Hi, John here blogging again.
I thought I would continue on roughly the same theme as Rebecca’s last blog – negligent solicitors and what can go wrong, particularly in a poorly run compensation or “litigation” claim.
Rebecca concentrated on the importance of time limits and how claims can fail entirely, be damaged or ruined when solicitors miss those time limits. I thought I would blog on another common theme where solicitors can harm a claim though negligence – quite simply by missing or undervaluing important parts of a claim. This is sometimes called under settling.
These problems can come about in various ways, but a common and pretty predictable theme I have seen is a generally poor level of attention from often very junior and poorly supervised staff who haven’t got the skills to spot relevant issues and pitfalls.
I have a particular dislike of solicitors who run “factory firms”.
I am talking about solicitors’ firms where individual clients receive little or no personal service and are not really treated as individuals. Often several people at the firm, who might not even be proper lawyers, work on a claim, rather than – ideally – one experienced professional solicitor running the claim throughout. They are often based hundreds of miles away from their clients and so the chances of face to face visits are slim to none!
Danger signs include a lack of personal attention, lowly qualifications, avoiding meeting or even speaking to their clients, frequent changes of “file handler” and the use of dangerous “one size fits all” checklists and tick boxes in place of proper conversations and interactions.
These sorts of experiences ring alarm bells for me because they ramp up the risk of important facts or issues simply being missed, misunderstood or undervalued by the solicitors.
Gathering expert evidence is often crucial in claims; for instance good, appropriate medical evidence is vital in running a personal injury or clinical negligence claim well. Poor solicitors might miss certain symptoms or not obtain evidence needed from medical disciplines that ought to be addressed.
I have also seen whole chunks of claims missed off entirely. It might mean for example an incomplete loss of earnings claim has been made, a potential claim for future pension losses has been missed, or a care claim for the support, care and assistance given to an injured person has been ignored.
The bottom line is that this comes down to two pretty simple things, the lawyer asking the right questions (and listening to the answers!) and then having sufficient skill and experience to ensure that the claim is completely and fully presented to best advantage.
I have seen many instances where inexpert, poorly supervised or ill prepared lawyers have missed things and caused their clients to lose out or suffer under settlement.
If you think that your solicitor under settled your claim or missed something crucial from your claim then why not give me a call on 0113 3571165? I will happily have a free chat with you and discuss your concerns.
At any one time I run a number of professional negligence claims against firms of solicitors who have either missed one of Rebecca’s crucial time limits, or else missed or under settled all or part of a claim. Most of these professional negligence claims can be run on a no win no fee basis.
Give me a call!