Archive for: December 2015

Law Society Responds To Autumn Statement Proposals on Personal Injury Claims

The Law Society has condemned the Autumn Statement’s proposals as it would undermine the right of personal injury claims victims to get proper compensation.

According to Law Society President Jonathan Smithers:

“The Law Society is gravely concerned that these proposals will completely undermine the right of ordinary citizens to receive full and proper compensation from those that have injured them through negligence.

“These proposals will stop people obtaining legal advice for all personal injury claims below £5,000 and stop people claiming for often debilitating injuries arising from road traffic accidents if these injuries are considered minor.

“This is a fivefold increase in the present level of cases currently within the small claims procedure, benefiting those who have negligently harmed people and will result in more people trying to work their way through a complex court system without any legal advice.”

“People recovering from their injuries will have to bring claims as litigants in person (without any legal advice) and this can be very unfair because those defending the claims can often afford to pay for legal advice.”

UK Chancellor George Osborne proposed to increase the small claims court’s limit from £1000 to £5000 to decrease the number of injury claims and address the compensation culture.

EAD Senior Partner Steve Cornforth criticised the Chancellor for addressing a fictional issue such as the “mythical compensation culture”. He claims the culture was created by the media and insurers to “alarm us all without having substantial evidence of its existence.

Southeast Asian Aviation Industry Heads For Recovery From Latest Blow

A flight crash caused by a pilot error is the main culprit of the recent Air Asia A320-200, which immediately killed about 200 passengers. . Last Tuesday, a faulty component caused the pilots to restart the system, disengaging autopilot while in the middle of a storm, leading to the crash.

Air Asia Flight 8501 was found in the waters of Surabaya, Indonesia and Singapore on December 2014.

Despite the FAA lowering Thailand’s aviation sector’s safety rating to category 2 from the top category 1 rating, Southeast Asia’s aviation industry continues to grow with increasing investor interest.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha vowed that aviation authorities will quickly address the FAA’s recommendations and warnings.

Thai Airways President Charamporn Jotikasthira said the US FAA decision will have minimal commercial or customer impact.

The FAA’s re-classification of Thailand-based airlines will not mean they are unsafe. However, it calls on aviation regulators to provide better insight in the industry, particularly safety regulations.

According to Pacific Asia Travel Association Bangkok CEO Mario Hardy:

“Even though there are currently no Thai carriers flying to the U.S., Thailand aviation authorities have to take this warning seriously and urgently develop a plan to improve its safety rating as soon as possible.

“The implications from the possibility of a similar review from Europe would be disastrous to Thai carriers and tourism in the country.”

The Epidemic of Homeless Veterans

When people encounter a homeless person in parks or on the streets, they may be shocked to learn that the person they are looking at may have actually served their country in the Armed Forces. In the US, according to the homeless advocacy organization Green Doors, although only eight percent of the American population qualifies for veteran status, as much as 17 percent of the homeless population is made up of veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported that as many as 76,000 veterans were homeless and living on the streets in 2010.

Statistics on Homeless Veterans

Statistics show that veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless than the rest of the American population. Veterans often lack support and suffer from social isolation after being discharged from the service. The divorce rate among veterans is very high so that many veterans live alone. Many veterans are living below the poverty level and paying more than 50 percent of their household income on rent, making them more at risk for homelessness. The incidence of homeless female veterans is also rising. In 2006, there were 150 homeless female veterans and, in 2011, that number rose to 2011. Half of the homeless veterans suffer from mental illness and two-thirds suffer from substance abuse. Many homeless veterans suffer from what is known as dual-diagnosis where they have been diagnosed with both mental illness and substance abuse. Veterans spend, on average, six years homeless compared to four years for non-veteran homeless.

1Department of Veterans Affairs

The VA offers many specialized homeless veterans services, such as healthcare and job training. The department provides services to more than 250,000 veterans throughout the country. However, it is difficult for the VA to manage all the factors that can cause a veteran to become homeless, which is why they enter into partnerships with other organizations to provide assistance to those who have served the country but are now living on the streets.

Non-Profit Organizations

There are many  available that provide assistance to homeless veterans. Volunteers for these organizations work with the veterans to help them find jobs, get transportation and eventually find housing that they can afford. Some of the organizations who provide these services include:

The Bob Parsons Veterans Center – created by the founder of GoDaddy, this center offers academic advising, guidance on financial aid and counseling to veterans at the University of Baltimore. Parsons created the center at his alma mater in an effort to repay the Marine Corps for what they did for him as a young man.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans – a network of community-based service providers at the local, state and national level that provide housing, food and other services to homeless veterans.

Volunteers of America – since World War I, this group has provided direct services to veterans while also providing them with resources that can help them get back on their feet.

Volunteering for one of these worthwhile organizations offers individuals a way to repay a service man or woman for their service to the country. By providing veterans with the tools they need to succeed, the homeless veteran population can be reduced significantly.