved, welcoming in new customers and decreasing journey times for many workers.
Drivers have been able to experience parts of Aberdeenshire they may have avoided before due to lengthy journeys on narrow, country roads, bringing custom to many businesses. Brand new bus routes mean accessing Aberdeen Airport has never been quicker.
Journey times have easily been cut in half or more with the introduction of the AWPR.
Previously, travelling from Stonehaven to Dyce would have taken more than an hour across single track, winding country roads.
The AWPR cuts this time to around 30 minutes and involves a smoother and safer route along a dual carriageway. These time-saving routes can be seen across Aberdeenshire allowing drivers more time to get to their destination safer.
However, the reaction isn’t all positive.
Poor signage on the AWPR has been linked to a number of incidents including three separate lorries driving straight over the roundabout at the junction with the A956 Cleanhill.
Since these incidents, yellow rumble strip markings were installed on the approach to the roundabout in hope that this alerts drivers to the roundabout. But is it enough?
Additionally, despite pleas for motorists to decrease their speed until they become familiar with the new road layout, nearly a dozen have been clocked driving above the speed limit of 70mph.
This road is perfectly constructed to allow comfortable driving at this speed and with the massive cuts in journey times, this should encourage motorists not to exceed the speed limit - making the road safer for everyone.
There have also been a handful of accidents on the AWPR, mainly owing to users not taking enough care on unfamiliar ground.
On the whole though, the AWPR has been receiving very positive feedback and remains an excellent and wholly needed addition to the north east of Scotland.
It may be too early to tell if the road has improved general road safety, but motorists are encouraged and reminded to drive safe to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Digby Brown reminds motorists to keep safe on the AWPR:
We are proud to retain the prestigious awards of Firm of the Year and Community Contribution titles at last night’s Scottish Legal Awards ceremony.
For us, these accolades recognise all the good work we do at Digby Brown and this wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of all the people working within the firm to deliver excellent results for our clients.
Every day we work alongside organisations and charities across Scotland and we were proud to have this recognised again when we won Community Contribution award.
It matters to us that we make a positive difference in the communities in which we work all year round such as Spinal Injuries Scotland and the Child Brain Injury Trust - each of our seven offices also support a local charity of their choice throughout the year.
Fraser Oliver, Chief Executive of Digby Brown Solicitors said: “We’re humbled to earn these awards and have our commitment to charitable, welfare and community-based initiatives recognised by industry experts and our peers.
“We do significant work for key charities and individuals in the areas of welfare rights and benefits, as well as supporting clients beyond core obligations, such as fatal accident inquiries.
“In the last 12 months alone we’ve supported the Spinal Injuries Scotland BBQ & Activities Day and raised more than £80,000 for the charity as well as supporting road safety events, holding our own Head Injury Information Days and raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos to today’s workforce.
“Our dedicated and talented staff - both legal and non-legal – consistently deliver a top quality service and share our passion for providing excellence in access to justice.
"Not only winning but retaining the Firm of the Year title is therefore a very proud moment as our commitment to helping clients is very much a team effort across the board and I’d like to acknowledge the hard-working Digby Brown staff whose efforts made this recognition possible.”
Last year, our Glasgow team nominated Simon Community Scotland, a local homeless charity, as their charity partner for 2018. They were delighted to hand over a cheque for £14,114.84 as a result of their year-long fundraising efforts.
Simon Community Scotland tackle head on the causes and effects of homelessness and provide vital services like their 24/7 support helpline, outreach and drop-in hub, residential accommodation and housing support.
But this doesn’t happen without securing ongoing funding and support from communities around them.
Throughout the year, our Glasgow office have given up their time to organise and deliver some exciting fundraising efforts including raffles, sweepstakes and bake sales.
A notable fundraiser was the race night which raised over £2,000 alone for the charity. However, the most rewarding aspect was the weekend our staff volunteered at the charity's warehouse where they sorted through donations to be re-distributed to the homeless.
Kirsten Smith, CSR Manager at Digby Brown said: “Staff in our Glasgow office have really enjoyed fundraising and volunteering for Simon Community Scotland over the last year.
“We hope that the funds raised will help the tremendous work they do in our community to combat the causes and effects of homelessness.”
Jenna Ingram, Volunteering Coordinator at Simon Community Scotland said: “We would like to give a huge thank you to Digby Brown for their fantastic fundraising, awareness raising and volunteer support over the past year.
“We are absolutely delighted to receive £14,114.84 which will fund our Donation Warehouse, the Youth Homelessness Prevention service 'Nightstop', and a significant contribution to developing the Streetreads project in Glasgow.
“Thank you for organising the fundraising events throughout the year, the donation collections, the volunteer days and awareness raising presentations.
“Every employee from Digby Brown who have engaged with us have been professional, passionate about our services, and determined to make a meaningful contribution that will benefit as many service users as possible. We cannot thank them enough!"
Ewan Simpson, a 35-year-old Police Officer from Aberdeenshire, suffered a below the knee amputation as a result of a motorcycle accident.
Mr Simpson was travelling home from work late at night when a driver veered across the carriageway heading directly in front of his path.
“I think the other driver fell asleep at the wheel. It turns out they had been in Liverpool earlier that day and he came onto my side of the road. I tried to do everything I could to avoid him but he hit the right side and I went cartwheeling into the air.
“I tried to move but realised my right elbow and my lower leg were shattered.”
The driver drove off after the accident, leaving Mr Simpson lying helpless in a field. He was there for over an hour calling for help before two nurses drove by and came to his aid.
His right lower leg had to be amputated below the knee and he also needed surgery for his right arm. He was in hospital for seven weeks, returning home in a wheelchair.
Mr Simpson paid to adapt his house to help him get about in a wheelchair and become more independent. His partner also switched to part time hours and took four months off to help.
After six months, he returned to work on light duties.
“The recovery was very long. I couldn’t use my right arm for about a year and I struggled to do things using the prosthetics I had.”
The Police federation put Mr Simpson in touch with Digby Brown’s Aberdeen office.
The driver responsible for the accident had been driving without insurance and was convicted of dangerous driving. This meant his claim for damages was made against the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) to recover compensation.
“Digby Brown were great and kept me updated about what was happening and the next phase. They covered all bases such as seeing a psychologist and working out any future loss from lack of promotions in the future because of my injury. These were things I would never have thought of.”
They arranged for Mr Simpson to be examined by medical experts to determine the long-term impact of his injuries and any future issues.
With the amputation, he relies on prosthetics to do everyday tasks. However, there is a range of prosthetics available today which can help people return to activities they previously did such as running and swimming.
The office arranged for Mr Simpson to be seen by a Private Prosthesist and undertake a trial with top of the range prosthesis. “All I really wanted was to return to work on full duties. The NHS have standard prosthetic legs which are great but I really needed proactive and powered prosthetics which you can get privately. However, these cost anywhere from £10,000 to £70,000 and need to be replaced after three to six years.”
Our Aberdeen office settled his case and secured ongoing annual payments to fund all future private prosthetic treatment. He was eventually able to return to full duties - over two and half years after the motorcycle accident.
“The settlement was far more than I ever dreamed off, it was life-changing. It has allowed everything to go back to normal, I’m now back on full duties at work with no restrictions which is wonderful.
“Without the money for private prosthetics, I don’t know if I could have returned to my life as it was before.
“I would tell others to just trust Digby Brown as you know what you are doing.”
“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.”
The team in our Edinburgh office were thrilled to present a cheque for £10,040.86 to their local charity partner Fresh Start.
Fresh Start, located at Ferry Road, help people who have been homeless establish themselves in a new home. They provide:
Our staff have been busy raising money throughout the year with fundraising events including bake sales, running in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival and walking an incredible 26 miles along the John Muir Way from the Edinburgh office at 160 Causewayside to North Berwick. This is the second year the office have supported the charity.
“Fresh Start offers those in need the facilities and skills to help break the cycle of homelessness. The team in Edinburgh have really enjoyed organising fundraising events to raise money for this remarkable charity.”
Biddy Kelly, Managing Director at Fresh Start said:
“We are absolutely delighted that the Digby Brown Edinburgh office chose Fresh Start as their local charity to raise vital funds for. Over the last two years, the staff team have been innovative in their approach to raising such a staggering amount of money and we cannot thank them enough for their commitment to our cause.
"All of the money raised will go towards the direct service costs that help some of the most vulnerable people across Edinburgh, at a time when they need it the most, by providing them with the social and practical support they need to move forward with their lives.”
Many people do not know that it is possible to go elsewhere for a claim if they’ve been injured in a road traffic accident. Instead, they assume they must go to their car insurer.
A recent case in Dundee drives home the difference it makes when you go to independent, specialist solicitors for a road traffic injury claim – rather than your car insurer.
Mrs Stuart and her husband were both hurt when a lorry crashed into them on the Kingsway, causing their car to spin onto the central reservation of the dual carriageway.
“It was all very scary. It all happened so quickly, we didn’t realise what was going on. I remember screaming and looking at my husband who was sheet white.
“Afterwards, the driver said he just hadn’t seen us.”
The car was written off and her husband was passed to panel solicitors in Glasgow after contacting his car insurer.
It wasn't until a couple of years later that Mrs Stuart contacted Digby Brown after a recommendation from a colleague. Craig Brown, Associate solicitor in our Dundee office, took on her case for compensation.
“We just thought that was what you were meant to do if you were injured in a car accident – go to your insurer.
“I just think everyone should know they don’t need to go through their car insurer if they’ve been injured – there are far more capable people out there that can help.”
In the end, her case settled for £10,000.
“My husband's case is rumbling on with the panel solicitors – it’s been over four years.
“It has been night and day the experience with Digby Brown. With the firm the insurers put us on to, we’ve had three people dealing with the case and never met any of them. There is no compassion for what we are going through, we’re simply another case to them. They don’t care and seem bored when we speak to them, it’s horrendous.
“I thought it was "set in stone" that if you had a road traffic accident you called your insurer about an injury. I am delighted I came to Digby Brown instead, the service was second to none and I cannot be happier with the result.”
This is a story we hear time and time again. It is important that you seek legal advice from specialist solicitors. We have local offices across Scotland allowing people to meet with their solicitor face-to-face if need be and we are experts in personal injury law. On average, we achieve three times the first offer for our clients. Make sure you don’t leave your injury claim in the wrong hands.
“I think insurance firms are all out for themselves and in each others pockets. It’s important people realise they don’t need to go via their car insurer, they can go elsewhere.”
We are delighted to be partnering with Compass BISL to hold a Head Injury Information Day in Dumfries and Galloway on Wednesday 27th March.
At Digby Brown, we have been organising Head Injury Information Days for over eight years, bringing together hundreds of people to share information, experiences and knowledge about a brain injury.
These events are entirely free to attend and are open to everyone. You can speak with a wide range of exhibitors on the day including charities and organisations who support individuals living with a brain injury.
There is also the opportunity to listen to presentations from leading experts in the field who will cover important topics such as restructuring rehabilitation in Scotland, recovery through collaborative working and the law around future damages.
Registration opens at 9.30am with the day running from 10am until 3.30pm. See the full programme for Dumfries & Galloway Head Injury Information Day.
If you cannot make this event, we are also holding Head Injury Information Days in Edinburgh and Glasgow this May. Find more information about our Head Injury Information Days.
At Digby Brown, we are committed to operating our firm in a responsible way with our clients, staff and the communities we work in at the centre.
We take into account the way we do things from day to day, our values and the impact they have.
These can be summarised under our three main responsibilities; people, community and environment.
All our staff are dedicated to supporting clients through their legal journey helping them to receive not only the compensation they deserve but also the support they need at that time.
To ensure we have the best staff on hand to help, we provide a motivational, fulfilling and fun environment to work in with a focus on recruiting and retaining the top people, rewarding their efforts and recognising their achievements.
It is Digby Brown’s aim to develop an environment that values diversity within its workforce, encourages individuals to succeed. and responds to the needs of all individuals in a fair and equitable manner, whilst accounting for current legislation.
In 2016, Digby Brown became the first law firm in the UK to earn Platinum accreditation from Investors in People which does not only illustrate our drive for high performance and self-improvement, but also the quality of our service to clients.
Every year our legal excellence hits (and indeed retains) the top spots in publications like Chambers Guide and Legal 500, as well as numerous Scottish Legal Awards, and deservedly so given the effort every single employee puts in.
Investors in People fits in with these accolades because a great workplace encourages great work, which encourages great productivity.
At Digby Brown, we are proud to support the communities we work in and charitable causes through charity partnerships, staff volunteering and community events.
Each of our offices select a ‘Charity of the Year’ to work alongside and support throughout the year, championed by a Charity Ambassador. The total raised by each office is then matched by Digby Brown before being presented to the chosen charity at the end of the partnership.
To be considered as a charity partner for 2020/21, please complete and return our Charity Partnership Application Form by Friday 29th November 2019.
Whether clearing out a warehouse, tidying up hospital gardens, serving tea and coffee or bucket collecting at a football match, staff participate in volunteering activities that lend a hand to our charitable causes.
We help to organise and facilitate a number of events throughout the year to raise awareness and demonstrate the support available to those with brain injuries, spinal injuries and cerebral palsy.
Digby Brown recognises that our activities have an impact on the environment and aim to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner to reduce waste and improve recycling across the firm’s seven offices.
We are continuously working on ways to reduce our waste through initiatives such as the removal of plastic water cups from staff areas and providing all staff with reusable water bottles, implementing energy efficient motion activated lighting in our offices and encouraging staff to operate as a paperless work environment. We purchase recycled consumables where possible and encourage the disposal of waste paper, cardboard and plastics in the recycling bins provided.
For futher information please contact Kirsten Smith, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, by emailing Kirsten.Smith@digbybrown.co.uk.
Robert Brown, 71-year-old-man from Erskine, came to Digby Brown Solicitors after another specialist injury firm in Scotland said they couldn’t take his case any further due to insufficient evidence against his employer for asbestos exposure – with only three months left to claim compensation. They advised him to contact Digby Brown Solicitors.
Mr Brown first discovered he had pleural plaques after he went to see his local GP about a shortness of breath and a crackle he was experiencing from his lower right side.
“I get breathless and have a puffer which I can use now and again but I can’t be as active as I used to be because of it.”
Nobody in the hospital told him that he was able to apply for compensation, it wasn’t until he met with a consultant and was put in touch with a Glasgow based charity that he knew he could take legal action.
“I went through the rigmarole of making a claim with the first firm and they were nice enough but kept saying they would send paperwork and I never received it. This went on for years and I never met a lawyer.
“In the end, they said it was not worthwhile going any further as they would have to pinpoint how I was exposed to asbestos and they couldn’t.”
Gary Ross, Associate solicitor in our Industrial Disease team took over the case after reviewing the evidence. We were able to locate the companies Mr Brown was employed with and looking at the file, it didn’t look like the other law firm had tried that hard to find them or take on board what Mr Brown was telling them.
“Mr Ross got back to me practically right away and took the case on. Nothing was too much trouble – he would get back to me right away and answer any questions I had. Everything was explained in my own language so I understood it all – they never tried to baffle you.”
Mr Brown worked for Scotwood Products (Busby) Limited as a joiner in the 1980s and was exposed to asbestos during his time here. He used to cut into asbestos sheets and fit asbestos ceiling tiles by drilling these into place, which released asbestos dust.
“I worked there for over 12 years and there were no masks back then or safety equipment. You would be drilling into old walls and ceilings and you didn’t know anything about the dangers but my employers did know – but they wanted a quick buck.”
His employer put nothing in place to limit asbestos exposure such as providing protective equipment. These measures would not have been expensive to implement.
Other people Mr Brown worked alongside at the time have died of mesothelioma, including his best friend.
After investigations by our solicitors, it became clear that Mr Brown was also exposed to asbestos when he worked at another company and we sued both companies for compensation.
A court action was raised using no win no fee funding, and our team secured £10,000 in pleural plaques compensation.
“I would give 150% to Digby Brown to be perfectly honest with you. I was over the moon with the result as didn’t think I would get anything after the other firm turned me away but Mr Ross sorted it all out for me.
“Everything was absolutely great all the way through and everyone I met was lovely, it was a far superior service compared to the other firm.
“I would tell anyone to go straight to Digby Brown and I would certainly go to them if anything else was to happen or if I needed advice about anything.”
Sarah was a passenger in a car with her partner driving from Stirling to Alva late at night when the accident happened. They were on a country road and as they came round a bend, a car had pulled out from the side of the road.
“We turned the corner and the car was across the road with its lights off. There was no way to avoid it, we hit the front of her car and then almost crashed into a bus stop. My partner went to check if she was ok and she was clearly drunk so we phoned the police.
“Before the police could arrive, the other driver just drove off. I couldn’t believe it she was putting herself and everyone else at risk.”
Sarah injured her neck and developed a phobia of being in a car after the accident.
“I had never been in an accident before and now I’m terrified. It’s got to the point where it was dangerous for me to be a passenger as I kept having flashbacks and reacting really badly every time I got in the car with someone.
“I was hoping at some point to get lessons and start driving myself but there is no way I could do that now. I have a wee girl and when we see family they have to come to me as I can’t make the journey myself.”
After talking through the accident with her partner, Sarah decided to get in touch with Digby Brown.
“We decided that because it was a drunk driver we had to do something. The road we had been on was a windy back road and I couldn’t believe how stupid she had been to make the decision to drive when she was clearly over the limit.”
“We’d seen adverts and read reviews and decided that Digby Brown was the best place to go. Euan was excellent. He phoned with updates all the time and let us know when anything happened.”
After submitting expert medical reports the insurers came back with an offer of £4,500, which Sarah happily accepted.
“I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do without his help. He went through everything and gave us advice when the offer came in. I was really happy with how we were looked after.”
“I can’t thank Euan enough for everything he did. I would definitely tell anyone that found themselves injured in an accident to get a lawyer and to go to Digby Brown."
Our Aberdeen office organised a race night in aid of Northsound Cash for Kids last Thursday.
The night took place in the Duthie Suite in The Holburn Bar and the team managed to raise an outstanding £2,305.
There were a number of great prizes for the winners of each race, with races sponsored by Ampersand and Arnot Manderson and the final race sponsored by Alex Quinn and Partners with a prize of a £100 John Lewis voucher up for grabs.
As well as the racing, the team put on a raffle where guests could win a round of golf at Cullen Golf, a £50 voucher for Slaters Menswear and a cheese hamper to name a few of the prizes.
Michelle Ferguson from Northsound Cash for Kids said: “We are absolutely delighted that Digby Brown are fundraising for Northsound Cash for Kids, we support sick, disabled and disadvantaged children in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and we can only do that through the help and kindness of others.
"The money raised will go into our next grant round and will help local children when they need it most. We fund groups and activities and often support children with the basics such as beds, bedding, clothes and specialist equipment for children with special needs.”
“I would like to say a special thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and guests who helped us raise an incredible amount for this great charity – we couldn’t have done it without you.”
“I was out on my normal morning run when a gentleman jumped a junction. I hit his bonnet and went flying into the air a few metres and was lying dazed at the side of the road.”
The driver was badly shaken and put his hands up, offering to drive our client to the hospital. Our client was informed at the hospital that he had a broken shoulder joint which would need surgery. This involved a steel bolt to put it back together and help the healing process, which was nine months.
During this time, he needed to go to physiotherapy and do exercises to rebuild his strength, but the surgeon said it would never return to 100%.
“To start with, I wasn’t going to bother making a claim, but I had no idea how widely it would affect me every day.
“It was months of painful everyday life. I couldn’t sleep and there wasn’t a fat lot I could do, I was essentially one handed and everything took twice as long and certain things like gardening were totally off limits.
“Until you have to go through it, you don’t realise how difficult things will be and costs you need to pay when it was something you weren’t at fault for.”
“It was relatively straightforward. I came into the Edinburgh office and spoke with Catriona and she clearly explained what I was signing up for.”
The defending car insurers admitted liability for the accident and made an offer of £1,000 to settle the injury case – before any medical evidence had been collected.
This was an attempt by the insurer to settle the case for far less that what was owed to the client. Without medical evidence, it is impossible to determine the future implications of his injuries.
“I was really impressed with the service, I knew things were happening and I was always kept in the loop.
“When it came to numbers on the table, Catriona gave me sound advice about my options and likely outcomes so I could make an informed decision.”
Our Edinburgh office lodged a pursuer’s offer for £13,500 to settle the case, before the case was due to be heard in court.
This essentially meant that if the defending solicitors failed to accept this offer within a reasonable period of time and the court then awarded a settlement at the same level or more than the pursuer’s offer, then the defending solicitors would suffer financial penalties as they could have settled the case sooner.
Less than a week later, the defending solicitors accepted the pursuer’s offer, formally settling and concluding the case at £13,500 – over 13 times more than the first offer.
“I was more than happy with the outcome. I had no expectations at the start and Catriona gave me an estimate based on what happened to me and her experience and the final settlement was slightly more than this.
“My advice to others would be to at least have the conversation about making a claim if you’ve been hurt. I’m not the type to make a fuss and I initially thought just get on with it but I didn’t know how much of an impact it would have or know how long it would go on for.
“I would say get medical advice and speak to a specialist solicitor before making a decision on whether to go ahead.”
A family contacted Digby Brown‘s Inverness office after five-year-old Max MacPhee was injured when he was leaving his school nursery with his mum.
Max had been leaning on a wall when a coping stone came off and struck him on his right leg – breaking it just beneath the knee.
He spent two months in recovery most of which was spent using a wheelchair or a walking frame. After the break healed, Max was left with one leg 1cm longer than the other.
The local council denied liability but after our Inverness office investigated the case it became apparent that the council had already been alerted to a similar incident but failed to carry out an adequate inspection or any repair work.
They raised the case in court and submitted a Pursuers Offer. This essentially means if the council don’t accept this offer and the court award a higher settlement, they will receive a penalty and end up paying more.
However, the council accepted the Pursuer Offer before the case went to trial.
“Every local authority has a duty of care towards those entering their premises and this is especially important when considering schools and nurseries.
“Securing rightful damages is just one aspect of how we help individuals - the other is holding defenders accountable to hopefully improve safety standards for all.”
Max’s mum Louise was glad that the case had been settled but was not impressed with the way that the council had dealt with the accident.
In a statement she said: “It’s shocking that Highland Council didn’t have the common decency to hold their hands up and just help a little boy who was hurt by their own failings instead of having the audacity to try and blame him.
“At least now after the help from Digby Brown they can be held accountable.
“If there’s any good to come from this then I hope it’s that the Council invest in improving the safety of public areas so people aren’t hurt in the first place.”
You can read further coverage of the story at:
Mr Ewing was a Trainee Fire Protection Engineer in Aberdeenshire but was hurt after being asked to move supposedly empty gas canisters causing a freeze burn.
“Even to this day, I have to watch not to get heat on that area or it gets itchy and sore.”
Mr Ewing was off work for two weeks and when he went back, they gave him a disciplinary claiming he had broken their health and safety regulations. In the end, they dismissed him for gross misconduct.
He raised a claim for unfair dismissal and was awarded compensation. He secured other employment about two weeks later.
“I decided to make an injury claim after the way the company treated me. They tried to blame it all on me and pass the buck, but I knew they were in the wrong. I hadn’t been fully trained in that job and they wrongly told me the canister was empty.
“Accidents happened all the time there. Another worker had a similar thing happen to him just before my accident. He was told the canister was empty and broke his hand as it turned out it wasn’t.
“Another employee had his boiler suit go up in flames and luckily was able to put it out with a puddle - but it was all brushed under the carpet.”
Another Scottish law firm acted on behalf of Mr Ewing but they ended up closing his file when they received the denial of liability from his employer, saying there was nothing in his case but he could seek legal advice elsewhere.
He came to us for a second opinion.
By this time there was only two months left before the case went to time bar and he lost his legal right to compensation. For the majority of personal injury cases, the law permits victims to claim compensation within three years of the accident.
“With Digby Brown, everything was a lot better. It was much easier and simpler – the way it should have been to begin with.
“Amy was just super to be honest, she really knew what she was doing and got where I was coming from straight away. She understood that I was not fully trained to do that job but the other solicitors never grasped that.
“On top of this, it was only Amy I was dealing with the whole way through. With the other firm I was getting passed about all the time and wires were getting crossed, things were being lost in translation. It was a shambles.”
It wasn't straight forward as the argument was that Mr Ewing was the author of his own misfortune, the CCTV of the incident didn't do many favours and the witnesses were against him.
However, our solicitors had other views on liability and felt there was a case to answer for his employers. We collected expert medical evidence and raised the case in court.
His employer never admitted liability for the accident, but they did pay the price for their mistake.
Shortly before court, they made an offer to compensate Mr Ewing for his injuries and losses.
“I was happy to receive anything to be honest. For me, by them paying compensation proves they had something to hide and were guilty in some way. The employer was really stubborn so I half expected him to take it all the way and go to court to try and prove a point.
“They didn’t seem to learn from their mistakes but I hope by taking legal action against them that it will make them see sense and people that work for them are now safer.”
Mr Henry, a 60-year-old man from Kirkcaldy, had stopped his car to let an ambulance past but the driver behind rear end shunted his car.
“The driver was pretty arrogant and told me I shouldn’t have stopped. I don’t know if he was on his phone or something as he had no reason to run into the back of me.
“The driver told me I wasn’t getting a penny out of him from the accident and refused to give me his insurance details.”
It wasn’t until the next day Mr Henry realised how badly injured he was, he couldn’t use his right leg so he went to Victoria hospital in Kirkcaldy. He was off work for two weeks as a result.
“It was an odd injury, very horrible. Every time I would press on the brake pedal I would get a shooting pain through my leg.”
Mr Henry contacted his insurer and they recommended a company in Glasgow and passed his details along. He had taken pictures at the scene of the accident making it easier to trace the driver.
“I did not have a positive experience with the previous solicitors dealing with my claim. I could never speak to anyone when I wanted to and they never even asked me about my injuries.”
He received a compensation offer for his injuries from the other driver’s insurer, which his solicitors urged him to accept. This was without any medical reports or a medical examination to determine the compensation he was owed. If he wanted to obtain his medical records and a medical report, this would cost in the region of £800.
“It was a total waste of time to be honest. It was only two or three weeks after the accident that they offered me £1,000 – I think it was just a tactic to get me to go away.”
Mr Henry refused to accept the offer. He had not signed any paperwork from the law firm and decided to look elsewhere.
“At that point I was in quite a bit of pain and I knew that was nowhere near what I was due.
“It was clear that they weren’t the right people to go to so I decided to contact Digby Brown.”
He later found out that the solicitors dealing with his case actually act for car insurers to defend injury claims made by drivers, so they were not independent.
In the end, Mr Henry secured a settlement of £8,000 which is eight times the offer his previous solicitors achieved.
“There was no comparison, the other company were just terrible, they didn’t have a clue.
“Everything with Digby Brown was painless, the whole process was very smooth. Ryan was were very thorough and asked me all the right questions, focusing on how my injuries from the accident impacted on different things I did in my life.
“It went like clock-work and I have no hesitation to recommend people to Digby Brown. I’ve already told someone who was in a car crash to go to Digby Brown as they will do their very best for you.”
If you have been offered a settlement agreement by your employer, there is often a temptation to sign the agreement quickly to bring an unwelcome situation to an end and receive payment.
It is important to remember a settlement agreement is a legally binding document and you need to take legal advice on the detailed terms for the settlement agreement to be valid.
However, the standard terms in a settlement agreement may not be in the best interests of the employee and these will often need to be adjusted before they should sign.
There is a risk that employees are signing up to terms which may cause a problem in the future but are not obvious at the time.
We represented an oil and gas worker based in Houston who was working for an Aberdeen company. His proposed settlement agreement restricted him from speaking to existing customers for 12 months or working for a similar company in the US, Brazil or UK - essentially rendering him unable to work for 12 months.
We negotiated the terms of the settlement agreement so he was able to seek employment in similar companies based in the US or Brazil, ensuring his career was not hindered.
This is why experience matters and the solicitor you choose to represent you should be well versed in settlement agreements. The clauses are complex and the payments carry important tax implications including recent changes to the law which can lead to penalty payments.
It is important that all of the payments that you are entitled to when your employment comes to an end are included within the agreement. If they are not, then your right to recover these payments will be gone once the agreement is completed.
This could mean missing out on valuable payments such as notice pay, a bonus or payments for share entitlements.
If your employer proposes a settlement agreement then you are entitled to a reasonable time to decide if you wish to accept.
However, an agreement can be withdrawn at any time so acting quickly is important.
It is also important to remember that you do not need to accept a settlement agreement. It may be possible to consider pursuing an Employment Tribunal claim instead if grounds for this exist.
If you spend any time standing at the side of a road it will not take long to tally a hefty number of people driving past using their phone. The top deck of a double-decker gives a good aerial view and can also reveal a startling trend of drivers passing whilst using their phone.
A survey by Transport Scotland and Department of Transport revealed Scottish drivers are significantly more likely to use their mobile phones whilst driving compared to anywhere else in the UK – and this doubles for younger drivers aged 17 to 24 years old.
They found more drivers using their mobile phones at traffic lights compared to on the move. However, by law even holding a mobile phone at any point while driving is an offence, including while the car is stationary at traffic lights or sitting in queuing traffic.
The police report that a driver is four times more likely to crash if using a mobile, and reaction speeds are halved.
However, the sad reality is that drivers continue to gamble with the safety of themselves and others. The growing trend of being glued to our phones at every waking moment has seemingly spread to include the time spent driving.
Perhaps people think they will not get caught, or perhaps they think that even if they do the penalty is light enough that they can afford to take the risk.
Although the stricter penalties that came in force in March 2017 go some way to addressing such a mentality, if indeed that is the problem, it is worth remembering that it might not just be the fine, the points, the re-sit of the test and any increased insurance premiums that you need to worry about.
There could also be adverse consequences for your job, your family life and your own freedom if you drive whilst using your phone.
Danny Warby was driving a 13.6 tonne vehicle when he crashed into a car being driven by off-duty police officer Det Con Sharon Garrett. At the time, Mr Warby was reading a text message. Mrs Garrett died at the scene.
Mr Warby was convicted of dangerous driving, banned from driving for ten years and was jailed for six years.
Cyclist Lee Martin suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a van being driven by Christopher Gard.
Mr Gard had at least six prior convictions for driving whilst using a mobile phone. He was jailed for nine years.
Tomasz Kroker was driving a lorry when scrolling through music on his phone. Although driving at 50mph, he had barely looked at the road for almost a kilometre.
He crashed into the back of stationary traffic, instantly killing Tracy Houghton and her sons, Ethan, 13 and Joshua 11, along with her partner’s daughter, Aimee Goldsmith, 11. Mr Kroker was sentenced to ten years in prison.
The message cannot be more clear – aside from driving whilst using your phone being illegal, the consequences can be fatal and a moment of inattention could literally destroy your life and others.
Be safe, and put your mobile phone away.
Our Kirkcaldy office were delighted to present a cheque for over £7,000 to support Frontline Fife, a homeless charity, who campaign to prevent rough sleeping and help those affected by it.
These funds were raised through year-long fundraising activities such as bake sales and pub quiz nights attended by members of the public.
This is double the amount raised the previous year by the office.
He said: “The work Frontline Fife does is really incredible so it makes us proud to be able to contribute to their efforts for the second year.
“I’d also like to thank those who have contributed to our fundraising efforts by attending our events - without your support we wouldn’t have smashed our total raised last year.
“This is the second year in a row we’ve supported Frontline Fife and we’re immensely proud to contribute to the lives they literally help improve for hundreds across the Kingdom."
Ruth Young from Frontline Fife said: "We were delighted to be chosen as Digby Brown Kirkcaldy's chosen charity for a second year.
"Their support and commitment to raising funds for our organisation has been greatly appreciated and we were overwhelmed with their cheque presentation this week.
"Without the support of the community and local businesses, we wouldn't be able to provide the additional assistance to people threatened with, or facing homelessness in Fife."