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E-scooter safety measures needed urgently

E-scooter safety measures are urgently needed as the number on our roads are set to increase dramatically.

Last year almost 900 people were injured in accidents involving e-scooters. Tragically, some of the injuries were catastrophic and even fatal.

As we prepare to see a dramatic increase in e-scooters on our roads, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has dedicated its annual Injury Prevention Week to e-scooter safety.

At the moment, e-scooters can only be ridden legally if they are part of rental schemes that have been set up in cities throughout the UK.

However, if the government goes ahead with its plans to legalise them outside of the rental scheme, there could be as many as 750,000 more e-scooters on our roads very soon.

In an effort to reduce the number of needless injuries, APIL is calling on the government to enforce a range of safety measures, including speed restrictions and making wearing a helmet compulsory.

John McQuater, head of litigation at Atherton Godfrey and president of APIL, commented: “Casualties in collisions reported to the police are up 181 percent in a year and we’ve not even had the potential influx of new e-scooters on the roads yet.

“These forward-thinking measures could go a long way to preventing needless, and sometimes life-changing injuries and deaths.

“This is not just about the riders, as a quarter of injuries involving e-scooters are suffered by pedestrians and other road users.

“E-scooters in the rental schemes are limited to a top speed of 12.5mph, this should be the same for privately owned ones. Measures also need to be in place to make sure that tampering with the e-scooters speed capability after purchase won’t be tolerated.

“Insurance also needs to be compulsory, so that those who are injured are able to gain access to compensation.”

APIL is also urging the government to impose a minimum age of 16, to tie in with the law for riding mopeds and to introduce a proficiency test if riders do not have a full or provisional driving licence.

John added: “Education and awareness about e-scooters also needs to be addressed as part of the driving test so that all road users are clear about safe passing distances and rights of way.”

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Campaigning for injured people

Campaigning for injured people is an important focus for one Doncaster solicitor.

John McQuater, who recently celebrated 40 years at Atherton Godfrey, has taken the top role at a national not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for injured people.

John, who heads our litigation department, is now president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

As an accredited specialist with particular expertise in brain injury and fatal injury claims, as well as claims for people who suffer negligent patient care, John frequently works with those dealing with the aftermath of catastrophic injuries.

Discussing his appointment, John said: “I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to bring to the association my four decades of experience in representing injured people.

“Being part of APIL offers a chance to work collaboratively with lawyers up and down the country whose focus is on delivering the best possible help to injured people.

“It’s a challenging time because of proposed legal reforms which could reduce the compensation people need to put their lives back on track when they’ve suffered an injury. APIL will continue to be an important voice speaking out for those who need to be heard. injured people need a voice, need representation, and need redress.”

Current APIL campaigns include calls for an overhaul of the law on bereavement compensation in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which is out of step with modern family relationships. As the law stands, certain close relatives, such as step-parents and grandchildren, are denied statutory damages when their loved one is wrongfully killed.

APIL is also campaigning for a solution to the patient safety crisis in the NHS. It proposes the appointment of a Patient Safety Commissioner with a wide remit of providing strategic coordination and an over-arching link between patients, regulators, healthcare providers and policymakers.


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Personal injury expertise recognised

John McQuater, partner and head of litigation at Atherton Godfrey has successfully secured re-accreditation as a personal injury specialist, by the Law Society of England and Wales.

Members of the scheme are reassessed regularly to ensure that they continue to meet the stringent standards set by the Law Society.

Each member must evidence that they have extensive experience of handling cases throughout the entire claims process, including through the courts, where necessary.

Members must also be able to demonstrate considerable expertise in handling complex claims involving disputed liability and cases involving minors or protected parties.

In addition to the personal injury accreditation, Mr McQuater also holds Law Society accreditation as a clinical negligence specialist.

The Law Society accreditations complement the Association of Personal Injury Lawyer (APIL) accreditations held by Mr McQuater, which include Brain Injury Specialist and Fatal Accident Specialist.

Mr McQuater said: “There are many personal injury lawyers out there, which can make it difficult for people to know who to go to.

“These accreditations are an important kitemark for clients looking for someone to represent them. They offer reassurance that they are engaging a legal professional with solid experience in a particular and often complex field.”

Mr McQuater has practiced personal injury law for more than 30 years and is an accomplished author in the field. His expertise is acknowledged by the Legal 500 and Chambers UK legal directories, where he is recommended for both personal injury and clinical negligence.

Mr McQuater shares his expertise by providing training for other personal injury lawyers, in a range of subjects and is a regular speaker at conferences throughout the UK.





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Personal injury specialists accredited

We are delighted to announce that Laura Farrell and Laura Armstrong, both senior solicitors in our clinical negligence department, have received litigator accreditation from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

The APIL accreditation scheme has been running since 1999 and is an established quality mark. It offers reassurance that clients have chosen the right law firm to help them in their fight for justice.

To be accredited members must meet stringent standards set by APIL and provide evidence of their competency and experience in handling personal injury cases.

As part of the accreditation members must undertake to keep up to date with all the latest legal developments and training is rigorously vetted to ensure that it meets with APILs extremely high standards.

Also holding litigator accreditation are Julie Tansey and Rachel Baker, in our clinical negligence department. Together with Laura and Laura, they are the only personal injury solicitors in Doncaster to hold the accreditation.

APIL accredited senior litigators at the firm are Stephaney Veysey, Beverley Baker, Maria Houghton, Bob Allen, Janet Lee, Christopher Noble and Gillian Ward; 7 of only 9 solicitors in Doncaster to hold this particular accreditation.

In addition, Diane Parker, partner and head of personal injury is the only APIL accredited fellow in Doncaster. While John McQuater, partner and head of litigation is the only senior fellow in the entire Yorkshire region.

Senior fellow is the highest level of accreditation and is only awarded to those who can show an outstanding contribution to personal injury law and practice, for example by changing the law in some way.

Members at all levels are re-assessed every 5 years to ensure that they continue to meet the required standard.

For more information see the website: