Richard is a Solicitor in Wards’ Personal Injury team. He specialises in claims resulting from road traffic collisions, including accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians, claims resulting from faulty products, injuries suffered at work, occupational diseases such as asbestos related illnesses, repetitive strain injuries and hearing loss, victims of violent crime and claims involving animals. Richard also acts for people who have suffered brain or spinal cord injuries.
In addition to advising on these matters, Richard often works closely with colleagues in other departments to provide a tailored service to each client. This includes referrals to members of the Private Client team in relation to setting up Personal Injury Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney or deputyships if a client does not hold mental capacity and Wills advice in event of large settlements. This also includes referrals to Wards’ family and employment law specialists.
Richard is experienced in acting for Claimants who lack mental capacity as a result of illness or disability, either as a result of an existing health condition or their injury or illness.
Examples of his work include:
Injuries sustained at work
- Cases include claims for injuries suffered as a result of unsafe systems of work, lifting/manual handling, falls at work, including falls from scaffolding, and Claimants being hit by vehicles on-site.
- Acting for Claimant who worked for a well-known supermarket who was required to carry and lift heavy items in a confined workspace, resulting in lasting back injuries. The claim was ultimately successful and lead to a change in work practices which safeguarded not only the Claimant but also her colleagues against the risk of the same thing happening again.
- Claims where insufficient or no protective equipment was provided resulting in damage to eyesight, frostbite and amputation.
- Cases where employers have failed to provide sufficient guards and control mechanisms resulting in, for example, crush injuries, severe lacerations and amputations.
- Claims involving hearing loss and repetitive strain injuries.
Traumatic brain injury/acquired brain injury claims
- An appeal to the Criminal Injuries First Tier Tribunal on behalf of a Claimant who suffered traumatic brain injuries after being violently assaulted. The Claimant’s injuries meant that, although he retained capacity to make decisions on his own behalf, he had difficulty reading legal documents and long letters. This meant ensuring that appropriate support was in place, including having a trusted friend or relative who would be able to read letters to the Claimant and holding frequent face-to-face meetings with the Claimant so that advice and instructions could be given verbally and liaising with the Private Client team to set up a Personal Injury Trust to safeguard his compensation at the end of the claim.
- A claim on behalf of a Claimant who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a road traffic collision, in addition to multiple other injuries and psychological injury. Although he was able to continue working and retained mental capacity, his career prospects had reduced significantly and he would continue to be restricted in terms of what he could do in the future, both at work and at home. By instructing specialist experts and gaining evidence from colleagues and peers, it was possible to ensure that the settlement fully reflected the long-term effects of the Claimant’s injuries.
Asbestos related illness
- Acting on behalf of the widow of a gentleman who was exposed to asbestos at work during the 1960s, 70s and 80s and who later died from mesothelioma. The claim not only involved the usual complex medical and causation issues, but also work and communication with the coroner’s court, pathologist and Attorney-General’s office.
- Acting for a Claimant who was dying from asbestosis caused by working in factories and plants in the Bristol area during the 1960s and 70s. The case involved particularly complex issues of medical causation, loss of mental capacity, Lasting Power of Attorney and end of life care. This included liaison with other departments and frequent home visits to advise and take instructions, as well as helping ensuring appropriate support was in place for the Claimant.
- Acting for the family of a gentleman who had received a provisional damages award in his lifetime for asbestosis, but who later died as a result of a heart attack precipitated by the asbestosis.
Spinal injury claims
- A High Court claim on behalf of a gentleman who suffered a permanent serious spinal cord injury at work and who would not be able to work again. The claim involved liaising with numerous medical and care/occupational therapy experts to establish the long term effects of the Claimant’s injuries and ensuring that his immediate and long term treatment, care and support needs would be met. The claim involved complex legal issues and issues of evidence, including over 20 witnesses.
Claims involving assault, including serious sexual assault
- A successful claim against a local authority on behalf of a Claimant who was raped at school.
- Other experience includes claims against local authorities as a result of systemic child abuse suffered in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Road traffic cases
- Cases include many claims on behalf of cyclists and pedestrians, often resulting in serious and long-lasting injuries.
- More serious examples include assisting the family of a road crash victim who died as a result of a driver losing control of his car and mounting the pavement. In that case, Richard attended the Crown Court to be on-hand to support the family at the defendant’s trial.
Accidents involving animals
- Claims against dog owners for serious injuries inflicted by dog attacks, including claims on behalf of children.
- Claims involving horses kicking, bucking or biting.
- Claims on behalf of horse riders failing and suffering serious injuries as a result of the horse being startled by nearby vehicles driving too close or too fast. For example, acting on behalf of a rider who fell from her horse and suffered serious injury as a result of a bus driving close to her at speed on a country road.
Qualifications and Experience
- Law degree 1998
- Qualified as a Legal Executive 2007
- Qualified as a Solicitor in 2010
- Member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
- Has specialised in Accident and Injury law since 2002
Supervised by Alison Underhill