Vicki Wright is an Associate and Solicitor in the Civil Litigations Department, Havant.
Vicki qualified as a Solicitor in December 1996 and was awarded a Masters in Law Degree in 1997. She has been with Swain & Co since 2000, became an Associate in 2005, and is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Vicki specialises in Personal Injury Law and has successfully represented many claimants in obtaining compensation following accidents, for example, in road traffic accidents, at work and in public places. She also specialises in applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) where she represents victims who have suffered injuries as a result of violent crime. Many of Vicki’s clients are based locally but she welcomes telephone enquiries from outside the area as it is often possible to represent individuals who live further afield.
Vicki also advises in connection with complaints and actions against the Police. This may include, for example, cases where there are allegations of assault during an arrest, or perhaps a failure to take proper steps to care for a suspect whilst in their custody.
In addition, Vicki undertakes work for prisoners who may have been unlawfully detained in prison, either due to delays in the Ministry of Justice and/or the Parole Board determining their parole hearing, or maybe in situations where errors have been made in the calculation of sentences. She also assists prisoners who have suffered serious injury either as a result of an accident in prison or as a result of assault by another prisoner or prison officers.
In her spare time, Vicki sings with a large choral society, plays tennis, regularly attends circuit training and enjoys gardening.
What do you enjoy about the work you carry out Vicki?
Personal Injury: “I derive immense satisfaction from being able to help those who have suffered an injury and who are in constant pain through no fault of their own.”
“Money obviously cannot take away the pain but it can help those individuals come to terms with what happened and in effect, move on with their lives.”
Actions against the Police: “In general terms, the Police do a good job. But increasingly, it is becoming clearer and clearer that not all Police Officers are there for the good of the community and in my view, it is essential that in those cases where the Police act well below the standards we expect of them, their actions and attitudes are investigated and where appropriate, action taken. Individuals often feel vulnerable when faced with the Police and it is essential that those individuals feel that their Solicitor is ‘fighting their corner’. That is why I do all in my power to ensure justice for my clients.”
Selection of successful compensation claims Vicki has handled
Accident at work compensation secured for local worker
On this occasion, a had been left open whilst maintenance work was being carried but there were no signs warning of the potential hazard.
Vicki Wright, explains, “Without warning, our Client suddenly felt herself falling and she landed in a load of liquid and rubbish. It was an incredibly frightening experience for her but fortunately, one of the maintenance workers was close by and managed to pull her out.”
Our client suffered a serious twisting injury to her knee but she also suffered severe psychological issues following the accident including flashbacks and nightmares. “Fortunately, the supermarket admitted liability relatively quickly”, said Vicki, “which meant that we could concentrate on obtaining medical evidence and resolving her claim as speedily as possible”.
In addition to claiming for her injuries, we were able to recover all financial losses associated with the accident at work and ultimately our client received an award for £8,000 in an out of court settlement.
Accident at work compensation secured for Local delivery driver struck by 30 boxes
On arrival at the premises who were to take delivery, our client attempted to open the roller shutter of his lorry but was unable to do so because the boxes had moved in transit. As the roller gradually moved, the dislodged boxes came cascading down around him striking him on his back and shoulders, causing him to lose his balance. He suffered immediate pain but fortunately, was able to deliver the goods and return to his company before attending hospital for treatment.
Vicki said that our client was lucky that he was not more seriously injured. She explains, “Fortunately, the boxes were fairly light but had they been heavier, our client could have received significantly more serious injuries”
It took strenuous argument from Vicki to persuade the insurers to accept liability but eventually, liability was conceded therefore court proceedings were avoided. We recovered a total of £7,500 for our client’s injuries together with financial losses including past loss of earnings.
Young pedestrian injured in road traffic accident gets compensation
Vicki explains, “Liability took some time to resolve due to the fact that the driver who knocked down our client alleged that he had run out into the road in front of the lollipop lady”. Vicki goes onto say that following a detailed and thorough investigation into the accident circumstances using the Police Accident Report and witness evidence, we were able to piece together the incident and established that the lollipop lady was in fact in the middle of the road and holding up her sign when our client was struck by the car.
The accident occurred immediately before our client’s birthday and his family summer holiday which affected his enjoyment of both events. Fortunately, however, he has made a complete recovery and continues to enjoy riding his bike and playing football.
As our client is a minor, the court has to “rubber stamp” the settlement. Vicki explains, “This is a very informal hearing at the County Court and is required so that the court can see that everybody has acted in the minor’s best interest in settling the claim” Any award that a minor achieves is then placed in an interest earning court account and is available to the minor when he/she reaches 18 years of age.
We recover compensation for psychological injury after client falls from yacht into the Solent due to negligence
During the day, our client was involved in an extremely unfortunate incident when he was struck by the sail which forced him into the sea. Vicki explains that, “Not surprisingly, our client was taken by surprise with the speed at which he found himself in the sea. However, he was a strong swimmer and was wearing a life jacket and so did not immediately fear for his safety”.
It quickly became apparent, however, that there was a problem with the life jacket. It failed to inflate as anticipated. It transpired that he had been handed a life jacket without a gas canister. At this point, our client began to panic and genuinely feared for his safety. The waves were high and he was regularly pulled under the water.
Vicki explains that liability in this case was particularly complicated due to the marine regulations together with the contractual relationship between the company who had chartered the yacht and the company contracted to crew the yacht and who provided the life safety jackets. Each Defendant blamed the other one and we ultimately had no choice other than to issue court proceedings in an effort to succeed our client’s claim.
Liability was eventually resolved on a split basis between the two defendants and we successfully recovered £10,000 for psychological injury caused by the incident to our client. Vicki says, “This was a case which should have been settled much earlier by the Defendants but their failure to reach settlement between them caused even more stress for our client”. For some time after the incident, the claimant was unable to enjoy swimming with his young children at his local pool or on holiday due to the trauma but fortunately, is now making a good recovery.
Vicki gets a young woman further compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
In some cases, however, symptoms or a medical condition develop as a result of the original incident which an applicant was not aware of at the time. In these circumstances, it is possible to apply to the CICA to re-open the award and to submit the updated findings.
Vicki, explains, “In this particular case, our client originally received an award of £8,000. Several years later, however, she developed am extremely serious condition which medical experts confirmed was likely to have been caused by the original assault. She was also psychologically affected by the ongoing problems”.
It took over two years to persuade the CICA to re-open the case and thereafter, medical evidence was needed to support our client’s position. Eventually, Vicki managed to secure a sum in excess of £150,000 from the CICA. “Clearly, money can be no compensation for good health”, says Vicki, “but it is important that individuals are justly awarded for appalling injuries that they receive through no fault of their own”.
We secure compensation after for local lorry driver after accident at work whilst delivering goods in the North
An urgent delivery of parts was required and our client agreed to make the delivery out of hours. Therefore before arriving at the premises, our client had to make specific arrangements with the foreman who was on duty that night. Whilst unloading the goods, our client suffered a fracture to his wrist when he tripped over boxes that were being pushed up the ramp. Despite the significant pain, he was able to drive back south and immediately attended hospital for treatment.
Vicki explains that she was instructed to recover compensation as a result of the injuries our client sustained. This, however, became increasingly problematic when liability was denied on the grounds that the defendant company had no record of the incident occurring and therefore, could not accept liability for the injuries our client sustained. Despite providing as much information as possible, no record of the accident could be traced.
Fortunately, our client’s medical records provided a clear and contemporaneous account of what happened but such notes, in themselves, would not have proved the case. Vicki explains that all requests for documentation and information were blocked and ultimately, court proceedings were issued in an attempt to force the situation.
Vicki said, “It was an extremely frustrating situation. We were unable to assess the liability position because the defendant failed to provide documentation or even acknowledge that the accident had occurred. The company involved is a huge international company and it was inconceivable that documentation in connection with this delivery and the subsequent accident did not exist”.
Eventually, the defendant put forward an offer to settle the claim in the sum of £5,000. Vicki says, “In all the circumstances, this reflects a good outcome for our client but this case demonstrates the sheer determination that claimant solicitors face in these types of situations”
Tel: 02392 483322
Fax: 02392 483366
57 Meridian Centre