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What Exactly is Accident and Injury Compensation For?

October 28, 2016 by Kelly No Comments »

wet-floor-signIt is quite widely-known that people who have been injured are entitled to claim a financial settlement if another party was at fault. However, a lot of people never claim the compensation they are legally entitled to, and often this is down to a general lack of understanding on any deeper level. One thing that many people are often unclear on is exactly what a compensation payment is for, and what it represents.

The answer to this works on two different levels, because compensation payments are designed to represent two different forms of justice for the injured party. Both of these will be taken into account when calculating the total amount that should be awarded as a result of an accident at work claim or any other kind of personal injury case.

Reimbursement for Expenses

Part of the purpose of compensation is to reimburse you for expenses that have been incurred as a result of your injury, as it is considered only fair that these expenses are met by the person who caused your injury and was at fault. Examples of expenses that might be incurred in this way are any costs associated with medical treatment, such as the cost of having prescriptions filled, and losses incurred as a result of being unable to work. More serious and longer-term injuries may also require you to make adaptations to your home in order to accommodate a reduced level of physical ability, or assistance from private carers. These are also expenses that could be considered for reimbursement when calculating the amount of compensation that is due to you.

Compensation for Suffering

The other purpose of financial compensation is to serve as, quite simply, compensation. In other words, it is designed to make up, at least on some level, for the suffering that your injury has caused. Of course, in many cases no financial settlement could really make up for this, particularly in cases where accidents have resulted in a long-term or permanent disability or even death. Nonetheless, a compensation payment is designed to go some way – as far as reasonably possible – towards making amends for pain and suffering. In some cases, such as where a household’s major wage-earner is permanently unable to work or even deceased, this aspect of the compensation payment is also intended help ensure the financial security of the claimant or claimants in a more general way than the part of the settlement that relates to specific expenses.

 

What is a Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Case?

August 14, 2015 by admin No Comments »

Personal injuries are injuries suffered because of another person’s negligence or intent to cause harm. When this kind of injury happens to you or a loved one, then you have a few options for making a case. It’s important to avoid running out of time to do so, since the statute of limitations in some places like Oregon USA could result in you being unable to claim compensation if you wait too long.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is essentially a limit that has been placed by the state for the length of time you’re allowed to file a claim after you’re injured.

An action or claim must be made within the statute of limitation’s time frame to make it legal. If after the limited time runs out a patient still hasn’t filed a lawsuit, then the case will most likely be unable to be taken to court.

Typically, the state of limitations begins from the moment of injury. With medical injuries, the law is slightly different and states that the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until a person realizes he has been injured.

How Long Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Oregon?

After you suffer an injury, you have a limited time to file your lawsuit; in Oregon, the limit is two years for most injuries unless they’re based on fraud or deceit, in which case the limitation only begins once the patient discovers the fraud or deceit.

With most typical injuries, you’d know you were hurt right away. That means from the moment of injury, you’ll have two years to file a claim. In medical cases, patients have two years following the discovery of the injury, but most cases must be launched within five years. There is a loophole in which patients can file a case after five years has passed if there was fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. In that case, the patient has two years from the date when that was discovered.

This could result in claims decades after an injury and makes it possible for those injured years before to file claims when they’ve been mistreated or lied to. An Oregon personal injury attorney would be able to look at a case and see how it falls within the regulations of a statute of limitations.

What Are the Lawsuit or Settlement Options?

Once you’re in a position to file a claim within the statute of limitations, there are generally two kinds of options. You’ll likely either receive a settlement offer or take your lawsuit to court.

A formal lawsuit requires you to present your proof of negligence and other information to help a judge decide on your right to compensation. You may have a trial with a jury in some cases, but it’s up to you to make sure your complaint is clear and entered into court. Unlike a criminal case, which is filed by the government, you must file a personal injury lawsuit on your own.

With an informal settlement, your attorney and the defendant’s attorney may discuss the case and propose a settlement. In reality, most disputes for injuries are resolved without heading to court through this process of negotiation.

You don’t have to accept a settlement, but if you do go to court you need to remember that it’s up to the judge to decide how much money you’ll be awarded, while a settlement is designed to be straightforward without a judge or jury’s input.

 

ASA Bans Three E-Smoking Adverts

December 24, 2014 by Kelly No Comments »

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned three television adverts for electronic smoking products after receiving over 200 complaints. The ban on these adverts comes only a few weeks after the law was first changed to allow adverts where people use e-smoking products to be shown on television.

E-smoking or “vaping” is billed as a healthier alternative to traditional smoking. Instead of smoke, a vapour is produced which often contains a flavouring. Frequently, this is a tobacco flavouring in order to provide the closest experience possible to smoking. E-liquids, which are used to produce the vapour, are available without nicotine or with various concentrations. As a tool to give up smoking, this allows smokers to enjoy an experience that is very close to smoking a cigarette but lacks many or all of the harmful chemicals contained in tobacco smoke. By using progressively weaker nicotine concentrations, many smokers aim to wean themselves off the experience entirely.

However, e-cigarettes are not entirely uncontroversial. Though they seemingly lack the health risks associated with smoking, they still look and are used much like a traditional cigarette. This has led to concerns that such devices could glamorise or normalise smoking. This has, until recently, meant that the use of such products could not be advertised on TV, and has even led to some places such as Wales considering a ban on the public use of these products.

However, their apparent lack of real health risks and value as a tool to help smokers quit has led electronic smoking devices to get their fair share of praise as well, and since November manufacturers have been allowed to advertise their use on television. However, there are still some strict rules that must be followed. These adverts must not encourage non-smokers to take up electronic smoking, and they must not target young people. Neither must the adverts be seen to promote tobacco use.

The ASA decided that the three banned adverts fell afoul of these rules. One of them, an advert produced for Vape Nation, was claimed to be encouraging non-smokers to use electronic smoking products. The advert featured a man claiming to have taken up e-smoking after quitting cigarettes, rather than as a tool to quit, leading to concerns that the advert would encourage non- and former smokers to try e-smoking.

The other two adverts, both promoting the VIP e-cigarette brand, were held to be glamorising tobacco use. They showed a woman exhaling a cloud of vapour – something which is visually extremely similar to traditional smoking.

 

Senior Judge Diversity Held Back by “Deeply Elitist UK”

August 28, 2014 by Kelly No Comments »

A recent study has called the UK “deeply elitist” and suggested that many top roles remain closed off to all but a select few from privileged backgrounds. Senior judges led the way in lacking diversity.

The study, carried out by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, examined the backgrounds of over 4,000 people in high-flying positions. Those who fell under the scope of the study included business professionals, prominent figures in the media industry, politicians and important public sector figures. The study found that a hugely disproportionate number of positions were held by a small, elite group who had been privately educated and/or attended Oxbridge.

The findings held true across the board, 36% of the cabinet, 55% of high-level civil servants and 62% of senior officers in the armed forces were privately-educated at independent schools such as Eton and Harrow. However, senior judges were the single group which was most decidedly dominated by those from privileged backgrounds. A full 71% of senior judges were privately educated at prestigious fee-paying schools, and 75% hold degrees from either Oxford or Cambridge.

In the UK population as a whole, only 7% of people have been privately educated, meaning that even the lowest of these figures seems massively disproportionate. In the case of senior judges specifically, the proportion of individuals who were privately educated is more than ten times that found in the country as a whole. The disparity between the proportions of Oxbridge graduates in the UK population and the ranks of senior judges is even more apparent. Three quarters of senior judges hold an Oxbridge degree, compared to less than 1% of the UK population.

In the report, which the Commission claims is among the most detailed examinations of this matter to date, this disparity is described as “elitism so stark that it could be called social engineering.”

According to Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, these findings should be a “wake-up call” to the government and to educational bodies such as schools and universities. Milburn said that “the institutions that matter appear to be a cosy club,” on account of the fact that the top jobs are still “disproportionately held by people from a narrow range of backgrounds.”

However, some have taken issue with the conclusions of the reports. Sir Anthony Seldon, master of Berkshire’s Wellington College, insists that private schools are “part of the solution not the root of the problem.” He points out that the state schools that are performing well tend to be dominated by the middle classes, and believes that the key is to make quality education accessible to children from a wider range of backgrounds through scholarships and bursaries.

 

Better Legal Protection for Volunteers

June 3, 2014 by Kelly No Comments »

Those who do voluntary work and similar good deeds are set to benefit from better legal protection against liability claims, according to a recent government announcement. Ministers stressed that people should not be put off of helping others by the risk of litigation.

The new law, which is expected to feature in the Queen’s Speech this Wednesday alongside other reforms such as pension changes, would affect volunteers carrying out work in England and Wales. It would encourage judges to look leniently on any such cases that get as far as the courtroom. In particular, judges will be given three factors to which they will be asked to give consideration:

  • Were the person’s actions “for the benefit of society?”
  • Did the person step in to provide help when an emergency arose?
  • Was the person acting in a “generally responsible way?”

If the answers to any or all of the above questions are “yes,” this could work significantly in the person’s favour.

The Ministry of Justice have expressed concerns that the risk of litigation for negligence may be acting as a deterrent to those who may otherwise volunteer to help others and do good works. Research has suggested that around 47% of people who do choose to volunteer are nonetheless concerned over the risks posed by legal liability in the event of an accident or injury.

As an example, the Ministry of Justice pointed towards Street Pastors, who provide voluntary support to those taking part in the nightlife of various UK towns. According to the Ministry of Justice, concerns about health and safety have led to the removal of “dustpans and brushes from street pastors clearing up glass and offering support to town centre revellers.” There have also been claims that demands for public liability insurance, sometimes or values as high as £5 million, have led to the cancelling of community events such as picnics and street parties.

According to Justice Secretary Christ Grayling; “I want a society where common sense is the order of the day, and I believe this measure will help us get there.”

Under the new law, similar consideration will be given to employers when there are accidents or other issues in the workplace that are not actually the employers’ fault. The bill will “put the law more clearly on [their] side,” according to a statement. The Ministry of Justice went on to suggest that this would protect owners of small businesses from the actions of “irresponsible employees” when said business owners have themselves taken a “responsible approach to safety training and procedures.”

 

Wales may ban Public E-cigarette Smoking

April 2, 2014 by Kelly No Comments »

One of the key selling points of e-cigarettes as a tool for giving up smoking has always been that they are legal to smoke in places where real cigarettes are not. However, this may be about to change as Wales considers a law banning their use in enclosed public spaces.

According to ministers, one of the key reasons for considering this ban is that the use of the devices – which often look almost identical to real cigarettes – undermines the enforcement of the smoking ban and normalises smoking as something that can be done publicly. There are also concerns over the fact that while many of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes are absent from e-cigarettes, the addictive substance nicotine is usually still present.

The proposal was contained in a white paper detailing ideas for legislation to protect public health. The paper also contained ideas such as a minimum price of 50p per unit for alcohol, harsher penalties for retailers who provide tobacco to people under 18, and requirements for local authorities to ensure the availability of public toilets.

Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer, welcomed the proposed ban on e-cigarettes. Dr Hussey said: “On the seventh anniversary of the smoking ban, it is symbolic that Wales is once again at the forefront of a new set of radical proposals to improve public health.”

Many e-cigarette users take a very different viewpoint. They say that there are studies demonstrating that passive smoking from e-cigarettes poses no public health risk. They also point out that if they are combined to designated smoking areas with users of real cigarettes, their own health will be put at risk by passive smoking.

However, Health Minister Mark Drakeford maintains that the proposal is one that will serve the interests of public health. He pointed out that “E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and I want to minimise the risk of a new generation becoming addicted to this drug.”

Drakeford also voiced other concerns about the impact that smoking e-cigarettes in public spaces may have, particularly in terms of the messages it sends out. He said: “I have concerns about the impact of e-cigarettes on the enforcement of Wales’ smoking ban. That’s why we are proposing restricting their use in enclosed public places. I am also concerned that their use in enclosed public places could normalise smoking behaviour.”

The proposed ban, along with all other proposals contained in the white paper, is still subject to consultation. If the ban does ultimately go through, some believe that other parts of the UK may subsequently follow suit.

The potential ban comes soon after another high-profile proposal to ban smoking in cars that contain children, as ministers around the UK continue to focus on matters of public health.

 

New Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme Introduced

March 10, 2014 by Kelly No Comments »

The new Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, aimed at combating domestic violence, has now been introduced. The scheme, commonly called “Clare’s Law” in honour of late domestic violence victim Clare Wood (pictured), allows people to contact police in order to discover whether their partner has a history of domestic violence.

The scheme took effect on 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day. The introduction of the scheme followed pilots in four areas across England and Wales; Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottingham and Gwent. Since the pilots started in 2012, a reporting number of more than 100 women gained information that could possibly prove life-saving. Based upon this success, the decision was made to roll out the scheme across the UK.

Theresa May, Home Secretary, expressed her pleasure at the introduction of the scheme. “Clare’s Law,” she said, “will give some help to those people who think they have a partner who may be acting in a way which suggests that they are somebody who is violent.” May said that the scheme, through allowing women with concerns to find out if their partners have a history of violence to reassess their situation and safety and be “able to take a decision as to whether to stay with them or not.”

The scheme is named in honour of Clare Wood, who was murdered by a violent ex-boyfriend in 2009. Ms Wood was unaware that her boyfriend had previous convictions for domestic violence, including one that resulted in a three year jail term. As such, she was not warned about the extent of his violent tendencies.

Ms Wood’s father, Michael Brown, has since campaigned enthusiastically for the introduction of a scheme allowing women to obtain information about any previous history of violence in their partners. He believes that his daughter would not have been killed had she been able to find out about her killer’s past.

Mr Brown said that he was “absolutely delighted” that the scheme had been rolled out to “bring protection into the country for half the population.” He also encouraged women to use the scheme without hesitation if they had concerns, saying “It’s there to be used. Get it used, ask! If you are in a domestic violence situation or you think you could be seek advice and get out of there.” In support of this point, he highlighted the fact that 120 women lose their lives to domestic violence annually.

In tandem with Clare’s Law, Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) have also been brought in to bring extra protection to victims. Following a report of domestic violence, DVPOs could prevent offenders from contacting their victims in any way for up to 28 days.

 

 

UK Magistracy is “Shrinking and Ageing”

February 27, 2014 by Kelly No Comments »

According to a report from Transform Justice, the recruitment of lay magistrates in the UK is “facing a crisis.” The report, which was entitled Magistrates: Representative of the People?, found that the UK’s magistracy was “shrinking and ageing.” It also concluded that magistrates in the UK were disproportionately middle class and white compared to the country’s population.

Transform Justice also described magistrate numbers as being in “freefall,” after identifying that they had suffered a decline of 28% compared to 2007. In 2013, nearly 2000 people left the magistracy while only 300 joined. This discrepancy, according to the report, is due to most areas suffering from a “recruitment freeze.” The report claimed that the issue is not being sufficiently addressed at present.

Furthermore, the report discovered that far from simply failing to represent ethnic communities within Britain proportionately, the magistracy is actually becoming less representative. Proportionally speaking, the number of magistrates from ethnic minority backgrounds is 6% lower than the UK population, compared to just 2% in 1999.

Magistrates are also becoming older. In 1999, only 32% of magistrates were over 60. For 2013, the report found this figure had inflated to nearly 56%. In 14 different specific areas, this figure was above 60%.

Social class was found to be another area in which magistrates poorly represented the population of the UK as a whole. More than 50% of lay magistrates were in occupations that would be widely identified as middle class, including managerial, professional, and senior official roles. In the UK as a whole, on the other hand, these people account for only 28% of the population. Furthermore, people who work in customer services or sales roles account for 8% of the UK population but only 1.5% of magistrates.

Measures proposed in the report to deal with these issues include the introduction of positive discrimination and entrusting recruitment to the Judicial Appointments Commission.  The positive discrimination in question would enable recruiters to favour a candidate from an underrepresented group for reasons of better representation when two candidates are otherwise of equal suitability. This measure already exists for the recruitment of salaried judges.

It is also suggested that it should be made easier for working people to serve as magistrates. This, it is suggested, could be done by introducing an absolute right to take time off in order to sit. Further suggestions include a fixed tenure of ten years and greater sentencing powers for magistrates.

The report claims that a key source of these problems is the lack of clear, specific policy regarding magistrate recruitment. While there have been active efforts to improve diversity among the salaried, professional arm of the judiciary, no such agenda has existed for lay magistrates.

 

David Miranda in Legal Challenge over seized data

August 21, 2013 by admin No Comments »

Legal action is being brought against the police by David Miranda, the man who was detained for a nine hour period at Heathrow this Sunday, in order to prevent electronic personal items from being examined. Miranda was detained under provisions of the Terrorism Act and also happens to be the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald who works for the Guardian. The legal representatives of Mr Miranda have released a statement saying that the legality of the detention is what is being challenged on his behalf.

The Home Office was quick to comment on the situation supporting the detention of Mr Miranda by stating that the police are to act urgently if they have reasons to believe that a person may be in possession of information which can be used to assist terrorism. The Metropolitan Police commissioner as well as the home secretary have received a letter written by representatives from Bindmans seeking an assurance that Mr Miranda’s property will not be inspected, copied, transferred, disclosed or interfered with in any way prior to Mr Miranda’s claim being resolved.

The holding in detention of the 28 year old man has been widely disapproved of across senior political figures in Britain and Brazil as well as human rights groups. David Anderson QC who is the independent reviewer of terrorism law for the United Kingdom has described the time which Mr Miranda was detained for as unusual and is due to meet with the authorities to discuss the situation. Mr Miranda, a Brazilian citizen was detained at Heathrow where he was on his way to board a flight back to Brazil where he resides with his partner. The man was held under the authority of schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 which provides the police to question the suspect for up to a period of 9 hours in relation to any acts of terrorism.

The journalist has been heavily involved in breaking stories regarding Edward Snowden and his leaks which have made state surveillance a hot topic in the media in recent weeks. The police authorities however stand by the detention and justify it as being legal as per the Terrorism Act. A representative from the Home Office made a statement in which they said that the police as well as the government are duty bound to ensure the safety and security of the public and the nation.

 

Compliance: a Legal Career for the Financial Professional

July 17, 2013 by admin No Comments »

The last few years have seen the banking sector under media and governmental scrutiny like never before. In the wake of numerous scandals such as with mis-sold PPI, and the banks’ actions during the financial crisis the last several years, there has been increased transparency, regulation and scrutiny imposed upon the activities of the banking sector.  Due diligence and compliance have suddenly become very important.  There is more importance added to checking banking transactions and business dealings to ensure that they are in line with regulations, and ensuring that everything is done correctly.

In such an era, compliance and related are specialist career fields with stable prospects. Working as part of a small, specialist, dynamic and close knit team in ensuring that the bank’s actions are carried out in a prescribed manner, and staying informed of changes to rules and procedures can be very attractive to the right high calibre individual.

In compliance, you will be checking and keeping up to date with current legislation and regulations, and advising both the financial institution and clients. Additionally, compliance professionals ensure that all financial transactions and deals are done according to rules, both internal bank rules, and regulations imposed by watchdogs such as the Financial Conduct Authority.

In this specialist career field, legal knowledge an be very useful. Not only does it give analytical and problem solving skills that are necessary for the role, but it also gives knowledge and insight to be able to advise the bank and clients, and to ensure that everything is done correctly, and in line with regulations. In law, it is important to keep up to date with legislation and court judgements, and changes in legal practice and theory. It is the same in compliance; especially today, there are a lot of regulations and legislation that are or will be changed and updated. There are also a range of agencies (FCA, FPA, and the SFO, to name but a few), in the UK and in the EU who are involved in scrutinising and overseeing bank activities, to ensure that the excesses of the industry of previous years are not repeated.

Another aspect of a compliance role is risk. Assessing the regulatory and reputation risk of financial deals and transactions is down to a compliance specialist to minimise the financial institutions’ exposure to such risk. Such a role is ideal for someone with a legal background, as law similarly involves minimising legal risk to both clients and company.

Compliance involves supporting and advising both the bank and clients. Often, such advise is given to senior management, so good presentation skills and a confident approach is necessary Most- but by no means all- compliance entry level roles are open to graduates, of any discipline. Obviously, a work or education background in finance, accounting law or related will be very beneficial.

Compliance is a very specialised role, and often can be industry specific depending on the financial institution’s clients. Compliance professionals often have to work closely with industry, and the relevant industry regulators, to ensure that everything is carried out with transparency and in accordance with regulations.

Reviewing terms and conditions and contracts, advising on advertising and similar, ensuring you are up to date with financial legislation and similar are but part of a compliance job description. Overseeing and checking accounts, and ensuring that taxes are filed correctly are also important parts of a compliance department

Compliance is a challenging and fast paced role, constantly changing. It is also seeing an increase due to increasing scrutiny. It is a very complex but very rewarding area to work in. Recruitment companies such as Randstad Financial & Professional inform, guide and assist candidates into this exciting field, see RandstadFP.com.

Due to the skills and specialist knowledge required, and mindset necessary, it is an ideal non- legal alternative career for a law graduate. The law graduate can use their legal knowledge and skills to good effect in a banking and corporate environment.