Guest Post: Important Information to Know Before You Make a Road Traffic Claim

Important Information to Know Before You Make a Road Traffic Claim

There are now more people on British roads than ever before. Accidents are inevitable, human error is a part of life, but ultimately the results can be serious. Especially accidents involving traffic collisions at high speed, the consequences can be severe for all involved.

Despite having some of the safest roads in Europe, nearly 200,000 people get into accidents every single year. Some people end up with lasting health issues caused by the negligence of a total stranger. When traveling on the motorways it is easy to see how this can happen; one mistake can easily cause a collision with a fellow road user.

After being involved in a serious crash, injured people can often feel alone and overlooked. It is a horrible situation to be put in. Especially when the accident was not your fault, or if there were extraneous circumstances, the life altering experience can be hard to bear.

The best option in this situation is to hire a reputable compensation firm to process your claim and to make sure that you get the most out the problem.

Seek free expert advice to ensure that you receive a fair amount of money for the accident. Often these professionals offer extensive information available to people that are in this situation and can advise on the best option for you.

Seek good advice

If you play your cards right with the correct insurance firm, after an accident you could definitely be in with a good chance of winning the claim. It is essential to be aware of your policy, because that is the ironclad contract that has been made between you and the insurance company. Be aware of any deductibles and excess fees; always read the small print.

After an accident you need to make sure the insurers that holds your policy are contacted as soon as possible. Keep duplicates of everything, receipts, contact telephone numbers and copies of your contract are all important information that may need to be presented in order to claim.

Why was my car written off? 

If your vehicle’s repairs add up to more than the value of the car, then it is likely that your insurance company will just write it off. This is seen as a “total loss” from the insurance company’s point of view and it could affect the cost of your future insurance access.

This action is done by your insurer because it is just not economical or viable to repair the damage that has been sustained to the car.

The insurance company must always get full permission of the owner before they proceed with a write off. After that stage, there are a number of things that will happen to the vehicle afterwards. It could be crushed, stripped or sold off for spare parts and scrap metal.

Are you interested in finding out about a potential accident that you have been involved in? Use our  Road Traffic Accident Calculator at Accident Compensation 4 UK and find out how much you could claim in just thirty seconds.

The Barrister’s Nostrum – Anna Raccoon.

The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain knows a thing or two about the law. Whilst other Minster’s were gaily ‘troughing’ to the fury of tax payers forced to fund their excesses, he managed to skate elegantly round the rules and prove that having a constituency home within 17 miles of parliament, not to mention a couple of buy-to-let apartments, was no reason for the tax payer not to legitimately fund yet another home in Pimlico for those essential late nights at the bar.

Not that sort of bar, for Chris Grayling – it is he – is not a barrister, nor a solicitor; heavens, nor even took a law degree. He was a BBC producer with a mediocre history degree. The ideal qualification to sit in judgment on our historic judicial system?

 

Do, please, read the rest of this excellent article by Anna Raccoon

Guest Post: Legal Aid Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO)

Legal Aid Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 
Gary Smith

On the 01 April 2013 the Legal Aid Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) came into force.

The Act represents some of the biggest and far reaching changes to the legal profession in decades. These critical changes that will affect anyone who now has a need to obtain legal advice and assistance after 01 April 2013. These changes have come into being virtually unopposed as the public at large knew little or nothing about them and would only become aware of them as when the need to consult a solicitor or barrister arises.

The most vulnerable people in our society will now be refused Legal Aid and assistance under these changes.  No win, no fee agreements have been affected under the changes. The effect is that a success fee that was claimed from the losing party can no longer be claimed. Therefore, if a claimant is offered a no win, no fee agreement in future the claimant will be solely responsible for the payment of their own solicitor’s success fee.

The basis of a no win, no fee agreement is a recoverable success fee and often an insurance policy known as After Event Insurance too.  The no win, no fee agreements were championed as the answer to the first cull of Legal Aid in the late 90s, The Woolf Reforms.

The Woolf Reforms were the first overhaul of the withdrawing of Legal Aid. The government of the day championed the no win, no fee agreement as the answer to many of the Legal Aid services that were withdrawn under the Woolf Reforms.

Legal Aid was still available for certain actions and vulnerable individuals.  One area where Legal Aid was still available was divorce.  Subject to a contribution, Legal Aid was available to people divorcing. Typically, divorcing couples needed legal assistance to resolve personal finances, sell property and decide upon the custody of any children involved.

People could obtain legal assistance under the Legal Aid scheme until their finances were settled.  A contribution or repayment of the Legal Aid would then be taken upon settlement of the divorce and the sale of any property involved.

The current position is that there is no longer any help or assistance in these matters.  Therefore, options available for divorcing couples is go to court and represent themselves or fund their divorce action themselves on a pay as you go basis.

No win, no fee agreements are still available for certain actions but under the new changes with LASPO it has stopped solicitors and barristers from claiming their success fees from the losing party.  This means that if you bring a successful action under a no win, no fee agreement the successful party will have to pay the solicitor or barrister’s success fee.

This makes the whole no win, no fee agreement less attractive and solicitors and barristers are going to be unwilling to take matters on a no win, no fee agreement due to the fact that there is too much risk in carrying their fees to the end of an action with the prospect of not recovering their success fee or having to forfeit it.

The knock on effect of these changes is that we are likely to see many more people trying to undertake complex actions through the court system as litigants in person.  Whilst the small track system accessed through the County Courts is suitable for litigants in person, the higher courts where multi track and complex actions are heard are definitely not a suitable arena for litigants in person.

The Judiciary who operate independently to the government policy makers are very concerned by the prospect of litigants in person attempting to ‘go it alone’. The procedure and protocol of the higher courts should deter litigants in person but for those who do attempt such a course of action the consequences could be dire and could cost the litigant in person the chance to successfully bring the action or prejudice an action to the point where it is struck out and expensive reinstatement or the use of the expensive appeal process will be required.

Author:

Gary Smith is a representative from Access2Barristers Direct, who provide a value for money service putting you into direct contact with the right barrister for you. Instructing Access2Barristers Direct will save you on average £ 150.00 to £ 175.00 per hour, which is a significant saving throughout the life of a matter.

Manxiety: how to know whether you need therapy

I cannot speak for other worlds – but from my experience over forty years in legal education and through many friends on both sides of the profession, I can at least broach the subject and draw your attention to a very important article in The Times today and on The Times website: Manxiety: how to know whether you need therapy.

Lawyers work under increasing pressure – pressure to do a good job for the client, financial pressures – particularly in an era when legal aid is under attack from The Ministry of Justice – and the pressures of the work life balance.  Many are able to cope with these pressures. Others may not be so good at doing so and, in extreme cases, some resort to alcohol and drugs as a means of relieving those pressures.

For men who believe suffering in silence is a sign of masculinity not martyrdom, therapy can literally be a lifesaver
Manxiety: how to know whether you need therapy.The Times 1st February 2014

A good friend of mine drew my attention to this important article in The Times and I am glad he did. I urge you to read it and, if you think you need help or to talk to an experienced counsellor you can contact Caryn Nuttall and Jean-Claude Chalmet directly.  They have the expertise to help.

You may also find this article on the work done by Caryn Nuttall and Jean-Claude Chalmet useful. The Times: Family therapy in the comfort of your own home

While the focus of the article relates to the pressures felt by men – it is clear that women practitioners in the law may also be subject to the same pressures and experience similar problems.

Men feel they should be able to solve any issue, alone. Just as they typically refuse to see a doctor despite lumps growing or bits falling off them, they can also be reluctant to reach out when having psychological difficulties. Unlike women, they don’t see it as natural or normal to discuss their problems with friends. For many, admitting they have a problem and asking for support is an alien concept.

I found the article fascinating.

The article focuses on a number of issues: Depression, Anxiety, Status insecurity and job dissatisfaction, Fear of commitment, Excessive drinking (and drug use) to identify but a few of the issues raised.

Alcoholism and drug use is widespread throughout many fields of work in the United Kingdom.  Pressure is experienced by many in this country. Over forty years in legal education and having had the pleasure of meeting many practitioners from both sides of the profession,  I have some insight into the pressures faced by practising lawyers today and the serious consequences that self medicating with alcohol and the use of  illegal drugs can bring.

There are excellent NHS doctors in London and elsewhere who specialise in alcohol dependency and drug use – but before it reaches that stage where medical intervention is required and necessary, it may be useful to talk with a counsellor like Caryn Nuttall and Jean-Claude Chalmet.  It could, without over dramatising the matter, be a ‘life’ saver both in terms of health and quality of life.

Caryn Nuttall’s website