Accident Claims, Your Compensation And You

Accident Claims

In a bid to make a claim for compensation following her husband’s death a woman was recently shocked to find that her income was used as a yardstick for considering how much she would be paid. This prompted the woman into challenging this decision at an appellate court.

The appellate court, a High Court, made a decision setting aside the earlier ruling as it said the income of an accident victim’s family member should not have any bearing on the amount of compensation that they are entitled to after an accident.

As much as this issue is clearly resolved by this decision, it is worth the trouble to explore the circumstances leading to an accident claim and what could be considered it determining its success or failure.

What is accident claim?

Accident claims could be defined, according to a web dictionary, as compensation claims made by a victim (or victims) of an accident in which they sustain injuries or property is damaged. Accidents could range from minor to major ones and they could occur on the road, where cars or motorbikes or bicycles are involved, or at workplace as a result of inadequate training in the use of safety equipment and the like.

In addition, accidents could occur in private premises like retail stores or home or in public places and it could take forms like a slip or fall or something suddenly happening and resulting in some form of injury or damage, minor or serious.

Where any of the above occurs the victim is entitled to compensation, and claims must be made, especially if it is not the victim’s fault or as a result of their negligence.

How are claims for compensation considered?

Claims for accident compensation are usually awarded on the basis of certain essential variables. Among these are the seriousness or gravity of the claimant’s injuries, which could be both physical and psychological and the financial losses or damage incurred as a result of the injury.

In considering the financial losses suffered, the fact that an accident victim is practically put out of action and out of work is important for the success of the claim. It also plays a crucial role in determining how much could be awarded in the end. However, the most important factor in determining how much a claimant is awarded is the injury sustained. This explains why a claimant who would need physical assistance for the rest of their life is awarded the maximum compensation, usually, to enable them acquire equipment and hire the services of assistants that would help facilitate all the assistance they would need for as long as they are alive. In the same vein it says why someone whose injury does not render them physically dependent is awarded much less.

The loss of breadwinner’s income

In the scenario earlier mentioned, the woman whose breadwinner’s death renders them permanently unable to get the income that used to come in the form of the deceased’s salary, determining how much they get in compensation depends also how much is lost financially and the cause of the accident in the first place. But it is usually left for the court to decide on the account of evidence available to it. The onus of proving this is on the victim’s solicitor.

The court’s ruling in voiding the earlier decision is unambigous in that it debunked the conclusion that because the victim’s dependent had been given a job on compassionate ground removed the loss dependency suffered.

The above is one case that could vary from several hundreds of others. For accident claims to be successful there’s a need to show that someone else is at fault, resulting in the accident in which the victim suffered the injuries. Proving this is not as easy as it sounds, but solicitors often know how to go it, even on a no win, no fee basis.

Contracts and the Digital Warrior Beware the Form Agreement

Agreement

Web developers, graphic artists, software programmers and other Internet professionals often make the mistake of working without a net (pardon the pun). That is, they do business on a handshake. While the credo “my word is my bond” may be noble to live by, in business it is often the source of many problems. It seems that many of those digital warriors who do get signatures before they start a project, get them on form contracts that they find on the net or in a book. Misunderstood contracts can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than not having one at all.

So, why do digital warriors shun written contracts? Could it be the outrageous rates that an attorney would charge to draft them? Could it be that contracts are too complicated? After all the legalese is meaningless anyway? Isn’t it? (Of course not.)

Legal fees are not cheap, granted, but the costs associated with a breach of a poorly drafted agreement or no agreement at all will out weigh any costs you would have incurred as a result of having an attorney draft your contracts. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.

Here are some of the issues that you will encounter when your attorney drafts your operating agreement(s). This article does not presume to cover all of the topics you will need to consider. You should always seek legal advice from a competent attorney who is duly licensed in your jurisdiction.

The Parties 
Let’s get the most obvious thing taken care of first. Who are the parties? To answer that question you must ask yourself some other questions first. Do you want to allow your client to assign their rights to the agreement to someone else without your approval? Do you want the ability to delegate some of your duties without having to obtain permission from your client? (A web site developer may need to hire a freelance graphic artist; A programmer may need to hire someone familiar with another language.)

Warranties 
Do you know how to disclaim warranties? Did you know that you imply certain warranties in every agreement you enter into? Did you know that oral agreements are still agreements and you imply certain warranties in them as well?

It is reasonable for your client to warrant that it owns or has the right to use all the materials it supplies to you. Intellectual property is property, after all, and you do not want to be caught up in a claim by a third party for using materials supplied by the client which infringe on a third party’s rights.

Indemnification 
Regardless of whether your client has warranted that it owns or has the right to use all materials if supplied to you, you still may be sued by a third party for, let’s say, copyright infringement. If you had an indemnification clause in your agreement with the client, you would have an easier time recovering from your client your defense costs and any damages that assessed against you. Remember to include “reasonable attorneys fees” and “costs” in your indemnification clause.

Intellectual Property 
As a web site developer, graphic artist or programmer, you deal in intellectual property. This is your stock in trade. As the creator of an original work and absent an agreement to the contrary, you own a copyright in that work. This means that you control the work. You determine when and how to publish it, where and how to display it, when and how to modify it and how and when to create works which are derived from the original work. The mere fact that you were hired to create the work does not mean that the client owns any rights to the work.

Do you wish to license some rights to the client? Will you allow the client to have the web site hosted wherever it wants? Will you allow the client to install your database application on as many workstations as it sees fit? Will you allow the client to make copies of the work and sell it? These points (and others) are all points that should be negotiated before the commencement of any work and memorialized in a written agreement.

Beware of Arbitration Clauses 
Many contracts these days contain arbitration clauses, especially boiler plate contracts found on the net or in books. While, arbitration can be a viable alternative to litigation, you should understand the drawbacks as well as the benefits (which include speed of resolution and lower cost).

Another point that must be understood is that unless you find fraud, bias or some other egregious violation of the applicable act on the arbitrator’s part, you cannot appeal an arbitrator’s award. This is difficult for some to comprehend, especially in light of the facts that the arbitrator needs not follow any rules of evidence, not understand the law nor follow it even if it is understood.

An insight into crime scenes clean up services

crime scenes

Crime scene cleanup companies also clean unattended deaths, damaged environments due to tear gas, and other crime and distress scenes. The larger crime scenes that involve mass murder scenes, terrorist attacks and anthrax and other biochemical damage is also taken care by these companies. Crime Scene Cleanup services may also include bird and rodent infested areas. The cleaners in this case require special experience and equipment than a typical cleaning company’s experience and equipment.

Typically, crime scene cleanups start taking place only after the coroner’s office and other government bodies releases the “scene” back to the owner or some other responsible person concerned with it. The cleaning task can not begin till the police investigation is completely finished on the contaminated scene.

In most cases crime scene cleanup is a small business activity. Mostly, small cleaning services like carpet cleaning or water damage companies add services for Crime Scene Cleanup for diversifying their activities. The prominent and recognized organizations in this field of cleaning consist of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the American Bio-recovery Association (ABRA).

Earlier crime scene cleanup was a loathsome job but today it has become a lucrative business. Crime scene cleanup companies can charge anywhere between $100 to $600 per hour depending on the “level of trauma” and the quantity of hazardous material that the cleaners have to deal with and dispose of.

While a crime clean up service is ultimately a business like any other, advertising and marketing your services can be tricky. In a job that involves tragic death; most companies avoid mainstream methods of advertisement. Some choose the standard phone-book route while many others advertise on the side of their vans. Most of these companies largely depend on discreet options like passing out their business cards at service-industry gatherings, police stations and funeral homes.

An important requirement for success in this industry involves being considerate towards the sensitive nature of the work. There are certain crime scene clean-up companies that provide a grief counselor to the families at no cost while others offer discount to needy people. There are many countries where this type of service is funded by government or by religious organizations.

While some people call this emerging field a social trend of commercializing death, others call it plain capitalism. But for many others it still remains an essential service, a godsend. The fact is that whether you like it or loathe it but if you ever end up with blood and brains splashed all over your bedroom walls, you will definitely be relieved that there is someone you can call to clean it up.

suicide cleanup is taken up

A suicide generally involves close range of weapon to body and so in-depth decontamination and thorough cleaning is required. The cleaners also have to handle family members who might be present at the scene searching for answers that why their beloved person decided to end his/her life. The technicians need to remove all traces of any evidence of a suicide so that no remains are present for family members and friends that might remind them of the tragedy.