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.

employment law 2018

Employment Law Changes in 2018

Employment law changes frequently, so it’s advisable to remain completely up to date with the latest legislation for compliance purposes. Read on to learn more about the latest amendments to employment law.

Gender pay gap reports

One of the latest changes to the law is that large employers now have deadlines for reporting gender pay gaps. Large employers are counted as those with at least 250 members of staff. The deadline for private and voluntary sector employers is the 4th April, with public sectors meeting a 30th March deadline. Pay gap reports must feature on employer websites, be easily accessible to the public and must stay on sites for a minimum of three years. Employers are also being instructed to upload their results to the relevant Government site. Some employers are voluntarily adding extra information in the form of notes to contextualise their figures, particularly those with substantial gender pay gaps.

Living and minimum wage changes

Employer national insurance contributions on termination payments over £30,000 take effect from 6th April 2019.  Payments in lieu are to be treated as non-taxable. The national living wage for workers aged 25 or over is now £7.83. Workers aged 21 to 24 must now be paid at least £7.38 an hour, with those aged 18 to 20 requiring £5.90. Workers aged under 18 that are no longer of compulsory school age are to be paid at least £4.20 per hour. Human resources departments are obliged to keep accurate payment records to show they have adhered to minimum wage legislation.

Sick and redundancy pay

The weekly rate of statutory sick pay has risen to £92.05. Statutory maternity, shared parental pay, adoption and paternity pay is now £145.18 per week. The maximum award for unfair dismissal has now risen to

£83, 682 for dismissals occurring from 6th April 2018. Those made redundant with two years’ service can receive a maximum of £508 per week.

GDPR compliance

GDPR is now in place, and there has been an inevitable rise on employees and candidates wishing to see which information companies hold about them. HR departments have a big role to play when it comes to ensuring data about their employees is being processed fairly and legally. Employers have been producing privacy statements for job applicants to tell them how their information is to be processed. The statement can be incorporated into web-based application statements, though the confusion about GDPR has led to a substantial number of organisations seeking legal advice about complying with the new legislation.

Why Mark Reynolds?

At Mark Reynolds Solicitors, we can come to your assistance if you need any help and advice on adhering to the latest employment laws. We offer a range of services for employees and employers and can provide clear, understandable and useful advice on various matters related to employment law. To get in touch with us today, simply call 0800 002 9577. We can provide the first-class legal assistance you deserve.

wills, trusts & estates

Mark Reynolds Solicitors Launches New Wills And Probate Division

Mark Reynolds Solicitors have announced the expansion of its Wills, Trusts and Estates Department with the addition of specialist legal support for elderly clients.

The new Elderly Client service will be led by Wills and Probate expert Carl Marston. Carl, who served as regional Chairman of Solicitors for the Elderly in the Cheshire and Staffordshire District, has over 20 years of experience in this field. He has written extensively on the subject and offers free seminars to organisations and support groups with an interest in wills and probate planning.

Carl said: “It’s widely accepted that people are living longer, but fewer than than half of adults are thought to have set up a Will. I completely understand people put off making a Will, but without it there could be serious implications both financial and personal for your surviving spouse or partner. In the absence of a Will, you may not be able to leave money and possessions to the people who mean the most to you. Getting your Will properly prepared gives peace of mind and ensures you to know your loved ones will be taken care of when you die.”

The continued growth of the firms Wills, Trusts and Estates Department underpins Mark Reynolds Solicitors’ commitment to the provision of legal services specifically for retired and older people. The team now provides a range of Elderly client services which include the formation and management of trusts, powers of attorney, Court of Protection, asset protection as well as care home fees planning and challenges to care fees.

Carl said: “This is a very complex area so it’s really important that people know they are working with a team of specialist solicitors who will put their needs first. Our approach is to help our clients navigate the law and get the very best outcome for themselves and their loved ones.”

The launch of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Department and the new elderly client services is the next step in the continued growth of Mark Reynolds Solicitors. The firm now has five offices across Liverpool, Runcorn, Warrington and Leigh, with divisions covering Personal Injury, Medical Negligence and Employment Law. Carl is based out of the Warrington office but works across the north west region.

consultancy agreement

Does My Business Need A Consultancy Agreement

If you run a business and are considering taking on a consultant, you will need to get a suitable contract in place to protect all concerned. When you draw up a consultancy agreement, you can put clear terms and conditions in place, whether the consultant is a company or an individual. A growing number of companies are taking on consultants, with the gig economy consisting of not just consultants but a wealth of freelancers and contractors.

The rise of the consultant

Consulting is much more prominent than it was a decade or so ago. Consultants no longer simply come in the form of IT professionals and management professionals. A wide range of industries are now home to consultants providing various services. The agreement that you create should clearly describe the services that the consultant is expected to provide, also making it clear what duties will not be carried out as part of the arrangement. This can help prevent a great deal of confusion and assumption arising from the business-consultant relationship.

What to include in your agreement

The agreement should also include detailed information about payment terms. It should include details on how much will be paid, how often and when the payment will be made. The invoicing process must reflect the terms of the agreement. The agreement should also consist of information on intellectual property rights, including details on whether the consultant has any legal right to the IP created. The specific business relationship also needs to be outlined in the contract to ensure the consultant cannot expect to be paid as an employed member of staff would, receiving sick and holiday pay unless this has been specifically agreed as part of the arrangement.

Bespoke agreements available

The contents of the agreement will need to be specific to your arrangement, which means off-the-shelf agreements and templates are rarely suitable for such projects. Help is available if you do need assistance with drawing up a suitable contract for your business-consultant relationship. At Mark Reynolds, we have vast experience in creating consultancy agreements and can help you produce a legally-binding document that all concerned are satisfied with. Those that fail to adhere to the terms of a legally-binding consultancy agreement can be met with legal action including claims for breach of contract or negligence.

Comply with legislation and avoid breaches

We have the experience and expertise needed to help you comply with employment laws and avoid tough penalties. We provide first-class services for a wide range of company owners, HR professionals, managers, executives and senior employees and can come to your assistance whether you’re an SME or large corporation. With our help, you can avoid disputes, penalties and Employment Tribunal Claims. Other employment services available from Mark Reynolds include policy drafting, redundancy advice, training, representation and advice on disciplinary issues, grievances, contracts, handbooks, settlements and termination agreements.

Contact us

To find out more about producing a consultancy agreement with Mark Reynolds, simply get in touch by completing the form on our website or by calling 0800 002 9577.

GDPR

What is GDPR? How to Comply With the New Law

The new General Data Protection Regulation rules have just come into force and are designed to ensure organisations obtain data about individuals fairly. The new data protection rules have resulted in scores of e-mails finding their way into our inboxes and require “genuine consent” which is why so many people on mailing lists are being asked to opt-in to receive further digital communications. Businesses who fail to comply with the new legislation may be met with substantial fines should data fall into the wrong hands.

Greater accountability

The new rules were first proposed in 2012 and replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The rules have been created to make organisations more accountable with regards to how personal data is collected and processed. Data breaches must be reported within 72 hours. Article 8 of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union stets that people have a fundamental right when it comes to personal data protection. Fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or $20 million could be handed to those that fail to comply with GDPR. Individuals whose rights are breached will be entitled to compensation. Organisations must now respond to requests to obtain information held about individuals within just one month. Individuals now have a “right to be forgotten”, which means personal data can be destroyed if it is no longer needed or was processed illegally. Individuals can withdraw the consent given to process their data at any point. Organisations are no longer permitted to charge for data requests, though it is no longer necessary to register with the Data Protection Commission.

How to avoid penalties

Should the Data Protection Commission decide to assess how your organisation processes data, you must be able to show how you are complying with the legislation. Data controllers are being urged to review and enhance their processes for risk management and review their privacy notices. The language used in privacy policies must be straightforward, and policies must be easy to locate on your site. Visitors to your site have a right to know whether you share data with third parties and why it is shared. Many organisations have taken the step of recruiting data protection officers to avoid unwittingly breaking GDPR rules. Companies are being advised to carry out data protection and privacy impact assessments and to prioritise individual’s privacy at the start of each of their projects and products.

Benefits of GDPR for individuals

Individuals can also ask for their personal information to be corrected should it be inaccurate or incomplete. Another benefit of GDPR for individuals is that organisations are now working harder to improve customer satisfaction regarding how they process personal data. You may start to receive far fewer spam emails and unsolicited phone calls and find that privacy notices are much more transparent than they were previously.

Contact Mark Reynolds

At Mark Reynolds Solicitors, we are able to provide specialist legal advice and representation in various fields. If you need any further advice about GDPR, call now on 0800 002 9577.

What Counts As Medical Negligence?

Not a day goes by without signs of stress in the UK’s medical services. In 2018, the term ‘NHS crisis’ is now being described as a ‘year-round crisis’ by The Guardian. Medical services in the UK are always criticised in the media for being underfunded, understaffed, and overwhelmed. In what is supposed to be a smooth-running, beneficial service for all UK citizens, these factors combine to cause accidents and problems that are paid for by you, the patient. Whether you receive medical treatment via the NHS or privately, you should not have to pay for mistakes and damages to you, especially when they were not your fault. If people make mistakes during your treatment, filing a medical negligence claim could be the answer to receiving fair compensation for the harm caused to you.

 

The purpose of a medical negligence claim is to get compensation for a personal injury or any suffering you experienced due to the negligence of a medical organisation or an individual. Medical organisations and professionals have a duty of care to you during your treatment. In most cases, medical professionals are honest and want to help you receive the best treatment, but accidents do happen. Sometimes, these aren’t mistakes that you can brush off and put down to innocent human error. Medical professionals have the power to change someone’s life forever in a matter of minutes. Most of the time this is for the better. The power of modern medicine is astonishing. But sometimes these mistakes can change someone’s life for the worse, leaving them with a reduced quality of life or acute mental and physical pain.

 

Medical negligence includes any treatment or care that was substandard. This is not measured by what you think your level of care should have been. Rather, it is a more objective measure of the care you could have reasonably expected. This takes into account the circumstances surrounding your treatment and how severe your medical condition was at the time of the incident — creating a fair base for any claims made. If you experienced anything below a standard of care that is within the law and found reasonable, you could be entitled to claim compensation. This is where the solicitors come in.

 

Law professionals can help you determine whether you experienced medical negligence and whether you have a case. There are a few things to be aware of if you want to make a medical negligence claim. The first is timescale. There are strict time limits when making a medical negligence claim. It must be made within three years of the accident or negligent act, or the date that you first became aware of the defendant. The timescale may be extended if the injury you received from negligence was significant. These rules stand unless the claimant is granted an exception to put the case forward by the court — but this is rare.

 

Mark Reynolds Solicitors have experience in dealing with medical negligence claims and will help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact one of our solicitors today on 0800 002 9577. Our solicitors have undertaken the highest standard of training in medical negligence claims, and they will be happy to review your case.

medical appointment doctor healthcare