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Law Firms

Claiming Compensation for Work Related Back Pain

Work related back pain is the principle cause of absenteeism among employees in the UK. The latest figures reported by the NHS show that 9.3 million working days were lost due to back pain and related musculoskeletal disorders in 2008/09, costing the economy in excess of A�5 billion a year. Most back problems affect the lower back, and are normally caused by strained or sprained muscles, tendons and ligaments. Very few of these types of injuries are likely to result in long-term medical conditions, though back pain does tend to recur, and disproportionately affects older workers whose bodies have been subjected to prolonged wear and tear. Even workers suffering from seemingly serious conditions such as slipped discs and trapped nerves usually make a full recovery within a relatively short space of time. Most back pain is avoidable however, and employers have a legal responsibility to take all reasonable measures to prevent workers from developing back injuries in the workplace.
Work related back pain can affect workers in any sector. Certain industries have a particularly high incidence, including agriculture, construction, transport and health (especially nursing). A recent survey of registered nurses found that 84% had suffered back pain during their careers which had caused restricted movement and adversely affected their job performance. Those in essentially sedentary occupations such as long-distance lorry drivers, and office workers spending most of their time in front of computers also face a far higher than average risk of developing back pain at work. Surveys show that work related back pain affects male and female workers in almost equal proportion.
The principle causes of work related back pain are lifting (manual handling) and poor posture. Lifting, pulling and pushing heavy or awkwardly shaped loads, especially on a regular basis, are common causes of back injury. Repetitive tasks such as bending, crouching, twisting and stretching may cause damage to the back over a period of time. Routine exposure to vibrations, operating a heavy duty drill or driving over rough terrain for example results in a similar effect, where the back is subjected to minor but constant strains. Posture also causes a variety of work related upper limb disorders and repetitive strain injuries, normally the result of poorly designed or adjusted work stations and office furniture. Other documented causes of back pain from work include working while physically tired and working under pressure in stressful conditions.
The fact that almost all types of back pain at work are preventable yet affect so many people has led to a raft of legislation which aims to minimise incidence rates. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 require employers to avoid hazardous manual handling tasks wherever possible by employing alternative working practices. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 aims to limit the amount of vibrations which employees may be exposed to during the course of their work, while the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 imposes strict ergonomic requirements for work station set up and design. Risk assessments are the most essential responsibility of employers in relation to back pain at work, as they should eliminate potentially dangerous activities when properly performed. Those suffering from work induced back injuries which have caused pain and suffering, loss of earnings or medical expenses should seek the advice of a specialist solicitor to see whether they may be entitled to claim compensation. Bartletts Solicitors have been defending workers and their rights since 1860, and have extensive experience with all types of work related back injury compensation claims.…

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Law Dictionary

A Personal Injury Lawyer Interview

The list of accidents and injuries is long for legal representation in injury law. There are numerous circumstances for which an attorney you seek can represent you. There are experienced lawyers in disability claims, paraplegic cases, spinal cord lawsuits, slips, trips or falls because of icy conditions, car accidents, product liability, brain injuries and social security disability claims. It is up to you to interview a personal injury lawyer with a background in case work which includes your specific injuries or accident.
A list of the right questions to ask an attorney can be narrowed down before the interview to select the best pin pointing inquires. There are a few areas which will be important to you when hiring an attorney.
Inquire about the number of years an attorney has practiced injury law. Experience is the winning factor and you should want the attorney with the most involvement in the area of law in which you are pursuing a lawsuit. It is best to know the depth of his exposure for the specific area you are seeking representation.
The next two questions can be asked in a conjoint inquiry. Note how many cases were decided in the clients favor in similar trials. Next, it is crucial to know what the attorney believes is your probability for winning. After all, your risks are high and you are depending on the lawsuit to cover your doctor bills and lost wages. There can be other awards forthcoming in the suit of which you are not aware.
Currently, most attorneys ask for a percentage of the settlement as a fee. You should study his answer in comparison with other attorneys you interview. Because you have an idea of the possible settlement, you can make a quick calculation to determine that enough will remain to cover your needs. This might be a good time to communicate to an attorney the amount you think you will need in the future depending how long the trial or mitigation requires.
Another advantage you might find in hiring the right attorney is his flexibility to come to you to collect the facts of the accident or injury. It is not uncommon for injured clients to be home bound and not able to travel to the office of the attorney.
The regular communication style used by the attorney is a great question. Inquire if your attorney or his staff makes phone calls to you for information or does he prefer email, fax or regular post? If you are part of a product liability suit there may be many cases represented at one time in court. Attorneys often send mail overnight or registered to track inquiries made and received in such large lawsuits.
In review these inquires listed above can be important to your entire case in addition to the sometime obvious questions regarding his status to practice law from the Bar Association and his reputation in the injury law field. All these things you can discover when you interview a personal injury lawyer during a meeting or phone conversation.…

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Law Firms

Things to Remember If You Suffer a Personal Injury

Suffering a personal injury can immediately turn your life into a big blur. One minute everything was fine and the next life is completely altered. Perhaps permanently. As humans, we try not to think about these painful situations. Yet it’s important to know what to do if you or a loved one ever suffers a serious personal injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
• Try to relax – After a personal injury, you’ll find that you have more worries than ever. Serious questions will fill your brain, not allowing you to sleep, much less think correctly. Questions like, how will you pay your bills if you’re unable to work? Do you need to get a lawyer and if so how in the world will you afford him? What about your employer-are they going to fire you? Will anyone believe your story?
All good questions, but questions you won’t have the answers to. For that reason, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer fast. At this point, don’t even think about the cost. Your first meeting with the attorney will be free. This is typically standard in the industry, although you definitely want to check on this before you meet with the attorney.
• Visit a physician as soon as possible – The worse mistake you can ever make after an accident is deciding not to see a doctor. Even if you think you’re perfectly fine, you should always go in for a checkup. Far too often accidents occur in which the individuals think nothing is wrong, only to find out a little ways down the road that they had an undetectable personal injury. But guess what happens if you don’t go in and get that physician’s report?
• Find an attorney quickly – As soon as you get out of the doctor’s office, immediately find an attorney to discuss your personal injury with. Remember, the clock is ticking faster than you think. The longer you wait around, the more likely that the facts related to your story will get blurred in your head. And if your injury happened at work, you had better bet your employer is preparing to defend against a lawsuit as soon as you report your injury. Don’t let them get a step ahead of you.
• Don’t leave anything out – When you meet with your attorney, tell him the whole story. Never try to hide anything. And certainly don’t leave out a piece of the story just because you don’t think it has anything to do with your personal injury. Let your attorney be the judge of that. Just tell him everything that happened surrounding the accident.
As a matter of fact, before you go in to see him, you may want to sort out your facts. Determine when the accident occurred and exactly where it happened. Think about what was happening around you when you suffered the personal injury, as well as what you were doing. Were you performing a task which made you feel uneasy or unsafe? And furthermore, why were you doing what you were doing?
If you’re the victim of a personal injury, you don’t have to be afraid. But you do need to act quickly. Follow the above steps and receive the compensation you’re entitled to.…

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Law Dictionary

Find an Attorney Using These Three Tips

If you need to find an attorney, then you need to read this article first in order to avoid making a costly mistake. You need to learn where to get an attorney referral as well as attorney advertising to avoid. 
A competent attorney is going to provide a certain level of client service and will discuss payment arrangements in advance. Before you visit that attorney you saw on television or in the phone book, you should take a minute to arm yourself with information that could potentially save your thousands of dollars.
Find An Attorney With A Referral From A Friend
Most clients do not know where to begin to look for an attorney. So, they contact the attorney with the most outrageous television commercials or the biggest yellow ad. This is often a mistake. 
Instead, you should get a referral from a friend that has used an attorney for the type of legal issues that you face. You can also contact your family accountant, banker or even pastor to find an attorney you can trust. In every case, follow up on your referral by checking the attorney out on the internet. There are a number of lawyer rating services available online. But it doe not stop there. You also need to review the attorney’s commitment to client service.
Evaluate Your Attorney’s Commitment To Service
Most clients become dissatisfied with their attorney because the attorney fails to treat them with the respect that a paying client deserves. Specifically, the single biggest complaint is that the attorney fails to keep his client abreast of the status of the case. A competent and professional attorney will return phone calls and provide regular status reports in writing to his client. 
In addition, a good attorney will be able to gather evidence, reports, medical records and witness statements in a timely and efficient manner. Once you understand what to expect in terms of client service, you can begin to think about how you are going to compensate your attorney for services rendered.
Discuss Attorney’s Fees Early On
The most important question that clients have when they try to find a lawyer is how they are going to pay for his services. This issue should be discussed very early in the attorney selection process. Depending on the type of case, the lawyer can charge a flat fee for simple matters, an hourly rate for other services. 
Personal injury clients will likely be offered a contingency fee (or modified contingency fee) arrangement whereby no money will be required up front. Regardless of the type of fee arrangement, the fee contract should be in writing and signed by both parties. 
Conduct Your Attorney Search With Confidence
Now that you know more about how to find an attorney, you can do so with confidence. Find a lawyer by way of referrals from trusted friends or professionals, not television or telephone advertisements. Demand that you attorney give you superior service and respect. Lastly, discuss your attorney fees early and get the agreement in writing. So, keep these key points in mind when you go out there and find an attorney that will serve you well.…

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Law Dictionary

The Computer Professional Overtime Exemption

Over the past few decades, the American workforce has drastically changed, undergoing a revolution in technology and employee expectations. Original white collar exemption categories consisted of administrators, executives, and what were known as learned professionals. Between these major categories, the essential positions of a business could be described and appropriately brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act as exemption categories. However, a new subcategory has been added in relatively recent modifications to the law, creating specific standards for overtime exemptions for computer professionals.
Unlike the learned professional category, exemptions given to computer professionals are more strictly tied to these individuals’ technological abilities. The major test for a computer professional exemption is their use and understanding of computer technology. In quick terms, this can be interpreted as an employee’s skill and knowledge while dealing with coding, support, and analyzing the use of software or hardware.
For some, a computer worker may include a company webmaster, who can hold the primary duties of building websites, designing content and visuals, and providing consistent support to keep these sites up-to-date. While this task is usually divided among multiple individuals in any larger corporation or business, the general notion of a dedicated tech professional fits the concept of a computer professional.
Similarly, software and, in some situations, even hardware engineers and analysts may fulfill this role for a company. Laws governing overtime exemption are confusing, and it is important for employees to know what their rights are when it comes to receiving compensation.
To learn more about white-collar standards and exemptions in labor law, contact an employment attorney.…

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Law School

In Real Estate Law, What Is a Covenant?

Properly defined, a covenant is a promise made in a deed. In practice, though, and contemporary legal discourse the word is used rather more loosely to mean simply an obligation affecting landowner, regardless of the obligation is created by deed. The covenant may be positive, or it may be negative. A positive covenant requires an act to be done such as building a house. A negative covenant requires an act not to be done such as to not build a house. landowners often find useful to attempt to regulate the use and development of land. For example, two neighbours may agree with each other that one will not build in a way that interviews with the others view. Or a person owning two adjoining parcels of land, intending to sell one and became the other, may wish to preserve the amenity of the retained land requiring the purchaser to agree to use the land sold for residential purposes only. Or yet again, and owner intending to develop land is a residential subdivision may want to ensure that purchases of lots in the subdivision built in a way that will remain the character and value of the subdivision, and so may require purchasers to agree to build houses of a certain size and quality. Each of these examples shows how a covenant can be used as a tool for creating a legal right and securing title to property.
Covenants are special because they can take on the character of property, transcending limitations contract will such a covenant will then run with the land and enforceable by and between successes in title, persons who were not parties to the making of the covenant. At common-law, the burden of a covenant affecting freehold land does not run with it. This is an immutable rule, to which there are almost no exceptions. The original covenant for successors in title are not bound by the covenant, regardless of whether the covenant is positive or negative. However, in most jurisdictions there is now legislation which appears to overturn this common-law rule. An example is the New South Wales conveyancing legislation. The interpretation of this legislation by the courts led to the conclusion that the the covenant cannot bind successes in title where it is deemed to be made on behalf of the covenantor and his or her successors in title. it is very important to understand that there is a covenant on title revealed in the title so when buying a property because you would need to know if there is some obligation that the person you’re buying a property from has signed up to and can bind a purchaser to. this is why it is important to know when the covenant over a piece of land.…

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Law School

Donald Trump and Bankruptcy

Historically in the United States, bankruptcy is a term that has carried an extremely negative connotation.  Those who file for bankruptcy protection are seen, mostly by themselves, as failures who could not meet their monthly obligations.  Unfortunately, this is almost always an inaccurate way to think about and approach bankruptcy, as you’ll see below.
Donald Trump
When people think of successful businessmen in the United States, many will either immediately or quickly think of Donald Trump.  He’s long been famous for his aggressive business tactics and his willingness to make the ‘big deal’ that makes a huge splash with the media.  Most of Trump’s success has been within the real estate field, but as anyone who’s been paying attention in recent months understands, the real estate market is in dire straits.
When a market-wide crash occurs as it is right now, no one is exempt from its effects.  That includes Donald Trump, whose real estate company has also fallen on hard times given the dropping values of land and property, the extreme difficulty with obtaining competitive financing and the lack of ability to sell property at a price that presents a profit to the seller.
As a result, Trump’s real estate company recently filed for bankruptcy.  Since it was technically a corporate bankruptcy petition, filed under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, Trump’s individual assets are not at risk.  However, his company must now be reorganized under the tenets of bankruptcy law and it must meet all the criteria set out by the court in order for the reorganization to be accepted and to ultimately be successful in getting the company back on its feet.
Not the First Time
Additionally, this latest filing for bankruptcy protection is not the first time one of Trump’s development companies has sought bankruptcy protection.  Trump’s company also filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991 during the previous American recession and for many of the same reasons – his company owed too much money and his assets could not be sold to the point where the company could meet its obligations.
Lessons Learned
What anyone should take from this brief bit of history is that anyone can fall into hard times financially and because of circumstances beyond his or her control.  Those who may be struggling should also understand that bankruptcy is not an end, but rather a beginning anew, as Trump has already proven.…