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This will be the place to find all breaking news and updates from Thompsons and personal injury litigation in general.

The news has been full of depressing stories this week.  I saw that despite a general decrease in road traffic accidents tragically a 6 year old boy has died after being struck by a car in the east end of Glasgow.  It is believed to be an accident involving the child’s mother reversing the vehicle. 

I drive on Scotland’s roads every day and see all types of accidents and reckless driving but what most people are not aware of is that a major risk for serious car accidents is tailgating and this should be avoided at all times.

Not sure or never heard of tailgating?

I was saddened to read in the newspapers about the couple who were attacked by a bull in Nottinghamshire, killing one of them and leaving the other critically ill in hospital. I am not shocked to learn that the farmer, who owns the bull, is equally devastated by the attack.

When I first came into this game, I was very surprised to learn that owners of animals are held liable for attacks such as this. In Scotland, victims of such incidents are protected by the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987. This legislation affords victims of personal injury caused by animals (of a certain nature) a right of remedy against the owner of the animal. In the recent incident highlighted in the press, the couple and their family will have a right of claim against the farmer who is likely to have public liability insurance for such incidents. However, imagine the situation if we had a dog that bit little Thom. Perish the thought, but the wee man would not be able to sue the dog but in turn, would be able to sue me! If I had no insurance for the dog, then the claim would be against me personally and being a man of plasticine he would not get any money from me even though a court would have the right to order it.

Asbestos related diseases and conditions cause thousands of people to suffer injuries and symptoms every year. A lot of people who pursue compensation claims for asbestos related diseases and conditions were exposed to asbestos fibres in the workplace. Today the effects of exposure to dangerous asbestos fibres are well known. I was shocked and angry when John Lewis and Morris and Spotiswood exposed around 15 workers to asbestos fibres in July 2008 when the John Lewis store in Edinburgh was being refurbished.

Some compensation lawyers like to brand themselves “Health and Safety Lawyers”; others prefer the tag ‘civil litigators’.  Others, like larger than life, head of Thompsons Aberdeen office, Chris Gordon likes to be known as a ‘Top City Lawyer’.

Passing your driving test and getting a drivers licence serves as a proof that you are competent and knowledgeable to drive a car and participate in the traffic. However, the driving test is fairly basic and does not provide much information when it comes to stressful situations, aggressive drivers and most importantly, car accidents. It will provide some theoretical background, but no instructor will ever be able to tell you about all possible situations you may encounter and train you to avoid all car accident risks. You will have to learn most about the actual dangers of car accidents from your experience on the road.

My friends at Thompsons have backed the family of a solider who was killed when an RAF Nimrod exploded over Afghanistan.  Like many people, I thought that if a soldier was injured, it should be quite straightforward to claim compensation.  However on this occasion the Ministry of Defence apparently made the claim for compensation as difficult as possible.

In theory bull bars are there to make driving safer for us, yet there has been a lot of discussion as to whether it really is the case.  It is argued that quite a high number of pedestrian deaths and injuries are only increased by cars that have bull bars. Therefore, even though bull bars may indeed make the ride safer for the driver, and it can turn a minor car accident into a fatal one for a pedestrian.

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