Christmas is the time of year when families should be together. For some families however they face the agonising prospect of social services taking them to Court to try to remove their children. If this is your family you need to ensure you take specialist advice as soon as possible. At Burd Ward both John Burd and Laura Prysor-Jones are specially accredited members of the Law Society’s Children Panel meaning they specialise in all aspects of proceedings involving children. It is important that you seek advice as soon as Social Services become involved with your family as situations can change very quickly. We have the experience to advise and guide you at every stage of the process.
If your children have been removed or you have been given paperwork to say that you are being taken to Court you must instruct a solicitor immediately. The Court must try to conclude proceedings within 26 weeks which means you need advice from the start to give you the best chance of having a successful outcome. These situations can seem overwhelming and it is tempting to bury your head in the sand however you must be proactive and get as much help as you can. That starts with a call to Burd Ward.
We have an out of hours number which means that you can contact us any time if you have had your children removed or are facing Court proceedings over the Christmas period. Please call 0151 639 8273 during office hours or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com outside of office hours.
Whilst working from home this week, due to the weather, I have seen on the TV (on in the background whilst I work) on a daily basis a programme called “Claimed and Shamed”. This programme details scammers and those who make fraudulent Personal Injury cases, as well as other fraudulent activity. Todays case was a man who grossly exaggerated his personal injury claim after an accident at work. He was claiming over £900,000 and was secretly recorded by the Insurers carry out activities he had said that he could no longer do. I then turn my attention to PI Brief and read about how an Apple Watch could help in future Personal Injury claims by monitoring the activities of the wearer. When I looked into it further I found that in a case in Canada a firm of Solicitors are using a Fitbit to gather information about the daily activities of the Claimant to show that her lifestyle is now less active as a result of her injuries.
So will this idea cross the pond and be used in the UK by Claimant Solicitors? Well as a catastrophic/serious injury solicitor I think its a great idea. I think it could be used by Claimants to prove the impact of their injuries and the effect on their lifestyle. Currently we seek to rely on medical reports from Experts who only see the Claimants for a limited period of time and who generally ask pre-determined questions which are not necessarily case specific. After which they produce a medical report upon which the claimants compensation will be valued. Yes we can elaborate on the affects the injuries have had on the Claimant, within a witness statement but this is based upon the Claimant being able to remember specifics and above all being believed.
However, will the Insurers and Courts accept the information as evidence. One would hope so given that developments with social media and intelligence gathering on behalf of the insurers is used to attempt to smear the names of some genuine Claimants particularly when they try to link claimants with defendants on facebook, despite facebooks own research which shows that we are all linked on facebook via 4-5 degrees.
It may be the case that the insurers will demand that the Claimants wear the devices during an “assessment” period. If Claimants refuse it will be another way for claims to be struck out.
As with everything there will be pros and cons but if Claimant Solicitors utilise this new technology to their advantage then we will be a step ahead!
Article written by Alisha Butler-Ward.