Personal Injury

Trip or Slip Claims image

Trip or Slip Claims

6th November 2014


One of the most common types of claim that our clients try to bring involves a slip or trip over uneven or broken paving stones/pavement on the public highway.  However just because there has been a slip or trip on uneven or broken paving stones/pavement does not necessarily mean that there is a claim.

The Defendant

Usually in such cases it is the local highways authority that is the potential Defendant and hence for most cases in the South Holland area this will be the Lincolnshire County Council.

Establishing Liability

To establish liability on the part of the highways authority the Claimant must prove the following:-

(i)         That the paving stone/pavement was “dangerous” to pedestrians;

(ii)         That the dangerous position was created by the failure to maintain or repair the paving stone/pavement; and

(iii)        That injury or damage resulted.

The test of dangerousness is one “of reasonable foresight of harm” to pedestrians, and each case will turn upon its own facts.

Evidence of Dangerousness

As a very general starting point, a slip or trip hazard of one inch or more is more often than not held to be “dangerous”.  However more recently the Courts have used a less formulaic approach.  Courts will also take into account the highways authority’s policy in respect of defects.  For example the Lincolnshire County Council policy suggests that hazards of more than 25mm are dangerous.

Statutory Defence

The highways authority will have a defence to a claim if it can prove that it took such action as was reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the particular section of paving stone/pavement was safe.  In short if the highways authority has a reasonable inspection programme, and follows it then it is likely to successfully defend a claim.  For example the Lincolnshire County Council has an inspection programme which states that “main shopping areas” should be inspected 12 times per year.  This is also in fact in accordance with national guidance, and therefore if the Lincolnshire County Council is following this programme then it is likely to successfully defend a slip/trip claim relating to a “main shopping area”.

However quite often we find that a slip/trip hazard has been in situ for many months if not years, which suggests that the highways authority is not keeping to its own inspection programme.  In such circumstances our clients are likely to succeed with a claim for personal injury resulting from the slip/trip.

Have you had a slip/trip within the last three years

If you have slipped or tripped on a public highway within the last three years and suffered an injury as a result, then you might have a claim.  Please arrange to see Daven Naghen for a free interview so that he can assess the merits of your case.  In such circumstances the first interview is free of charge to you.

If you want to speak to Daven about a potential claim then either ring Daven on 01775 722261 or email or write to or contact Grant at 23 New Road Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.

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Important Changes Personal Injury Claims 01.04.13 image

Important Changes Personal Injury Claims 01.04.13

6th March 2013


From 1st April 2013 the Government is introducing some significant changes to the way individuals (a “Claimant”) make claims for compensation in respect of Personal Injury (e.g. after a road traffic accident, an accident at work etc). The regime from 1st April 2013 will be far less favourable to the Claimant, and far more favourable to the party defending the claim (“the Defendant”) who is usually an insurance company paying out on behalf of a motorist/employer in respect of a policy of insurance.


Under current rules, a Solicitor can act for a Claimant under a “no win no fee” agreement which is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”).

Under the CFA the Solicitor will not charge the Claimant for his work if the Claimant does not succeed with the claim. However if the Claimant wins the case, the Solicitor can claim all his costs from the Claimant, and also what is known as a “Success Fee”. The Success Fee is a mark-up or enhancement charged by the Solicitor for taking the risk that he or she might not get paid anything at all if the case is lost. The Success Fee can be anything up to 100% (and occasionally can be even more than 100%) and in road traffic accident claims is usually 12.5%.

For example if the Solicitor’s costs are £1,000, and he has a Success Fee of 12.5% in the CFA, then the Solicitor will be able to claim an extra £125 by way of a Success Fee in order to make the total costs £1,125.

Usually the Solicitor will recover most if not all of these costs (including Success Fee) from the Defendant, as the Defendant will often have insurance (e.g. motor insurance, employer’s liability insurance) to cover the costs of losing. Hence in many CFA cases the Claimant will get 100% of his compensation as he will not have to contribute towards his legal fees as these are often recovered in full from the Defendant.

In the event that the Claimant loses, although he faces no liability for his Solicitors’ costs, he may face the risk of having to pay the Defendant’s legal costs. To cover such a risk, usually a Solicitor will obtain for the Claimant an After the Event Insurance policy (“ATE Insurance”) which will cover the Defendant’s costs if the Claimant loses. The premium is often deferred until the end of the case, and then recovered from the Defendant if the Claimant wins.

Fees for medical reports etc (known by Solicitors as “disbursements”) do have to be paid by the Claimant up front, but are usually recovered from the Defendant in the event that the Claimant wins his case. In fact if the case is clear cut the Defendant may agree to pay these fees up front in any event.

The current regime is therefore popular with Claimants as they can without much risk or expenditure run a good personal injury claim against a Defendant. In the event of a win the Claimant usually get 100% of his compensation plus his costs paid for by the Defendant (including the Success Fee and the ATE Insurance premium). In the event of a defeat, the ATE Insurance will cover the Defendant’s costs and the Solicitor acting for the Claimant will not get paid.


The Government perceives that due to the very low/minimal risk that Claimants have in pursuing personal injury claims, that often Claimants will bring cases without much merit and/or pursue exaggerated claims against Defendants. As a result this leads to insurers footing the bill for high legal costs. The Government believes that as a result the insurers pass these charges onto their customers by way of higher insurance premiums. The Government has wanted to reduce the number of claims made, and to limit the costs involved in those genuine claims that are pursued so that insurers spend less on such cases and then pass on such savings to their customers by way of reducing insurance premiums.


(a) Recoverability of the Success Fee

Under the current regime the Success Fee is recoverable from the Defendant if the Claimant wins. Under the new system from 1st April 2013 the Claimant will have to pay the Success Fee even if he wins. The Success Fee will be limited in many cases to 25% of the total compensation won by the Claimant.

(b) Recoverability of the ATE Insurance Premium

Under the current regime the ATE Insurance Premium is recoverable from the Defendant if the Claimant wins. In respect of any ATE Insurance Policy started or incepted on or after 1st April 2013, the premium will not be recoverable from the Defendant even if the Claimant wins. The Claimant will have to bear the costs of the ATE Insurance Premium, which depending upon the nature of the case and the length of the case could cost many hundreds if not thousands of pounds.

(c) Damage Based Agreements (“DBA”)

The new rules do introduce a new alternative method of funding called a DBA.

In essence the Solicitor under a DBA agrees to take a certain percentage of the Claimant’s damages by way of his costs. For example the Solicitor may agree to limit his costs to 25% of the Claimant’s compensation. If the Claimant wins £1,000, then the Solicitor will charge £250 in this example. However this sum will be recoverable in many cases from the Defendant. Hence the Claimant may get all of his compensation if the costs are recovered from the Defendant.

In most cases there will be a cap of 25% of the Claimant’s compensation for the Solicitors’ legal costs.


Claimants who would under the current regime usually recover 100% of their compensation under a CFA, will after 1st April 2013 have to pay some of their compensation to their Solicitor as payment of the Success Fee and will also have to pay some of the compensation also towards the ATE Insurance Premium. Hence Claimants will not get 100% of their compensation as many Solicitors currently often claim or pledge.

Solicitors under the new regime may be reluctant to take on high risk cases as there is only a limited Success Fee of 25% in most cases, and this may not adequately reflect the risk that a Solicitor takes in running the case under a CFA.

Solicitors are less likely to take on lower value cases, as it will not be worth their while doing so financially as the Success Fee may be greater than or equivalent to the compensation that the Claimant may get.

Solicitors may also be reluctant to sign Claimants up to DBA’s in lower value cases, as the Solicitors’ costs will be very limited and not adequately reflect the cost or work of the Solicitor involved.


Grant Shackleston, head of our Personal Injury Team, advises “If you have a potential Personal Injury claim then act now. Come and see us as a matter of urgency and preferably as soon as possible before 1st April. If your claim is a good one we can get you signed up to a CFA and get your ATE Insurance Policy prior to 1st April 2013 so that you can take advantage of the current regime. Provided your CFA is signed before 1st April 2013, and the ATE Insurance Policy started before 1st April 2013, the current rules will continue to apply so that the Success Fee and the ATE Insurance Premium are recoverable from the other side in the event that you win the case.


For more advice and information please ring Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email or write to Dav at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.

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What is a “No Win No Fee” Agreement?

30th October 2013


There are two types of “no win no fee” agreements, namely Conditional Fee Agreements (“CFAs”) and Damages Based Agreements (“DBAs”).

Currently at Maples we are only able to offer CFAs in personal injury claims.

What is a CFA?

This is an agreement between the solicitor and the client which in effect means that only if the claim is successful will the client be responsible for his solicitor’s costs.  If the claim is lost then save for expenses such as medical report fees, the client will not have to pay his own solicitor any money.

If the case is won then the client is liable to the solicitor for his costs (although usually the successful party will get an Order for at least some if not most of his costs to be paid by the losing party), and the solicitor is entitled to charge a success fee in addition to his normal fees. The success fee in effect is the solicitor’s reward for taking the risk of losing and not getting paid.  It is usually stated as a percentage mark-up or enhancement of the normal fees.


As stated above even if the case is lost, the client will still be liable for expenses and disbursements such as experts’ fees, medical report fees and in certain cases Barristers’ fees. However in certain circumstances Barristers may also be willing to act under a CFA, so they too are only paid by the client in the event of a win.

The Success Fee

As stated above if the solicitor wins the case he can charge a success fee to the client, as well as his normal fees.

In person injury claims the success fee is often fixed by rules, and in straight forward road traffic accident cases for example it is usually 12.5% of the normal fees if the case is concluded before Trial and 100% of the normal fees if the case is concluded after Trial.

If the CFA was entered into prior to the 1st April 2013 then the success fee can be recovered in whole or part from the other side in the event of a win.  However for agreements from the 1st April 2013 onwards, save in limited circumstances (e.g. asbestosis type claims) the success fee is not recoverable from the other side and the client shall remain liable for it in the event of a win subject to a cap of 25% of certain parts of the compensation obtained for the client.

What does the client pay if he/she loses?

The client will not have to pay his own solicitor’s fees save for any expenses/disbursements as stated above.  However it is likely that the client will have to pay some or most of the other party’s (i.e. the winner’s) costs, which might be quite substantial.

Protection against paying the costs of the other side

It is possible to protect a client’s position so far as losing and paying the other side’s costs are concerned, by getting after the event (“ATE”) insurance.

There will be a premium involved, which is not recoverable from the other party even if the case is won.   The client may have to fund this himself, or sometimes it is possible to get a deferred and self-insured premium so that it does not have to be paid until the end of the case and possibly not at all unless the client wins the case and gets compensation.

The main advantages of a CFA

It enables the solicitor and the client to share the risks and costs of litigation. 

If the case is lost, the client might only have to pay expenses/disbursements.

The main disadvantage of a CFA

If the case is won, then in addition to the normal costs of the solicitor (to the extent that these costs are not recovered from the other party), the client will also have to pay the success fee subject to any cap.

Free Half Hour Interview

At Maples we can offer you a free half hour interview during which we can not only assess the merits of any personal claim that you may have, but we can also consider your eligibility for a CFA and whether or not it is the most suitable method of funding for your case.

If you want further advice about a personal injury claim and or a CFA, then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email or write to us at Maples Solicitors LLP 23 New Road Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.

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Claiming for an Accident Abroad

23rd May 2010

If you are going abroad on holiday, be safe and have a nice time. However sometimes things do go wrong. If you are injured abroad, or your holiday is ruined in some other way, there is a possibility, depending on the circumstances, that you might have redress through the Courts in this country after you get back.

There are three general categories of accidents abroad, eg:

  • “Package Holiday” accidents;
  • accidents for which someone domiciled in England and Wales is responsible;
  • accidents for which a foreign national is responsible.

If you were on a “package holiday” booked from this Country then it may well be covered by the provisions of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 as amended. The Regulations define what the “package” element must include. (Generally it means an arrangement which includes transport and accommodation.)

Many accidents whilst on package holidays involve part of the “package”,

  • accidents because of the defective state of the accommodation, or
  • food poisoning from meals in the hotel restaurant or
  • injuries in transit / on transfers.

If the tour operator has not properly discharged its obligations under the contract, then the Regulations provide that the tour operator may be held liable.

If the Regulations apply, then proceedings can be brought in England and Wales. Generally the effect of the foreign law and foreign limitation periods is not relevant, although there are exceptions. (For example, in one leading case a holiday maker tripped and fell through a plate glass window suffering multiple injuries. The plate glass in the window conformed to local building regulations but would not have met British Standards. In that case the Court held that the tour operator had not been negligent.)

Do bear in mind that not all “package holiday” accidents abroad will be covered by the “package holiday” Regulations.

If the Regulations do not apply, then look to see if any of the following apply.

Firstly, did the accident involve another person from England and Wales?

Examples might include the following:

  • Someone working overseas for a British company injured in the course of their employment;
  • Someone injured through the negligence of a travel companion, as for instance whilst travelling as a passenger in a car driven negligently into a collision by the travel companion.
  • Someone injured by the negligence of a third party who just happens to be from England and Wales. (It is certainly not unheard of, especially in those foreign parts which are popular with tourists from the UK.)

In these cases, provided at least one of defendants is domiciled in England and Wales, then the Courts in England and Wales will have jurisdiction. However, as a general rule, the relevant law that will be applied will be the foreign law. This is because the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 provides that (generally) “the applicable law is the law of the country in which the events constituting the tort in question occur”.

This can have important implications, because the foreign law might provide remedies for the Claimant which are different to those generally available in England and Wales.

Furthermore, by the Foreign Limitation Periods Act 1984 the relevant limitation period (ie the time in which the case is to be settled or proceedings begun) will be the foreign limitation period, which may be different to that laid down in England and Wales.

As with all things, there are exceptions to these rules, and whether or not any of the exceptions will apply will depend on the specific circumstances.

The second scenario is an accident in which the only defendant is a foreign national. In these cases proceedings will generally need to be brought overseas, possibly in the country where the accident occurred or possibly in the country where the foreign national is domiciled, if different.

It is also worth bearing in mind that there are specific rules governing claims arising out of accidents in the air and at sea.

The international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo by air is largely governed by a series of Conventions dating back to the Warsaw Convention 1929. There have been several amendments to that Warsaw Convention. The most recent Convention is the Montreal Convention 1999. It is however important to note that not all nations have ratified the Montreal Convention. Indeed some have not ratified all the subsequent amendments to the original Warsaw Convention, so different rules and interpretations may apply depending on the nationality of the airline. The importance of the Montreal Convention (or Warsaw Convention) is that it sets limits on the amounts of compensation which may be awarded. Those limits have recently been increased in the UK by the Carriage by Air (Revision of Limits of Liability under the Montreal Convention) Order 2009. However, if you are flying with a foreign cut-price no-frills airline you might not be entitled to the same amount of compensation you might have received with a UK airline.

The corresponding provisions governing the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea are laid down by the Athens Convention, which is applied in UK law by the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Here it is important to bear in mind that the limitation period for personal injury claims is two years. Moreover proceedings may have to be brought in the Admiralty Division of the High Court, not the County Court.

Remember, however, that as Claimant, whatever the circumstances of the accident, the burden of proof rests with you. Given that your witnesses might be overseas, you should make certain that you make a careful note of their names and contact details.

If they are willing to make statements at the time supporting your case, so much the better.

You should also ensure that they include within their statement declarations to the effect that the statement is “true to the best of {their} knowledge and belief” and that they make it “knowing that it will be placed before the Court and relied upon as {their evidence} when the case is heard.”

It would also be prudent to take photographs.

On the basis that a “picture saves a thousand words”, the best photographs are those that enable you to explain what happened. They need to explain both the context and the scale of the accident. (For instance, if it was a tripping accident, can you calculate the depth of the trip from the photograph? If in doubt put something like a coin into the picture in proximity to the trip.)

If you want advice on an accident that has occurred abroad then please ring Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email

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Personal Injury Funding Update image

Personal Injury Funding Update

22nd June 2013

We reported in our “News Section” on 6th March 2013 that changes were being made to “No Win No Fee” Agreements in Personal Injury claims.

Following the law changes that have effect from 1st April 2013, there are two possible “No Win No Fee” options available in Personal Injury cases. These are Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) or Damages Based Agreements (DBA). 

A CFA involves a success fee, which is a mark up or enhancement that the Solicitor can charge for in effect taking the risk of losing the case and not getting paid at all.  Under previous rules the client would recover the success fee from the other party in the event of a successful claim. 

Under current rules this will not be possible, so that the client/claimant will be responsible for the success fee and have to pay this to the Solicitor. 

A DBA involves an agreement that the Solicitor takes a certain percentage of the client’s damages/compensation in the event of a win. 

We have now started taking on cases post-1st April 2013 under CFA’s, by adopting the model agreement that has been published by the Law Society in May of this year.  However at this stage we regret to report that we are unable to offer a DBA since currently the Law Society has advised that  there may be legal problems with such agreements relating to their enforceability.  We shall keep the position under review.

If you are considering making a Personal Injury claim and want advice about funding options then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261, or email or write to us at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.

You should note that we do offer a free initial consultation to assess the merits of your case and to consider funding options with you. 

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Personal Injury Claim/For where Claimant has Died

19th March 2015


When the victim of a personal injury action has died prior to the case being settled or determined by a Court, there are two distinct claims that are possible as follows:-

  1. A claim for the benefit of the deceased’s estate pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934; and/or
  1. A claim on behalf of the dependents of the deceased pursuant to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

These claims can be brought in tandem.

Who can make a Claim?

In respect of a claim for the benefit of the estate of the deceased, the claim may be brought by the executors or the administrators of the estate.

In respect of a claim on behalf of a dependent of the deceased, a limited class are entitled to claim including the following:-

(i)         The spouse or civil partner of the deceased.

(ii)         The common law husband or wife of the deceased, provided the parties have been living together for a period of at least two years immediately before the deceased’s death.

(iii)        Parents or ascendants of the deceased.

(iv)        Any person who was treated by the deceased as their parent.

(v)         Any child or descendant of the deceased.

(vi)        Any person treated by the deceased as their child.

(vii)       Any brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased.

(viii)       Any children of the deceased’s brother, sister, uncle or aunt.

If you are within one of these classes, then you will also need to show that you were, or were likely to become, dependent (financially or otherwise) upon the deceased.

A claim for statutory bereavement damages can also be brought on behalf of:-

  1. The deceased’s husband, wife or civil partner.
  1. If the deceased was aged 17 or less and had never married, their parents if they were legitimate/or mother if they were not legitimate.

What can be claimed?

In respect of a claim for the benefit of the estate, there are three types of compensation that can be claimed for as follows:-

  1. General damages for the deceased’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity before death.
  1. Special damages, i.e. any financial losses incurred by the deceased between the date of the accident and date of death (e.g. costs of medical care, loss of wages prior to death).
  1. Funeral expenses provided they have been paid for by the deceased’s estate.

In respect of claims on behalf of a dependent of the deceased, the following can be claimed:-

  1. Loss of financial support from the deceased which is either based on past support or where there is a reasonable expectation that support might be forthcoming in the future.
  1. Loss of dependency on the deceased’s services, e.g. things like the provision of help around the house, gardening, DIY, the provision of care etc.
  1. The loss of a mother’s services. This takes into account the extended hours, increased commitment and provision of love that perform part and parcel of the care a mother traditionally provides her children.
  1. Statutory bereavement damages. These are fixed by statute.  Currently the sum is £12,980.00 for deaths occurring on or after the 1st April 2013.
  1. Funeral expenses if they have been paid by the dependent.

Limitation Periods

In respect of claims for the benefit of the deceased’s estate, assuming the death occurred within three years of the accident, the limitation period is three years from either the date of death or the date of knowledge of the deceased’s personal representatives, whichever is the later.

In respect of a claim brought on behalf of a deceased’s dependents, the limitation period is three years from the date of death or three years from date of knowledge of the dependents.


In short a claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate relates to recovering some of the losses that the deceased could have claimed if they had survived.

In short a claim on behalf of a dependent relates to a claim on behalf of someone who has been disadvantaged in some way by the death of a deceased (whether in direct financial terms or in terms of loss of care/services etc).

It might also be possible to bring a third type of claim under the Human Rights Act 1998.

If you want advice about bringing or defending such a claim then please contact Daven Naghen by telephone 01775 722261 or email or arrange an appointment or visit our offices at 23 New Road Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.  For those people considering the prospects of bringing a claim, usually we offer a free half hour interview.

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Our Covid-19 Risk Assessment

At Maples Solicitors, our top priority is keeping staff and clients safe during Covid-19. 

We are working tirelessly to make our offices, meeting rooms, and communal spaces safe for everyone. These measures include social distance meeting for everyone and handwashing stations throughout the building. Phone or video call appointments are also available for those who do not feel safe leaving their homes.

You can read our Risk Assessment below, and if you have any question or concerns, please contact us at or 01775 722261 

 Covid-19 Risk Assessment



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Jamie Dobbs SCILEx

"I should like to take this opportunity to express my very sincere and grateful thanks for Jamie's unfailing helpfulness and efficiency in all aspects of the handling of my late stepmother's estate. Jamie have always replied to my (many!) queries promptly and comprehensively which has been a enormous help throughout what I know can be a fraught and stressful process. Sadly, it is increasingly rare these days to experience the highs standards of service that Jamie has provided."

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.