When You Should Hire an Accident Claims Lawyer

The decision to hire an accident claims lawyer after an accident can be daunting. Accident claims lawyers specialize in representing people who feel that their injury justifies compensation from another party; personal injury lawyers are most often used in cases involving car accidents, but they can be hired for other situations such as workplace injuries, injuries caused by negligence in a place of business, and so on.

Please note: I also wrote a recent article about the challenges facing personal injury lawyers.

But when should you hire an accident claims lawyer? To find the answer, let’s take a closer look at the most common circumstances which will be benefited from hiring an accident claims lawyer.

The injuries you have sustained are serious and/or may cause long-term consequences

You shouldn’t seek out an accident claims injury lawyer for minor injuries, such as minor bruises, scrapes or cuts—namely because any compensation you might receive would come nowhere near the cost of hiring a lawyer to handle your cast.

However, serious injuries and injuries which may cause long term consequences for you down the road are grounds for higher compensation due to the extent of your injuries. For example, if the injuries you sustained in an accident will prevent you from working, you should be entitled to higher compensation to cover the money lost from your injury. In this type of case, an accident claims professional lawyer who specializes in compensation for such injuries should be consulted and hired. This is doubly true if you are dealing with insurance companies, who have entire legal teams dedicated to avoiding compensation people for damages. An accident claims lawyer can help ensure that you are not pushed around by a company’s legal team and that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your medical costs or other expenses associated with your injury.

You feel that you are being pushed into settling quickly to avoid full compensation

Sometimes, insurance companies or other companies (such as a place of business whose negligence caused your injury) will pressure people to settle quickly in order to make sure that they don’t try to seek fair (in other words, costly) compensation. If you hire a lawyer, however, the lawyer can advise you on whether or not the ‘quick settlement’ you are being offered are legit or a tactic meant to keep you from proper compensation.

If there is any dispute regarding who is at fault for the injury

While some companies or other parties may be willing to accept responsibility for an injury caused by their negligence, there are times when there will be a dispute over who is actually responsible for the injury. A common example occurs when two (or more) people who are in a car accident and place the blame of the accident on everyone but themselves.

An accident claims lawyer can help with the complex mediation process and can represent the case to the best of their professional ability, using their knowledge and experience of these dispute cases to make sure you receive a fair ruling.

An Introduction to Domestic Violence Law & How Solicitors Work

Previously on my blog I’ve detailed how personal injury solicitors work – this week I thought I’d take a look at divorce law, which is slightly different to my speciality of accident claims matters – but something close to my heart nonetheless.

Domestic violence can be a traumatizing nightmare that can cause deep frustrations within the family. A party may be violent and abusive towards the other, what may start as assault may grow to grievous harm. Through an solicitor you can restrain the other party from violent conduct by obtaining compelling injunctions. In a similar vein, where you are a victim of domestic violence, your solicitor will enable you get reliefs through the courts while still restraining a spouse or the perpetrators from engaging in the deplorable acts and conduct. The solicitor may also enable you to resolve your issues by enumerating the rights and interests amicably. Grievous harm will attract charges in criminal law; your solicitor can handle the matter and file it with the relevant prosecuting authority.

domestic-violence-advery

There are many laws that will be invoked to tilt scales in your favor if you have a domestic violence solicitor. Certain legal principles and rules can be used to get justice for the victim of violent acts. Sometimes it can even extend to serious offences such as child molestations or sexual abuse. Getting all the charges in the prosecution’s case can be enabled by a solicitor who can investigate and represent your interests in civil litigation. This will enable you get the utmost justice that would at least restore the disturbed equilibrium. On the other hand, the perpetrator may also have a solicitor; this may cause a pivotal imbalance in legal arguments.

To safeguard and enforce your inherent rights, getting a domestic violence solicitor fast as the crime has been committed is the best way. This is because you can obtain an injunction to stop the perpetrator before they can harm you grossly. There is no need for fear, if you can apprehend that the violence will persist, it would be beneficial for the family to have the perpetrator subjected to the wheels of justice. This will protect all the family members from the culprit; furthermore some punishment would be apt to restrain future violent acts. Sometimes the case may cost you lower costs if you do not wish to pursue civil litigation. Public prosecutors are also important in family violence prosecution.

A domestic violence solicitor may also be necessitated by other matters that may be as a result of the violent acts such as separation or divorce. The solicitor may also be specializing in family law issues, this may enable you to get a smooth and seamless termination of the marriage and stop further violence. The violence may also emanate from complex matters such as battery, there are remedies and reliefs that can enable you feel your rights are protected and enforced whenever they are breached by the other party. You may also need a solicitor to navigate certain troubles such as post-divorce trauma as you can obtain damages from the court to make good the loss. Through a good solicitor, if you have been injured or harmed by anyone within the family can be a great relief.

Some Recommended Software and IT Solutions for Legal Firms

This week I sat down and reviewed different software packages and IT solutions that are most commonly used by legal firms and solicitors. What I’ve done is list them out below and review the pros and cons of each package. It’s not an exhaustive list by any stretch, but should provide some good pointers for lawyers and solicitors who are thinking about increasing their use of technology in their offices to help them with everyday tasks to streamline their business.

Amicus Attorney

Amicus AttorneyThis package is billed as being “designed by lawyers for lawyers” and is a legal practice management software solution. The great thing about this package is that you don’t need to use an expensive IT support company to get everything up and running. The software technology lets you control all IT aspects to your firm including billing, time management, document management and more. It can be used on standard PC, Mac, plus now iPad and iPhone if you are on the move and mobile frequently. They currently have a free trial on offer.

ABC Law

IT Support London HQCreated by an IT Support company in London, this software lets legal professionals manage their own back-office solution without the need to outsource their IT requirements.  It is superb for those practicing in civil litigation, criminal defence, family law, personal injury, and immigration cases.  Comes with the standard items you would expect such as billing solutions, professional services, court rules and workflows, legal document templates, and also has mobile access.  No free trial is available with this one unfortunately but a great IT package none the less.

LawRD

LawRDThis software and IT solutions helps lawyers and solicitors keep track of time and expenses.  But it doesn’t stop there.  It also lets you invoice clients with highly detailed billing documents and sheets, produces instant reports on profits and productivity, and lets you have an immediate top down view on their financial position of your clients.  The IT company behind the product states that LawRD helps to measure ROI (return on investment) and can improve productivity and profitability.  It is possible to set up a demo account on their website.

Clio

ClioAccording to their website, thousands of lawyers save time using Clio (and they have data that shows savings of up to 8 hours per week when using this software).  Comes with time and billing, calendars, collaboration features, and other advanced law practice management functions.  The bills and invoices that get produced by Clio look very good and can help to really make your law firm look a lot more streamlined and professional.  Pricing is handled on a monthly subscription basis with pricing starting at around £30 per month for the standard package.

Peppermint Technology

PeppermintThis company is an award-winning legal software provider, who have developed their Legal Service Platform.  It’s built on a Microsoft platform and includes legal case management software, document management, legal accounts, billing and time recording, business intelligence reporting, risk management features, legal online services, knowledge centre, and a CRM and marketing application.  Definitely one of the leaders, and is developed by an IT support company based in Nottingham in the Midlands. Worth a second look for sure.

Cognito Software

CognitoA personal favourite of mine, this comes with practice management software, case management applications, legal accounting software, probate software, case tracking management, and even offers up hosting services for solicitors and lawyers.  They have been providing legal software services for over 20 years and are one of the longest standing players in the industry.  They are based near London (in Harlow, Essex), and can support your company either on a remote IT support basis, or over the telephone or via a contact form.

Summary and Conclusion

So to summarise and conclude, there are literally hundreds of software products on the market that are aimed at legal practices, lawyers, and solicitors – far too many to feature in this blog article.  Choosing the right package for you should be done diligently, and I would recommend taking the free trial or demo offers available before making a final decision.  Having effective IT support for your legal firm can be achieved by spending as little as £30 per month, but of course, those costs could dramatically increase depending on how many staff you employ and your personal requirements.

For legal firms with more than 50 staff, I would recommend that you use a dedicated IT support company in addition to one of these packages in order to support you with IT infrastructure and networking, as a small software package isn’t going to be the answer to all of your technology needs.

Search for software packages online and trial some services for a month before you make that final decision on which provider and supplier to go with.

How UK Solicitors Can Leverage Social Media Marketing

Social Media for Solicitors

Law firms need to adopt a social media strategy.

There is a common train of thought in the industry that solicitors and legal firms are not really at the forefront of embracing the Internet when it comes to marketing their services. In fact, I wrote a previous blog post about how solicitors can embrace search engine optimisation, and how I ran a survey to see how true this actually was. It’s definitely a factor, that solicitors and law firms do tend to view the Internet slightly differently to other businesses, don’t ask me why, but it’s how it seems to be. However, they really do need to get a proper handle on the technology if they are going to push their businesses forward over the next couple of years.

Social media for solicitors is one such area that can be hugely improved, and you would be surprised how easy it actually is to engage with prospective or existing clients using tools such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All of these social media tools are free to set-up and take very little maintenance in truth. With around 80% of the UK public now using search engines and social media to find recommendations for business services, it would be an act of great folly not to become active in this way. Whilst solicitors in the UK used to rely on word of mouth and personal recommendations, the goal posts have now changed. Here is a quick overview of each social media platform that solicitors can use and the benefits of usage.

Facebook

How many times have you seen friends on Facebook asking for a local business recommendation, and then their friends linking them into a Facebook page of a local business? It happens all the time, all day, and there are probably people in your town or city asking their friends this week for recommendation for a local solicitor. Don’t miss out on this potential business opportunity for new clients. Make sure that you maintain your page, and from time to time release a piece of news on the website that might be considered “fun” or “attractive” so that it is shared by your followers with their friends – a great way in which to increase the social media visibility of your solicitors firm. Here are some tips on how a solicitor can uses Facebook really well – it’s US focussed but the strategies remain the same.

Google Plus

When a solicitor sets themselves up with Google Places for Business, it automatically creates them a Google Plus page. If you have ever done a local search in your area for a local business, for example “solicitors in Birmingham” you will notice what I call the “Pack of 10” underneath the 3 top natural search engine listings in Google. These results are delivered via a number of factors, but one of the most important parts to these is how well and active a solicitors firm is with their Google Plus page. Can you afford to miss out? I can’t believe you would want to miss this opportunity – see the image below for an example of how the results appear (I’ve highlighted the Pack of 10 in a yellow shade).

Google Plus Results

How local searches appear with Google Plus for solicitors

Twitter

On Twitter it’s possible to monitor trending topics and get involved. So for example, let’s say you are an employment law solicitors and see on Twitter that a large firm has started to lay-off staff, it might create an opportunity for you to reach out to affected staff or the company involved to offer your legal services. The Legal Futures website wrote an excellent news piece about how solicitors were getting increasing amounts of referrals via Twitter – and this news article was written in 2012!

Promote Your Solicitor’s Social Media Presence

Once you have your social media accounts set-up and you’ve become active, shout about them! It’s no use having them if nobody knows about them. Here’s an example from a solicitor who has added their social media icons to the header of their website to increase the sign-ups, likes, shares, and connections.

Conclusion

If you are not using social media in your law firm today, then make sure you get on to it straight away. Social media is growing at a frightening rate, and it might not be too far a stretch for the imagination to see a day where all business recommendations and searches are conducted on social media platforms rather than word of mouth or standard Google searches. For no financial investment, and just a little bit of time, your solicitors firm could be the number one in your local area or city within a very short period of time.

PS: Here’s an interesting video (again from a US perspective) on how lawyers and solicitors can better use social media. Worth a watch just to pick up a couple of handy hints and tips.

The Challenges That Personal Injury Lawyers and Solicitors Face in 2014

Downward Trends in Personal Injury

It’s a tough time for personal injury lawyers.

According to a recent survey, almost a fifth of all law firms in northwest England are closing down*. What does this information indicate? It shows a growing trend that personal injury work is under threat. For me this is a little bit of a concern, as personal injury, and in particular the no win no fee arena was one in which I was planning to practice in after my exams are completed.

Ten Thousand Jobs Potentially at Risk

Although for the most part this information has been brushed under the rug, the trend is not fading. In fact, it is estimated that 100,000 jobs or more are in jeopardy of being lost over the next year if things do not improve. What is the reason for this startling trend?

As the economy faced a tremendous downturn, the legal system was less likely to side with personal injury lawyers then it was to file on the side of the perpetrator. Of course, individuals who became victims of medical negligence often found the court ruled in their favor. For personal injury lawyers, this became a serious economic issue. Although it can be assumed that many claimants are dishonest in their claims there are many individuals who have been a victim of crime and genuinely require assistance.

With new legislation taking effect at the beginning of the next month, personal injury lawyers will now be forced to market and advertise their services in different ways than they are used to. Instead of having the opportunity to purchase certain claims, lawyers will now have to dish out a portion of their income marketing services; income that they will not be getting back immediately. In fact, the price of the services will likely be passed on to claimants therefore increasing the rate personal injury lawyers will charge.

How a London Personal Injury Firm is Doing It

Accident Claimline

The Accident Claimline have adapted the way in which they work.

So for example, a personal injury lawyer firm might have to invest more in how their own websites perform in searches online, rather than relying on third party Internet marketing lead generators to develop leads for them. A great example of how one company (The Accident Claimline) does this with this website that they developed purposefully to target clients in London looking for no win no fee solicitors in the city.

In addition to these changes, the government will also enact road traffic accidents portals for computer software wherein lawyers can send accident claims directly to defendants and their insurance companies for settlements. The computer system will now cover nearly any personal injury claim between £1000 and £10,000. The new changes also come with reductions in lawyer’s fees, something that the personal injury market is not particularly excited about.

The Ministry of Justice has made tremendous changes to the personal injury legislation in the UK, which has contributed to the aforementioned closing businesses. Only time will tell how lawyers react to these new changes and how many businesses are able to continue offering their services under these new laws.

* Source: The Guardian Website 21st March 2013

Helping Kangaroodle Packaged Bank Accounts Reclaims with My Commercial Law Expertise

Kangaroodle

The Kangaroodle Logo – Cool Hey?

Exciting news this week as I’ve been asked to input some of my legal knowledge to a friend’s start up business. Whilst I am not fully-qualified yet as solicitor, it’s really awesome that I am already setting up what could be potential business opportunities for the future – especially if I decide to work commercial law. Anyway, the website is Kangaroodle.com and is designed to help people in England, Scotland, and Wales claim back any compensation for mis sold packaged bank accounts. This is a bit of a little known industry that’s starting to pop-up in a similar vein to how the PPI reclaims industry did just a few years back.

Well, they’ve asked me if I can offer commercial legal advice to them on an ad-hoc basis, kind of an advisory role – I was more than happy to say yes, especially as it means I can now create my first invoice as Janice Hapwell! It’s made all the hard work so worth it, the struggling to juggle family and study. I can really see some positives opening up in the future for me.

Kangaroodle Mis Sold Packaged Bank Accounts

Kangaroodle itself is going to let people work with them to make a claim for compensation if they feel that they might have been mis-sold a packaged bank account. Packaged bank accounts are those accounts which you bank tries to push on you – sure you know what I mean? Something along these lines (and I personally got stung with one of these from Lloyds):

If you take out this account we will give you free breakdown cover, free holiday and car insurance, you will get a free silver pen and paper pad, and we will even put you a prize draw for a once in a lifetime trip to the Moon (ok so I made that last bit up a bit).

It’s estimated that this could affect thousands of consumers in the United Kingdom, with mis sold packaged bank accounts set to become quite a hot topic later this year. If you think that you have been mis-sold a packaged bank account then your first stop should be the Kangaroodle website. As you can see, it’s kind of still a little bit under development but should soon have everything you would ever want (or need) to know about packaged bank account on it, frequently asked questions about the mis-selling of packaged bank accounts and loads more. One of the pages I was asked to sanity check from a legal perspective was their overview and definition of how packaged bank accounts have been mis-sold. Have a read and tell me what you think – would love to get some feedback from my legal peers on this one!

From my view, and this is what I told the team at the time, I don’t think that packaged bank accounts are really very well-known at the moment, and the whole subject of mis-selling probably needs more exposure in the public domain – hopefully Kangaroodle will start to kick that process off and keep can be a profitable project for the team (and of course little old me!).

Generally speaking it’s a very exciting time for me. With graduation not too far off, dissertations being submitted, final coursework nearly complete, and on top of that the wedding anniversary of a lifetime not to far off the horizon (we are going to Argentina) and I really positive about the remainder of 2014 and the forth-coming years.

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would nearly be qualified as a solicitor, would be part of a team of people setting up a packaged bank accounts reclaim website, and starting to send out my own invoices on my owned headed paper then I don’t think I would have believed you.

Note to younger self: Don’t give up on your dreams, as anything is possible, and it’s never too late to change your career and life path. Nothing is set in stone, there are no guarantees in life – it’s just a roller coaster – and on that note – here’s a song that kind of sums that up for me:

 

Anyway, that’s enough from me for today – I promise that will be the last Ronan Keating video I expose you too!

An Interview with Edward Barker – A Personal Injury Solicitor in Manchester

Edward Barker

Edward Barker – Working for Personal Injury Solicitors Manchester.

One aspect to my recent dissertation piece centred on how solicitors and lawyers in the United Kingdom were embracing (or not) social media and SEO.  During the questionnaire process I had quite a bit of dialogue with Edward Barker from a firm of Manchester personal injury solicitors.  Edward offered some excellent insight for me on how firms were using the Internet in order to generate more personal injury claims via online leads.  It was quite an eye-opening discussion we had, so much so that I asked him whether he would prepared to let me interview him for the Byte Flow website – thankfully he said yes, and here’s how it went:

Janice: Hi Edward, thank for agreeing to the interview. For those not familiar with who you are can you please give a quick overview and introduction?

Edward: I currently lead a team of personal injury solicitors in Manchester – we specialise in helping people who live and work in Manchester who have been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, to claim the correct and rightful compensation to help them out.  We work on a no win no fee agreement meaning our clients don’t have to pay a penny in costs.  In effect we take the whole process out of their hands so they can spend time recuperating from their injuries without the stress of having to worry about the legal minefield that can typically arise from a personal injury claim.  Manchester has a particular high concentration of these cases, and we pride ourselves on being amongst the leading Manchester personal injury solicitors and lawyers in the city.  We’ve got many happy customers and are a friendly and approachable team who always work in the best interests of our clients when pursuing a personal injury claim for them.

Janice: In my dissertation I wrote about how solicitors and lawyers can use the Internet to benefit their business, but found that many legal firms are quite slow adopters when it comes to the Web.  I can see that you have an excellent looking website – can you tell me a bit more about how you manage the website and content and how well it works for you in terms of attracting personal injury claims in Manchester? 

Edward: Thanks for your compliments!  We’ve invested a lot of time in the Manchester personal injury claims website to ensure that it attracts as many visitors as possible who are looking for a personal injury solicitor in Manchester.  However, the story doesn’t end there, because when they hit our website we want them to immediately get answers to the questions that they are looking for.  For example, many people won’t understand the no win no fee process – so we have large calls to action throughout the website which let people easily see a page containing FAQs about Manchester no win no fee procedures – you can see it there for yourself on that link.  It’s important to us as solicitors that we make the process of making an accident and injury claim as easy as possible and as simple as it can be.  For most people talking to a lawyer can be a daunting experience so it’s our job to make that not the case.  It’s my belief that’s what makes the best personal injury solicitor; one that can put the client as ease and then represent them to get them the best possible outcome to the claim as possible.  We have also put a few simple YouTube videos together about our services.

Janice: OK so apart from spending all your time working as a personal injury solicitor in Manchester, what do you like to do in your spare time to unwind?

Edward: I am an avid football follower with Manchester United being my team.  Unfortunately they aren’t doing too well at the moment.  Aside from that I have a young family which means I am always occupied at the weekend. We’ve recently started geocaching which is quite a cool activity. Kind of like treasure hunting at National Trust parks using a handheld GPS device.  I really recommend it – there are loads of places in Manchester to do it and it really helps to take my mind off personal injury claims!

Janice: What advice would you give to an aspiring law student who wants to become a personal injury solicitor? 

Edward: Good question!  From my perspective you need to have empathy.  Most of the people that you will be dealing with have probably had a very traumatic experience.  If you aren’t a people person then I don’t think you should really be in personal injury.  Unfortunately I meet many lawyers who are quite the opposite though.  At our injury claims company we only employ Manchester personal injury solicitors who we believe can relate to the type of clients that we deal with and who are able to listen and be sympathetic.  Outside of their personal client-facing traits, I would say, if you are a law student and want to get into this niche then try to find work with a personal injury firm that you would personally recommend to your own family and friends.  If you wouldn’t recommend them then surely you wouldn’t want to work for them? Ethics are very important in this business.

Janice: Thanks for the interview Edward, is there anything else you would like to tell our readers before you go?

Edward: Well thanks for the interview, yes sure.  If any of your readers would like to connect with me on any of the social media networks then please do.  I am on Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter.  In addition to that, if any of your readers are interested in making a personal injury claim then search for “personal injury solicitors Manchester” and they should find us.  Failing that, use the links I requested during the interview and you can check us out and how we work!

Credits: Thanks to Edward Barker, a personal injury solicitor in the city of Manchester, UK, for this interview opportunity.  All images copyright of their respective owners.

UK Lawyers and Solicitors Are Not Embracing SEO and Online Marketing

As part of my legal dissertation I decided to look into how legal and law firms were harnessing internet marketing and social media, and in particular search engine optimisation (otherwise known as SEO) in order to attract more clients.  I interviewed various lawyers and solicitors working across the London area and the south coast of the United Kingdom, and generally speaking not many of them actually truly understand how local SEO and internet marketing can help them to gain more online business.  As part of the study, I asked correspondents about their current use of the web and how they perceived the value they got from SEO, or even if they knew what it was.  Here are some sample questionnaire statistics from the survey. There were 25 correspondents in total.

  • Question 1: Do you currently use any forms of Internet Marketing including SEO to drive more enquiries and sales to your website? Results: 57% did not have a current plan for SEO.
  • Question 2: Do you see any value in your legal firm using the services of an SEO agency or a digital marketing firm? Results: 28% did not see any value in SEO services or digital marketing.
  • Question 3: Do you plan to embark on SEO or Internet Marketing in the next 12 months? Results: 43% replied that they did plan to conduct some form of online marketing.

As you can see there’s not huge amount of faith involved when it comes to SEO services and online marketing in the legal world.  As part of the overall dissertation I also spoke to an SEO company on the South Coast who have a number of legal clients and asked their managing director for some insight into working with legal firms and lawyers.  This is what the managing director had to say:

“The vast majority of lawyers and solicitors that I talk to, initially don’t see how SEO services or some form of digital marketing campaign could help them.  This is quite unlike most professional services, but once I can show them the kind of results and leads that they can generate, they can be convinced.  Unfortunately though, there are many legal firms out there who are missing out on a huge amount of business due to their reticence to embark on any form of online marketing.  The trend does seem to be changing though, as the last couple of months we’ve managed to win quite a few more clients in the legal field, all of whom are now seeing some fantastic results and hands down beating their competition – in personal injury this is particularly valuable to them”.

UK Lawyers Slow to Adopt SEO Services

There certainly does seem to be a slow rate of adoption when it comes to the online world, in particular in the UK where lawyers and solicitors don’t appear to be as far down the web marketing route as US counterparts.  With more and more people now searching for legal advice online, whether to make a personal injury claim (see my previous blog post on this) or to find advice with regards to divorce, property, or other issues, it really should be at the core of any marketing plan for solicitors and lawyers in 2014.

Items that local law firms should pay particular attention to are as follows:

  • Google Places for Business
  • Social Media Accounts such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Search Engine Optimisation services to improve their rankings

From my own study and investigation, plus my chats with the Expert SEO Southampton team, it doesn’t actually take too much for a law firm’s website to get ranked highly for local keywords that people are searching for – primarily because so many solicitors aren’t actively engaged in SEO.  Here’s a rather cool video I saw from a US-based SEO company who specialise in SEO.

Conclusion on Legal Digital Marketing

It gives good food for thought, and my advice to any lawyer or solicitor is for them to find a reputable local SEO company and talk to them about how they can achieve better online search engine rankings.  A digital marketing campaign should be a priority if you want to stay ahead in the game.

Accidents in the Workplace Leading to a Personal Injury Claim

The following excerpt comes from a piece of coursework that I had to complete as part of my law degree.  It concerns accidents in the workplace and how these can lead to a personal injury claim.  I received 87% as part of this piece of coursework which was part of a larger assignment.

Personal Injury claims can arise out of many situations, accidents happen everywhere after all. If you think of the amount of time that a person spends at work, and the multitude of dangerous occupations and industries there are it is no surprise that a significant number of personal injury compensation claims are brought about due to workplace injuries.

Accidents at Work Poster

Image copyright of www.flickr.com/photos/coolinsights

Health and safety guidelines are stringently enforced and also of great assistance to employers in limiting risks to employees. Prosecutions can follow for employers who show disregard for health and safety requirements and the courts view such matters very seriously. The Police will often investigate such matters, especially if a fatality has occurred. The matter will then be reported to the prosecuting authorities for consideration as to the whether or not court proceedings should be initiated. In all such situations, no matter how minor the injury, compensation can be a key factor and consideration.

For the employee, compensation will allow the matter to be brought to a better conclusion and, in the event of serious injuries it can take in to account the impact on the injured person`s life, the fact that they may not be able to work again or only at a reduced capacity and whether or not any care arrangements require to be out in place. This can extend as far as making changes to a person’s home or living arrangements and providing for 24 hour care if need be. Such requirements should not be placed upon family members or friends, no matter how keen they are to help.

Given the high likelihood of accidents occurring in the workplace all employers by law are required to have Public Liability Insurance. This is a statutory requirements and allows insurance cover and protection for both employees and members of the public who are only visiting the workplace.

The existence of this insurance goes a great way to ensuring that injured workers or visitors are compensated in the event of injury that was not their fault. Rather than workers having to take claims against their employer – who may not be able to pay the necessary levels of compensation – the claim is intimated through a solicitor to the employer who will then pass the matter on to their insurer. The insurers then have their own solicitors who will communicate directly with the solicitor for the injured party. This is clearly a much smoother and less stressful process than an employee requiring to enter in to such discussions with their employer. The employee would perhaps be intimidated and would also not know the levels of compensation that were appropriate, or the matters to include within the scope of the claim.

Given that solicitors are involved, legal precedents will be known by each negotiating party meaning that the matter can quickly be resolved. It is the norm that the employers solicitor will initially deny liability for the injury but this is only a way of protecting their client`s position until all of the relevant evidence has been gathered, including medical records and details of how the accident occurred. Once established liability is usually agreed and the appropriate level of compensation determined. Evidence is very rarely required in compensation claims arising out of personal injury matters.