As a professional or legal practitioner, you understand how important one witness can be to an entire case. When working with a vocational legal expert, you or your company will gain the insight and perspective of a qualified professional, strengthening the credibility of your case.
However, ahHn expert witness is not the same as an expert adviser. A legal team engages an expert adviser to speak about that party’s claim or defense. An expert adviser’s primary responsibility is to the party employing him, not to the court.
An expert witness or vocational witness will provide impartial expert analysis on their given subject in line with the instructions given to them. These instructions are included in the expert witness’s report, which will be reviewed by the opposing party and the court.
When evaluating whether a witness is eligible to serve as an expert witness, the courts do not follow strict criteria. Instead, the expert’s credentials are assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on the circumstances.
The key qualification is whether the selected jury will obtain a meaningful perspective from them on the subject in question, not whether they use their knowledge and expertise professionally or commercially.
An expert witness must follow the appropriate process guidelines as well as any orders in the matter. A legal expert witness must provide honest, unbiased, and independent opinions, whether or not they support your argument.
An expert witness (or vocational witness) has a primary obligation to the court. This responsibility outweighs any duty due to you. However, you are still obligated to pay the expert’s fees.
The court expects expert witnesses to be impartial and unbiased and will disregard evidence from those who are or appear to be prejudiced.
An expert witness is not your advocate. They will not argue your case for you, nor will they collect evidence or make recommendations about what your case should include.
It is your responsibility, or the responsibility of your legal counsel, to campaign for your case. Vocational law cases are particularly difficult; it is always recommended that you also hire consulting services to assist with them.
Retaining legal experts for witness testimony can prove pivotal during legal proceedings. At Solutions Northwest Inc., our team of experienced legal experts and vocational consultants are here to help.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of workplace injuries occur in the US. These injuries come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from construction job hazards to repetitive injuries from desk work.
When these workplace injuries occur, workers carry out a personal injury case. As an attorney or business owner, you’ll likely assist with several of these over time.
Adding a Vocational Legal Expert to your team will provide your client with the best outcome. If you’re curious about what to expect in a personal injury case, read on as we guide you through the steps of a personal injury lawsuit.
When a worker becomes injured, they often lose their income for a period. First, a pre-injury vocational evaluation will be conducted. At this time, the evaluation will determine the client’s earning capacity prior to their injury. There are several tools and approaches to get accurate vocational evaluations and vocational assessments.
Once the pre-injury evaluation is completed, the post-injury evaluations begin. Post-injury evaluations consider the extent of a client’s injury and gauge how much they can hope to earn in the future.
A vocational assessment also occurs at this time. These assessments focus on the client’s interests, skills, physical abilities, and prior work history. Evaluators will also consider medical records and conduct a clinical interview with the client.
These steps help determine what the client will need financially and what they can earn in the future. This way, everyone can enter the court with a clearly defined statement of how much money the client needs for their injury.
Next, are the three pretrial phases of the personal injury case. These three phases are the complaint/answer phase, discovery phase, and motions phase.
The complaint refers to the document detailing the client’s allegations on how they became injured and the extent of their damages. Once this complaint is filed, the defendant answers it by admitting or denying guilt.
Next, is the discovery phase. At this time, the team will gather testimony, evidence, documentation, and other information about the case from other parties.
Finally, there’s the motions phase. This stage allows the defendant to file a motion for the court to act on their behalf. The defendant usually asks the court to dismiss one or more claims made against them by your client.
Trial and Post Trial
Finally, the client’s party and the defending party must appear in court. Here, both sides make their case to the judge. The goal is to convince the judge that the defendant is responsible for the client’s injury and to grant sufficient damage fees.
Usually, this goes well for the claimant. But, sometimes, a defendant may appeal to a higher court to reconsider the ruling. This is why using an experienced vocational law team is vital.
Are you moving your business to a remote-only lifestyle? You’re not alone.
More business owners are choosing to have their employees work from home (or wherever else they can drag their computers). It’s lowered costs and made for happier employees.
There are benefits to hiring remote workers. Yet, how do you know when you’re ready to make the change? What do you need to keep in mind when your employees are working from home?
Keep reading for four factors to keep in mind when hiring remote workers.
Not all businesses are going to have to worry about this, but anyone who hires outside of their local area needs to keep compensation in mind.
Paying remote workers who live around the world isn’t the same as paying ones who live in your city.
You’re going to have to take into consideration the minimum wage of the areas where your employees work as well as the cost of living.
Employees who work full-time should be able to survive on your wages, but an employee in Kansas will have a very different experience from an employee in Seattle. Adjust accordingly.
How are you going to communicate with your employees? How are they going to communicate with each other?
Some employers choose to hold mandatory meetings over video chat. Not all employees are happy with this. However, if they’re brief and laser-focused, they can foster great communication.
Employees with unreliable video equipment, who live with children coming in and out of their home office spaces, may be better off with phone meetings or a text-based chat platform.
You’ll want your employees to be able to talk to each other as if they were in the office.
3. State Laws
With the variety of locations that your employees can work from, you’ll have to consider various laws and regulations that relate to your industry.
For example, in California, your employees need to be classified as employees. You can’t hire freelance workers to do employee-style jobs. You need to know the difference between employees and contractors.
You also have to be careful to not transfer the costs of doing business to your employees. You may be responsible for some of the costs associated with doing the remote work, depending on your state.
4. Time Zones
If your employees are working all over the world you’ll need to have a bit of flexibility regarding work hours. Even if you only hire American workers you have four well-known timezones to consider and several lesser-known timezones.
If you want the best talent that you can find, you will want to have a broad reach. It might be helpful to allow your employees to set their own hours or complete work on their own time. A specified time limit can ensure that everyone has a standard workday.
5. Home Office Design
When using remote workers, it is easy to forget about their workstation (out of sight, out of mind). However, because they’re remote workers it is much more important to be involved in ensuring they’re properly set up to perform the job.
For example, if your remote workers are using a laptop from their bed, they are less likely to be as productive had they been working at a desk with a proper home office setup.
Every remote worker needs an ergonomic workstation assessment. This includes ergonomic furniture like the desk and chair, as well as ergonomic gadgets like the mouse, keyboard, and monitor. It may take a small financial investment from the employer or employee, but we suggest an ergonomics assessment to assist your company in setting up a home office for your remote workers.
Just because your employees are working remotely doesn’t mean you can stop catering to their needs.
Using remote workers can give your business a huge boost. Make sure you consider several factors before assigning your employees to remote work. Consider everything that comes along with remote workers and prepare yourself for your new venture.
If you’d like some assistance on the perfect home office setup for your remote workers, contact our ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. and inquire about their affordable virtual ergonomics assessment.
At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR.
Sitting all day at the office desk can take a toll on your
body, which is why it is very important to take breaks at work. In fact, work
productivity in the office or any workplace.
While this sounds like a simple task, how do you remember to
take your work break when you are mentally deep in a project? This is
where an app can be helpful.
Here are three apps that will help you be more productive
and mentally sharp by giving you regular work break reminders:
This app will change how you use your office computer. You
can schedule both micro-breaks and longer breaks.
Install this app on your computer, and a small window will
pop up when you have a break approaching. Then another window will pop up when
it is time to take a work break. If you must, you can skip your break, and it
will remind you of the next one.
Micro-breaks are every ten minutes for twenty seconds. The
longer break option is every 30 minutes for five minutes. If these default
times don’t work for you, then you can customize the lengths.
2. Eye Care 20 20 20
This is a mobile app that is meant to give your eyes a break
from staring into screens all day. About 80% of
Americans use their digital devices for more than two hours a day. This
results in about a third of American workers experiencing at least one of the
symptoms of digital
This app helps you use a time-tested technique for giving
your eyes a break. Every twenty minutes, you should look at something twenty
feet away for twenty seconds.
This is a simple functioning app that reminds you to look up
and away every twenty minutes. The customization of the functions focuses more
on when you want your notifications, such as only during work hours.
The other apps on this list give you a notification and
suggest that you take a break, but that isn’t useful if you ignore the
suggestion. If you fall into this type of user, then you need Unhook.
This app forces you to take a work break. During setup, you
give yourself a daily time limit for different types of screen usage. Then when
you hit that time, you must walk to earn more usage time. For every 100
steps you take, you earn ten minutes of usage time.
If you really need to override the app, you can. There is
the option of turning Unhook off and continuing your free usage. Be sparing
with this as it defeats the purpose of having the app.
conclusion, prioritize your work breaks.
It can be tempting to skip your office work breaks when you
have a lot of work to get done. However, this will ultimately hurt you. With
regular breaks, you give your brain and body time to recharge and refocus,
your work productivity.
Give yourself a break reminder with these useful apps.
That way, you can focus on work and not on the clock.
Taking regular work breaks isn’t the only thing you can do to be more productive at work; check out our extensive ergonomics blog for more ergonomics consultant tips that will keep your office running efficiently and safely. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for ergonomics guidance. Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Oregon State: Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, Southern California: San Diego, California, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, and Newport Beach, CA.
We like to think that productivity means giving a task
or project your 100% attention and working until it’s complete. But
research now shows that taking
breaks at work actually makes employees more productive.
Wondering how taking breaks could possibly boost
productivity? Here are some reasons why it really works.
1. Get back to work refreshed after a break.
If you don’t take lunch
or coffee breaks by mid-afternoon you’re exhausted, you can
barely think, and you spend more time trying to figure out what
you’re doing than actually doing. Many of us push through and just keep
Working through your workday is ultimately less productive
than taking breaks. 90%
of participants in a recent study said that taking a full lunch break
allows them to come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to go. While the
lunch break may feel like wasted time, it actually prevents lost time by
2. Use your breaks to get inspired.
When it feels like you’re never going to find a solution to
the work problem of the day, it’s time to take a break. Not taking breaks
our ability to think of creative, new solutions.
Taking a quick walk, grabbing a coffee, or even sitting
quietly, or staring out the window, gives our brains the break it needs to come
up with new solutions. So, instead of banging your head against the wall, get
away from your desk! But be sure to take your phone so you can take notes
when inspiration hits.
3. Stress relief is necessary.
Stress is a part of any job. If we can manage work-related
stress in healthy ways, then we can thrive. An inability to manage work-related
stress leads to burnout, which is a productivity killer.
One of the best ways to manage
work-related stress just happens to be taking breaks during the day.
Creating a habit of taking breaks when work-related stress is high creates a
sustainable work style that makes employees more productive and happier.
4. Taking breaks allows for better work relationships.
When everyone in the office is glued to their computer
screen, working constantly, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to build strong
working relationships. Taking breaks with a coworker allows you to get to know
them better, which makes it easier to work with them in the office. So, grab
someone else when you’re headed to get a coffee and take some time to chat!
5. Take a break for your health.
When employees are encouraged to take regular breaks during
the workday, they stay
healthier than when they work through break times. There are multiple
reasons for this. Taking an actual lunch break can lead to healthier food
choices because employees have the time to seek out healthier options. Walking
during breaks provides physical activity that office employees desperately
need. Breaks to gather thoughts or meditate lead to decreased stress levels.
Healthier employees take less sick days, get more done
during the day, and stick with their job longer because they don’t feel their
job is negatively impacting their health.
Often employees aren’t taking breaks at work because they
feel like they’ll be judged by their boss or coworkers. So, it’s essential to
create a workplace culture that encourages taking breaks. While management
may be resistant to creating this culture, the research is all there to prove
that taking breaks is the key to happier, healthier, more productive employees.
To learn more about creating a healthy company culture and safer workplace, check out our website at SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for ergonomics guidance. Solutions Northwest provides office ergonomics assessments if you believe your office needs one, Contact Us.
Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.
When you sit for long periods of time, you become
susceptible to a variety of health concerns. Health concerns from too much
sitting include: High blood pressure (hypertension), increased blood sugar
levels, excess body fat (particularly around the stomach), high cholesterol,
and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Because sitting too much has a negative impact on office
health, it makes sense to look for opportunities to take a break from sitting
to stand up. Instead of pulling up a chair, conduct your next meeting standing
up. A standing meeting boosts creative results, improves focus, and encourages
4 Benefits of a Standing Meeting:
Standing meetings are healthy for your employees and your
business. A recent article by Forbes claimed standing meetings cut meeting
times by 25%.
1. Standing leads to creativity.
Standing up gets the creative juices flowing. Researchers
University found groups who worked together while standing were more
energetic and shared more creative ideas.
Sitting down too long may actually harm creativity because it
makes people feel sluggish, tired, and unengaged.
If you need to spark creativity in your office, conduct
a brainstorming session while standing up. It should encourage more involvement
and creative thinking.
2. Standing improves focus.
Standing allows for better focus within your group.
Firstly, standing means it is less likely employees will be
distracted by cell phones and emails. When everyone is standing up in a circle,
it’s easier to focus on the conversation at hand.
When you stand, your circulation flows throughout your
entire body and more blood reaches your brain. The change in posture wakes
people up and helps them feel more alert during a meeting.
3. Sitting and standing balances your workday.
Alternating between sitting and standing provides for a
healthier workday. Standing burns more calories than sitting, so you’re less
likely to experience weight gain that often accompanies a sedentary
Research shows workers who stood for at least two hours a
day increased their lifespan
expectancy by 10%. Standing meetings encourage more activity, give workers
a chance to stretch their legs, and help everyone feel refreshed.
Of course, moving throughout the day is the best way to stay
healthy. In addition to hosting standing meetings, you should also be eating
well and exercising regularly after or before work.
4. Standing meetings boost team cohesion.
Standing meetings get everyone involved to pitch new ideas.
Since the creative juices are flowing and your team is focused on the
conversation, it leads to improved team cohesion.
During a sit-down meeting, people may feel more territorial.
They bring their cellphones, laptops, and notebooks with them to the table and
sit in their designated area. A standing meeting eliminates this and encourages
a shared workspace where ideas and cohesion flow.
Standing meetings should boost team spirits. They can
include fun ice-breakers and are the perfect time to make announcements noting
employee achievements. After a standing meeting, your team resumes their work
feeling motivated and energetic.
In conclusion, start
With all the benefits of a standing meeting, start
incorporating them into your weekly agenda. You’ll find your employees will be
more creative, focused, and healthier. Talk about a win-win!
Share this blog post with the rest of the office to get the
buzz started about making your next meeting a standing meeting.
For more guidance on all work related health and safety
issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for ergonomics
guidance. Subscribe to our ergonomics
blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics
consultants located in Washington State, Arcata California, Oregon, Seattle,
Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.