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How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?

When an accident happens, especially when you become injured in that accident, making a claim for those injuries (hopefully) is not the first thing that comes to mind. Often, the first priority is to get to a hospital and get treatment, urgent or not, and getting better. Having an accident can impact your life in a variety of different ways and it could be months, maybe years, before the thought of pursuing compensation crosses your mind.

That being said, it’s important to bear in mind that brining a claim for personal injury cannot be done any time after an accident. Dependant on the circumstances of each case, there are strict time limits that apply for when you can bring a claim.

The main piece of legislation which stipulates the timescales is the Limitation Act 1980.

For accidents such as road traffic accidents, accidents at work, trips or slips in public, or accidents caused by a fault product, the relevant time limit is 3 years. This means that you have 3 years from the date the accident happened to either settle your claim with the Defendant or issue Court proceedings against the Defendant. Failure to settle your claim or issue Court proceedings in this time will mean that your claim will become “statute-barred”. This means that you lose the right to bring your claim. This does not mean that the Court will prevent you from issuing proceedings. However, what it means is that the Defendant will be able to argue in their Defence that your claim has been brought late and that the delay in bringing the claim has prejudiced the Defendant’s ability to properly defend the claim compared to what they would have if you brought the claim within the time limit. If the Defendant does this, the Court will likely agree and you risk having your claim dismissed.

However, some different types of accidents carry different time limits to the standard 3 year time limit from the date of the accident.

If you are a child (under the age of 18) when you are involved in an accident, the time limit differs slightly. In these circumstances, the time limit will expiry 3 years after the injured child’s 18th birthday (i.e. their 21st birthday).

Also, if you are making a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for compensation for an injury you sustained as a result of a violent crime, the relevant time limit is 2 years from the date you sustained your injuries. There would have to be good reason for attempting to bring a claim after the 2 year limit has passed.

For accidents that happen abroad, on board a plane or a ship, the time limits will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Therefore, it is our advice that you seek advice from a specialist solicitor as soon as possible to ensure that you are not statute-barred from pursuing your claim.

As I stated at the start of this blog, making a claim is not likely to be the first thing on someone’s mind when they are injured in an accident. However, it’s important to bear in mind the time that you have to bring a claim so that you do not fall foul of bringing a claim late and risk having your claim dismissed.

If you have been injured in the last 3 years, and want advice on whether you have a potential claim, call JNP Legal on the numbers provided on our website to speak to one of our personal injury specialists.

 JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.

We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

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Grant of Probate and Timescale

How long it takes to obtain a Grant of Probate after the death of a loved one, so that you can sort their affairs, can be difficult to predict in many estates. It can be influenced by many external factors including the number of assets a person has, the amount of organisations involved or the volume of inheritance tax forms required by HMRC, just to name a few.

At present, we have most certainly noticed lengthy delays awaiting the Grants of Probate to be issued by the Probate registry.

The Law Gazette article linked below has been able to shed us with some light as to why these delays are happening.

Between an influx of applications to avoid anticipated application fee hikes, a new case management system and printer failures, this is leading a process that should take 14-21 working days, taking a reported 6-8 weeks.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/it-glitches-causing-major-grant-of-probate-delays/5070133.article?utm_source=dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%20GAZ141016

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The Introduction of No Fault Divorce

The law is set to change for divorcing couples. It has been confirmed that the government will introduce legislation to reform the current divorce law as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

Currently in England and Wales the sole ground for divorce is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The only way to get a divorce without waiting two years or more after separating is to cite the reason for the breakdown of the marriage as being your spouse’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour, therefore blaming fault on the other, even when the other is not necessarily at fault.

Research undertaken by Resolution, an organisation of family lawyers, has shown that the majority of divorces are fault based; based on either adultery or unreasonable behaviour, with unreasonable behaviour being the most common reason.

There are various reasons for couples not always wanting to wait two years after separating to start divorce proceedings, particularly emotional and financial reasons. However not waiting encourages blame and often leads to upset and animosity. What could be an amicable separation is at risk of being ruined by one spouse naming the other as being responsible for causing the marriage to breakdown. This can have huge consequences on relationships, especially where there are children of the marriage.

No fault divorce is available in other countries and there have been calls for reform of the divorce law in England and Wales for years and growing pressure for change to include no fault divorce, and to end the ‘blame game’. It appears that shortly divorcing couples will not need to prove one of them is to blame. The new legislation aims to overhaul divorce law and reduce family conflict

Proposals for changes to the law include:

  • retaining the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce
  • replacing the requirement to provide evidence of a ‘fact’ around behaviour or separation with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown
  • retaining the two-stage legal process currently referred to as decree nisi and decree absolute
  • creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside retaining the option for one party to initiate the process
  • removing the ability to contest a divorce
  • introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months, from petition stage to final divorce to enable couples to reflect on their decision

At JNP Legal we believe that this is such a positive step forward. Hopefully the introduction of no-fault divorce will minimise the impact of conflict on divorcing couples, and most importantly on children. Having to show fault can increase conflict and make it more difficult to sort out child and financial arrangements.

We understand that breakups can be stressful and we can help to alleviate the tension and help to save on the emotional strain that the breakup may have caused. If you are going through a separation and need advice relating to the breakdown of your relationship, marriage or civil partnership, we’re here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact our family law department.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open  9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.

We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office)  01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

 

 

 

 

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Working together to end Domestic Abuse

JNP Legal were fortunate enough to attend a seminar hosted by Welsh Women’s Aid during sexual violence awareness week. The seminar was focussed on sexual abuse and violence and looked at good practice in supporting survivors, the impact upon survivors and effective intervention for offenders. There were a number of support agencies and charities in attendance and we heard from some great speakers.

The number of people who will experience sexual violence and harassment within their lifetime is a shocking statistic, and many incidents remain unreported with victims being too afraid to speak up, or feeling as though they have no one to turn to. Unfortunately many cannot access the support that they need and want. Women are more likely than men to experience incidents of abuse but it is not only women who are victims.

The UK Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over, who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality
This violence and abuse can take many forms such as coercively controlling behaviour, emotional or psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, harassment and stalking.

If you have been subject to any form of domestic abuse and require support please contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800. If you are living in the Merthyr Tydfil area and require support and guidance though any of these issues you can also contact Llamau on 01685 379999 or the Domestic Abuse Resource Team (DART) on 01685 388444.

If you require any legal advice or assistance in respect of any issue concerning any domestic abuse that you may have suffered please do not hesitate to contact our family department. We can assist you on a number of matters including family injunctions, the occupation of property, matters regarding children and separation and divorce issues. You may be entitled to legal aid if you cannot afford to pay your legal fees.

JNP Legal will be holding a Welsh Cakes Cake Sale on Friday 8 March 2019 at our offices in Merthyr Tydfil in aid of Women’s Aid and to celebrate International Women’s Day. Please come in to support this worthy cause.

#itsnotok #waleswontstandby #welshcakes #womensaid

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Accident abroad? Don’t miss out!

If there’s one thing the majority of British people enjoy, it’s a holiday. And booking your holiday as a package means less time spent arranging the various elements of the holiday (flights, transfers, accommodation) separately and more time on looking forward to a hard-earned break in the sun (or snow).

When booking a holiday, you expect the quality of holiday that you pay for. However, like all other circumstances, accidents can sometimes happen which lead to injury or illness which are not the fault of the holiday-goer.

Getting injured or becoming ill in another country often causes confusion amongst the innocent parties as to whether they have any legal grounds to be compensated, especially if the accident or illness was caused by no fault of their own. Thankfully, the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 provide protection to those who purchase a package holiday.

It’s important to remember that this level of protection only applies to package holidays. Your holiday will be classed as a package holiday if:

• it was advertised as a package or all-inclusive deal
• you bought the holiday for an inclusive or total price
• you bought more than one part of your holiday, such as flights and accommodation, from one company with one payment
• after booking one part of your holiday, you were prompted to buy another, and your personal and payment details were transferred so you didn’t have to enter them again. You completed this all within 24 hours of the first booking.

In summary – if your holiday looked like a package deal when you bought it – it probably will fall under the scope of these regulations.

The regulations also give some protection to Linked Travel Arrangements. However, the level of protection given to these types of holidays will not cover unfortunate accidents or illnesses.

A claim brought under the regulations can be made against the tour operator (the company who sold the package holiday), even if the negligent party was actually based in a foreign country. Therefore, the negligent act must be linked directly to the accommodation, travel or event that you purchased through the tour operator.

For example, if you went on a package holiday to Mallorca and slipped on a wet floor in your hotel, your claim can be brought directly against the business who sold you the holiday, even if the hotel was responsible for not mopping the floor.

One important point to note is that whilst your claim will be brought under the Law of England and Wales, the local health and safety standards of the country where the accident happened will apply, which might be lower than the standards of health & safety we enjoy in England and Wales.

If you’ve been injured or become ill whilst on a package holiday, and you want to know if you have any way of being compensated for the suffering you have endured, contact us on 01443 454919 or simply email us at pi@jnplegal.org to speak to one of our specialist personal injury solicitors.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.
If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.
We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.
If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

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How much?!

This is one of the most common questions asked by our clients when we are first approached with an enquiry. Any business could say the same. It is always something I personally consider before using a business’ service. However, up until now, solicitors such as JNP Legal have not been required to publish their prices online. However, from December 2018, new rules published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, called the Price Transparency Rules, are coming into force which mean that solicitors must now publish prices online for services such as conveyancing and probate. Other information such as typical timescales and the experience of the solicitor dealing with the matter must also be published.

Prior to the implementation of these rules, JNP Legal has been working hard behind the scenes in order to put together the prices for our website. We are in fact going live soon with a brand new website so please watch this space!

Whilst we are now required by our regulator to publish our prices online in order to improve transparency for clients, JNP Legal has always strived to be as transparent and straight forward as possible. The rules do not mean that our prices will change and we still offer fixed fee packages for various services. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a legal problem. JNP Legal are your local legal experts.

We have offices in Merthyr Tydfil, Nelson and Llanishen. Our solicitors are happy to travel to the office which is most convenient for you. Our Merthyr Tydfil office also opens on a Saturday between 09:00 AM and midday. We even do home visits where required. We can offer appointments to suit your needs.

If there is anything we can assist you with, please telephone us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr), 01443 450561 (Nelson) and 02920 763211 (Llanishen) where a member of staff will be more than happy to help you. We pride ourselves on excellent client care.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.

We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

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GOOD DIVORCE WEEK

JNP Legal’s Family Department are all proud members of Resolution, a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way. Resolution are running their annual awareness raising campaign, Good Divorce Week, from 26 until 30 November 2018.

This will focus on how separating or divorcing parents can limit the impact of conflict on their children.

Resolution will be hosting a Parliamentary briefing session on 28 November to raise awareness amongst MP’s of how removing fault from the process would decrease the conflict associated with divorce.

The current law says, unless you have been separated for 2 years with consent, or 5 years without, you have to divorce on the grounds of adultery or behaviour. In 2016, the majority (60%) of divorces in England and Wales were granted on adultery and behaviour.

Divorce is always difficult, but having to show fault can increase the conflict between the couple and make it more difficult to sort out child and financial arrangements. Blame creates conflict and makes reached a mutually acceptable agreement about children or financial matters more difficult.

71% of the population agrees that no fault divorce is urgently needed to protect the long-term interests of children.

Urgent reform is needed to remove blame from the process to reduce the negative impact of conflict on children. We fully support Resolution in their campaign for no-fault divorce which we believe would ease tension for all involved.

Until reform is achieved we are committed to reducing conflict, promoting a non-confrontational approach and putting the best interests of children first.
As Resolution members, we have signed up to a Code of Practice promoting a constructive approach to family issues.

If your marriage or civil partnership is breaking down, and you need to explore options for separating contact us to arrange an appointment. We are holding a coffee and cake morning on Monday 26 November between 9:00am and 12:00pm at our offices in Merthyr Tydfil to support Good Divorce Week; please feel free to drop in for a chat and some further information.