How to find a Reliable Personal Injury Attorney in Vancouver BC

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Did you know that, on the average, each person will go through at least three or four accidents involving motor vehicles over the course of their lifetime? Now, of course, some people are fortunate enough to never have to go through that kind of horrible experience. But, you know, if we take the total number of all traffic accidents and distribute them equally, everybody would get a minimum of three or four tossed onto their plate. If you ever wondered about the various types, causes, effects, and even history of car crashes and the like, you can get a fair bit of information about it from this article.

Experiences like these can have all kinds of awful consequences for everyone involved, and even for the uninvolved people from their environment as well. These consequences can be different kinds of physical injury in various degrees of severity, all kinds of property damage (not just for vehicles, but for homes or public spaces as well), not to mention emotional distress and mental disturbances for the participants. In the worst case scenarios, they can even result in the death of a loved one. For all of these reasons, when it comes to dealing with the legal side of such an event, you want to make sure that you have a reliable and expert representative to help you through the ordeal. If this is your first time looking for a personal injury attorney in the British Columbia area, we put together a little guide to help you figure it out.

Make sure that you do all your research

When you are injured, scared, angry, and damaged for peace and property, the last thing you would want to do is sit down and read through customer reviews for hours on end. We totally understand that! However, believe us when we say it is well worth the effort. For one, it will save you money in the long run – imagine paying the fees and everything only to discover that your attorney was a horrible choice and that you need to repeat the whole story with a different one.

So do your research. Googling for something like “Vancouver personal injury law firm” will net you a bunch of results, and you will need to sift through them. You need a lawyer that has top tier knowledge of their trade and as much experience as possible, and not everyone will have that. Sometimes a great marketing piece covers up severe inexperience, or even a scammer operation, so never trust the slogans. Do your independent research on each office name, ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations, and set your priorities right from the start.

Do you want to fight like a lion for the highest possible compensation, and get every penny that your trouble has cost you? Or do you just want to get your compensation quickly, and put the whole ordeal behind you, rather than spend months, or even years, in the courtroom? Determine what exactly you want to achieve, construct a best case scenario, and look for lawyers who will fit that idea.

Interview everyone and ask all the questions

Once you have come up with a list of prospective attorneys for your claim, you need to have a proper conversation with each of them. This is especially important for Vancouver residents because attorneys in British Columbia are actually allowed to advertise to people who have had car accidents and such, even if they have zero practice in those kinds of cases. In other words, chances are high that you will bump into someone without proper training, knowledge, nor experience.

Therefore it is essential that you have interviews and ask about every relevant aspect of your potential new lawyer’s practice. To get some ideas for going about it, you can check out this useful blog post:

There are some essentials that you should always inquire about. An experienced lawyer with a legitimate practice will be able to answer them no problem, and will also be more than willing to do so. Ask them about how many claims of this type they had handled in the past, and if they had gone to court over them for a full trial. You will want to know how much experience they have when it comes to handling appeals as well. Another piece of information that you should never shy away from requesting is how much do they typically exceed the insurance company’s offer.

Compare your final candidates

One same lawyer will never really be the default first choice for different people, so you need to be careful when making your final decision. Your chosen attorney needs to understand the specifics of your particular situation, can effectively operate with your communication style, and knows the right “battle strategy” for netting you the max damages possible.

One excellent starting point for comparing potential lawyers are the contracts of the retainer. What a lawyer may charge you is dictated by the relevant legislation, but retainer agreements are often heavily loaded with confusing clauses that end up costing you way more. Keep an eye out for these three things:

Insurance policies – their primary purpose is to protect the interests of the law firm. When it comes to taking out an insurance policy, in nine out of ten cases it is mandatory, so make sure to carefully examine how much you will have to pay for it.

Disbursements are expenses that a law firm incurs on behalf of their client. It is only fair to pay them back but mind the payment schedule. Many companies charge them before the case is settled, or charge interest on their disbursement, thus drastically reducing the amount of money you actually get from your case.

Finally, sometimes your attorney will pass your case to someone else at the company. Make sure you have “accurate representation” – that the same person will see your ordeal through from start to finish.

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The Legal Side of Payroll and How to Manage it

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Employers have a lot of responsibilities to their employees. They must provide a safe working environment, guarantee rights such as paid holiday and, above all else, pay them a wage. The last part needs to be done within the confines of the law, ensuring that each employee pays the right amount in tax, National Insurance and pension contributions.

Running your company’s payroll legally may seem like hard work, but it can be broken down into a few simple steps. Firstly, you need to operate PAYE if any of your employees earn more than £113 per week. This can be done using your own system or by using payroll software.

The next step is to register as an employer with the HMRC. This makes it easier to inform them of how much you need to pay them in tax, as well as report every month. On top of that, you need to send the HMRC an annual report at the end of each tax year by the beginning of April.

Calculating Payments

As part of these reports, you need to work out what you need to pay each employee and what, if anything, should be deducted for tax, National Insurance, pensions and student loan repayments. This can be done internally or, if you are unsure of how to do it, by using payroll software solutions.

In using software, your business is better placed to be paying the right amount of tax and NI contributions. It can calculate the percentage of a pre-tax salary that needs to be paid and then direct what is owed to the HMRC each month.

Businesses should know that there is a tax month that runs from the 6th to the 5th. In that period, the HMRC should be told if an employee hasn’t been paid and a full report of payments should be sent in the form of a Full Payment Submission (FPS) form. That can be done online.

Proof of Payment

From the employee’s perspective, they will need proof of payment. They should be sent a payslip for each month. It should detail their pay after tax and NI has been taken off, as well as any other deductions or additions such as overtime.

Sending payslips is a good way to help manage your payroll. By saving a copy for your business’s records, it makes the whole accounting process easier. It also aids with those reports you need to send for each tax month and tax year.

Errors made in payroll can be costly – the average FTSE 100 company loses up to £30 million a year via these mistakes. Cutting them out can save a lot of work, both for your business and its’ internal admin or finance team.

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Why are Divorce Rates Rising in the UK?

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You don’t need to be a hotshot lawyer to know that filing for divorce can be messy and expensive. In many cases, it can take months for a divorce to become final, but that hasn’t put off many couples from filling in the forms and ending what may have once been happy marriages.

Late last year, statistics showed that the rate of couples filing for divorce rose for the first time in five years. This comes after a gradual decrease in the number of married couples choosing to rip up their wedding vows. With over 106,000 couples going down the divorce route, what is behind the rise?

One possible explanation is the lack of any changes to the current laws until late 2017. The most recent stats are for 2016, but since then, there has been a move to let couples do much of the divorce paperwork online as a cost-saving measure. This could serve to make divorce easier.

Experts’ Opinion

In recent months, many legal experts have shared their opinion about the supposedly outdated nature of UK divorce laws. Famous names such as Lord Mackay of Clashfern say that changes needed to be made. Among the amendments they want to make include stopping the laying of blame on one divorcee and making some divorces long, drawn-out processes.

The figures don’t take into account the number of people who have filled in the online forms, but should they gain popularity, expect divorce rates to rise further. Getting used to the forms and knowing how to fill them in correctly may stop some couples in their tracks.

In such cases, they may need to call upon divorce law firms such as Withersworldwide to make sense of the forms. Then, they can be asked for advice when moving onto decree nisi and then decree absolute.

Simplified Process?

What the online divorce forms have done is make going through the process easier. Individual divorcees can decide whether or not to accept an application from their partner and get the job done more quickly. With deadlines in place for completing forms and making applications, the timescale has become easier to grasp for unhappy couples.

Time will tell if the recent rise in divorces will see the prevailing trend of divorce rates falling is just a blip or the sign of things to come. As the online forms are rolled out, any changes to divorce law will surely be needed to keep pace with demand from couples who want to separate with as little fuss as possible.

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Criminal record verification in the UK

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There are various situations in which the verification of an individual can be requested. There are also several ways in which a person can be checked, however these depend on the information required by the party soliciting it. If some verifications can be misleading, criminal record checks are usually the most accurate with respect to the information given, and also the most correct.

In the UK, it is not an unusual thing to verify one’s criminal record – employers, real estate owners seeking to lease properties and financial institutions are just a few examples when criminal record verification can be requested. It is also possible to perform a self-assessment of police record in the UK.

All criminal records in the UK are held by the police

Which is why they are also known as police records.  All persons in the UK have police records, which contain information on their criminal background. However, criminal records can also be clean, meaning there are individuals who have not committed any offence.

The information found in a criminal record is related to any misdemeanors and up to minor or severe offences. Warnings and cautions are also put to people’s criminal records. These are kept in the Disclosure and Barring Service for a period of 100 years.

Criminal records in the UK are not publicly available and parties seeking information on an individual must first file a request with the Disclosure and Barring Service before performing a police record check. At this point, it should also be noted that there are various degrees of access when verifying someone’s criminal record.

Accessing police records with the Criminal Records Office 

There are three types of criminal checks which can be performed in the UK: the basic, the standard and the enhanced one.

Police record checks imply identity, financial and criminal verifications and each type of search of the above-mentioned ones will contain more or less information based on the requested access. There are also cases when information on the sentences served can appear in one’s criminal record, however these are governed by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974 and will only appear when performing an enhanced search.

Criminal record verifications are also possible with the Crown Prosecution Service, with the UK Prison Service and with the Courts and Tribunals Service. No matter where the search is performed, the party seeking the information is subject to a fee which will depend on how extensive the search is.

Even if criminal verification is possible, one must also understand that this information is usually classified in order to protect an individual’s right to private life, therefore any search should be treated with strict confidentiality.

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How to open a company in Spain

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Spain has made a strong economic recovery after the economic crisis and is now back among the European leaders in terms of trading. It does not surprise anyone anymore that Spain is once again one of the most sought destinations for opening a company.

Foreigners who want to open companies in Spain have many rights, they actually have pretty much the same rights as the local businessmen, however they also have their share of obligations. So, below we will describe the requirements when starting a business in Spain.

The most used types of companies in Spain

No one starts a company in another country without previously getting acquainted with the types of companies they can register and choosing the right structure, or at least one close enough to their needs. Spain is very advantageous from this point of view, as the types of companies here are usually the same as in any other European jurisdiction and in several Asian and Western countries.

We first have the simple forms for doing business which are the sole proprietorship and the partnership, however these are seldom used. Then, we have the limited liability company which can be private or public. The main difference between them is the share capital needed for registration.

In the case of a private limited liability company – sociedad limitada or SL – the minimum amount of money required to open it is 3,000 euros. With respect to the public company – sociedad anonima – the minimum share capital is 60,000 euros. A quarter of this amount must be paid upon the incorporation of the company.

Documents required to open a company in Spain

The most important documents which must be drafted before starting the registration procedure of the company are the Memorandum and Articles of Association, in other words the company’s statutory documents. These must be drafted before a public notary and they must contain the name of the company owners, also known as shareholders, the company’s administrator and the objects of activity of the business. They must be notarized.

The company formation steps in Spain

Even if the preparation of the incorporation documents is the most important, this is not the first one. Foreign citizens opening companies in Spain must first obtain a tax identification number, known as NIE. Then, the company must be selected and filed for approval. Once approved, a certificate of availability will be issued. The opening of the bank account, where the share capital must be deposited, will follow and only then the incorporation documents will be filed with the Trade Register.

The Registrar will issue a public incorporation document and a fiscal identification number – codigo de identificacion fiscal, or CIF.

Once registered, the company must pay a municipal tax, file a notification for starting the operation with the city hall of the city it will operate in and another notification with the Ministry of Labor.

Registering a company in Spain is not hard, however there are a few steps which must be completed in a certain order which will significantly improve this experience. Once registered, the company can apply for an intra-Community VAT number and have access to the EU market.

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Is Vandalism a Misdemeanor or A Felony? (In the USA)

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We all know the word vandalism and we sometimes use it to describe things we do not agree with. However, the law recognizes vandalism as a crime and as a legal term, it has to have a clear definition.

So, what is vandalism and is it classified as a misdemeanor or is it a felony? In any case, if you’re accused of vandalism, you’d best find a good lawyer, like

The Definition of Vandalism

Vandalism is an act of willful destruction or damage of property to the degree that it defaces or otherwise decreases the values of the said property. Some of the most common crimes classified as vandalism include graffiti, tire slashing, breaking windows and similar deeds.

A more serious version of vandalism is damage or destruction of property, which falls under a category of its own. It is tricky to discern the lines between these crimes because states each have their own interpretation, so what may be vandalism in one state can be classified as the destruction of property in another.

Vandalism Checklist

In order for a crime to be classified as vandalism, there are three marks which need to be checked. In order to be convicted, the prosecutor needs to prove that your deed contains all three elements.

Damage done – first of all, there needs to exist some visible damage to the object in question. The damage needs to be permanent, but not so severe to constitute destruction of property. Be careful with this definition, because graffiti and sticking a sticker to something counts as damage, too.

It belongs to someone else – if you damage your own property, that falls within your rights. However, if the property you have damaged is someone else’s, including the state or federal government, this qualifies the deed as vandalism.

It was intentional – finally, the prosecutor needs to prove that you did that on purpose. It is difficult to defend against an accusation of graffiti claiming it was accidental, but you can break a window by accident.

A Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Even though most people think that vandalism is a minor crime, depending on the circumstances, this charge can be quite serious. Thanks to the penal code 594 PC of California, the district attorney has the power to classify your case as a felony or as a misdemeanor, on the case-to-case basis.

Punishment for Misdemeanor

If your case is classified as a misdemeanor offense, you may think you are in the clear. However, even in this better case scenario, you are still facing up to one year in the county jail. The better alternative is a fine. If this is your first vandalism charge, you can be fined up to $1000, whereas repeat vandals can be fined up to $5000.

If you are really unlucky, you can get both of these punishments at the same time. However, there is another option, which is community service. Typically, it comes in the graffiti charge, where the guilty party is ordered to clean what they have defaced, as well as keep that surface or any other clean for up to a year.

Punishment for a Felony

If your crime is serious enough to be classified as a felony, you may be sentenced to up to one year in jail, or in a state prison. The fine option also exists and it can go up to $10,000 or even up to $50,000 if the damage you have caused is more than $10,000. Just like with the misdemeanor, you may get both forms of punishment at the same time.

Even though you may feel like a vandalism charge is not a big deal and that it can be brushed off lightly, hopefully, this article shone some light on the possible repercussions of criminal activities.

To contact Monder Law Group
424 F Street, San Diego, CA, US

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