Friday, 4 November 2016

The Nuts and Bolts of Workplace Injury Rights

Featured Post

Workplace injury
We recently talked about what you should do if you find yourself injured at work. In the minutes and hours that follow your injury, there are a number of things you must make sure get accomplished. These include documenting the accident and speaking with a qualified legal representative. It’s good to prepare to do these things before you ever get injured, in fact. Being prepared can make terrible situations like these go much more smoothly.

But there is another bit of knowledge that will be helpful if you ever find yourself injured on the job. There are certain pieces of legislation that guarantee your rights, should you ever be hurt while working for an employer. If you know your rights, you’ll be a lot more certain of getting beneficial resolutions to your workplace injury claim. We’ll briefly cover a couple of these specific rights in the following. It’s important to note that there is a lot of diversity from state to state when it comes to workplace injury laws. The following are nationwide characteristics that you can generally rely upon wherever you happen to be injured at work, despite the specific laws found in your state.

  • You always have a right to leave work to see a doctor for treatment of your injury.
  • You have the right to put forward a formal claim about your illness or injury. Your case will be seen in a workers’ compensation court or an industrial court run by the state.
  • If you go to the hospital after an injury and are released, you have the right to go back to work. You can’t be sent home.
  • If you are so badly hurt or ill that you can’t go to work, regardless of the duration, you have the right to disability compensation of some kind. This will vary a lot state to state, but there will always be some kind of compensation available to you.
  • You can appeal an employer’s decision regarding your worker’s compensation claim. You can also appeal the ruling of the compensation court.
  • You have a right to legal counsel and representation throughout every step of the injury claim, compensation, and appeal process.

There are some states that are more generous towards injured claimants than others. It’s important for you to understand the general political climate of your state with regard to workers comp claims. This is especially true if you have a risky job, one where you come in contact with sick people, or if you perform any kind of manual labor. It is useful for every American worker to be equipped with this information.

It is also helpful to know to whom these rules do not necessarily apply. If you are self employed or are marginally employed through various non-traditional means, you won’t be able to hang your hat on any of these rights. If you are likely to be injured at your work in a role such as this, it is worth your while to consult with an injury lawyer ahead of time to understand your specific rights in the event of an injury.

We hope this helps, and that you will enjoy many injury-free years at work!

Monday, 17 October 2016

How to Act in Your Best Interests If You Are Injured at Work

Featured Post

injured at work
One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to be injured at work. Even though there are rights and laws in place to put you in the best possible place during this trying time, these laws won’t act for you. It’s important to do everything you can to fight for yourself. Here are a few ways to get through a workplace injury with the best possible outcome.

1) Immediately Talk to HR and File a Claim. A Human Resources officer should be in touch with you as soon as you are hurt. If this doesn’t happen, contact them. When contacting them, ask to file a claim and make sure you investigate the matter to your heart’s content, knowing that they’ve told you everything you need to know to make your case. Turn in documents immediately, getting help if you are incapacitated or hospitalized. Don’t delay. If your business is small and without dedicated HR, it’s important to go one step further.

2) If You are Injured on the Job, Get a Solicitor. No matter who you are, but especially if your employer doesn’t have an HR team to help you file your claim, you need legal representation on your side. When you are injured, you are likely not at your best. You might be on pain meds. You might be away from home for long periods of time. You may see your income delayed. A solicitor can help put everything right and get you the restitution that you need. It is good to contact a solicitor as soon as you are hurt. Sometimes employers have been known to act in their interests, rather than in the interests of an employee. If you solicitor doesn’t specialize in workplace injury, ask them for a recommendation of a colleague who does. Don’t stop until you are satisfied that you have good counsel.

3) Follow Up With Your Claim. It is important that you don’t forget about managing your claim. When you are injured, take pictures of the injury, the job site where it happened, and get signatures from witnesses. When you are hospitalized, similarly document that. Keep track of expenses and lost work time. When the claim is filed, call daily about its progress to all relevant parties. An accident at work claim takes time to process, but you can likely accelerate it by keeping track of this yourself and having your solicitor help too.

Many people who get injured at work find that when all is said and done, they missed out on the aid that they were due. This is a terrible outcome, especially for people who may experience ongoing health difficulties following the initial injury, as well as earning tumult. To put yourself in the best position following workplace injury, it is important to be vigilant and to fight for yourself. This is not to say that representation shouldn’t be one of your first moves; it should. But you need to make sure they you are aware of how things are progressing, so that your rights are recognized.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Social Media Contributing To Divorce Rates

Featured Postsocial media divorce

Manchester based Family Law solicitors Carter Law have noted a correlation between the use of social media and the incline of divorce rates.

In 2014, a study revealed that marriage happiness and quality shared a negative trend with the use of social media and spouses in 1 out of 7 marriages admitted to contemplating separation as a result of social media creating issues in the relationship.

How Is Social Media Causing Issues In Marriages?

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter make affairs easily attainable. Ex partners, new colleagues, someone you met in a bar last year are all available to contact at the click of a button. The affairs can be solely digital too rather than physical, meaning communicating with a person who you find attractive online or via text and not informing your spouse. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram also allow people to maintain contact with potential back-up plans if their relationship was to end, making it a lot easier to move on from their spouse.

Social media is also making catching partners out a lot easier. Partners can log in to their spouses Facebook account and uncover affairs in different ways from exchanging of messages, tagged photographs or location check-ins. A separate study revealed a shocking 58% of people admitted secretly knowing their spouses password, and accessing their accounts without their knowledge.

Facebragging is also adding to the increased rate of divorces. This is when people use platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter to brag about how ‘perfect their life is’, resulting in other couples comparing their marital life to an ‘ideal’ illusion enforcing envy and thoughts questioning their marriage. Some couples even force each other to outdo their facebragging friends and can run up debts to fund luxurious holidays in competition of other married couples.

Partners’ spending too much time on social media is also a leading cause for social media destroying marriages. Spouses who use social media more than 1 hour a day are more likely to argue with their partner about their social media habits, according to a recent study. When a partner spends too much time on social media it can make their spouse feel undermined and can make them become jealous of the amount of time being spent on the accounts, time which should be spent with them, making them question “Why am I not interesting anymore?”. Some people may see social media as an escape from reality if they are facing relationship problems, which inevitably causes more problems.

In conclusion, the higher the use of social media, the further issues in a marriage. When was the last time you were with your spouse and you didn’t check your phone?

Alana Mustill – Carter Law Solicitors

Friday, 23 September 2016

What a Motor Lawyer could do For You

Featured Post motor lawyer
Every year, in the UK, around 1.5 million motorists are fined, or prosecuted for committing motoring infractions. The list of offences you can commit while driving includes speeding, driving without insurance, using a mobile while driving, failing to comply with traffic signals, and several other infractions.

Given the fact that most people speed at some point while driving or make minor errors there is a tendency for drivers to accept blame automatically. People know that they make mistakes while driving, so many just assume they are guilty of the offence, and, therefore, feel obliged to take the punishment.

This is understandable, laudable even. However, is just accepting the fine, points or driving disqualification wise? The simple answer is that in most situations taking this approach is actually not a good idea.

Traffic authorities make mistakes
Unfortunately, when it comes to motoring offences the authorities can, and do, make mistakes. Every year, lawyers uncover thousands of examples of motoring fines and notices being issued because of flawed, or compromised, evidence. In those situations, those accused of offences can usually avoid being wrongly prosecuted, or fined. Using a motor lawyer will help you to avoid being unjustly punished.

Accumulated points can lead to licence loss
However, the biggest reason for defending yourself when accused of a driving offence is the negative effect not doing so can have on your life. Given the fact it is all too easy to make genuine mistakes while driving and accumulate enough points to lose your licence not challenging offences, as they come up, is often unwise.

Especially when you consider that potentially you only have to get caught speeding a few times in a three year period to end up with more than 12 points on your licence. When that happens, you are well on the way to losing the right to drive. Clearly, not being able to drive has a negative effect on your life. For example, as can be seen from this page, losing your licence can make it extremely difficult to keep a job, or find a new one.

Motoring lawyers protect you
Given the potential serious consequences of motoring offences, it makes sense to seek the advice of a firm like motoringoffencelawyers.com. These specialist lawyers know that you can often legally avoid paying the fine, taking the points, or losing your licence.

A good motoring offence solicitor has a working knowledge of the technology and equipment that are used to gather evidence of offences. They know the law and procedures inside out.

Armed with this knowledge, they can identify where mistakes have been potentially made, and help you to launch a successful appeal. Should they not be able to find any errors, and you end up in court they can still mount an effective defence. This usually means you will be found not guilty, or will receive a lesser sentence, when appropriate.

With the help of an experienced motoring lawyer that covers your area you can greatly reduce the negative impact driving offences will have on your life, and that of your family.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

If only I could find my training shoes

Parkrun - jogging for the hell of it
I’m not a runner. I can’t think of anything worse than deliberately choosing to go out to pound down a pavement in my running gear, crippled with a stitch, sweaty of groin, moist of brow, with that hot coppery sensation of burning lungs struggling against cold air. (Ah – the memories of P.E. at school. What a joy it is to have escaped that misery.)

However, I don’t live a million miles away from where this Parkrun malarkey has been taking place. I’m astounded at the extent to which the public seem to have got their knickers (or should that be leotard?) in a twist over this.

What I’ve really struggled with is why the public has reacted in the way they have. The parish council never said to Parkrun, or its members, that they couldn’t run in the park. They simply said, you can either pay a nominal fee for running together as a group – to cover hogging the changing facilities, showers etc. – or you’ll have to run in the park as individuals.

Personally, as a pedestrian who chooses to use my legs and feet as God intended, i.e. by walking, I’m not a huge fan of being swarmed by a large group of red-faced and sweaty individuals as I walk down the pavement or through a park. Single runners or those in twos (or even threes) are much less intimidating.

I’m all for encouraging society to get (or keep) fit and if huffing and puffing round a park is your thing, so be it. But if you want to do it in a huge group at the same time, and that group hogs the facilities paid for by parish council funds, don’t get all high and mighty about the prospect of being asked to pay a nominal fee.

As Dan Jones neatly summarised in the London Evening Standard:

[…] Parkrun […] encourages people to do something which, if had they any gumption, they could do for themselves: put one foot before the other and don’t stop until you feel quite ill.

[B]ecause we live in an age of communal bleating and acquired victimhood, [the prospect of Parkrun being charged] has caused an outbreak of toga-tearing and hiccupping grief across the country, oxygenated by that symposium of the feeble-minded which we collectively call social media.

[T]he childish over-reaction in this instance masks a basic unwillingness on the part of adults to act proportionately or independently. Run for a fee in the park, or run for free elsewhere. It isn’t a big deal.

Either way, get a f***ing grip.

Well said.

Monday, 25 April 2016

BHS - circling in the drain

BHS

In the background at work today – one of the perks of having duel screens and nobody sitting behind me - I’ve been following the Guardian’s live commentary on the unfolding BHS administration crisis.

Following and grimacing, that is.

Here are some excerpts.

[The Guardian’s] financial editor Nils Pratley has some stern words of advice for Dominic Chappell, boss of BHS owner Retail Acquisitions […]

Nils notes how Chappell is “crassly missing the required tone” when he writes in an email to staff: “I would like to say it has been a real pleasure working with all of you on the BHS project, one I will never forget.”

“No, Mr Chappell, BHS was never a “project” for the staff. It is how they earned their living and made plans to fund their retirement,” writes Nils.

Exactly. This isn’t just an academic talking point for 11,000 people – it’s their livelihoods.

Which reminds me.  As a student nearly ten years ago, my partner had a troubling (yet fortunately brief) experience working for BHS in the run up to Christmas, a job which culminated in her standing in the store front, trying to tempt disinterested shoppers with cheese-flavoured popcorn. What’s worse is that it was all a tragic misunderstanding and the job she thought she’d been offered was upstairs in the office tinkering with spreadsheets and pushing paper around.

When I revealed to her this evening that I’d mentioned ‘popcorn-gate’ in a draft blog post, she (quite rightly) shot back at me noting that I wasn’t without experience when it came to flip-flopping between student jobs like some sort of walking disaster. That’s generally known as ‘PC World/CarphoneWarehouse/Marks&Spencer-gate’ in our household.

Still, I always managed to fall on my feet – however ill-deserved it might have been.

Mary Dejevsky neatly observes that the writing has been on the wall for BHS for some time now:

Comparisons are made with Woolworths – another out-of-date, out-of-time, high-street fixture that folded in 2008. And to be honest, if you even so much as crossed the threshold of a BHS in the last couple of years, you could sense that death was probably close.

Never has a truer word been spoken. You could practically hear the death rattle. I’ve wandered through a couple of branches of BHS in the last year or so, usually as a cut through or to kill time when all else had failed. On both occasions, it was eerily quiet save for the odd disillusioned member of the grey-haired brigade wandering aimlessly and – you could tell – with absolutely no intention of making a purchase. The d├ęcor and goods were tired and half-heartedly displayed. It was more akin to a half-assed pop-up store selling cheap calendars in readiness for the new year. It wasn’t just dreary – it was depressing.

BHS has fallen into that dangerous middle ground that department stores often occupy these days – trying to be everything to everyone. The sad reality is that it simply wound up being nothing to anyone (save for the poor staff, of course).

Once a respected stalwart of the high street and particularly favoured by oldies, BHS has failed dismally to establish itself as anything other than a soulless section of the high street. Now it’s the kind of place that any consumer under 60 only finds themselves in as a result of a mistake or a sudden rain shower. The brand has spent the last decade or so slowly being consumed by blandness and irrelevance.

And that’s such a shame.

Back on Oxford Street, [the Guardian’s] Damien Gayle, has been sounding out more shoppers on what went wrong at BHS.

“What’s BHS - is that a sandwich?” asked Jason Knight, 21, as he and his friends drank coffee outside Starbucks. He appeared to only be half joking.

But his friend Amy West, 23, was at least aware of the retail chain’s existence. Had she ever shopped there?

“I have, when I was a kid though, my nan used to take me there. Me and my nan used to pop into the shopping centre and she used to say: ‘I just have to go into BHS’.”

And no doubt that was to spend a penny.

public toilets

What else do younger shoppers have to say about BHS?

Jasmin Steiner, 20, and Holly Hicks Holcroft, 18, [pictured] were also browsing Carnaby Street’s boutiques.

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Asked how they felt about BHS’s financial troubles, Hicks Holcroft replied:

It doesn’t really bother me - it’s no Woolworths. Bring on change.

“ I can remember going there with my nan. It was that sort of shop that you go to with your nan and your parents.

“It’s a shame I guess but it’s making room for more stuff.”

How heartless.

By the way, Holly, did you get that hat from BHS?

Pity. You could have taken it back.  Be right back

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

And you thought lawyers were weird…

Or at least spoke in an anachronistic manner.

Personally, I think the police are worse, what with their painfully guarded style of thinking and speaking and sometimes bizarrely formal vocab and phrases. I’m sure we’ve all seen news interviews with investigating officers which border on farcical for the terminology they insist on using.

No doubt that ‘police speak’ is a required element of the curriculum at Hendon for all would-be police officers.

Police Speak

From the Law Society Gazette 11/04/16:

[In 1932] the Solicitors’ Journal, complaining about ‘police speak’, noted that: a scratch was ‘an abrasion’; a bruise, ‘a contusion’; ‘assistance was procured’; and a policeman never missed an opportunity of ‘using a word with a Latin root’.

[A ] Justice of the Peace complained that a policeman never found people quarrelling, there was always an ‘altercation’. He never ‘asked’ but ‘requested’.

A parson, even wearing his dog collar, was only ‘a gentleman of clerical appearance’.

A young constable reported to his sergeant that a man was dead, only to be told: ‘A person is never dead until certified by a doctor. He is “apparently lifeless”.

Lawyers are expected to use plain English in their work – and particularly when communicating with clients. I wonder when the police will finally give in and drop their awkward formality when choosing words and phrases.

Some in the legal profession seemed determined to hang on to their anachronistic vocab for as long as they can.

I’ve blogged before now about a corker of an email I received a few years ago from a legal executive:

I refer to our previous correspondence in this matter and look forward to hearing from you thereon.

Seriously?

Friday, 15 April 2016

How a solicitor could save your driving licence

Guest Post

So you’ve joined the ranks of thousands of other motorists who’ve been charged with drink driving. Although you may think it’s the end of your hopes and dreams for the future, all is not lost. By hiring the kind of solicitor who knows their law on this subject, it could not only save you from a disqualification but also time, money and stress .

Click here to find out the limits across breath, blood and urine in England and Wales Here are some of the ways that a motoring solicitor could save your bacon.

1) They can explain your charges in plain English

There’s a lot of jargon where drink driving law is concerned, and it can often leave you confused about what your actual charge is.

A drink driving solicitor will be able to explain everything to you simply, and answer any queries you have regarding your charge. For example, people can get confused over the difference between being “drunk in charge” and “drink driving”.

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You may not be aware that you can be arrested and charged for an alcohol-related motoring offence, even if you had not been driving. In this case, the police can require you to provide specimens, and the same procedures apply to you as for a drink driving offence. There are a range of sentencing options for this charge though, so it’s always best to talk to your solicitor.

2) They can spot any potential for a defence

When you sit down with your drink driving solicitor and relay your side of the story, they’ll be able to spot issues which may not seem important but, in actual fact, could be the difference between keeping or losing your licence. This is why it’s absolutely vital that you try to recall as much about an incident as humanly possible, as soon as you’re in the position to do it. It’s only natural that your memory will start to fade about an accident, and the slightest piece of information could be vital.

For example, after being involved in an accident, were you taken to hospital? Can you recall how the procedure was carried out? Were you in a position to provide fully informed consent to the provision of a blood sample? A procedural error on the part of the police may have occurred upon which a defence to the charge may be based.

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3) They can instruct the best forensic experts to provide evidence which supports your case

In drink driving cases, expert evidence in relation to the performance of the breath testing device, alcohol levels or medical issues may be important to support your defence. A specialist drink driving solicitor such as at drinkdrivesolicitor.com should have the expertise required to recognise which expert to instruct in your case.

Never underestimate what your solicitor will be able to do for you. Have you been to see a drink driving solicitor for an offence? Let me know your experiences.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Legal blogging – its downfall and (supposed) resurgence

Blogger (or so he claims)

Believe it or not – and I, for one, certainly don’t believe it – legal blogging is experiencing a resurgence.

A resurgence?  In legal blogs?  Really?

Where’s this taking place, then? ‘Cause it’s certainly not on the web.

Still, Nick Holmes pretty much nails what I think is largely behind the downfall of legal blogging (or blawging as it was once known):

What has changed fundamentally is the nature of the ensuing conversation which formerly took place in the comments sections on blogs. Whilst popular sites, such as national news sites, garner sometimes thousands of (generally [edit – invariably] tedious) comments, most niche blogs receive very few (though better value) comments. The conversation these days has been sucked out of blogs and takes place mainly on Twitter and other social media, so the profile of your blog does depend a lot on your social media “reach”, but that’s another story.

(Emphasis added)

And, as painful as it might be to hear, he (quite rightly) picks up on the fact the commercialisation of blogging amounted to another nail in its coffin.

Unfortunately, but inevitably, the proven success of blogging led to its widespread adoption and ultimately attracted the marketing people! Hence the personality-free corporate blogs and blogs set up purely for marketing purposes that we see all around us, as well as well-intentioned but low value, pedestrian blogs, none of which can be considered worthwhile literary works. In this climate, the good blogs have had to fight harder to be noticed.

I stopped pining for the ‘good old days of blogging’ long ago. That ship has long since sailed. I get it.

I supposed I should consider myself one of the lucky ones as at least I was there for the ride.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Naming storms. Why it gives me the fricking squits.

I wrote this post nearly a month ago in mid February 2016.  I’ve read it a couple of times since then as I’ve pondered whether or not to publish it.  Am I being too harsh, I wondered, or getting my knickers in a twist over something trivial.

In the end, I’ve decided, no – I need to say this stuff.  Someone needs to. 

But I have toned the original language down considerably. 

#storm-in-a-shitpot

----------------------Storm in a shitpot
One of the latest things to get right on my proverbials is the ridiculous policy the Met Office have adopted of naming storms.

In their infinite stupidity, they say the pilot project (with their equally ridiculous Irish counterparts) has been launched for the following reason:

The naming of storms using a single authoritative system should aid the communication of approaching severe weather through media partners and other government agencies. In this way the public will be better placed to keep themselves, their property and businesses safe.

I say: what absolute bollocks.

Like most Brits, I’ve got a morbid fascination for the weather. My father’s a self-styled full-time weather-watcher and observationist (yep – just made that word up). It’s his favourite topic of conversation. Michael Fish would have looked like a part-time amateur compared to him. And he’s not the only one; Britain loves its weather forecasts like no other nation on earth. In short: we’ve all got our eye on this stuff.

Everyone with half a brain knows that stormy weather brings with it risks of property damage and injury. Mass media and the internet mean people get to hear about this stuff more easily and quickly than ever before. That’s what makes the public ‘better placed’ to help themselves. You really don’t need to give a gale of wind a fricking Christian name to somehow give it kudos. A storm is a storm. Giving it cute name is merely to fall into the same anthropocentric trap we always do: convincing ourselves that as the supposedly superior species, we’ve tamed nature and have really got this one covered. Only we haven’t. And we never will.

And as for protecting people, is it really going to help those who like nothing better than to head out into the eye of the storm with their cameras? You know, the types of people who like to go out photographing waves while standing smack bang in the danger zone. Who get washed out to sea, never to be seen again. Or who get their faces smashed in as waves crash over them and hurl them at high speed across the harbour.

Giving a storm a first name isn’t going to save such people from their own stupidity. So let’s not even try.

Instead, let’s stop with this patronising bullshit of naming storms. If nothing else, it’s another Americanism at a time when that’s really, REALLY the last thing we need.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

What happened to the term “information superhighway” to describe the web?

Any ideas?  Because I haven’t a clue.

Wikipedia says the following:

The information superhighway or infobahn was a popular term used through the 1990s to refer to digital communication systems and the Internet telecommunications network. It is associated with United States Senator and later Vice-President Al Gore.

Urban Dictionary gives a hypothetical example of the term being used in speech:

"I just spent the afternoon cruising the Information Superhighway!"

That was nineties code for a porn browsing fest.  Not that I would know anything about that.

In the UK, I remember the term “information superhighway” was used by the ditzy blonde in a Philadephia (cheese spread) commercial at some point in the late 1990s.

Wouldn't you rather a nice hot snack

She was a card, wasn’t she?  I wonder what happened to her.

Monday, 15 February 2016

I’m back. And I’ve rediscovered my love of blogging again.

Yay. High fives all round.

Cue footage of me dancing the conga in an imaginary line of people.

Conga

Oh wait. False start. I’ve just realised I’ve got about as much interest left in blogging as I have in deliberately impaling myself on a large rusty fish hook.

What fun.

By 'ook or by c'ook

Friday, 8 January 2016

Must try harder…

I had intended to have a go at the Law Society’s quiz of the year over the festive period. It didn’t happen.

I scored a respectable 7 out of 12 last year.

And this year?  A big fat zero.

Law Society Quiz of the year

The questions seemed bizarre – obscure statistical kind of stuff about what the law society said they did in 2015. Stuff that you’d have to guess or lose an afternoon trying to research.

Anyway, there’s always 2016 to try and improve.