RTA claim in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland settles for £3,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mrs O in relation to her personal injury claim. Our client instructed that she was the driver of a vehicle which was hit on the passenger side by a vehicle emerging from a side road on High Street, Donaghadee.

Our client was able to get out of her vehicle, she was in shock and not initially aware of pain. The Police and Ambulance Services were not required to attend the scene and insurance details were exchanged at the scene.

Our client suffered a soft tissue injury to her neck as a result of the road traffic collision. She did not attend hospital or her GP rather choosing to self-medicate with ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication. Thankfully she made a quick recovery.

An early admission of liability was obtained from the other driver’s insurer. Court proceedings were not required in this case and it resolved in our client’s favour in the sum of £3,000 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of her claim our client commented as follows;

“Fantastic service, was kept informed all the way. Neil was so helpful.”

Boyd Rice Solicitors have a  road traffic accident claims team who will ensure that you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and would like advice, please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Dermatitis claim in Northern Ireland settles for £9,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr B in relation to his industrial injury claim. Our client instructed that whilst working for a local industrial engineering and steel production company he was tasked to cleaning metal products using chemicals. He was not offered any personal protective equipment and as a result of his working conditions he developed a skin condition known as Dermatitis. He attended his GP who prescribed steroid cream.

Upon receipt of initial instructions, a letter of claim was sent to our client’s employers alleging that they had failed to provide him with a safe working environment and safety equipment.  An appointment was arranged with a Consultant Dermatologist who confirmed that our client had developed Dermatitis as a result of exposure to chemicals at work. The case eventually resolved without the need for our client to attend Court in the sum of £9,000.00 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of his claim our client commented as follows;

 

“Fast and professional service in the most compassionate way. I would highly recommended Boyd Rice Solicitors to all my friends and Family.”

 

If you have developed a skin condition such as dermatitis or eczema as a result of your working conditions, it is crucial that you obtain legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

 

Further information on Dermatitis can be found here;

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contact-dermatitis/

Road Traffic Accident Q’s and A’s

Neil McGranaghan

Are there any time limits on making a road traffic accident claim? 

 The time limit or limitation period is 3 years from the date of accident but we would advise beginning the claim at the earliest opportunity.

Does it make any difference if you have fully recovered physically? 

You can still make a claim if you are fully recovered but will still need to be examined by an independent medical expert.

It is always best to speak to us at the earliest possible opportunity so that we can gather a comprehensive overview of how your injuries have impacted your day-to-day routine. 

How do you support clients who are making a road traffic accident claim? 

We obtain and collate all the evidence required for the claim and can deal with your insurer so you don’t have to. Bringing a claim can be a complicated and stressful process. We support our clients by dealing with any stress that may arise during the claim either from gathering evidence, fighting a liability dispute and recovering any out of pocket expenses. This means our clients can focus on their recovery.

Can you arrange for repairs to be carried out to my vehicle?

Yes, we can arrange for the accident to be kept away from your insurance thus ensuring that your premium is unaffected by the accident.

How long will it take to resolve my claim? 

In a straightforward case, where liability is accepted by the Defendant and you recover from your injuries quickly, resolving your claim may only take a matter of months. In other cases, delays are caused by the need to fully explore a client’s injuries, evidence not being available immediately, witness availability or Court availability. Boyd Rice Solicitors have a long-standing reputation for progressing cases quickly and our average case takes 6-9 months to bring to conclusion.

Do you have to be the driver of a car to make a road traffic accident claim? 

No, any person in the vehicle at the time can make a claim for any injuries they may have sustained. You do not have to be a driver of a car to make a road traffic accident claim. It can also be made by other road users such as pedestrians, passengers, cyclists and bikers as they are all owed a duty of care by other road users.

A claim can also be made on behalf of a Claimant under the age of 18 by their litigation friend. This is normally their parent who takes over conduct of the claim on the minor’s behalf.

Are there different processes for different types of road traffic accident claims? 

The claim process depends on whether the Defendant is insured. In the vast majority of cases the third party is insured. A claim is progressed through their insurance company. If Court proceedings are issued the Insurance Company nominates a Solicitor to defend the claim on their behalf.

If the claim is pursued against an uninsured Defendant, it is usually dealt with by a Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which settles the matter in absence of an insurance company.

A similar scenario applies when the Defendant who caused the accident cannot be traced. The MIB would deal with such claim under an Untraced Drivers’ Agreement. It is important to note that such accident must always be reported to the police within 14 days.

There are also different processes for accidents abroad.

Can you act on my behalf if I have been involved in a road traffic accident abroad? 

Yes, as long as you reside in Northern Ireland we can progress the claim on your behalf under the provisions of Rome 2. These are complicated claims and we recommend that advice is sought at the earliest possible opportunity. If you have a road traffic accident abroad the limitation period is subject to the Law in that Country and on that basis you should speak to us right away. For further information please consult the accident abroad section of our website;

https://www.boydricesolicitors.com/personal-injury/accidents-abroad/

Explain the standard process of making a road traffic accident claim. 

We will take details in relation to the accident, your injuries and any ongoing symptoms

The first thing we will do after gathering the relevant information is notify the insurers of the claim and wait to see if they admit fault.

The next step is to arrange a medical examination with a medical expert (who specialises in the types of injuries that you are suffering from) in order to confirm injuries resulting from the accident. We will then consider your out of pocket expenses such as lost earnings and vehicle repairs. Once this has been done we will attempt to settle matters.

If liability is disputed by the third party insurer it may be necessary to issue Court proceedings to further your claim. In those circumstances the Court would timetable your matter culminating in a Hearing where you would be required to give evidence.

The other driver’s insurance company has contacted me following my accident and offered me money should I take it?

Without representation you would be up against an insurer who has a wealth of experience in defending claims and may offer you a sum which under compensates you. In our experience, you will receive a greater level of compensation by progressing your claim through us. 

How much is my case worth? 

The amount that you are awarded in respect of your injuries is based on a medical report outlining the extent of the injury caused. Compensation or “damages” will be paid for both physical and mental injury (both must be backed up by medical evidence). Damages are assessed on a case by case basis although with reference to previous awards in similar cases. Time off work, medical treatment and the impact of the injury on work, sport and hobbies will also be considered.

Out of pocket expenses that are reasonably incurred eg. The cost of private physiotherapy, your insurance excess or loss of earnings can all be recovered on your behalf.

Will I have to go to Court?

We will instigate Court proceedings on your behalf if the other driver disputes liability or if negotiations with the other driver’s insurer prove unsuccessful. If there are no liability issues your case is likely to resolve before the Court Hearing date meaning that you will not have to attend Court.

 

Road traffic accident at Six Road Ends roundabout, Bangor, Northern Ireland

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mrs G in respect in relation to recovery of her insurance excess which she incurred following a road traffic accident at the above location in Bangor. Our client instructed that she was proceeding through the roundabout in the correct lane when another vehicle infringed on her lane and collided with her.

Our client had the benefit of fully comprehensive cover and her own insurance company arranged for repairs to be carried out to her vehicle. Unfortunately our client had to pay her insurance excess on the basis that the other driver disputed liability.

Court proceedings were issued against the at fault driver. The Solicitor appointed by the Defendant’s insurance company suggested that the case could be resolved on a split liability basis given the lack of independent evidence ie. The case was essentially “one driver’s word against the other”. Our client was adamant that the accident was the other driver’s fault and that offer was rejected. The case resolved at the door of the Court with the other driver changing their stance on liability by accepting that the accident was indeed their own fault. Our client, despite being frustrated that it took until the door of the Court for the other driver to see sense, was happy that justice had eventually been served and sent us a lovely email as follows;

Hi Neil,

Just want to say a huge thank you for taking my case and for the outcome. Finally feels great knowing it’s now over and done with and someone actually listened to me when I tried proving a point. You were amazing and your services were fantastic. Thank you so so much!

Best wishes

Our client will recover her insurance excess and also her legal costs will be paid by the Defendant’s insurance company.

If you have been involved in an accident on a roundabout and would like advice please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Car accident claims solicitor

Pedestrian accident in Donaghadee claim settles for £60,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr K in relation to his injury claim arising from a road traffic accident on Northfield Road, Donaghadee. Our client instructed that on the date of the incident he was struck by a moving car whilst crossing the road. The car hit his left foot, causing him to fall and land on his left elbow and chest.

Our client was initially treated at the scene before being transferred to the Emergency Department of the Ulster Hospital. He suffered a fracture of the ankle and metatarsal (foot) and had a short leg plaster cast applied. Our client was admitted into hospital and some two weeks later underwent surgery of his ankle before being discharged from hospital to a care home.

Our client suffered very serious injuries as a result of the incident and it was therefore important that a clear understanding of the extent of the injury was obtained via various examinations with medical experts. The medical experts reviewed all medical notes records commented upon his long term prognosis. In addition, the surgery had left a considerable scar and a Consultant Plastic Surgeon was instructed to comment on the scarring.

Upon receipt of the medical reports outlining the extent of the ankle injuries and High Court proceedings were issued on behalf of Mr K. Before we could request a date for Hearing the Solicitor acting on behalf of the Defendant’s insurance company invited us to a joint consultation as a result of which the case settled in the sum of £60,000.00 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of his claim our client commented as follows;

 

“My case ran very smoothly and my Solicitor, Neil McGranaghan was very helpful. He kept me informed throughout the process. I have used Boyd Rice Solicitors in the past and would have no hesitation in recommending their services to others.”

 

If you have been involved in a serious accident as a pedestrian it is crucial that you obtain legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Passenger in vehicle involved in a RTC in Holywood, Co Down settles claim for £12,890

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Ms H in relation to her injury claim arising from a road traffic accident. Our client instructed that on the date of the incident she was the front seat passenger in a car which was moving at a traffic light-controlled junction when it was struck with considerable force on the front driver’s side by a minibus. Airbags where activated.

Our client was extremely shaken and aware initially of chest and abdominal pain. She was treated at the scene by paramedics before being transferred to the Emergency Department of the Ulster Hospital. She suffered injuries to her chest, abdominal wall and her back. Our client was detained in hospital for several days. Following the accident our client developed psychiatric injuries and was very nervous when travelling in the car.

Court proceedings were issued and liability was established against the driver of the minibus. The case settled without the need to go to Court in Ms H’s favour in the sum of £12,890.00 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of her claim our client commented as follows;

“Very happy with the settlement which was achieved much quicker than I expected. I am happy that I did not have to go to Court. My Solicitor Neil McGranaghan was great at answering any questions that I had during the case.”

 If you have been involved in a serious accident it is crucial that you obtain legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Claim arising from road traffic accident on Old Holywood Road, Belfast settles in the sum of £13,172

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Ms F in relation to her injury claim arising from a road traffic accident. Our client instructed that on the date of the incident she was driving her car towards a traffic light-controlled junction when her vehicle was hit on the front driver’s side by a minibus. Airbags where activated and extensive damage was caused to her vehicle.

Our client was extremely shaken and was initially aware of pain in her left knee and chest. She was treated at the scene by paramedics before being transferred to the Emergency Department of the Ulster Hospital. She suffered injuries to her left wrist, left knee, back, and chest wall, requiring observation in hospital and physiotherapy. Following the accident our client developed psychological symptoms.

Our client suffered significant injuries as a result of the road traffic collision and it was important that a clear understanding of the extent of the injury was obtained via various examinations with medical experts.

Our client required time off work following the accident and instructed us to claim loss of earnings on her behalf.

Court proceedings were issued and Liability was established against the other driver. The case was settled out of Court in Ms F’s favour in the sum of £13,172.00 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of her claim our client commented as follows;

“I was recommended to speak to Boyd Rice Solicitors about this accident due to their reputation in the area where I live. I am very happy with the outcome of my case, Boyd Rice Solicitors have been more than helpful from the start.

 If you have been involved in an accident it is crucial that you obtain legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Personal Injury Specialist Solicitors

Client injured in road traffic accident in Republic of Ireland settles claim for £16,000

Neil McGranaghan

Neil McGranaghan was instructed to act on behalf of Mr S in relation to his injury claim arising from a road traffic accident. Our client instructed that he was the driver of a vehicle that was hit from behind on Pearse Street, Dublin.

The Gardai attended the scene and all details were exchanged. The other driver admitted liability at the scene.

Upon his return to Northern Ireland Mr Shaw contacted our office for advice. He did not want his insurance to be affected by this accident as it was not his fault. Thankfully he had insurance details of the other vehicle and we contacted the other driver’s insurance company. They agreed to assess our client’s vehicle and to provide him with a hire vehicle. This meant that he did not have to claim through his own insurance. His vehicle was assessed and declared a total loss or “write off”. He received a cheque in respect of the pre accident value of the vehicle and was able to keep the hire vehicle until he received the cheque.

In respect of the injury claim, the insurance company argued that Neil could not deal with the case given that the accident occurred in the South and once that point had been conceded by the insurer they then argued that our client was not entitled to have his legal costs paid on top of his damages. Neil has previously acted in similar cases and referred the insurer to the provisions of Rome II EC Regulation.

Under Rome II our client is entitled to be represented by a Solicitor in Northern Ireland even though the accident occurred in the Republic of Ireland. The case can be brought in our Courts here in Northern Ireland however our client is entitled to claim damages based on appropriate damages in the EU Country that the accident occurred. This was of great benefit in this case as damages in the Republic of Ireland greatly exceed those here in Northern Ireland.

The insurer did not concede this point and on that basis we issued Court proceedings on behalf of our client. The insurance company based in Dublin passed their file to a Solicitor based in Belfast to defend the claim. It became apparent at an early stage that Neil’s arguments in respect of jurisdiction and costs were correct. After the usual exchange of information and documentation that ensues once Court proceedings are issued, the case resolved in the sum of £16,000 plus our client’s legal costs.

Following the successful conclusion of his claim our client commented as follows;

“I am very happy with the settlement and extremely please with how this case was handled. Neil did a great job”

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident in the Republic of Ireland or indeed in another EU Country please contact us on 02891817715, or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com and let us explain how we can help you.

These are extremely complex cases and early advice is recommended.

buying a home

The Conveyancing Process – Buying a New Home

Ben Wall

Part One of our Guide to Conveyancing focuses on Home Buyers

We at Boyd Rice Solicitors recognise that the work of solicitors in the conveyancing process is not very well understood. This is the branch of law which is concerned with the transfer of an interest in land from one person or entity to another. Part of the blame here rests with the failure of us, as solicitors in general, to communicate in clear terms what is really happening when you buy or sell your property. To help resolve this we have prepared a two part guide to the conveyancing process. This part will focus on those purchasing a new property.

Selecting a Solicitor

At the very beginning you will have put an offer in on a property and you will have had that bid accepted. The estate agent will then ask you the name of the solicitor that is going to represent you in the conveyance. Like many people you may have never had any direct experience with a solicitor before. The estate agent may recommend some to you or you may wish to search of the internet to find one. We would suggest getting written quotations from a range of solicitors as that will help you make an informed choice. Ask to speak directly with the solicitor who will be acting in your transaction. Make sure you are able to build a rapport with them and decide whether they will be responsive to your queries and endeavour to move things along quickly.

Initial Engagement

When you have selected a solicitor and notified the estate agent, the agent will send a Memorandum of Sale to your solicitor. This will provide the solicitor with confirmation of the following items; the full address of the property, the name of the vendor, the vendor’s solicitor, the purchase price and any other conditions that have been stipulated.

Your solicitor will send you a letter of engagement with terms to accept and return. Your solicitor will ask for copy identification and proof of address to comply with their regulatory obligations. Your solicitor will also discuss with you whether you are funding the purchase with a mortgage or with cash and will confirm the source of any funds that you are providing yourself (including whether you will be drawing down from a Help to Buy ISA or a Lifetime ISA).

Title Deeds, Certificates and Searches

The onus is on the vendor’s solicitor to provide certain documentation. The most obvious of which is the title documentation (deeds) relating to the property to be purchased. The length of time it can take for your solicitor to receive the deeds can vary wildly. If the vendor does not have a mortgage then it is likely the solicitor will have possession of the deeds and your solicitor should receive them relatively quickly. However more often than not the vendor will have a mortgage.

In this scenario the vendor’s mortgage lender will be storing the deeds. The vendor’s solicitor will have to request the deeds from the mortgage company. The time taken before the deeds are received from the mortgage company has increased significantly over time. This is due to various factors including job cuts resulting from the financial collapse and increasingly the mortgage lender will have sent the deeds to a third-party storage provider to hold them on their behalf. A wait of a month is not uncommon.

Along with the deeds the vendor’s solicitor will send a draft contract, which will incorporate the Law Society’s General Conditions of Sale, and any special conditions deemed relevant at that time.

The vendor’s solicitor is obliged to obtain two property certificates. One is sought from the local council and one from the DOE. The wait times are two to three weeks typically. Solicitors are increasingly encouraged to order these as soon as possible in the process to avoid delay later. However many solicitors still have a practice of not ordering these until they have received the deeds or the purchaser’s solicitor has confirmed that a mortgage offer has been received. Depending on the contents of the DOE property certificate the vendor’s solicitor may need to order a NI Water map to demonstrate the location of any sewers traversing the property. It takes a couple of days for this to come in.

The vendor’s solicitor is obliged to obtain Bankruptcy and Enforcement of Judgment Office Searches against the vendor. This will inform your solicitor whether there may be any restrictions on the vendor selling the property.

Another necessary search is in the Statutory Charges Register. This search is against the property rather than the vendor and may indicate issues regarding planning, sewerage, roads, etc.

Your solicitor will assess all these documents and advise you accordingly on whether there are any issues which may give you pause before you decide to proceed with the purchase.

Replies to Pre-Contract Enquiries and Fixtures and Fittings List

This is a key document. Completed by the vendor and his/her solicitor, it is a questionnaire which covers almost every conceivable aspect of the property. Depending on the answers your solicitor may have enquire further before he/she can be satisfied that everything is in order. The most common issues that arise are around planning permission and building control.

Your solicitor will want to ensure there are appropriate consents in place for any work that has been carried out. If the property is leasehold your solicitor will follow up by requesting a receipt to make sure the ground rent has been paid up to date. If the property is fed by mains gas then your solicitor will demand a gas safety certificate from within the last twelve years to make sure there are no faults.

Mortgage Application and Surveys

Whilst this exchange of documentation is ongoing you will be securing your mortgage offer. You may decide to use the assistance of a mortgage broker or apply directly to a lender. Either way, if the bank decides to provide you with an offer it will ask you who your solicitor is. The bank will then send a copy of the offer and instructions to your solicitor. Your solicitor will act for you and the bank and has a duty to protect the interests of both.

Your mortgage lender will send a valuer to the property to obtain a valuation. This valuation is to protect the bank by informing it whether the property is worth the money that has been agreed. If the valuer thinks the property is actually worth less than has been agreed the bank will not lend at the original purchase price. You have the option, at your own expense, to obtain a survey of the property. This is usually recommended. This survey will be a comprehensive review of the condition of the property. It will flag up any issues which may ultimately cost you money. These surveys are often useful in negotiating a reduction in the purchase price.

Contract

The time between the signing of the contract and completion has shortened over the years. There is no need to get too concerned if you are completing in a week and the contracts have not yet been signed, just speak to your solicitor.
The purchaser signs the contract first. It is then sent to the vendor’s solicitor. The vendor signs and once it is returned to the purchaser’s solicitor the contract is formed and binding. In practical terms, this is the point of no return. If you try to back out after this point the vendor has options such as utilising the courts to ensure the contract goes ahead or they may keep any deposit that has been paid and attempt to get a new purchaser.

Given this, your solicitor will attempt to ensure your mortgage offer is in place, all the necessary documentation has been received and that there are no title issues before allowing you to sign. If there are matters outstanding and time is of the essence then the contract may be signed subject to special conditions, e.g.: “Contract is subject to the vendor producing a building control certificate for the installation of the gas fired heating system prior to completion”. If the special condition isn’t satisfied then the purchaser can delay or walk away.

At the same time your solicitor sends the contract to the vendor’s solicitor, he/she will send a draft deed. This is the document that will formally transfer the legal interest in the property to you. The vendor’s solicitor will have the vendor sign this and hold on to it until after completion.

Completion

In the run up to completion your solicitor will confirm with the Bank that there are no issues with the property and will confirm the date of completion. The bank will then arrange for the mortgage funds to be paid to your solicitor in or around the day before completion.

Your solicitor will draft up a cash statement for you so that you know the exact amount of money that you have to send him/her in advance of completion. This will cover their fee, stamp duty and the balance of the purchase price.

Depending on the contract your solicitor will either send a cheque for the purchase price to arrive on the completion date, or they will send a bank transfer on the day itself. Once this has been received the vendor’s solicitor will contact the estate agent to inform them that they may give you the keys. They will also contact your solicitor, who will rely that information to you.

The vendor’s solicitor will subsequently send the transfer deed to your solicitor who will proceed to register the change of ownership and your mortgage. You, on the other hand, can enjoy your new home!

If you would like advice in relation to buying and/or selling property please give us a call on 02891 817715 or contact our property team by email at property@boydricesolicitors.com.

Hearing loss claims solicitors

Hearing loss claim against Shorts settles in the sum of £5,437

Neil McGranaghan

Our client, Mr J was employed in Hallmark (Shorts), Newtownards as a machine operator. He worked on various machines within the factory. At our initial meeting our client confirmed that he worked in close proximity to noisy machinery, had tinnitus and had suspicions that his hearing had been impaired as a result of his job. Ear protection was not mandatory when he began his employment and therefore was not worn.

We arranged for hearing tests (audiometry) to be carried out by a Consultant Otolaryngologist. The tests confirmed that despite the fact that our client’s hearing was well preserved in lower frequencies, there was evidence of hearing loss in the higher frequencies. The medical expert concluded his report by indicating that our client suffered from mild hearing loss and mild tinnitus.  80% of the hearing loss could be attributed to his employment with Hallmark with 20% as a result of age.

Court proceedings were issued on behalf of our client. The case resolved in our client’s favour and he was delighted with the result. He commented as follows;

“Very happy with the outcome, would recommend Boyd Rice Solicitors for their expertise in handling these claims.” 

If you have suspected hearing loss or tinnitus please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com