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Solicitor Co. Messed Up


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Hi, This is lengthy. Could do with a bit of guidance please.

 

Summary:

 

Accident @ work in Dec 05 causing injury

 

Put in hands of solicitor Feb 06 - No Win No Fee

 

Made solicitor aware of any pre-existing medical ailments

 

Sent for so called 'expert' medical examination

 

Work denied liability

 

Barrister consulted by Solicitor as to probability of success of case, which was estimated to be "in excess of 51%"

 

Expressed dissatisfaction and concern to solicitor about 'expert' medical person's report, as was not factual and areas incomplete.

 

Medical 'expert' agreed to change some of the content of report.

 

Expressed to solicitor was not confident in relying on 'experts' report. Solicitor said would have to pay for another report and had to use this ‘experts’ report, if not willing to pay for another.

 

Solicitor still went ahead and used the 'expert' report, despite my concerns and advice on not confident on reliance.

 

Poor communication from solicitor through out and this was expressed on at least 2 occasions.

 

Solicitor not let me know decision of not to proceed and left me 'out of time' to file with another company.

 

This is what the solicitor has commented on:

 

 

  • I cannot accept that there is any evidence that Dr XX was negligent. I understand Dr XX opinion was not agreed with I do not accept that because Dr XX was prepared to revise the report in favour (admittedly, only to a small extent) that this somehow shows Dr XX was negligent.

 

 

  • It is asserted that at no time the report from Dr XX was to be relied upon and that there was other medical evidence which can be relied upon.

 

 

  • We did not have any other expert medical evidence apart from the report of Dr XX. When putting forward the offer to settle the claim for injury for £XX, we could only have done so in practice by disclosing the report of Dr. XX. Nevertheless, I have reviewed the form of authority which required a signature, authorising us to make the offer to settle at £XX. This should have made it clear that we would have to disclose Dr XX report to support that offer. It did not do so.
  • It was ‘assumed’ that consent was given to disclosure of the report, I must also accept that agreement had not actually been given and may indeed have believed that it was feasible for us to make the offer without disclosing the report.

 

 

  • I must therefore accept that we acted without formal instructions in that respect. I must also further take into account the delay in communicating the final rejection and advising of the fact that we were not willing to continue to act under the Conditional Fee Agreement in view of the low value.

 

The solicitor has offered half of the claim in light of the errors made and in final settlement of the complaint.

 

Have never been told what their denial relied upon and solicitors are now sending this out to me.

 

Is it unreasonable to expect the solicitor co. to pay the amount they said the claim was worth?

Edited by BubbleCat
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I don't have any expertise at all in this area so regard these comments as being from an uninformed layman ...

 

The solicitor's offer of half the claimed amount is tantamount to an admission of liability. I would press for a higher percentage, if not all the claimed amount.

I would would wait [but not for too long] for the firm's denial to see what this is based on. It may be simply routine to deny everything on the instructions of their insurance company. On the other hand there may be more to it.

 

Lastly if the amount of compensation offered is 'reasonable' I would seriously consider closing the book on this matter. Going any further at this stage is getting into seriously heavy legal matters and likely to prove costly. You will also have to consider whether a court would view the amount offered in compensation significantly differently from the solicitors.

Only you can make these decisions (although we can offer help here) because you are the only one with all the facts.

I really do appreciate all those 'thank you' emails - I'm glad I've been able to help. Apologies if I haven't acknowledged all of them.

You can also ding my gong if you prefer. :)

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Thanx Palomino

 

I did think the offer was an admission of liability, but you are right about whether the cost of persual would out weigh the offer.

 

The accident happened due to a work colleague altering settings on a chair, despite being told by another colleague and a notice on the chair, as it was not to be altered in anyway due to a medical condition.

 

I have received the letters showing the basis of the denial. These rely upon a ' routine workstation assessment', which was carried out by a H&S partner to the company, a RIDDOR form completed by the line manager after the accident and a letter to say that the chair had been maintained to good order and the company saying it should have been checked before sitting on it.

 

Looking at the way in which the solicitor has presented the case, they have failed to identify the correct HSE clauses. :|

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You say they have failed to identify the correct HSE clauses. This implies that you know what they are.

 

You could tackle the solicitor on this point and ask for a (much) higher settlement.

I really do appreciate all those 'thank you' emails - I'm glad I've been able to help. Apologies if I haven't acknowledged all of them.

You can also ding my gong if you prefer. :)

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Hi Palomino

 

I'm not 100% on the HSE clauses as yet, but am doing some swotting to make absolutely sure.

 

Once I've got my facts 100%, I'll post back up, as this may help others.

 

Cheers :)

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You will need to be 200% certain of your facts as solicitors are adept at twisting interpretations of written words (that's why they are solicitors of course).

 

Please do post the outcome of this. I for one am interested in seeing what happens.

I really do appreciate all those 'thank you' emails - I'm glad I've been able to help. Apologies if I haven't acknowledged all of them.

You can also ding my gong if you prefer. :)

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  • 3 months later...

:D **** WON ***** :D

 

Well after this disastrous situ, I got my self clued up. Pulled a very comprehensive letter together with all the info which should have been used under the Health & Safety Act 1974 and low and behold they have sent me a cheque (which I am very happy with) as full and final settlement.

 

These legal eagles were hoping I was going to be one of the many who would just sit idly back and take what they were saying - what a surprise they had :D

 

If anyone does have any H&S Q's please let me know and I'm pretty sure I can help after this.

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