Archive for April 8th, 2013

Over the last three months I have been rather ill – an understatement.  It was a close run thing.  I shall leave it at that – but thank you for your kind emails and tweets.

I return to blogging and my Tour – initially, with some profiles and podcasts remotely done over skype, but back on the road in the Jag Rouge soon.

I get a lot of support from law firms and others for my tour – so I try to ensure supporters get something back – hence the many recent guest posts. I am grateful for the support for the project  – not being a rich man!

On this day when Mrs Thatcher dies – I leave you with two tweets I put up before the news broke to leaven the rather unpleasant tweets I have seen on my timeline today.

TWILDEBEEST n. Tweeter armed with pitchfork, flaming torch and general ignorance. Stampedes when struck down with kneejerkitis vulgaris

As John Mortimer QC once observed… people should be offended three times a week and twice on Sundays 🙂

Onwards and upwards…

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Child support in Australia – what you need to know and statistics by Watts McCray Family Lawyers  

In most cases, parents and other family members understand the need to put a child’s safety and emotional well-being first. Parental responsibility and living arrangements for children in separated families (formerly referred to as “child custody”, “residence”, “contact” or even “access”) need to be considered and decided upon following a relationship breakdown. By law the best interests of the child are always the most important consideration.

Where a child will live, how often they spend time with each of their parents, the sharing of special event days such as birthdays, Christmas, and school holidays, and how parents make decisions about the care of their children once separated, are all issues of great importance which should be included in any agreement about children. The role that grandparents, step parents, and other important people in the lives of children must also be considered, and appropriately addressed according to the law.

Please click on the infographic for a larger version:

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Guest Post: Industrial Deafness Claims

Industrial Deafness Claims
Walker Prestons Solicitors

Industrial deafness can manifest itself in varying afflictions and have significant effects upon many aspects of personal and professional life.

Many people who suffer from industrial deafness never seek accurate diagnosis and assume that the condition is a part of the ageing process. This assumption can lead to significant losses of income as certain professions cannot be entered or continued by those who suffer from total or partial deafness. Sufferers of industrial deafness can claim personal injury compensation to offset any monetary and personal losses that come as a result of the affliction.

Industrial deafness is caused by exposure to prolonged or dangerously loud noises without the correct safety measures in place. Employees can suffer from impaired hearing or total deafness as a result of such conditions and it is mandatory that employers supply sufficient safety equipment and training.

The industrial deafness may take a number of years to present itself in user after remaining dormant. Sufferers of industrial deafness can make a personal injury claim up to 20 years after leaving the offending industry.

One of the most common forms of industrial deafness is tinnitus which is an umbrella term for many hearing impairments and afflictions. Tinnitus can manifest itself in a number of different impairments including ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing and whistling in the ear. All of these impairments can make hearing difficult, stressful and even painful.

Tinnitus that has been caused by the exposure to prolonged or loud noise is often untreatable and without cure. The sufferer will be blighted with the condition for the rest of their life. This can be particularly disconcerting for individuals who rely on their hearing to pursue their profession. Tinnitus could in effect end the career of an individual and prohibit further industries that the sufferer can enter.

Partial Deafness

Commonly suffered by employees who work in bars, clubs and pubs; partial deafness is the form of industrial deafness that impacts younger people most commonly. The employer’s duty of care dictates that employees should have access to the correct safety equipment and training. With their whole professional and personal life in front of them; partial deafness could redefine their successes.

Those affected by partial deafness who have suffered a measurable decline in personal and professional successes may be entitled to significant injury claim compensation.

Total Deafness
Total deafness is less common than partial hearing loss or tinnitus but often has more significant repercussions. Often caused by one exceptional loud noise or built up over time; complete and total deafness will impact massively upon the personal and professional life of the afflicted party. Many industries and careers will be inaccessible for the sufferer of total deafness for safety and performance reasons.

Health & Safety Precautions against Hearing Loss
The following health and safety precautions must be made available to all employees who are at risk of industrial deafness. Without such precautions, the employer may be liable for personal injury compensation.

Ear Protection – Over-the-head or in-ear ear protection must be supplied to employees who are exposed to loud or prolonged noises in the workplace.

Full Training – All applicable employees must be given full training regarding any potential noise pollutants. Failure to provide sufficient and relevant training could be considered as negligent.

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New Whiplash Laws could Persecute the Victims
Walker Preston Solicitors

Motorist’s premiums in the UK will decrease dramatically if proposed tighter whiplash rules and regulations are enforced. This is the opinion of the UK’s biggest insurer: Aviva.
However the regulations have been met with widespread criticism, suggesting that changing the law could leave the victim in a vulnerable position.

The new regulations have been designed to decrease the number of superfluous whiplash claims that are made. The changes could stand to save the average motorist £60 a year. Aviva has called for law changes to come into force wherein victims would be forced to put their claims directly to the insurer of guilty party.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers revealed: “Putting the injured person entirely in the hands of the guilty party’s insurer would create a profound conflict of interest. Independent advice is key to preventing such a conflict and ensuring a fair outcome for the injured person.”
Whiplash accounts for 80% of injury claims that are made in the UK. Subsequently, insurance premiums have been forced to rise to cover the escalating costs. The costs can be further escalated because of the dues paid to breakdown firms, brokers and even to the insurers.
However, the victim of a crash may find the prospect of dealing directly with an insurance company daunting and difficult. The law which is supposed to protect the public may effectively punish citizens.

It is necessary to balance the rights of the victim with the accuracy of the claims process. The government has already implemented law changes to lower the number of falsified claims. Referral fees paid by lawyers and claims management firms will be banned later this year and a limit will be placed upon legal fees. It is hoped that these steps will save all motorists a considerable amount of money.

Aviva’s proposition would include the victim receiving independent clinical advice.
Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva, claimed: “Our primary concerns are that injured parties receive care and compensation as quickly as possible, and that all motorists benefit from a reduction in the excessive costs that have built up in claims over the past few years.”
There are roughly 550,000 whiplash claims made every year in the UK. Aviva claims that 300,000 of these cases could be dealt with more efficiently with the proposed law changes. The proposal does not include any repercussions for parties found guilty of making falsified or superfluous whiplash claims.

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