Thursday, 24 November 2016

Want to stand up against Small Claims Changes? Here's another thing for you to do...

Have you signed the petition against small claims changes? Go and do that... and then write to your MP. Here's an example of what to write:


Dear ………………………. MP,
On the 17th November the government announced its plans to prevent people who are injured through no fault of their own from having free access to an independent lawyer by increasing the small claims limit from its current £1,000 to potentially £5,000. Innocent injury victims will be forced to fight insurance giants on their own to get compensation for their injuries.
The insurers talk about whiplash and fraud being behind the need for these changes. However, the statistics show that whiplash claims are falling and fraud (even on the insurers’ figures) affects less than 4% of all claims. Yet, these changes will impact on every motorist and minor injury PI claimant. That cannot be fair.
Increasing the small claims limit will place justice beyond the reach of thousands of people and just make more money for insurers who are already posting record profits.
Please stand up for our legal rights and oppose any changes to the small claims limit. They will have a big impact.
Yours sincerely,



Send it off, and wait. If enough of the general public act and react, we may get the decision reversed when it is made, and at the very least will have shown we have a voice. If you, or anyone you know has claimed for an injury, you need to share this post and write this letter. Your access to Justice is being threatened by Big Business and there's still time to shout out about it. Do it now!!!

Want to stand up against Small Claims Changes? Here's another thing for you to do...

Have you signed the petition against small claims changes? Go and do that... and then write to your MP. Here's an example of what to write:


Dear ………………………. MP,
On the 17th November the government announced its plans to prevent people who are injured through no fault of their own from having free access to an independent lawyer by increasing the small claims limit from its current £1,000 to potentially £5,000. Innocent injury victims will be forced to fight insurance giants on their own to get compensation for their injuries.
The insurers talk about whiplash and fraud being behind the need for these changes. However, the statistics show that whiplash claims are falling and fraud (even on the insurers’ figures) affects less than 4% of all claims. Yet, these changes will impact on every motorist and minor injury PI claimant. That cannot be fair.
Increasing the small claims limit will place justice beyond the reach of thousands of people and just make more money for insurers who are already posting record profits.
Please stand up for our legal rights and oppose any changes to the small claims limit. They will have a big impact.
Yours sincerely,



Send it off, and wait. If enough of the general public act and react, we may get the decision reversed when it is made, and at the very least will have shown we have a voice. If you, or anyone you know has claimed for an injury, you need to share this post and write this letter. Your access to Justice is being threatened by Big Business and there's still time to shout out about it. Do it now!!!

Please sign this petition

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/action-against-raising-the-small-claims-limit-to-ps5000

Nothing pretty, nothing fancy just a need to get people involved in asking the government for justice and access to legal help when they need it most.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

An appeal on behalf of anybody who will need Justice in the future.

It's difficult sometimes to whip up support for Lawyers; "They're a well-paid bunch of people who are just out for themselves" is a common viewpoint. But I'd like to speak up for a whole section of lawyers who actually aren't just out for themselves. Unlike commercial lawyers, who can charge what they like, or libel lawyers whose clients are the rich and fabulously rich, most personal injury lawyers are working for people who, through no fault of their own, have suffered injury at home, at work or on the street.


They work for the ordinary person whose accident at work has left their hand out of action for a month, six months or a year and stopped them living a completely ordinary life.

They're working for the little old lady who fell over a badly-placed paving slab and whose leg injury kept her in the house and in need of care that she had always said no to before.

They could be working for your son or daughter whose car got side swiped at the roundabout last month and who has had headaches and nausea since then that made studying for university almost impossible.

And they are facing almost constant criticism from insurance companies and (because business is Big Money and Big Money talks) the Government on behalf of the insurance companies because of these actions. They've seen the value of claims being squeezed so that asking for the money that the client deserves is nigh on impossible.

They've faced shouts of 'compensation culture!', 'Ambulance Chasers!' and worse. Now, I know they're not angels; I know lawyers don't do the work out of the goodness of their own hearts, they do expect to get paid, but I want to speak out for the lawyers I know personally.



The personal injury lawyers I know all have the basic idea that they are the Champions of the people they represent. They want to fight for the ordinary folks for whom court and the whole legal factory is an impenetrable mess.

They want, in short, to make sure that everybody who needs it can get justice.

And if that means wading through hours of paperwork, well, they do that. They write the forms, they spend ages talking through the issues with the client, they try every step of the way to make sure that their clients, very often in pain and worked up about the accident, get the facts straight and know what they're up for. And they face a fight against the insurance system with a PR budget second to none, money to pay lawyers without end and a principle that they will not trust anyone about anything. Think; how hard is it getting money out of an insurance company? That's because it's not personal, they're a business. They're designed to make money.
The 'compensation culture' myth they have shouted about so loudly over the last few years is just that; a myth. Fraudulent claims are very often already screened out, mostly by the very lawyer that should (for business' sake) take them forward whatever. The lawyer knows that a dodgy claim will get picked up, and it isn't worth the work beforehand just to get thrown out in court and make no money. That's what no win, no fee is there for.

While the Whiplash decisions announced today have been blasted near and far, a far more insidious point in the consultation document is that of the rise of injuries in the small claims court from £1000 to £5000. That means most injury claims will no longer have access to trained advice in making a claim against an insurer.

They won't just be David against Goliath, they'll be David without the slingshot; a dead duck for the might of the insurers to shoot down.

That means the next accident at work might well be settled by the insurer offering an amount often well less than the claim is worth & has cost to the victim, and the victim having no legal eagle to stand up for them and say no. It might well be cost effective for the insurers... but in a country that proudly claims justice as a right for all citizens, does it seem fair to take the power of knowledge and experience away from the ordinary people again?


Please share this post if you agree; Big business has a Big voice. Will you stand up for the victims of injuries who need an advocate to speak for them?


I have written this very serious post because I work for Peter Kneale Solicitor. We're a small firm in Liverpool that doesn't take any compensation off the clients we represent in personal injury claims because we believe that you deserve every penny you win. If the government changes go through, it will mean people losing out against big business and that's not right.

The Lord Mayor's Parade; it was wet.

Last Saturday (Saturday last, to be formal) I attended the Lord Mayor's Parade. Don't get excited. I wasn't like a formal guest or anything, it was just that Peter had his course for becoming a Notary Public on in London and I was going with him to share the driving and freeload, and it was on.


I've watched the Lord Mayor's Parade on TV since I was little. It used to be one of my favourite moments of the year, a little like Children In Need it was a signpost that Christmas was coming because... duh.. November leads to December. So it has always had positive associations for me.


I didn't look to see if it was on TV this year. It always used to be, cutting Swap Shop or Saturday Morning Superstore short, and cutting to endless shots of drizzling weather and crowds who waved flags and shouted (posh Londoners) Huzzah! And the parade of floats and bands and people walking along. I love pageantry and pomp and circumstance, so when I knew it was on the Saturday that I was down there it was a no-brainer.


I set off early enough to grab a Starbucks cup on the way, and to find a spot to watch. You can download the route from the Internet so I looked and decided that as Bob Cratchit to my very own Scrooge I would quite like to stand at the Royal Courts of Justice. It's a lovely gothic style building, and the inside is just as impressive if you ever get a chance to see inside. I didn't, of course, I stood outside and watched with two new friends; a lovely old lady who had been every year for 20 years and a Chinese accountant who had wanted to come but never quite made it until this year. It was good to have people to talk to. I'm not a stand in silence sort of gal.


And the parade was lovely to watch. there are so many livery companies and worshipful companies and groups and people and army regiments and bands and music, music, music. I danced, I smiled, I laughed. And I was pleased to have made the effort, especially since Christina (who lives in London) got us into the backstage area where the horses are and we got up close and personal with the drum horse, Adamas. By Golly, they are big! And very beautiful.



As a once-in-a-lifetime (probably) experience, I really enjoyed it. Yes, it rained and yes, I walked a long way and had sore feet at the end of it, but I really had fun.

video

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wednesday Wind Up

Bet you never thought I'd make it this week and on a Wednesday?

True enough, my Hygge job is taking off. We have a Facebook group, The Hygge Nook, of around 192 members that keeps me busy finding the bits & bobs to post and administering the applications. It's a lovely place, very hyggelig, full of positive and happiness. Just the post-Trump comfort we need.

And physical work is fun as well. I write this at my desk, as Mr AJ is out to see a client and the phone lies silent for the moment. I'm enjoying being an Office Ninja, but I have to say I miss my time at home. I don't get a chance just to sit and be. And I was always a great human just being.

Then the Big Festival is rearing its head. I am simultaneously full of anticipation and horror at the closeness. Anticipation because I know it will soon be here!!!! (39 days as I write) and horror because my to do list is a page and a half (no, make that two pages long) and my bank balance  is probably not going to make it any where near December before exploding.

But I am not panicking. I am going to have a hygge Christmas. I know so. I have my plans in place and I have my provisions laid in and as long as I can grab time in the beginning of December for final planning and prep I'll be ready. My bullet journal tells me so.

So, to my Wednesday Wind Up;

Reading: I am reading Thomas Hardy again, The Woodlanders.



 It was my challenge for the year, and it will take me into 2017 as well. I'm not exclusively reading Hardy, I found I needed breaks along the way. My phone book (as in, the book I read on the Kindle app on my phone) is Black Moon by Winston Graham.



 It's the 4th... 5th? Poldark book. I have to read far enough ahead to keep Sarah happy about plot developments (please, Mummy... he's not going to die is he?) but not so far ahead that I lose place and forget what I've read already.

And hygge or hyggely books feature strongly as well. This week my Thursday book will be a classic blast from the past, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.



It's so good to see Sarah posting and writing again on her blog and social media. She had such a profound influence on me in my early years as a Mother, and still shows me the ways to age gracefully.

Watching: What am I watching now Cap'n Poldark has left the screen?????


Yes, that's a gratuitous Aiden Turner photo just to cheer up your day. You're welcome.
Well, I've moved on to another historical series, one that may just keep the family watching.


The Crown is on Netflix and available as a binge-watch session.We watched the first two parts last night and, once we'd stopped going "Oh, look! It's the Doctor!" we really enjoyed it. So far the old King is dead and we have a new Queen Elizabeth. Stand out performances come from John Lithgow as Winston Churchill (yes, that's right, an American playing a Brit. Get used to it) and Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary. I am always predisposed to like Queen Mary just because she had a Doll's House to die for.

Visiting: Oh my. I owe you all an extended blogpost for this. I went to London last weekend and watched The Lord Mayor's Parade. In fact, that's all I'll say on that matter, and I will (honest) blog about it in another post. Except to say I had a lovely time, despite the rain, and can't wait for my next London trip.

Spending: I went to London and it's nearly Christmas. Duh.
My spending is in a terrible state, I have things I need and things I want and at the moment I am getting just what I need but wanting to get just what I want. It was ever thus. I could do with another quiz show with big prize money, or a win on the Lottery. Instead, it rains on me.


Crafting: Christmas crafting is getting done... slowly. I got inspired by Sally of Sally's Shed. Her house paintings are beautiful, but at £10 to £15 for a small block, I couldn't justify the expense.


I'm having a go at Christmas houses for the grown ups of the family. The children (who really aren't children anymore) will have to have money and lump it. as long as I get the money saved up for December. Added to that, I saw a Christmas Tree Garland from Kate of Just Pootling  on Instagram and I am desperate to make that in time for the festivities! My fireplace needs a new garland like a hole in the head....



Any Other Business? Not really. It's mid November, which means there is a lot of fiddling and getting ready for Christmas. I need to build blog reading into my daily schedule, so that I can get back and catch up with my bloggy mates. My life seems to have sped up immensely since I stopped work in school. Blogs take a lot of time to read and write, and a lot of my interactions with fellow humans seems to be on Social Media. I'm very active daily, on Facebook as Jo Kneale, Twitter as @AngelKneale and Instagram as  BritishHyggeJem. I also administrate The Hygge Nook, which is a lovely group and you are all most welcome to join if you like hygge or want to learn more about it. I spend a lot of my day now writing letters for the husband, which is fun.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Tuesday election fever has struck...



Oh, if only I could sit and watch the coverage of the US election all night long. I have a friend who lectures on American Studies and she has the perfect excuse to sign off work tomorrow and sit up through the night. It's professional interest.


My interest is far more personal and a lot less extrinsic. I just think the US election is such a big thing for the world... after all, the USA is the Top Dog of the Western world at the moment, biggest in size, in self-belief, in bombast... and I like the place!


Who ever gets to be POTUS and leader of the Free World is inheriting a world full of woe and sorrow. From what I've seen, if they jump one way we get a leader who will roll up the sleeves, look forward and get to work to build a world that benefits the US but also helps her allies to climb up the ladder as well.


Jump the other way and.... well, the Mexico Wall may not be the only barrier built between America and the world, just the most physical one. It would be, as Mr Angel Jem said to me, like having a Philip Roth novel come to life. We live in interesting times. I used to think that was good, but the older I get, the more I see why the Chinese use that as a curse.



And this time round, there is no hope.