why you need to write a will

Why You NEED to Write a Will

It’s always difficult to think about death, especially your own. But unfortunately, it’s one of the only things in life (as well as taxes) that’s guaranteed. It’s your will that tells your loved ones what should happen with your money, possessions and property when you die. If you haven’t left a will, it’s up to the law to decide what happens with your possessions. And this may not align with your wishes.

Four Reasons Why You Need a Will

Here are just four of the many reasons you should think about writing a will.

  1. There’ll be less burden on your family and friends to sort everything out when you die, as you’ll already have made those decisions. Without a will, the process is going to be a lot more stressful and time consuming for them.
  2. If you don’t have a will, then the law will decide how everything you own will be distributed. This process may result in a different outcome than you would like.
  3. If you want to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that may be payable based on the value of the property and money you leave behind, then a will can do that for you.
  4. It’s especially important to write a will if you have children or other family who are dependent on you financially. Likewise, if you wish to leave something for someone outside of your immediate family, such as an unmarried partner, you need to write a will.

Need Help Writing Your Will?

It’s very important to write your will correctly otherwise you risk it being invalid, which means you’ll lose the benefits of writing one. Mark Reynolds Solicitors offers advice on will writing and will guide you through the process to ensure that your will is written exactly how you want and is legally binding.

catastrophic injury solicitors

How to Claim for Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can have a devastating effect on you and your family, causing a lot of pain and suffering. It’s, therefore, your right to claim for compensation for any trauma you’re going through. Read on to find out how to claim for catastrophic injuries.

What Defines a Catastrophic Injury?

Any serious, life-changing injury resulting in permanent disability, long-term medical problems or a reduced life expectancy is generally classed as a catastrophic injury.

Different Types of Catastrophic Injuries

  • Brain/head injury
  • Severe burns
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Multiple fractures

Are You Eligible to Make a Claim?

If the serious injuries you have are as a direct result of the negligence of a third party, then you have the right to make a compensation claim.

How to Make a Claim for Serious Injuries

Call Mark Reynolds’ no-win, no-fee serious injury solicitors for a free consultation to discuss your serious or catastrophic injury on Freephone 0800 002 9577. Alternatively, visit our contact page.

We will arrange to visit you in your own home or at the hospital to give you and your family thorough advice and guidance.

Our specialist team of expert solicitors will work with you on a no-win, no-fee basis to help you obtain the highest level of compensation for you and your family, to ensure you recover the best you possibly can, and live the rest of your life to the fullest after such a serious injury.

How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?

From the date you suffered your accident, or in special cases when you first became aware of your injuries, you have 3 years to make a claim for a serious injury.

If you’re a close relative wishing to bring a claim of compensation for a loved one who has passed away, the time limit is 3 years from the date your relative passed away.

Mark Reynolds Solicitors are here to help you make a compensation claim for catastrophic injuries. Contact us today to discuss your claim.

psychological claims

Psychological Injuries in Clinical Negligence

Investigating potential psychological injuries forms part of our investigations into medical negligence claims. That may seem unusual and of course, not all of our clients will have experienced psychological injuries. However, it is something that we need to consider when we look at the injury our client has suffered.

The focus is usually on the physical injury.  These are the injuries that most people can identify easily- they can usually see these injuries and they can feel the pain from these injuries. With psychological injuries, it’s not quite as obvious. Sometimes it’s brushed away or not addressed because it’s difficult to talk about. Some people also view a psychological injury as a weakness or something they are ashamed but this should not be the case.

Medical negligence claims are emotive. Our client has been failed by their medical professional, a professional that they trusted. When this treatment involves sensitive issues such as a delay in diagnosis of cancer, an injury to a child or a death, it’s easy to see how that may have had an emotional impact on the individual. Similarly, if our client has been left with an injury that affects them every day, it’s not unexpected that they will feel down or upset.

Psychological injuries manifest in different ways. For some people, they may become upset when they think about the events or triggers that remind them of it. Other people suffer from flashbacks and nightmares. Some clients become anxious and fearful of attending hospital or the dentist. Alternatively, clients may avoid going out or socialising. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms but an example of how an event can impact you.

Some of our clients may have had a formal diagnosis of their psychological injury by a doctor. On other occasions, our clients have not sought help or perhaps they haven’t realised the extent of it yet. Examples of psychological injuries can include; anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Here at Mark Reynolds, we take the time to get to know our medical negligence clients. We spend time discussing the impact that the events have had on you and how you feel it has affected you. We listen to you. If we feel that you may have suffered psychological harm as a result of your poor treatment, we will investigate this thoroughly.

If you would like to discuss a potential claim with us, please contact us on 01925 418004 to talk to one of our specialist clinical negligence solicitors.

industrial disease

What Counts As An Industrial Disease Claim?

At Mark Reynolds, we have been helping clients obtain industrial disease compensation for many years. Employers across all industries have a duty of care to their employees and face penalties if they fail to comply with this. We are able to offer the highest standard of representation and are able to provide legal assistance in various areas related to industrial disease, including asbestos, carpal tunnel syndrome, tinnitus, vibration white finger, mesothelioma, industrial disease claims and many more.

How Compensation Can Help

The compensation that you receive can help you pay for any changes you have been forced to make to your life as a result of suffering from an industrial disease. It can also offset at least some of your pain and suffering. Many industrial diseases occur after individuals are exposed to dangerous substances or unsafe working practices over a long period of time. In order for an industrial disease claim to be a success, we need to carry out a thorough investigation of your working history.

A Passion for Justice

A large number of claimants remain unaware that their illness is related to their working history for many years. However, if you do suspect that your condition is linked to work that you have carried out in the past, we can help. We are passionate about delivering justice for our clients and we always aim to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your illness.

A Duty of Care

Your employer’s duty of care means that they need to provide you with personal protective equipment when necessary, must provide breaks from working in the same environment or on the same tasks and must offer sufficient training to ensure you are competent enough to do your job efficiently and safely. If you contract an industrial disease because they failed in their duty of care, there’s a very big chance we will be able to bring them to account and provide you with justice.

Swifter Resolution

We also aim to reach a conclusion in the shortest time-frame possible, so you can get the compensation you need and put the legal action behind you. Some workplace illnesses are a direct result of working in certain environments, whilst other conditions have been worsened because of them. Some industrial disease cases can be very complex, but we have the experience, expertise and determination needed to see them through.

A No Win, No Fee Service

The level of compensation that you receive will depend on a range of factors, such as the severity of your suffering and how much your quality of life has been affected. We work on a no win, no fee basis to take the risk out of making a claim and offer a bespoke service which means your specific needs and circumstances are always addressed when we help you. Why not get in touch today if you wish to find out more about making an industrial disease claim with Mark Reynolds? Call us today on 0800 002 9577 or complete the form on our site.

claims against police

How To Claim Against the Police

Being treated unfairly or inappropriately by a police officer can be very distressing, as they are the very people that we expect to act responsibly to keep us safe.

Individuals who have suffered at the hands of a police officer can be deeply affected by the incident.  Taking legal action against the police can help the person who has been wronged to find closure on an upsetting event by getting answers, receiving an apology, and sometimes compensation too.

The most common claims that we deal with against the police include wrongful arrest, assault, breach of human rights and trespass.

In many cases, claims against the police can be settled without the need for court proceedings. It is when the police disagree with your claim or will not offer a reasonable amount of compensation that a claim will then be taken to court.

We recommend taking the following steps if you’re ready to bring a claim against the police.

Contact Your Solicitor

Your solicitor will listen to the details of your case before advising you on the most appropriate course of action, the likely outcome, and an estimate of the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.  You can then make an informed decision about how you’d like to proceed.

Gather Evidence

This could be anything from records or paperwork from the incident to eyewitness accounts.  The more evidence you can gather the better it will be for your case.

Make a Complaint

Complaints should be made to the relevant police force or organisation.  This can either be done online using an online form or on paper and sent in the post.  The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is the independent body that investigates the most serious incidents and complaints involving the police, your complaint may be referred to them if it is of a serious nature.  Your solicitor can help you with your complaint and any appeals that follow.

Make Sure You’re Claiming in Time

If you wish to take legal action you must adhere to the time limits in place. Discrimination claims should be made within 6 months of the incident, Human Rights Act claims within one year, and assault within 3 years.  Complaints against police misconduct need to be made within 12 months of an incident occurring.

For more help and advice with bringing a claim against the police, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Mark Reynolds Solicitors by giving us call on 0800 002 9577.

Deceased Clients

An upsetting part of our job is acting for clients who have passed away and we understand that this is a very difficult time for the family. We may act for deceased clients either because:

  1. A family has contacted us with concerns about their loved one’s treatment; or
  2. The client passed away during the course of investigating a claim on their behalf.

Some people wrongly believe that once a person has died, we can no longer claim for poor treatment the deceased received but this is incorrect. A claim can be made on behalf of the Estate of the person that has passed away and this can be in relation to anything the deceased would have been able to claim for themselves (before their death) or the events surrounding their death.

Who Can Bring the Claim?

If the deceased had a Will, the claim can be brought on behalf of the deceased’s Estate by the named Executor(s) in the Will.

If the deceased did not have a Will, then the rules on intestacy apply. This sounds complicated but it just means that there is an order of people who can bring the claim and who may be entitled to the Estate. These usually include spouse, children (including adopted children) and parents. However, it can extend to siblings or extended family such as cousins.

For example; Mrs W passed away. She was married to Mr W who is still alive. Mr W would be able to bring the claim on behalf of the Estate of Mrs W.

Mr S passed away. His wife Mrs S, had already died 5 years before. Mr and Mrs S had 3 children. The children would be able to bring the claim on behalf of the estate of Mr S.

If you’re unsure who the right person is to bring the claim, we can help you work it out.

How Long Do We Have?

You usually have 3 years from the date of the death to issue the claim at Court. However, we recommend contacting a Solicitor sooner rather than later to discuss a potential claim.

Is it More Complicated Than Bringing a Claim for a Person Who is Alive?

Not really. We will need a copy of the death certificate, but if you do not have this then we can help you get a copy. The claim will be run like any other medical negligence claim.

As the claim progresses, you will need to obtain a formal Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration (if you do not have one already) but this is something that our Wills and Probate department can assist with.

If you think you or a loved one may have a medical negligence claim, please contact us on 01925 418004 to talk to one of our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors.

Cancer Cases

We investigate cases relating to the delay in diagnosing cancer here at Mark Reynolds. This is a difficult topic, as the diagnosis of cancer often has a profound effect on an individual but to then find out that the cancer may have been diagnosed earlier, is very hard. We find that these clients have a lot of unanswered questions about why their cancer was missed, what impact it would have had on them if they had been diagnosed when they should have been, whether their cancer has progressed during the misdiagnosis period and whether this will ultimately affect their treatment. These are the questions that we try and get answers to during our investigations.

There are many factors that influence a claim relating to the misdiagnosis of cancer. These include; the type of cancer, the grade of the cancer, the period of the delay and the staging of the cancer at the time of the diagnosis. They are by no means easy claims, but we try to make them as simple as we can for our clients.

As well as having a physical impact on our clients, the delay in diagnosis can have an emotional impact and sometimes a psychological impact. Some clients understandably find it difficult to process that their cancer could have been diagnosed and treated earlier. We offer as much support as we can to these clients to help them through their difficult time.

We are currently investigating a claim relating to the delay in diagnosing thyroid cancer. Our early investigations indicate that there was a 4 year delay in diagnosing our client’s cancer. This client had initially attended with a lump in her throat and a biopsy was taken but the client was told that there was nothing to worry about. It was only when the client returned as the lump had grown, that the cancer was diagnosed.

If you feel that your medical condition has been misdiagnosed, please contact us on 01925 418004 to talk to one of our specialist clinical negligence solicitors.

writing a will

5 Reasons to Write a Will

Whilst no one wants to dwell on what will happen to their belongings after their demise, preparing a will can help to put your mind at rest that you are in control of what happens to your estate in the event of your death.

Without a will, the people who receive your estate are decided according to a standard set of rules laid out by the law, which may not be in agreeance with what you’d like.

As well as giving you peace of mind that your estate will go to those closest to your heart, here are five more important reasons to write a will.

Less stress for friends and family

Having what is to happen to your estate already planned out in a will makes the process much less stressful for your loved ones.  Without a will, sorting your estate out can be a time-consuming and upsetting process at what is already an emotionally draining time.  Making it clear in your will how you would like your estate divided also minimises the risk of any disagreements breaking out.

You decide who receives everything you own

Without a will your possessions may not end up in the hands of the people you would have liked them to, as they will be divided according to a standard set of rules.  For example, if you’ve separated from your spouse, but are still legally married to them they could end up getting everything, and if you have a child outside of marriage then they may not receive anything.  Without a will you cannot leave an inheritance to grandchildren rather than children either.  A will allows you to select exactly who you would like to receive what.

It will reduce the amount of inheritance tax due

Depending on the size of your estate and who you’re leaving it to, inheritance tax could be charged at a rate of as much as 40%!  Having a will can reduce the amount of inheritance tax that is paid on your estate and any money that you leave behind by making good use of tax-free amounts, meaning more money in the pockets of your loved ones.

Appoint guardians for children aged under 18

If you have children aged under 18 then writing a will is extremely important as it allows you to choose the most suitable guardian for them in the event of your death.  Without a will your children could end up being brought up by someone you would not have chosen yourself.

Choose to leave money to a charity

If there is a charity or cause that is close to your heart, writing a will gives you the opportunity to leave them a gift.  Money left to charities is tax-free too!

Whilst it is possible to create a homemade will, there is always the risk of an error being made that means the will is invalid.  Having your will drafted by a specialist solicitor ensures that the document gives complete clarity as to what your wishes are.

To receive free and impartial advice about wills from our specialist solicitors here at Mark Reynolds Solicitors, make an enquiry via our contact form or give us a call on 01942 260 228.

dental negligence

Reasons to Claim Against Your Dentist

Many people worry about going to the dentist and often feel nervous or apprehensive even at the thought of treatment. Usually, treatment goes well and they leave the dental surgery feeling relieved, with their dental worries resolved.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes people are left suffering from unnecessary damage, stress and pain after a trip to the dentist. But you should never suffer in silence.

If you feel you’ve received negligent treatment from your dentist, it’s worth finding out whether you can receive compensation by making a claim against them.

What Dental Problems Can You Claim For?

There are many reasons why you may be able to file a claim for dental negligence against your dentist or dental surgery. Here are just a few of them:

  • Incorrect teeth extraction
  • Infections due to lack of care
  • Later complications caused by a failure to diagnose dental conditions
  • Poor application of anaesthetic
  • Problems caused due to insufficiently trained or qualified staff
  • Failing to check medical history or allergies
  • Failure of cosmetic restoration work

Dental negligence can have long-lasting effects that may leave permanent damage to your mouth, teeth or gums even after receiving further corrective surgery. This may not only leave physical damage; you are equally susceptible to potential psychological trauma.

It’s terrible to have been left in a place of pain after undertaking something designed to solve a problem. Even though compensation may not resolve the resulting pain or trauma, it can help ease the financial burden, especially if you need to pay for further corrective work or if you lost time at work owing to the negligence.

How to Claim for Dental Negligence

Mistakes can happen with dental surgery or treatment, but you shouldn’t have to pay the price. If your dentist has caused you suffering, you may be able to claim for dental negligence.

Our team at Mark Reynolds Solicitors are experts in dental negligence. To discuss a claim, contact one of our experienced team today.

what is a will

What is a Will?

Simply, a Will is a legal document that sets out your instructions for your accumulated wealth to be disposed of after your death.

There are many reasons for putting off making a Will “it’s tempting fate”, “I have nothing to leave” and “my family knows who gets what”.

A Will can be made by anyone over the age of 18 with testamentary capacity, i.e. a person’s legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will. In most cases in our experienced people will be more likely to make a Will when key events happen to them, upon marriage, the birth of a child or the death of a loved one.

With a more varied mix and types of families today, making a Will is potentially one of the most important steps that you may take to ensure can bring certainty and peace of mind that your spouse, family, friends and charities receive your intended gift.

It is important to remember that couples and same-sex partners who are not married or in a civil partnership have no automatic right to inherit if there is no Will.

At Mark Reynolds Solicitors, our specialist solicitors will help you make sure that your estate passes to those you intend to benefit.

We also provide specialist advice we can provide includes, inheritance tax planning, asset protection, business assets, charitable legacies, jointly owned property, trusts and many other aspects that will be unique to the individual’s circumstances.