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

Car accident claims solicitor

Client who sustained serious ear injury in RTA in Newtownards, Northern Ireland settles claim for £30,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr E in relation to their injury claim arising from a road traffic accident. Our client instructed that on the date of the incident he was a rear-seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a collision with a wall.

Our client sustained a soft tissue injury of his neck together with a significant laceration to his ear. He was initially treated at the scene before being transferred to the Emergency Department of the Ulster Hospital. He required plastic surgery on his injured ear a few days later. Clearly a serious injury was sustained in this accident and it was important that a clear understanding of the extent of the injury was obtained via various examinations with medical experts.

Court proceedings were issued. Liability was quickly established against the other driver.  A joint consultation took place and the case resolved in our client’s favour in the sum of £30,000 plus  costs.

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

I am very pleased about how the case went and would highly recommend Boyd Rice Solicitors”

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 02890 387060 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Car accident claims solicitor

Passenger in vehicle involved in serious crash in Dundonald, Northern Ireland settles claim for £30,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr J in relation to his injury claim arising from a road traffic accident on the Upper Newtownards Road. Our client was the restrained backseat passenger in a car being driven by his friend that was involved in a collision.

Police and Ambulance Services attended the scene. Our client was assessed and transferred to the Ulster Hospital. He suffered a significant laceration to his forehead and a soft tissue injury to his neck. Various examinations with medical experts took place to establish the extent of the injury.

Court proceedings were issued. Liability was quickly established against the other driver. This serious accident had left our client with a visible scar on his forehead. The case resolved by way of constructive discussions in our client’s favour in the sum of £30,000 plus his legal costs.

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

“The case was handled in a professional way and I was always kept up to date with how the case was going.”

 If you have been involved in a serious road traffic 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

Dog bite claim in Newtownards, Northern Ireland settles for £6,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr F in relation to his personal injury claim that arose whist carrying out his work. Our client instructed that on the date of the incident he was delivering parcels to a house. When the front door opened, three dogs came out. One of the dogs was very aggressive and attacked our client, biting him on both legs.

Our client was somewhat shocked and there was initial bleeding, however he was able to treat his own wounds immediately after the incident. Approximately one week after the incident our client developed swelling on his right calf. Our client sought medical advice at the Minor Injuries Unit of Ards Hospital.

Our client had a series of puncture marks on his calf, in a row over a 6cm area. Additionally, our client has a broad L – shape pigmented flat scar measuring 3cm on the left his left shin. Our client has been left with visible scars on both legs.

Court proceedings were issued against the dog owner. The case was settled out of Court and resolved in Mr F’s favour in the sum of £6,000 plus costs.

If you have been bitten by a dog you can pursue a claim for damages against the dog owner. Please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Uninsured drivers

RTA injury claim in Dublin settles for £14,000

Neil McGranaghan

Neil McGranaghan was instructed to act on behalf of Miss K in relation to her claim for loss and damage arising from a road traffic accident in Dublin. Our client instructed that she was the restrained front seat passenger in a car driven by her Father. The car was stationary when another vehicle collided with the rear of the vehicle behind, pushing it into the rear of her Father’s car.

The Gardai attended the scene and all details were exchanged.

Upon her return to Northern Ireland the following day, our client attended the Emergency Department of the Ulster Hospital where she was examined and diagnosed with having soft tissue injuries affecting her neck and back. She also attended her GP who prescribed painkillers.

Protracted discussions took place between Neil and the other driver’s insurance company who were based in Republic of Ireland. The insurance company firstly 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 her legal costs paid on top of her 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 based in her own jurisdiction even though her accident occurred in another European Country. 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 to our client in this case as damages in the Republic of Ireland greatly exceed those here in Northern Ireland.

After lengthy arguments and negotiations our client’s claim resolved in the sum of £14,000 plus her legal costs. Our client did not need to attend Court nor did she need to instruct a Solicitor based in Republic of Ireland which would have been very inconvenient for her and would have resulted in additional time and travel expenses.

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

This was the first time that I have ever had to use a Solicitor and I am delighted with the outcome. I used my local Solicitor, Boyd Rice Solicitors even though the accident was in Dublin. I would definitely recommend Neil to anyone who find themselves in this situation

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident in the Republic of Ireland or indeed in another EU Country please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 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.

Accident abroad claims solicitors

Injury claim in Majorca settles for £5,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mrs B in relation to her injury claim arising from a fall whilst on holiday in Majorca. Our client was going down wooden steps leading from the chalet where she was staying. Our client instructed that there was no handrail, the lighting was poor and the steps were uneven causing her to lose her footing.

Mrs B sustained a deep laceration to her right leg, she was taken to hospital and the wound was closed with sutures. She was left with a visible scare.

Court proceedings were issued against Jet2 Limited under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. The case was settled out of Court in the sum of £5,000 plus costs.

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

“Handled very efficiently, promptly and very professionally”    

 

If you have been involved in an accident abroad and would like to arrange a free consultation please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Personal Injury Specialist Solicitors

Injury claim arising from RTA on Mill Street, Newtownards settles for £7,000

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mrs T in relation to her claim for loss and damage arising from a road traffic accident .

Our client instructed that she was the restrained front seat passenger in a car being driven by her husband. The car was moving at road speed when another vehicle exited a car park and drove into the car. The Police and Ambulance Services were not required to attend the scene and details of the subject accident were locally resolved.

Following the accident, our client was referred to Ards Minor Injuries Unit before being transferred via emergency ambulance to the Ulster Hospital for assessment of neck pain and lower back pain. She sought further medical advice from her GP which resulted in Mrs T attending physiotherapy.

Court proceedings were issued against the at fault driver. The case was settled out of Court and resolved in Mrs T’s favour in the sum of £7,000 plus costs.

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

“I instructed Boyd Rice Solicitors to act on my behalf, I am very pleased with the settlement and will continue to use Boyd Rice in the future.”

If you have been involved in a similar accident please contact us on 02891 817715, or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com and let us explain how we can help you.

Personal Injury Specialist Solicitors

What should you do if you are involved in a road traffic accident?

Neil McGranaghan

Unfortunately, the vast majority of us will be involved in a road traffic accident at some stage in our lives. It is important to know what to do in this situation. Many of the suggested points are obvious and are included only for the sake of completeness!

We would suggest that you follow the guide below;

1. Stop the car and turn your engine off.
2. Do not accept liability.
3. Record the following information-
-Other driver’s name, address and vehicle registration;
– The make and model of the other vehicle;
– A description of the driver;
– Their insurance details (if they have them);
– Location of your accident;
– Time of your accident;
4. Take photographs of your vehicle and the other vehicle;
5. Phone the Police if you are injured and record their reference number.
6. Phone Boyd Rice Solicitors for advice on what to do next.

How we help you.

The reason why we suggest you contact us at the earliest possible opportunity is to enable us to provide you with advice on liability. Liability just means who is at fault for the accident.

Liability can be decided in three ways;
1. 100% the other driver’s fault
In this case, if you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation. If you are not injured then your main concern will be getting your vehicle assessed and securing a replacement vehicle. We can do this for you and in doing so will always strive to ensure that your insurance is not affected, even temporarily, by the accident. One of the biggest issues that people have after an accident is having the hassle of making a number of phone calls to their insurance company. We will take the hassle away from you.

2. Partly your fault (split liability)
This is where it gets tricky and the advice of a Solicitor is imperative. Liability is divided between you and the other driver, usually on a percentage basis. In the absence of any independent witnesses to the accident it is commonplace for your insurance company to try to split liability with the other driver’s insurer. Many of our clients approach us when their insurer has suggested that liability should be split. This is the easy way out for them. A liability split will mean that your premium will go up.

Our previous case studies demonstrate that we can take the decision making away from your insurance company. We will always put you first and seek full liability against the other driver even if that means taking the case to Court.

3. 100% your fault
In this scenario we will give you advice on what to do next. If you have the benefit of fully comprehensive insurance cover this simply means speaking to your insurance company and letting them deal with the accident. Always best to speak to us first in any event.

Consequences of road traffic accidents.

1. A damaged vehicle/ a vehicle that will be “written off”
Almost all accidents will lead to vehicle damage. Your vehicle will be assessed by an engineer to determine whether it can be repaired. If the cost of repairing your vehicle is greater than its pre-accident value then your vehicle will be declared a “total loss” and will be “written off”. Your insurer may make you pay your insurance excess to the repairing garage or the excess could be deducted from the cheque you receive in respect of the pre-accident value of your vehicle.
If the accident was not your fault your insurance should not be affected at all and you should not be out of pocket. Ring us before your insurance company.
If you drive a relatively new car, it may depreciate in value after an accident. We can arrange for an assessment to be carried out by an independent engineer to determine whether depreciation applies. If it does, you are entitled to compensation in that regard.

2. Injuries
Soft tissue injuries often referred to as “whiplash” are commonplace after a road traffic accident. If the accident was the other driver’s fault or even partially the other driver’s fault you may be entitled to compensation. We will arrange for you to be examined by a medical expert in order to support your claim for injuries. The expert will provide us with a report detailing your symptoms and we will send you a copy of the report. If you require physiotherapy we can recover the cost of this on your behalf.

3. Loss of earnings
You may need time off work as a result of the accident. We will liaise with your employer to calculate any loss of earnings and will recover these on your behalf. Even if you receive full pay there may be a clause in your contract entitling your employer to recover the wages advanced to you during your absence from work. Again, we will liaise with your employer to determine whether this applies.

To conclude, being involved in an accident will always cause stress/ inconvenience and unfortunately injuries are commonplace. Boyd Rice Solicitors have an experienced team of Solicitors who will always put you first. Speaking to us at an early stage (even before your insurance company) will take the majority of the stress and inconvenience away from you enabling you to concentrate on getting over the actual shock of being involved in the accident.

For further information or advice please contact us on 02891 817715 or email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

We always answer any queries within 1 hour and can facilitate home meetings or meetings outside of normal working hours.

We are on your side.