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Friday, April 20, 2018

Kirkcaldy charity quiz for Frontline Fife

Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy office recently held their annual quiz fundraiser in support of their chosen charity for 2018, Frontline Fife.

This year’s quiz took place at Kirkcaldy Rugby Club on Thursday 29th  March and once again our revered quizmaster Innes Laing, who is also a Partner and Head of the Kirkcaldy office, stepped up to lead the quiz on the night.

Frontline Fife Digby Brown fundraising quiz charity

From left to right: Caryn Nicholson from Frontline Fife, Innes Laing and Shona Ewing

Refreshments were in full flow and the raffle proved popular once again. There were a number of fantastic prizes available including tickets to a Raith Rovers football match, a massage voucher, a month’s gym membership and a hair cut from The Migele Experience in Kirkcaldy.

Over the course of the evening, the team managed to raise over £600 for the charity to help support the work they do with homeless people across Fife and those who find themselves at risk of homelessness.

Innes Laing, Partner, Head of the Kirkcaldy office and quizmaster said:

“Once again we would like to thank everyone who helped us make the annual quiz such a success. From the team who put everything together, the local businesses who generously donated prizes and the teams who came along on the night – thank you for all your support.

“We are delighted to be supporting Frontline Fife again this year as the work they do is vital to the local community. We know that all the funds raised will make a difference to so many people and are looking forward to another year of fundraising activities.”


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Digby Brown Solicitors raise over £8,000 to support asbestos sufferers

Digby Brown’s Industrial Disease solicitors, along with Dianne Foster at Asbestos Action, took part in a gruelling 26 mile marathon walk around the Fife Coastal Path on behalf of asbestos sufferers.

The route between Leven and Rosyth commemorates those who died after working at notorious exposure sites such as the Methil’s oil rig construction yard and shipbuilders in Burntisland and Rosyth.

All funds will go to Asbestos Action, a charity Digby Brown have supported for many years, which help sufferers of asbestos-related illnesses and their loved ones.

Jan Fury, 67, joined the walk on Friday after her son Brian McIvor died from a terminal asbestos-related lung cancer called mesothelioma.

She said: “I know first-hand the importance of efforts like this walk because towards the end of my son’s life I had no idea what to do, where to turn and how to act.

“But Asbestos Action guided me through everything and still offer friendship to this day and the fact that people still champion this cause makes me feel so humbled.”

Asbestos Action Digby Brown Fundraising Marathon Charity

From left to right: Dianne Foster from Asbestos Action and Jan Fury

Asbestos-related diseases occur when people breathe in asbestos fibre which can lead to benign conditions like pleural plaques where the lining of the lungs calcify or terminal cancers like mesothelioma which can prove fatal just weeks after diagnosis.

Thousands were affected because employers, particularly in the construction industry, failed to provide workers with safety gear or breathing apparatus.

To this day asbestos-related conditions claim around 3,000 lives in the UK every year – more than the number of people killed on the roads.

Dianne Foster, support officer at Asbestos Action, said: “The walk had its challenges in the form of sore bones and blisters, but it’s nothing compared to what our clients and their families go through every day.

“We’re delighted to have raised such a great sum and would like to thank those who took part in the walk and to everyone else who selflessly donated to the cause.”

The Digby Brown Industrial Disease solicitors amassed an incredible £4,000 on an online fundraising page, which surpassed their £3,000 target.

However Fraser Simpson, Partner and Head of Digby Brown’s Industrial Disease team, revealed the firm will match whatever is raised online.

He said: “I have fought for countless individuals and their families over the years but it’s the personal impact each person has had on me as a person which inspired me to take part in this walk.

“Digby Brown Solicitors will match anything raised so that means this marathon walk has so far raised in the region of £8,000.

“But there’s still time to raise more so whatever you donate just remember it will be doubled so we can do as much as possible for the hundreds of families across Scotland who rely on these vital services.”

To donate please visit the team’s Just Giving page at http://bit.ly/2GJj4NS


Monday, April 16, 2018

With three years to make an injury claim, there's no rush right?

I've been injured in an accident and heard you have three years to claim compensation – so there is no rush for me to seek legal advice, right?

WRONG.

In Scotland, the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 dictates that an individual has a period of three years from the date of the accident to either settle their claim with the responsible party, or have a Court action raised on their behalf to protect their right to claim.

Time barred

If you do not manage to negotiate a settlement, or have a Court action raised within the, most commonly, three year time limit,  your case will become what is known as 'time barred' and you will be unable to claim any compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered.

Depending on the personal injury and where it happened, time limits can also change. For example, if you have been injured abroad or whilst travelling on an airplane, the time limit may not even be two years.

Witnesses memories fade over time

Practical difficulties can also arise when individuals allow a large period of time to pass before seeking legal advice.

Witness evidence is often crucial in personal injury cases. As time passes, inevitably, individual's memories or recollections of an accident fade. Witnesses can also move address, leave their jobs, become ill, or even pass away. Therefore, gathering witness evidence as soon as possible following an accident is a vital part of ensuring that solicitors are able to present the best evidence available to secure fair compensation.

Time needed to identify resonsible party

Identifying the correct defender, or the responsible party, is also a vital part of any personal injury claim. With the passage of time, this can often become problematic.

For example, if a client advises his solicitor, two and half years after a road traffic accident, "David from down the road, driving his old car" was the responsible party, enquiries will need to be made to find "David" and, importantly, identify the insurers of the vehicle responsible at the time of the accident.

If "David" has moved house, and the client does not know his new address, and/or has sold his car and the client cannot remember the registration of the car, it is unlikely that the solicitor will have sufficient time to find the information needed to enter into negotiations with the correct vehicle insurers. It is very unlikely they will be able to obtain sufficient information to allow them to confidently predict that

  1. the correct driver and vehicle involved in the incident have been identified and
  2. that the case is likely to be successful

In cases whereby individuals are injured at work, or the responsible party is a company, correctly identifying the company responsible for the accident is often far from straight forward - especially because companies can change their names over time.

Risk that lawyers will not take on the case

There is a risk to an injured victim that if they delay seeking legal advice until near the end of the time period to make a claim, then a solicitor may be unwilling to help them. This is because they may not have enough time to correctly identify the responsible company, assess the strength of the case, and thereafter raise a Court action within the remaining timeframe.

If the responsible company is no longer trading, or been dissolved, further legal procedures are required before a Court action is raised. Again, if there is insufficient time for these procedures to be carried out before the time limit ends, it is more than likely that the solicitor will be unable to take on such a case.

If the case is raised in court against the incorrect person or company, the case will probably be dismissed and the injured party will need to pay for the expenses of bringing the case to court. It is therefore crucial that the solicitor has enough time to properly identify who is responsible for the accident.

People are often unaware of, or get caught out, by the strict limits of when personal injury claims must be brought. However, for reasons highlighted above, it is extremely important that people seek specialist legal advice well in advance of the time limit deadline to protect their legal right to compensation.

For more information about other common misconceptions about personal injury compensation, see our blog The 6 myths about personal injury claims.


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