What you Need for an Accident at Work Compensation Claim

Businessman slipping on wet office floor

If you have been injured in an accident in the workplace that was caused by the negligence of your employer, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. However, many people do not claim the compensation they deserve, and sometimes this is down to uncertainty about the claims process, what it involves, and what exactly is needed to make a valid and successful claim.

Legal Assistance

Of course, making a work accident claim will require professional legal assistance. There are many firms which specialise in making personal injury claims generally and in claiming compensation for accidents in the workplace specifically, and they will offer in-depth expertise and valuable assistance throughout the claims process. The help of a solicitor is virtually essential for making a compensation claim. Even if it were not strictly necessary, however, hiring a solicitor would probably still be advisable as having the help and support of a specialist as well as having somebody else to handle the paperwork and technicalities of the process is invaluable for many claimants.


From the earliest stages of making a claim, you will at a minimum need some basic information about the accident. This should ideally include when and where the accident took place, and the injuries that you sustained as a result of it. You should also be able to explain to your solicitor why you feel your employer (or, in some cases, a specific superior or co-worker) was responsible for the accident. In order for this party – the defendant – to be legally responsible, they must have been negligent in some way and not taken all necessary or reasonable steps to protect your safety.

Documents and Evidence

You will also need to have certain documents and evidence to support your case – and other documents, while not necessary, could be very useful. Your solicitor will outline to you want kind of evidence and documentation is necessary when you begin your claim, but it can be useful to have some idea ahead of time so you can begin preparations sooner. Initially, you will need to present proof of your identity to your solicitor, as well as documents relating to any relevant insurance policies. At later stages, you may have to provide evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries such as photographs or medical documents. You may also have to present evidence relating to the accident itself such as photographs of the location, any records of the accident or reports that were made, and written statements from witnesses. Many of these are documents you are unlikely top have at the initial stage but can set about obtaining as your claim progresses.

Why Long Term Disability Can Be Denied

There are many reasons why you may see a long term disability claim denied. A professional lawyer can help you to understand this process and can help you to defend your rights if you have been wrongly denied disability benefits. If you have been turned down, a good lawyer can evaluate your case and help you to get medical proof of your condition. A legal professional will be able to come up with the best disability claim possible and will work hard to get the results that you deserve.

No Written Support from Doctor
When you are trying to get on disability, it is important to have medical data to back you up. You want to have a written statement from your doctor explaining why you need disability and what your work-related disabilities are. It is important to have a doctor that will support your case.

Not Going to Regular Doctor Visits
When you are being considered for disability, you want to make sure that you stay up to date on all of your current medical appointments. It is important to keep all of your doctor and specialist visits.

Not Having the Right Medical Records
It is possible for your disability case to be denied because your doctor has not turned over all of your medical records. Find out what records have been turned in and what records are missing. A legal professional can make sure that all of the right paperwork has been disclosed.

Not Following Doctor’s Instructions
If you are in the process of appealing your disability benefits, you want to follow the instructions of your doctor as closely as possible. If you have been told that you should not lift a certain amount of weight, be sure that you do not try to carry objects that weigh more than you are supposed to lift. If you are supposed to be walking with crutches, do not forget them and go walking around like you do not need them. If someone were to see you acting as if you are not facing the difficulties that you are claiming, pictures could be taken or written statements could be given against you. Even if you are having a day where you are feeling better, do not overdo it. This could not only interfere with your disability case, but it could also cause you to injure yourself in the long run. If your doctor has given you strict orders, it is important to be safe and follow them outside of your home.

If you do not have the proper legal representation, you are going to feel alone in the disability process. You need someone who will have your best interests at heart. The right lawyer will be happy to evaluate your case and will be able to guide you every step of the way through the appeal process. Many people get turned down for disability because they do not have the right lawyer representing them. Find an experienced attorney that will fight for your rights.

Why look to hire a work injury lawyer?

Injuries occurring in the workplace are quite common and the most common form of compensation to be offered is the employer’s compensation insurance for workers. However, there are several other situations where individuals can also sue for the damages caused by injuries. These include personal injuries due to defective products, injuries caused by chemicals or toxic substances, injuries caused by intentional conduct of employers and other severe and long term disabling injuries caused by either the employer’s negligence or due to third parties. Across all such cases, it becomes possible to file a lawsuit for personal injury so as to win settlement for damages in the court of law.

While workers’ compensation insurance can offer some benefits to injured individuals, by and large, these benefits are small and do not account for the suffering and pain involved. Furthermore, by offering these benefits, employers try and walk away from damages caused by providing poor safety conditions for work. As such, it is important for workers to realize their rights and claim for personal injuries, over and above the simple compensation benefits. In case any worker sustains a personal injury at work, it is highly recommended to make use of the services of a personal injury lawyer.

It must be kept in mind that filing a lawsuit for personal injuries is a complex legal procedure, involving a lot of technicalities. It is always a good idea to seek the help of a seasoned law firm in dealing with personal injury lawsuits so as to get by the rules and norms and to assure that claims are successfully resolved.

Hiring an attorney is something which needs to be done with some amount of care. Before rushing into a hire, it is important to check if the lawyer has necessary and relevant experience in the field of personal injury lawsuits and also if the lawyer has been successful in resolving claims in the past. There are many different types of personal injuries that can occur to an individual and it is important that the lawyer is able to accurately evaluate the situation and should also understand in detail the norms and rules of tort law. Personal injury lawyers also need to understand and abide by legal ethics and codes of professional conduct as recognized by the court of law. The best ways to find an expert work injury lawyer is to check up on public directory listings or to resort to word of mouth recommendations.

Personal injuries can range from severe injuries to long term and disabling injuries. In order that the best interests of suffering individuals are served, it is always a good idea to make use of a personal injury lawyer. While some amount of money will need to be spent in terms of lawyer fees, it is still well worth the money hiring an expert attorney, as an expert will almost certainly ensure that the best possible settlement is reached and that claims are resolved successfully.

Leal Aid cuts put into doubt by court ruling

The government’s plans for introducing £220 criminal legal aid cuts have been put on hold following a high court ruling in which it was held that the Ministry of Justice consultation process was illegal due to its unfairness. The decision is a major setback for the justice secretary, Chris Grayling who was heading the negotiations between the government and the legal profession which resolved in a 17.5% cut in fees as well as the reduction in the number of contract solicitors on duty to attend police stations and court hearings.

The process was said to be “so unfair as to amount to illegality” by Mr Justice Burnett. He said that the government had refused to allow those engaged in the process to comment on the reports by accounting firms KPMG and Otterburn, which provided the foundation for deciding how many contracts for criminal advisory work would be available to solicitors’ firms.

The Ministry of Justice will now consider the judgment and seek advice on whether it is now requires to rerun the consultation process to a satisfactory and above board level. A royal commission is to be sought to examine the funding to access to justice by the  Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association (CLSA) and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, which brought the judicial review challenge in the instance.

Chairman of the CLSA Bill Waddington had previously requested documents prior to the courts ruling. He stated that failure to provide such documents had reduced dramatically the number of firms able to apply for duty contracts, without the profession being given any chance to comment upon the assumptions outlined in the reports.

Mr Waddington said that this “is a damming indictment of the lord chancellor, Chris Grayling. The head of our world-renowned justice system must act fairly, instead he has attempted to enact a plan that is manifestly unfair. Limiting access to justice and shredding the treasured principle of equality before the law”. He continued by saying that at a time  “when constitutional change is in the air, the right of citizens to defend themselves against state-funded prosecutions is not something that should be manipulated in a political way, but investigated impartially to appropriate savings and reforms that are sustainable and in the public interest.”

A spokesman for the Minitsry of Justice commented that the “judicial review was not wholly successful – the claimants failed in their challenge to the fee cut”.


Secret hearing to decide on MPs spying

The most secretive court in Britain is to stage a one of a kind public hearing in order to determine whether there is any legality behind the historic political doctrine that the British intelligence services are not permitted to intercept e-mails and phone conversations of members of parliament. The agreement to stage a hearing by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal comes after two MPs from the Green part; Caroline Lucas and Lady Jones, made complaints following leaked disclosures by Edwards Snowden made it obvious that GCHQ were monitoring and intercepting their communications which is contrary to the Wilson Doctrine.

Counsel for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, Kate Granger told the Tribunal that her clients wanted to exercise their right for the hearing to take place behind closed doors without the public or media having access to the procedure. She justified this request by saying “it may well be that we would want to say something in closed about the past policy or practice in relation to the Wilson Doctrine”.

The doctrine dates back to former Prime Minister Harold Wilson who in 1966 made a pledge that peers and MPs would not have their phones tapped. Further, in 1997 the then Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that the doctrine would extend to e-mails as well as other types of electronic communication. The power to keep the policy remains with all subsequent Prime Ministers who must inform other MPs of any changes should they wish to make such. The two complainant MPs however argue that the Wilson Doctrine must be enforced in the legal system and said that the large scale interception by GCHQ must be unlawful.

Mr Justice Burton, who is the president of the tribunal stated that he firstly wished to provide a judgement on the legality of the doctrine and whether it had any force in law. He continued to say that if the outcome was that the doctrine did not carry with it any legal force then the Tribunal will proceed to make the “usual inquiries” of the relevant agencies in order to provide a judgment on whether the MPs communications had indeed been bugged.

Mr Justice Burton rejected the proposal of the security agencies to hold parts of the hearing behind closed doors on the ground that it would spark criticism of the Tribunal itself. However, Mr Burton refused to grant the lawyers representing the two MPs with a copy of the orders which were granted to the agencies following the lodged complaint.

The impact of E-data on business law

The way business approaches litigation has changed enormously over the past decade due to the growth of electronically stored information.

New costs are experienced for data management and some cases are being settled for a shorter amount of time. Both businesses and law firms now have legal e-discovery departments and hire individuals with strong information technology abilities.  Even opposing parties are cooperating more during the early stages of litigation, but simultaneously courts are imposing severe sanctions for those fail to preserve or produce information.

People witness document collection to be transformed from warehouse search for paper to gathering of e-mails and figuring out how to produce it. Therefore, businesses and law firms need individuals with a special set of skills to deal with ESI. Since the cost of e-discovery is the primary drive of the costs of litigation, there has been noted an increase in the willingness of clients to settle. However, it is important to note that if a client spoils e-discovery, regardless of the merits, the case can be lost. Courts are becoming more and more willing to allow some severe relief. Sanctions vary from tough ones, such as case dismissal, default judgment and financial penalties, to more moderate, such as adverse jury instructions and evidence preclusion.

Lawyers had to find new ways to manage the arrival of documents due to the sheer volume of information. Thus, e-discovery has become a specialty and it is vital that lawyers develop and interest and ability to understand technology which differentiates from being a traditional litigator. Now more cooperation among parties can be observed, as well as transparency and desire for proportionality. Also, businesses simply cannot keep everything because storage costs go out of control.

Thus, the growth of ESI has led to the creation of new departments and positions to manage the intersection of law, business and IT. If the e-discovery does not have one person in charge of supervising all the parties involved, timelines will be missed which will cause further costs.

The process of e-discovery itself is in phases and each phase requires corresponding technological tools. The key is the formulation of a strategy and incorporating the use of data analytics and technology to reduce collection and cost.

Algorithms, statistics, key words, e-mail threading, data sampling, and predictive coding help businesses and law firms achieve these goals. Thus, the most cost-efficient e-discovery cases are those that apply a consistent strategy from start to finish.

Levi Bellfield succeeds with injury claim against the Ministry of Defence

Levi Bellfield the man who was found guilty for the murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler has been paid out an award of £4,500 as damages to compensate him for his injuries following an assault by a cellmate which occurred in prison. Mr Bellfield brought an injury claim against the Ministry of Justice who were critical of the decision reached by the judge by labelling it as “hugely” disappointing.

Levi Bellfield who was at the time in Wakefield prison was attached by another man at the prison with a weapon that was made within the establishment. The injuries are believed to be minor with no serious damage being inflicted. This is to some extent confirmed by the £4,500 award of damages which in legal cases reflects only those least severe injuries. The incident took place in 2009 when at the time Mr Bellfield was awaiting trial for the murder of a schoolgirl.

Reports in the Daily Mirror disclosed information that the inmate brought legal proceedings against staff at the prison based on the fact that they should have protected him and that they were negligent in fulfilling this duty. The controversial claim was fiercely defended by the Ministry of Justice who incurred a much more substantial legal bill fighting the case than the compensation they were eventually required to pay. The defence prolonged for three years before a judge in Durham county court finally ruled that the Ministry must take responsibility and be held accountable for its negligent conduct in failing to protect the prisoner.

A statement was released by a spokesman on behalf of the Ministry of Justice in which he expressed the moral defeat which is alike felt by many across the country. “We are hugely disappointed that Levi Bellfield was awarded £4,500 by a judge following an assault by a prisoner in 2009 at HMP Wakefield.” The decision is one which puts into question the law relating to prison claims and whether it is right for a murdered to be compensated for minor injuries which he sustained during incarceration.

Many across the political spectrum shared the Ministry’s disappointment. Amount those was Ian Austin the Labour MP who is also a member of the panel of the home affairs select committee. In an interview with a national newspaper he said that the decision was “a complete and utter disgrace”. He further went on to say that every right-thinking person will see the decision that a murdered being awarded compensation is wrong and “distasteful”. Mr Bellfield is now serving two whole-life sentences for the murder of three school girls and the attempted murder of one.  w

Partnership Tax Changes will be introduced by HMRC

The plan is that changes will be made in order to deal with alleged tax avoidance by limited liability partnerships. The HM Revenue & Customs has verified that the measures should come in power on 6th of April 2014 even though there have been protests from the legal profession and the City.

This month a revised technical note and guidance on the so called “Salaried members rules” have appeared on the website of HMRC. These rules aim at preventing the misuse of LLP status by ‘disguised employees’.

The planned changes have immediately been criticized by the Law Society who claimed that those measures threat LLPs as simple tax avoidance schemes, without acknowledging their legitimate business commitments. HMRC has been warned that if this initiative is really implemented it may cost the UK revenue because it will encourage firms to move away from partnership structures and even out of the UK.

However, tax experts say that the revised rules seem to have taken into consideration some concerns that have been raised before. HMRC had eased its requirements for one of the tests of genuine partnership. In particular, this is the one of capital contribution to the business.

Even though some see the new rules as a small step in the right direction, firms have to act immediately in order to evaluate how these changes will affect them directly.

Some believe that to a certain extent, the rules have been clarified with given useful examples. Now it should be easier for true partner to keep their self-employed status.

Many firms have been waiting for the revised rules and now there is little time until the new regime gets in force, so it is better if they start the assessment of the affects as soon as possible.

New Patents Court in Scotland

Recently there has emerged a problematic situation among the intellectual property area. Intellectual property lawyers in Scotland have been alarmed by the possibility of having to litigate through the courts that are based in England under the new Unitary Patent Court system.

Currently, there is an Intellectual Property Bill going through the UK Parliament and thus, it creates this system.

However, Scottish members of the Law Society are encouraging MPs in the UK Parliament to make sure that Scottish inventors and businesses would continue to enforce intellectual property rights in a Scottish court. The other option that is being proposed is this to happen in one of the four local divisions of the new court, all of them being away from the border.


Currently, the Court of Session is the place to go to if you are an inventor or a business who wants to litigate in Scotland. Therefore, a recommendation has been made for an amendment in legislation which will allow the three separate legal jurisdictions in the UK, respectively England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, to have a patent court under the new system.

One of the members of the intellectual property committee of the Law Society of Scotland has said that there might be devastating effects on Scottish businesses if the legislation fails to secure a local divisional patent court in Scotland. Scottish businesses need to have an efficient local alternative to which they can turn to and rely on to protect their patent rights. Otherwise, they will have to litigate or defend themselves and their stance somewhere else in the United Kingdom or Europe.

One MP has stated that Scotland will bear its consequences if it cannot manage to solve its own patent problems.

If Scottish businesses have to defend themselves and litigate outside of Scotland in different jurisdictions, this means that they will have to go through various additional costs and inconveniences. Furthermore, this will deprive Scotland from all its experience in applying Scottish law for the resolution of cases. A support for an European wide Unified patent Court should not be in an expense of Scotland itself. The Intellectual Property Bill is going to a committee in the House of Commons in January 2014.



Employment Claims Drop

Employment related claims against employer’s such as unfair dismissal has almost halved with figures showing that there has been a drop in such claims by 55%. This fall in the number of claims is said to be due to the introduction of the tribunal fees of last summer according to many law firms. They beleive the sharp drop of claims brought is a reflection of the  charges which are imposed for the applications and attending a hearing. It is also believed that the decline is a reflection of the surge of claims which were filed in order to beat the fee introduction.

If you wish to bring a claim the standard fee for lodging the claim is £160 and £260 for a tribunal hearing regarding basic claims. There are however a set of higher fees which have been introduced for employed who wish to challenge their dismissal on the ground of unfair dismissal, racial or sexual discrimination in the work place as well as whistleblowing. Such claims face a charge of £250 to file a claim and a staggering £950 in order for the hearing to take place.

The Ministry of Justice believe that the Employment Tribunal Service charges are due to save millions of pounds a year. This is however disputed by Unison who launched a judicial review procedure which challenges the legality of the charges which is set to be resolved by a judgement by the high court.

Head of employment law at specialist law firm Hugh James, Emma Burns, stated that there is currently a great level of uncertainty as to the extent of the legality of the fees introduced. The result of a judgement pronounce the fees ultra vires (unlawful) is likely to be followed by a wave of employment claims of ex-employees pursuing claims against their employers.

Prolonged work related disputes can have detrimental financial effect on both the worker and the employer court fees and legal representation often staggers up to astronomical amounts pretty quickly. The introduction of the fees are even more of a reason for employers and ex-employees to reconsider and think carefully prior to launching a claim of whether the risk justifies that pursued cause. Figures released by the Ministry of Justice reveal that the number of claims accepted by the Employment Tribunal Service dropped by 55% in August down from 17,153 in July.