Hazardous Materials: What a Truck Accident Near Port Everglades Could Mean (Fort Lauderdale) Southern Florida

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Port Everglades

Port Everglades sits on the Southeastern coast of Florida and is home to cruise, cargo, and foreign trade ships. As part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, Port Everglades has proven itself to be not only a place of marine commerce, but a veritable world trade center that offers culture, history, municipal services, and a starting and ending points for cruise ships.

Shipping, Cargo, and Traffic

You can always count on the steady influx of commercial trucks and general traffic in Port Everglades. With the transfer of hazardous materials to and from trucks and loading docks, as well as the frenetic pace of diners, history goers, and folks rushing to board cruise ships, there is much potential for injury, crashes, and worse.

Truck Accidents, Hazardous Materials, and The Port

While we are certain that the vast majority of drivers both in and around Port Everglades drive safely, crashes still occur. The chances of such accidents, given the volume of trucks transporting hazardous or flammable goods in the region, is further aggravated by the heavy storms and hurricanes that often hit this locale. The chances of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades are further compounded when you add into the risk equation the slick oil that inevitably drips from even the best maintained vehicles.

Vehicular Damage

Cars and trucks involved in collisions are likely to be destroyed. Given that hazardous materials are often contained in the trucks in the Port Everglades area however, car accidents that occur here are likely to cause damage to actual vehicles, as well as oil and gas explosions and projectile debris. In essence, vehicles in car accidents in this part of Fort Lauderdale are easily reduced to scraps of metal and aluminum soot.

Bodily Harm and Injury

It goes without saying that vehicular accidents involving any materials, but especially those that are hazardous, are going to cause a host of physical injuries. Burns, abrasions, broken limbs, respiratory damage, loss of hearing, vision, and mobility are only some of the conditions that may result. And this does not even include the long term ramifications of these injuries. A decrease in one’s quality of life due to an inability to work, dependence on disability services and loved ones, and the possibility of brain injuries looms large, as well.

Property and Environmental Damage

Far reaching flames capable of incinerating buildings, roads, and other vehicles, as well as trees and the surrounding landscape are likely results of a car or truck accident. Not only would an accident of this magnitude in Port Everglades have the potential to be fatal, but would surely destroy the air surrounding it. The ecological and proprietary damage would simply be unthinkable.

What Should You Do if You Are in a Truck Accident Near Port Everglades? 

Port Everglades is a hub of economic promise, fast paced loading, shipping, and sailing, and brings with it all the drivers that need to make the Port what it is. The sheer amount of movement, both on foot and vehicle, increases the likelihood of accidents, particularly with vehicles carrying all sorts of potentially deadly materials.

Though our company cannot combat ecological fallout, we can guide you through the accidents that caused them. If you are in a car or truck accident in Port Everglades or Fort Lauderdale, contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney so you can get the assistance, guidance, and support  you deserve, especially in times like these.

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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: https://www.allbusiness.com/questions-to-ask-when-interviewing-a-lawyer-1328-1.html

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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Speaking at Porlock Arts Festival

This evening I will be speaking at the Porlock Arts Festival accompanying Kate Mosse, author of ‘Labyrinth’. For more information, click here.

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Article for the Radcliffe Club

Heads-up for an article I wrote a while back and which has now been posted up at The Radcliffe Club – Law for Non Law. It covers in particular my second novel Law and Peace. Please note that the mass market edition of this book is now available at amazon. You can read the text of the article either here or below.

Writer Tim Kevan tells us about his second BabyBarista novel ‘Law and Peace’

Back in 2007 I had been practising as a barrister at what is now Temple Garden Chambers for some nine years and was enjoying the life of aLondon common law barrister. But I’d always dreamt of living by the sea and the surf and maybe even writing a novel. I just couldn’t quite see how it could be done. At that time I’d just finished co-writing a motivational book entitled Why Lawyers Should Surf with Dr Michelle Tempest, a book which encouraged people to look for inspiration outside of law and used surfing and the power of the ocean as metaphors for living the day to day. Next I wanted to sit down and write a legal thriller. But instead what popped out was a legal comedy about a fictional young barrister doing pupillage. I called him BabyBarista which was a play on words based on his first impression being that his coffee-making skills were probably as important to that year as any forensic legal abilities he may have. It’s a strange thing to say but I discovered that this bold, irreverent and mischievous voice along with a collection of colourful characters had simply jumped into my head and the words started pouring onto the page.

Since then I was lucky enough to get the first book Law and Disorder published by Harry Potter’s publisher Bloomsbury in 2009. It followed BabyBarista’s first year in chambers where he was fighting his fellow pupils for the coveted prize of a permanent tenancy. It was a fictional caricature of life at the Bar and included characters that probably exist in most workplaces such as UpTights, OldRuin, BusyBody, Worrier and even JudgeJewellery and her penchant for stealing cheap jewellery.  Alongside the pupillage race was an altogether different battle with BabyB’s corrupt pupilmaster TheBoss whose dishonest fiddling of chambers’ records to avoid a negligence action all started to unravel and threatened to embroil BabyB’s entire career.

Thankfully, the book seemed to be well-received with The Times calling it “a cross between The Talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones’s Diary”. It also continues to be published as a blog, having been picked up early on by The Times and more recently by The Guardian. All of which helped to lead Bloombury to commission book two in the series. This came as more of a challenge than the first given that I couldn’t simply use the stresses and strains of pupillage to drive the plot along and instead had to look to other themes and stories. In the end, I did just what I’d done in book one and let the characters loose to tell their own stories. What eventually came out was Law and Peace which was published by Bloomsbury this May and which thankfully has garnered some decent reviews with The Daily Mail describing it as “highly recommended” and a “funny, sharp account of backstabbing Bar life” and broadcaster Jeremy Vine calling it “a novel bursting with invention”.

The new book follows BabyBarista’s second year in chambers in which as the newest tenant in chambers, he must face down old enemies, try to win compensation for a group of ASBO-attracting pensioners and unravel the complicated knots of his love life – not to mention his mother’s finances. Under the wise and watchful eye of OldRuin, he tries to keep his nose (and his wig) clean, but when SlipperySlope, an unscrupulous solicitor offers him a quick way out of his financial difficulties he soon becomes embroiled in blackmail, dodgy share-dealing and the dark arts of litigation. With his old adversary TopFirst out for revenge and the chance to be awarded a coveted ‘red bag’ at stake, BabyB has to use all the tricks of his trade to extricate himself from his legal quagmire, win the case for his mad old clients, and somehow convince his best friend to fall in love with him.

One of the themes which comes out of the book is BabyBarista’s preoccupation with work and his failing to give enough time to his friends, family and other things which make him happy. In the end, it’s the example of others who show him the way with the old people taking him skateboarding and a friend of theirs introducing him to surfing as well as OldRuin, Claire and his mother emphasising the importance of love and friendship. It’s something which I’ve had time to reflect on myself having spent ten years at the Bar in London before taking what has become a prolonged break to move down to the sea in North Devon and write the BabyBarista books as well as publishing free legal email newsletters written by barristers (see eg www.lawbriefupdate.com/).

This has allowed me to return to the much simpler country way of life that I had known as a child with time to get out into the surf and the countryside as well as to settle into the local community. I guess the thing about legal life is that it doesn’t necessarily need to end up being over-worked and stressful. But in a profession that bills itself out by the hour, there’s an inherent risk of it producing a tendency to commoditise what might be our most precious possession, that of time itself. But as BabyBarista discovers, it certainly doesn’t have to be like that and during the course of the book he slowly starts to return to the things that really matter.

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