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Personal injury claim against council found out to be fake

A man could face criminal prosecution after making an accident claim against his local authority that turned out to be fake.

Craig Alan Johnson, 31, of Wigan, attempted to sue for compensation, alleging that he had suffered personal injury by tripping over an uneven paving stone in Hindley in 2006. It was claimed that his alleged fall was due to the council’s failure to safely maintain the pavement for pedestrians.

However, shortly after the investigation began, the council found inconsistencies in Johnson’s version of events. This led to Judge Peter Main QC deciding to completely reject Johnson’s version, suggesting that the evidence was “not accurate or acceptable,” and that he felt as though he was “being misled” by the attempted compensation claim.

Paul Prescott, Wigan Council’s Cabinet Lifestyles Champion, said: “We are pleased with the court’s decision because it shows how effective our investigations can be. It sends the message that if you make such allegations and they are not true, you are very likely to be caught out.

Compensation claims cost money, hit council services and they hit the people that pay for those services through their Council Tax.”

As a result of his actions, Johnson could now face a criminal investigation for his fraudulent personal injury claim.

OAP makes personal injury compensation claim after fall

AN OAP is to make a compensation claim after falling from her wheelchair on what she says was an uneven pavement.

Daphne Slater, 73, says she is fearful of leaving her house after the accident, which happened near her home in Nuthall, Nottinghamshire.

Now the pensioner is filing a personal injury compensation claim against the local authority after suffering black eyes, bruising down the side of her face and having stitches on her nose and X-rays on her hands and feet following the fall.

Her family says that when she got in touch with Nottinghamshire County Council, staff told her that the pavement was routinely checked and did not require repair work, although the authority admitted to resurfacing it a month after the accident.

The council has written to Mrs Slater to say that it is not liable for the injuries, but she is going to press ahead with the compensation claim.

Her son Stephen had been pushing her to the doctor’s when they fell on what they said was a sharp rise in the pavement.

Ms Slater received a letter from the Council saying it was not liable for any injury suffered. She says that she will be appealing against the decision and is seeking personal injury accident compensation.

A council spokesman said: “It is inappropriate for us to comment on a compensation claim that it is still under investigation.”

Number of compensation claims from cyclists could be higher

LOCAL authorities throughout the UK are paying out increasing amounts in compensation to people that are injured following trips on pavements or accidents with potholes.

Some councils have reported paying out up to £250,000 in the past year, while the average compensation settlement for incidents of this kind is now around £8,500.

The claims are often for injuries such as broken legs, arms, hips, wrists, ankles, jaws, facial injuries and, in some cases, depression.

Many accidents occur on pavements, with local authorities coming under increasing fire for allowing them to fall into disrepair. However, less people realise that they can also claim for injuries sustained while on the road.

Many motorists, cyclists and motorcycle riders are injured on potholes in roads every year. Yet cycling groups have reported that many of their members are unaware that they are entitled to make personal injury compensation claims, as cyclists often assume that such accidents are their own fault for failing to see a hazard in time.

Now, many solicitors are urging anyone who has been injured either as a consequence of what they believe are disrepaired roads or pavements to contact them, as they may have a case for a claim, and are far more likely to receive quality medical treatment as a consequence.

Solicitors are ensuring that there is minimal paperwork and no fees to pay, while clients keep all of the compensation they are awarded.

If you think you are entitled to make such a claim, contact a personal injury specialist now.

Mother’s compensation claim for son’s facial injuries

A mother is hoping to receive compensation after her son sustained severe facial injuries when he was impaled on a metal fence whilst playing outside his home in East London.

“Alfie came running home with his mouth hanging off,” said Clare Metson. “His lip had come away and was hanging like a flap. I could see his teeth even though his mouth was shut.”

Alfie Albrighton, 6, was rushed to hospital, where he underwent several hours of surgery and was left with 170 stitches on his face. It is likely that he will be scarred for life and may need plastic surgery at a later date.

However the physical injury Alfie has sustained appears to be only the beginning of the damage caused by the accident. His mother has expressed her worries about her son’s future and the mental scars he may have left him with from the accident. Alfie has lost half a stone in weight and Ms Metson affirms that the incident has “changed him completely. He is always hiding his face trying not to look at people.”

Alfie is due to start Year 2 at St. John’s Primary in Bow in September, but he is fearful of how the other children will react to the prominent scarring caused by the incident.

Ms Metson is requesting compensation for her son’s personal injury from Old Ford Housing Association, which is part of the Circle Anglia Group. When asked about the incident, a spokesperson expressed their concern.

“Our priority is to provide a safe environment for all our residents to live in,” the spokesperson said. “We immediately inspected the railings with our contactors and they are of a standard type and designed to fence off the bin areas.”

The spokesperson also commented that the compensation claim Ms Metson has filed is currently being reviewed. However Ms Metson states that she “hasn’t heard a single thing” from the Old Ford Housing since the incident.

Compensation claim for raver in bridge fall

A compensation claim has been made after a man fell 30ft from a bridge on to a disused railway line during an illegal rave party.

Andrew Henley, 26, from Milton in Staffordshire, was left in a coma for three weeks and took a further seven months to recover from the near-fatal accident, which took place in nearby Keele in October 2006. He claims to still suffer mental and physical injuries, including permanent damage to his arms and what his family has described as a change in personality, such as a short temper and a lack of motivation.

The incident took place in the early hours of the morning, while Mr Henley and his girlfriend at the time made their way to a party that they had heard rumours about.

“The path to the rave was marked out with glowsticks, but some of them had been nicked,” he said. “You had to go over the tunnel to get down, but because it was so dark I went straight over the hedge and fell on to the railway line.”

The fall caused Mr Henley to suffer a fractured skull, broken tibia, four fractured ribs and permanent damage to his elbows. According to his father, he even came close to dying from his injuries during the first few days of the three-week coma.

Since the accident, Mr Henley has found it difficult to find employment. At first he returned to his old job, only to be made redundant a few months later. He has now asked his solicitor to start proceedings to claim compensation for the accident. It is unclear who owns the land where the accident happened, which is 100 yards from the nearest road, but it is believed that it could belong to Network Rail.

Mr Henley added: “You can’t get to the place now, there’s fences all around it and it’s all padlocked. If it had been like that before, I wouldn’t have had the accident.”

€15,000 whiplash compensation claim awarded to Rod Stewart fan at concert

A concert-goer has been awarded €15,000 in damages after she suffered whiplash injuries at a Rod Stewart concert in Dublin in 2005.

Sally Price, a lifelong fan of the 64-year-old singer, was struck by a football that Stewart had kicked towards the audience at the Point Depot concert. A tradition that the rocker has been doing at his concerts for over 30 years, Stewart kicked dozens of autographed footballs into the crowd, much to the delight of his fans.

The court heard that on this occasion, Stewart miskicked one of the balls, which hit the rigging above the stage at the venue and then came down on the fan’s head at such a pace that it knocked her over and left her feeling dazed for some time. Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court awarded the sum to her after hearing that she continues to suffer whiplash-like injuries years after the incident took place, right into the present.

The concert promoters, MCD Promotions Ltd of Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, were slapped with the bill after the judge decided that the claimant had suffered concussion as a result of the incident.

The singer’s management team gave her four autographed footballs as an apology, two of which she gave to the doctor who treated her. Stewart, who is a keen Celtic supporter and who once trained as a professional footballer, also met with Mrs Price.

“I have always been a fan of his music and the singer came down to see me as I was being treated,” she said. “I would have been so pleased to have met him on a happier occasion.”

Hugh O’Keeffe, counsel for Mrs Price, told the court that such a reckless act could have been avoided and that the potential danger of the entertainer’s actions were foreseeable, leaving the concert promoters liable in negligence for the whiplash-like injuries to Mrs Price’s neck and shoulders.

£18,000 Compensation for Pub Fall Woman

A woman has won £18,000 in compensation following an accident in a pub which seriously injured her knee.

Selena Gilder was smoking a cigarette in the beer garden of the Albion Pub, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, when her stiletto heel became caught in broken concrete and she fell backwards.

Miss Gilder, aged 40, has undergone three operations since the incident in October 2007, including having pins fitted to her knee, and has only been able to walk for the last two months.

The former hospital cleaner decided to take legal action after she was forced to take eight months off work due to her injury. She now works in a car dealership.

Miss Gilder was on a girls’ night out when the incident occurred, and had taken ‘the odd drink but not to excess’. She said: ‘My heel got caught in the concrete and I went back through a door in a disused toilet block that should have been locked.

‘It swung open, I went back and my leg stayed where I was. It's been horrendous - I wouldn't want anyone to experience what I experienced. I am angry at the pub and will never go in the place again.’

Her solicitor pressed the compensation claim on the grounds the area was poorly lit, that the concrete was broken, and that Miss Gilder fell backwards through an unsealed door which she grabbed to break the fall.

Julie-Anne Roberts of solicitors’ firm Thomson and Bancks explained that Miss Gilder was entitled to compensation following the incident, on the grounds that the beer garden had not been made safe.

‘If a pub invites people in to use its beer garden the least it can do is make sure it is safe,’ she said. ‘She had not been drinking excessively and this could have been so much worse.’

Many thousands of people suffer from injuries following slips, trips and falls every year. If you have suffered an accident that wasn’t your fault, call the National Accident Helpline or claim online today.

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No. 28738. Its registration is recorded on the website: http://www.gov.uk/moj/cmr

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