Protection from Harassment

Harassment is something with which we, as a society, are becoming more and more acutely aware of. Especially in this digital and social media age where people can be bullied and abused online. If you are suffering from harassment you need to be aware that you are not alone and that we can help. First though, if your harassment is at the hands of someone you’re having or had a relationship with; a family member; or someone you’re living with or lived with, then see our page relating to Non-Molestation Orders.

For harassment at the hands of anyone else you may be able to find protection through The Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. This legislation states;

A person shall not pursue a course of conduct—

(a)which amounts to harassment of another; and

(b)which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.

A “course of conduct” must involve conduct on at least two occasions and includes speech.

The legislation creates a criminal offence, which can lead to imprisonment and it also creates a civil remedy where you can obtain a court injunction restraining the harasser from continuing to engage in the conduct which constitutes the harassment. If the harasser breaks the terms of that injunction then that again constitutes a criminal offence and imprisonment may follow.

We are here to talk and listen to the problems you are going through. You will not be judged in any way. Just by opening up to someone you may begin to feel like there are people on your side and that you can gain the strength to do something about it. We can liaise with the PSNI on your behalf if you do not feel strong enough to do that.

Please do not let funding concerns deter you from getting in touch with us. We will provide you at the outset with estimates of all our fees and charges. There may be the possibility to agree a flat fee at the outset of your case. Alternatively you may be entitled to legal aid. We will be able to explore these options on your behalf.

For many years Boyd Rice Solicitors have been representing people who are going through this difficult time in their lives.  We devote care and attention to our clients and you can contact your assigned solicitor by phone or email.

Please call us now on 02891 817715, email family@boydricesolicitors.com or complete our Online Enquiry for a FREE, no-obligation discussion and let us explain how we can help you.

Claim arising from trip in shop settles for £30,000

Mrs B was in a recently-refurbished shop looking for some new flooring when she walked up a small ramp covered in some carpet remnant. This caused her to trip and fall, landing heavily on her left hand causing immediate pain in her wrist. After being helped to her feet our client noticed her wrist was swelling up. Her husband then took her to the Mater Hospital where she was sent for an x-ray.

The initial X-rays showed Mrs B had a fracture in her left wrist however further investigation was required to determine the extent of the injury. A cast was applied but in order to help resolve the issue manipulation was required with a small step in the joint still evident on inspection.

The following day Mrs B attended the fracture clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) and attended again one week later for open reduction and external fixation of her fracture which required an anaesthetic. Issues with her wrist continued and Mrs B had to attend further appointments at the RVH to review how the injury was improving as well as physiotherapy to aid recovery. Pain continued to bother her with day-to-day tasks such as peeling potatoes or filling a kettle causing her issues. In order to complete work around the house, Mrs B’s granddaughters had to assist with daily chores.

On being instructed Neil McGranaghan directed a letter of claim to the shop for onward transmission to their insurers. Correspondence alleged the incident arose from the shop’s negligence in failing to ensure the safety of visitors to the store. Neil’s priority was to ensure that Mrs B was fully compensated for her injuries and suffering. Compensation included special damages for monies paid to her granddaughters for helping with work around the house.

Settlement was reached without a need for Court Proceedings for the sum of £30,000 including special damages plus costs in Mrs B’s favour.

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

“I would recommend highly Neil as he kept me fully informed at all stages of my action and arranged all my medical examinations after a fall which caused a broken wrist. He obtained me a very good settlement in just 1 year. Thank you Neil very much.”

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

Road Traffic Accident settles for £5,500 plus costs

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr S in relation to his personal injury claim arising from a road traffic accident (RTA).

Mr S was driving home from work along a country road when a dog ran out in front of him. Swerving and braking to avoid hitting the dog, Mr S’s van was struck on the rear by another vehicle. Matters were discussed at the scene with the other driver admitting he had been distracted at the wheel. Mr S then drove his damaged van home. Although not feeling immediate pain at the scene, Mr S became increasingly aware of pain in his neck, back and knee. He attended the Ulster Hospital A & E.

Although there were no fractures, Mr S had suffered soft tissue injuries to his back and neck. Injuries to his neck were made worse due to his history of issues in that region which had been improving through physiotherapy. Self-employed in physical work, Mr S was off work for an initial two weeks before returning only in a reduced capacity. On attending his GP he was given advice and medication, also attending further physiotherapy for his injuries.

On instruction Neil McGranaghan directed a letter of claim to the other driver’s insurance company alleging that their insured’s negligence had led to our client’s personal injury, loss and damage. A medical examination was arranged to ensure we had a full understanding of all injuries.

Given that the accident had led to our client’s reduced capacity in work Neil’s aim was to ensure the matter was dealt with as soon as possible and that Mr S was fully compensated. After extensive communication with the other driver’s insured settlement was reached in the sum of £5,500 plus costs in Mr S’ favour with no requirement for Court proceedings.

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

“Neil did a great and quick job on my behalf to settle my claim as soon as possible.

Many thanks to him and the Team, I will definitely be using Boyd Rice Solicitors again!”

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

What to do on discovering a spillage from your neighbour’s oil or septic tank.

As the winter weather continues to take hold we all dread the prospect of problems with our heating system as complex issues leave us in the cold in more ways than one. It is recommended to have boiler care or to ensure this is covered under your home insurance to make sure you won’t be out of pocket. Septic tanks require similar care, and again we would recommend you have adequate insurance to avoid a bill where anything goes wrong.

But what happens if a malfunction in a neighbour’s oil or septic tank has led to a spillage onto your property? This could be from a breach in the tank due to rust or wear-and-tear, or even a mistake by their contractor leading to a release of hazardous liquids onto your land. A gradual or sudden release of hazardous liquid causes trouble to your land both on the surface and soaking down through the layers of earth below. As well as this it is a risk to your personal health, with septic tanks a source of many forms of harmful bacteria with E. coli especially an example.

The first thing to do on discovering the spill is to limit the spread and minimise the area affected. To do this and reduce the risk of harm to yourself you should contact a specialist contractor as soon as possible. They will establish the full extent of the spillage and will take necessary samples for examination to confirm the source of the spillage as from neighbouring land. The contractor will also ensure any dangerous materials are disposed of correctly to minimise further harm to the environment.

A spillage will badly affect agricultural land used both for grazing and for growing crops, while on the residential side this will affect the marketability of the property. In both instances any spillage incident needs to be dealt with as soon as possible to minimise the damage.

With severe financial and environmental implications, you will be glad the responsibility for the loss or damage you have suffered is with whoever caused the spill in their use, storage or transport of the substance . We will ensure you are fully compensated for all loss, from the diagnosis or advice of a specialist contractor to the full clean-up of the affected land and disposal of all contaminated remnants. Where necessary we liaise with the Department of Agriculture, Envronment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to ensure all protocols are adhered to with no hassle to you.

If you have been affected, please contact one of the claims team on 02891 817715 , or by email at claims@boydricesolicitors.com and let us explain how we can help you.

We offer a free initial consultation where we will confidentially discuss the circumstances of the incident and will assess how we can assist you in the best way possible. We use leading experts to investigate spillages and our team of environmental consultants are extremely experienced.

Breach of Client’s Privacy settles for £750 plus costs.

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr X in respect of a breach of data protection.

A Government Agency had previously sent Mr X correspondence regarding a Summons of Execution to what they had in their records as his home address. This address was where he had previously resided with his father. His father was able to read aspects of the letter due to the poor quality stationery within which it was sent. On discovering the proceedings taken against Mr X, there was a breakdown in their relationship as Mr X’s family had previously been unaware of the personal matters to which it referred. Given the personal nature of the contents, it is understandable that Mr X wished for the issues to be kept private. Mr X immediately reported to the agency that he had previously advised of his change of address and that he had believed their records had been updated to reflect this. He received a letter apologising for the error and an assurance that his address had been updated in the system to avoid any future errors, with the matter being investigated as a matter of urgency.

With Mr X already not satisfied with the Government Agency’s response, they mistakenly sent further correspondence to his father’s address regarding similar personal matters. Again, not opening the letter, his father was able to partially see the contents of the letter leading to a further breach of Mr X’s privacy. Due to our client’s father suffering from health issues including a heart condition, his wider family soon became aware of the personal proceedings as it was feared that proceedings related to his father’s property. This led to further distress for both Mr X’s father and Mr X, continuing to affect Mr X’s relationship with his family.

On receiving instruction from our client, Ben Wall directed a letter of claim alleging a breach of the rules governing data protection. Using wide-ranging and recent Legislation, Ben referred to both the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Specifically citing the access to, processing and publication of confidential information concerning our client, Ben also highlighted the distress, anxiety and reputational damage Mr X had suffered. Given the stress this had caused Mr X and his father’s worsening health condition, Ben’s priority was to resolve the matter as soon as possible to ensure Mr X was not put through further undue stress and his family relationships were not further affected.

With Ben determined to ensure Mr X was suitably compensated, there was extensive communication both with our Client and the Government Agency involved. Court Proceedings were issued against the Government Agency but the case was settled with a day to spare in the sum of £750 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of their claim our client commented as follows;
“Ben called me shortly after my web enquiry and discussed the process in great detail to me. Everything was taken care off for me which helped greatly in very stressful circumstances.
Always make sure your data is handled correctly and if not contact Ben!”

If you have had a similiar issue and would like to arrange a free consultation please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Purchasing a new home conveyancing

Time running out to open your Help to Buy ISA.

A Government initiative launched in 2015, the Help to Buy ISA is the perfect way to help people get onto the first rung of the property ladder.

Available from a range of Banks and Building Societies, the account is available for all first-time buyers. Under the scheme, the government will boost your savings by a 25% bonus when you put them towards your first house. The minimum you can deposit into your Help to Buy ISA to claim the bonus is £1,600. The maximum bonus available is £3,000 on savings of £12,000. These are the maximum and minimum per person, meaning that where you are buying with your partner you could both save separately to claim a full £6,000.

It is vital you open your Help to Buy ISA account before the 30th November 2019 as after this date they will not be available. Once you have opened your account you may continue to save a maximum of £200 a month until 30th November 2029. You then have until December 2030 to claim your bonus. Although you have the option to deposit up to £1,200 in the first month, you may also open the account before the deadline but wait a few months (even beyond the 30th November 2019) to deposit any cash and maximise savings. We would recommend checking these options with your specific Bank or Building Society.

When it comes to buying your first home all you need to do is close the ISA and ensure you receive the relevant closing letter. On receiving this closing letter we will apply for the Government bonus on your behalf and will put all funds including the bonus towards the purchase of your property. Our experienced team will guide you throughout your move into your dream home and will be happy to claim your Government bonus with no hassle for you.

If you are ready to buy your first home call us now 02891 817715, email property@boydricesolicitors.com or complete our Online Enquiry for a FREE, no-obligation discussion and let us explain how we can help you.

Bicycle Accident Claim Solicitor

Case Settled for Injured Cyclist

Settlement is reached for injured cyclist less than 4 months from date of accident

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr L in relation to a personal injury claim.
Our client instructs that he was cycling to participate in the weekend Club Run. He was cycling a road bike and was wearing appropriate safety gear. When en route to meet other Club members the passenger side of a car collided with him. The collision threw him from his bicycle onto the road. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, however the force of impact caused injuries and damaged his bicycle and cycling clothing.

Our client was taken by ambulance to Bangor Hospital where he was assessed and subsequently released. He had injuries to his neck, shoulder, elbow and hip. He contacted our office and an appointment was arranged within one week of the accident. Following the appointment an examination was arranged with a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to determine the extent of the injuries sustained. A letter of claim was directed to the at fault driver’s insurer.

Our client’s bicycle was badly damaged and we were instructed to recover the cost of the bike together with the cost of replacement bespoke wheels, helmet, clothing and cleats.

Once medical evidence had been obtained we engaged in constructive discussions with the at fault driver’s insurer and managed to agree settlement on a pre proceedings basis in the sum of £7,326.40. This meant that our client did not need to go to Court. Settlement was achieved on a global basis and encompassed damages for his injuries together with the cost of the bike, add-ons and safety clothing/equipment.

Thankfully given that our client’s injuries were relatively modest in nature when compared to other cycling injury claims that we have dealt with, we managed to resolve matters quickly. Our client received his damages cheque less than 3 and a half months from the date that he first attended our office meaning that he could replace his bike and get back on the road.

Following the successful conclusion of his claim our client commented as follows;
Neil was very professional throughout my case, answered queries promptly, thanks to him I am back on the road again

Neil McGranaghan is a specialist cycling accident Solicitor. It is important to receive expert guidance if you have been injured in a cycling accident. We offer a free initial consultation. Please contact Neil by phone on 02891 817715 or by email neil@boydricesolicitors.com.

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Boyd Rice Solicitors continue to expand with the addition of two new appointments

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Lowry as a Solicitor in the Family and Matrimonial Department. Mary has extensive experience in handling a wide variety of Family Law matters and regularly appears in the High Court and Family Care Centre on behalf of her clients.

In addition, we continue to invest in future members of the legal profession with the second Legal Executive appointment of this year (following on from Emma Coey who joined the Firm at the start of the year). Jack Morrow has joined us from a large regional law firm and will be assisting in the Conveyancing and Litigation Departments.

The appointments will ensure that we continue to provide our clients with a high level of service and will allow for continued growth in the practice areas of Conveyancing, Family and Litigation.

Lastly, we are happy and proud in equal measure to report that Christina McDowell is now a Trainee Solicitor having taken a place at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. Christina began her formal training in September 2019 and will qualify as a Solicitor in September 2021. We wish her every success during her training.

Cycling Accident claim settles for £15,000

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr F in relation to his injury claim.

Our client instructs that he was riding his pushbike along the Upper Newtownards Road close to Stormont when a van cut in front of him and he was unable to avoid colliding with it. He could not cycle his bike any further as the front wheel was buckled and the bike was left chained to a fence. Unfortunately, when our client returned to collect the bike a few days later it had been stolen.

Our client developed increasing pain in the lateral aspect of his right shoulder in the hours after the accident. Initially he took pain killers but as the pain did not settle he attended the Emergency department of the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald. X-rays taken of his right shoulder confirmed a fracture of his clavicle (collar bone). He was treated in a collar and cuff and advised to return to the Fracture Clinic.

Shortly after our client instructed Neil McGranaghan to pursue an injury claim against the van driver. A medical appointment was arranged in order to obtain a full understanding of the long term impact that this injury would have on our client. He is an avid cyclist and was keen to ensure that he could get back on his bike.

The insurance company of the van driver were unable to get in contact with driver and delayed in accepting liability. On that basis, Court proceedings were issued to ensure that our client’s claim was brought to conclusion as quickly as possible.

The Solicitor appointed by the van driver’s insurer indicated at an early stage that the insurance company would now deal with the claim and a joint consultation followed quickly thereafter. Thankfully our client’s collarbone was healing well and early discussions proved successful. Settlement was achieved in the sum of £15,000 which included £300 in respect of our client’s stolen push bike.

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

“My visit to the Boyd Rice website was the best decision that I have made in a long time. My case was dealt with utmost professionalism and the conclusion was reached very quickly. I can’t thank those involved enough and would (and have) recommended Boyd Rice to anyone in a similar situation. Thank you all so very much.”

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

Cyclist knocked off his bike awarded £26,261.86

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr B in relation to his injury claim.

Our client instructs that he was cycling as part of a large group of club cyclists. He was cycling a road bike with cleats and was wearing appropriate cycling gear. Our client had cycled from Newtownards and just as he was entering Donaghadee he was struck by a van from behind. The collision threw him from his bicycle onto the road. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, however the force of impact caused serious injuries and damaged his bicycle and cycling clothing.

Our client was taken by ambulance to the Ulster Hospital.  He had a series of examinations including an x-ray to his lumbar spine and a CT scan of his chest, abdomen and pelvis. These examinations identified a compression fracture of the body of his L1 vertebrae with 25-30% loss of vertebral height. Our client was admitted to hospital overnight. He further sustained cuts to his elbow, knee and shin as well as bruising to his hip region.

Clearly our client was seriously injured in the accident and it was important to get a full understanding of his injuries before taking all relevant steps to ensure that he received proper compensation together with recovery of the costs of any additional medical treatment required.

Our client’s bicycle was damaged beyond repair. Early discussions took place with the at fault driver’s insurer and we recovered the value of the bike together with the cost of a replacement helmet and clothing meaning that our client could get back on the road when he was ready to do so.

In addition, our client required 10 weeks off work and we recovered all loss of earnings.

Court proceedings were issued on our client’s behalf and the case resolved without the need to attend Court. Liability was quickly established and therefore our aim was to ensure that our client was fully compensation for the injuries he sustained in the accident. The case resolved constructively following discussions with the Defendant insurer’s legal team in the sum of £23,000 in respect of the injuries sustained together with £3,261.86 in respect of bicycle damage and replacement clothing.

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

“From the outset Neil McGranaghan guided and advised me throughout the process. Any concerns or queries I had were dealt with promptly (usually within the hour). Delighted to receive a cheque to cover damage to bike and clothing after only 8 weeks. Now the case has come to an end I must say I’m well satisfied with the damages cheque I’ve received. I honestly would not have any reservations in recommending Boyd Rice Solicitors to any of my friends.”

Neil McGranaghan is a specialist cycling accident Solicitor. It is important to receive expert guidance if you have been seriously injured in a cycling accident. We offer a free initial consultation. Please contact Neil by phone on 02891 817715 or by email neil@boydricesolicitors.com