Upsurge in E-Scooter Accidents

The government has published figures estimating the number of personal injury road traffic collisions involving e-scooters, in Great Britain, in 2021. The figures are provisional and based on data supplied by police forces up to the start of May 2022. 

Most notably, the number of collisions involving e-scooters increased to 1,280 in 2021, up from 460 in the previous year. There were 1,359 casualties resulting from collisions involving e-scooters, compared to 484 in 2020. Roughly three quarters of these casualties (1,034) were e-scooter users, with the remainder being other road users. Nine people were killed in collisions involving e-scooters in 2021, all of whom were e-scooter riders, compared to one e-scooter rider killed during the previous year.

The number of serious injuries also climbed dramatically, with the figures showing that 390 people were seriously injured, and 960 slightly injured, in collisions involving e-scooters in 2021, compared to 129 and 354 respectively in 2020. E-scooter riders are also involved in an increasing number of ‘single vehicle collisions’ (accidents in which no other vehicles are involved), with 309 e-scooter riders experiencing this type of accident last year, up from 83 in 2020.

What the figures indisputably show is that the number of e-scooter accidents, and the injuries and deaths resulting from them, is rising rapidly, and there is no obvious reason why the e-scooter collision and casualty statistics will not continue on this sharp upwards trajectory. You can find our more about e-scooter collisions and who is legally responsible for an e-scooter accident on our dedicated page:

New Responsibilities for Landlords

Private landlords face new responsibilities toward their tenants, including being forced to refund rent if the property is not maintained in an acceptably liveable condition. Almost a million privately rented properties do not meet the government’s minimum standards for human habitation, with the main problems being damp and cold.

As announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Renters’ Reform Bill will extend social housing standards to private rentals, and a Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be appointed to adjudicate disputes between landlords and tenants over the acceptable standard of a rented property. Charities have welcomed the government’s move, with the chief executive of housing charity Shelter stating, ‘The Renters’ Reform Bill is a game-changer. The Bill cannot come soon enough.’

While this appears to be welcome news for tenants, many landlords are incensed by the latest regulatory burdens they face. The fear is that with tenants gaining new legal rights, landlords will rather sell their properties than rent them, leading to a shortfall of rental property and increased rents. Tenants themselves may reduce a property to an ‘uninhabitable’ state, refuse to pay rent, and receive legal aid to fight a claim against their landlord who, in most circumstances, would have to fund their defence privately.

There is no doubt that millions of tenants live in dilapidated properties across the UK, and that landlords are often reluctant to address maintenance issues promptly or at all. It should therefore be welcomed that tenants have enhanced rights to take action against so-called ‘slum’ landlords, an issue that has plagued the UK since Victorian times and before. However, tenants also have a responsibility not to take advantage of their new legal rights to drive landlords into selling their properties, thereby creating a lose-lose situation for both parties.

We represent tenants who have been injured or made ill at home due to poor living conditions. Find out more:

Right to Buy Scheme Extension

Last week, the British government announced an extension of the Right to Buy scheme to around 2.5 million housing association tenants, with the Prime Minister criticising some housing associations for their ‘scandalous indifference’ to tenants. The Right to Buy policy was originally introduced in the 1980s, allowing social housing tenants to buy their council homes at discounts of up to 70% off the market value. It is estimated that more than two million tenants have taken advantage of the scheme to become homeowners since then.  

The new Right to Buy scheme will allow housing association tenants to buy their properties at similarly discounted prices, rising to a maximum of 70% depending on how long they have lived there. The government intends to instigate a one-for-one policy, with one new social home built for every home sold through the scheme, in order to maintain the nation’s social housing stock at the same level. Housing association tenants will also be able to use welfare payments to help secure mortgages and meet their monthly payments, with the government highlighting the fact that roughly £30 billion in housing benefit is currently used to pay rent, a sum that would be better spent on helping people buy their own homes.

In the coming months, the government is expected to work closely with the housing association sector to get the new Right to Buy scheme up and running. In parallel, an independent review of the mortgage lending market will be launched, focusing on the availability of and access to cheaper mortgage finance for first-time buyers, including 95% mortgages. With house prices at all-time highs, deposit requirements are currently beyond what many prospective homeowners, particularly young people, can afford, despite the fact that an estimated 50% of renters could afford the monthly cost of a mortgage. The revival of Right to Buy could therefore be crucial in meeting the government’s ultimate aim of turning ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’.

Our specialist conveyancing solicitors can advise on and assist with any aspect of the Right to Buy scheme:

We also have a housing law team with expertise in taking legal action against housing associations for disrepair and personal injury:

Ongoing Hair Dye Reaction Risks

Many hair salons will currently be fully booked with hair colouring appointments in advance of the Platinum Jubilee and upcoming summer holidays. While safety standards at salons offering hair dyeing treatments have improved considerably since 2009, when an APIL survey found that the vast majority of salons were not carrying out patch tests to check for allergies, a significant number of women continue to experience allergic reactions to hair dye products during procedures every year, often with extremely painful and distressing consequences.

The main cause of allergic reactions to hair dye is the ingredient paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is contained in more than two-thirds of hair colouring products, although adverse reactions may also be triggered by other ingredients including ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. The fact that such reactions are not uncommon is the reason why hair salons must carry out patch tests on clients 48 hours before a treatment is carried out. This involves applying a small amount of the dye product to the client’s skin (normally behind the ear), and checking for any adverse effects over the specified time period.

Nowadays, hair salons are normally very efficient in patch testing customers, mainly because their insurance will be invalid if they fail to carry out a test and a client experiences an allergic reaction. While it is especially important to patch test new customers, even regular clients should be patch tested at least every 6 months, as it is possible to develop a sensitivity to chemicals like PPD through contact with other substances at any point in time. Even if a client refuses a patch test or signs a waiver, a hair colouring treatment should not be allowed to go ahead, as the salon will still be liable for any subsequent adverse reaction.    

The symptoms of an allergic reaction to hair dye range from very mild to very serious. The skin on the scalp may become itchy, red and inflamed, while a person’s face will often swell up, particularly around the eyes. Headaches, neck pain, dizziness and nausea are other common symptoms, and a course of antihistamines will normally be required to deal with these problems. Hair loss and patches of baldness may develop, and in rare cases individuals may experience breathing difficulties which can indicate a systemic reaction in the body with potentially very severe consequences including toxic shock and cardiac arrest.

Our solicitors have represented hundreds of clients who have been injured following allergic reactions to hair dye products at salons over the years, with our firm being one of the first to handle these claims. Contact our experienced female solicitors today for free, confidential legal advice if you have experienced an allergic reaction to hair dye at a salon: