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backpainz

strange goings on at solicitors RTA/injuries etc

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Hello all..I really need some advice here...

 

18 months ago I was rear ended in my car and was appointed a solicitor to deal with the claim.

My GP sent me off for xray where minor degeneration has been identified. According to my solicitors and the doctor in charge of my medico-legal report the degeneration is the cause of my ongoing symptoms. I have always questioned this and have made it clear that I am not happy with this report.

My concerns are that I had no previous symptoms prior to the accident. Now I have regular flare ups where pain spasms occur in my lower back. I am taking regular painkillers to deal with the pain.

I wished to seek the extent of the injury as this has only ever been guesswork and so I suggested that an MRI scan would clarify the extent of the injury. My solicitor urged me to forward a signed or amended medico legal report so it could be passed to the other side. He would also reccomend at this time that the third party should fund this scan as advised by the doctor.

The third party refused to fund the MRI due to the fact that degeneration is present and considered to be the cause of my pain. They made an offer of which I had 21 days to accept or should the matter go to court and I fail to obtain a higher amount then I am liable for the court fees. Alternatively I could obtain an MRI privately(£800) or via NHS. My GP requested an MRI scan on the NHS and I have since had the results. The results not only suggest degeneration but also annular tears and nerve root entrapment which may or may not have been caused in the accident. I am yet to be advised on these results due to the fact that it is not my GP that is dealing with this but this industry proffessional doctor who has inaccuratly provided a diagnosis and prognosis with nothing but a single brush of his index finger.

 

Now I have since contacted my solicitor and advised that my results are in and the doctor can request these results with my consent.

 

Two weeks pass...

 

I phone again to be told that the solicitor in charge of my case is "out of the office, possibly indefinately"

 

blah blah blah... now I am awaiting to hear from a company director. It seems that the offer made was in fact a part 36 offer of which I have not been made aware of until today and 21 days have indeed exceeded so am I to assume that this is now going to court? what if I cant pay the fees? (most definatly cannot) although I do have 100k legal cover.

 

I am still not happy with the medico legal report because it does not contain the MRI results and it remains unchanged even though I have sent in two different amended copies.

 

There are more finer details regarding the cold,arrogant,uncompassionate dealings I have had with a *edited* solicitors but I cannot be bothered to trawl through 18 months of letters etc.

 

Anybody out there with some advice....I really don't know what the hell is going on.

Tell the truth...I never really did

 

Thanks in advance

backpainz

Edited by cerberusalert
Names removed

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Hi there,

 

Just seen your post, i see it was a while ago. Hope you got your problems sorted. I too had major problems with this law firm. Not responding to me and giving mis information.

I was referred to them by my broker, and was very unhappy with the information I received.

Biker22

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Hi Biker

thanks for your post.

 

Hopefully I am on the way to sorting this mess out as I decided in December to ditch these losers for a local law firm and I suggest others do the same.

 

I am sorry to hear that you had problems too but that doesn't suprise me. I don't know what their game is but I never really felt as though they were on board with me.

 

Hope all goes well for you.

 

backpainz

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX:mad:

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Can i just point out to people who are reading this. that it is so so important to go to the proper solicitors to get help rather than these ambulance chasing types..i have a story where a person went to a ambulance type and was told it was a 15k claim..they then contacted a solicitor who where on a panel of recommended solicitors that deal with that type of claim..the end result was over 1/2 million pounds settlement...

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You can contact the Legal Complaints Service if you're unhappy with the service you've received from a solicitor. Info and details:

 

(Edit)

Edited by maroondevo52
Removed commercial link

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Hello, If we are speaking about the same solicitors:

 

I also had the most horrendous time with this solicitor, it is a long story, I will post the answer to my complaint by the owner xxx xxxxxxx, Before I can inform you that you need to report them to the Solicitors Ombudsman,The Law Society, any company that referred you to them including your insurance company, Trading Standards, and anyone else you can possibly think of:

 

 

 

 

Your Ref:

 

 

23rd April 2002

 

 

 

 

Dear

Re: Road Traffic Accident 6th June 1999

 

Thank you for your letter of 10 April.

 

I have now had the opportunity of spending some time going through your file.

 

What I am going to attempt to do is to concentrate the areas of concern into specific items so that we can more easily identify issues that have to be dealt with.

 

As I see it the main areas of concern are as follows:-

 

1. That your case undersettled.

 

You believe that you should have been awarded a sum in the region of £5,800 rather than the amount of £3,958.75 that was awarded by the Court after quantum had been agreed subject to liability by xxxxxxxxxx, Counsel acting on your behalf at the Hearing. With regard to the losses that you say you have incurred in addition to the alleged under-valuation of personal injury damages, these are listed by you as follows;

a) Loss of earnings, £600

I understand that this related to employment in the USA with your Mother’s firm. A letter from her firm was produced and this was discussed with xxxxxxxxxxx. You confirmed to him that the purpose of your visit was for a holiday. You then conceded the point and withdrew this element of the claim.

 

b) Ruined holiday

This would form part of your claim for general damages which was agreed by you in discussions with xxxxxxxxxx at the trial. The discomfort on holiday is mentioned in the medical report relied upon at trial.

 

c) Interest

A claim for interest was included by us in the Particulars of Claim. As is often the case this was rolled up into the overall figure for the purposes of negotiation at trial. The alleged loss of interest has absolutely nothing whatever to do with any of the allegations you are making about the conduct of the matter.

 

d) Medical Expenses

The claim for $120 was mentioned in your statement and included in the settlement figure. Please clarify the claim for expenses up to £250 as I cannot find any documents in support of the claim for the balance

.

e) Personal Injury Damages

In relation to the alleged under-valuation of your personal injuries a Report was obtained from xxxxxxxx, the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, dated 7th December 1999.

 

The Report confirms the soft tissue injuries that you suffered. At the time of the examination, 6 months after the accident, it was recorded that your neck and chest wall were entirely pain free and that your only complaint at that stage was that you suffered some hip pain when walking over a long distance, for example over 5 miles.

 

The medical opinion and prognosis was that a full recovery would be achieved in the early part of 2000 and that you would be able to make a successful return to running or other athletic activity. There was no risk of future deterioration. With regard to the failure to obtain a second Medical Report, in view of the fact that you confirmed the original Medical Report and that you were making a recovery in accordance with that Report, it was not felt appropriate to obtain further evidence. The Judge was quite capable of dealing with the valuation of your injuries on the existing medical evidence and your own evidence to back that up if necessary.

 

I note that you did mention that there were minor ongoing residual problems but you had not sought any further medical treatment for them and that this aspect was dealt with in your Witness Statement. You had confirmed in your Witness Statement that you agreed with the contents of xxxxxxx Report. I note that you were happy at the Trial to dispose of the matter along the lines as suggested by xxxxxxxx. I am sure that if you had been unhappy with the figures that were suggested then xxxxxxxx would not have agreed quantum on your behalf. I do know xxxxxxxxxx and he is certainly not a Barrister who would ever consider under-settling a claim. I do not, therefore, believe that we have acted improperly in this regard. I note, however, that you have already instructed other Solicitors in this regard whom you mention in your letter. They have, of course, had the file and are no doubt considering the same. If, which I most certainly do not accept, there has been an under-valuation of the case by ourselves then this would be negligent conduct of the claim and, no doubt, your new Solicitors will be pursuing a claim in that respect. It is not, however, something that I believe the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors will wish to deal with if there is a potential claim against this firm.

 

2. Failure to interview the Police Officer

 

This is clearly a major concern of yours. It is not agreed that xxxxxxxx has stated that it is valueless to interview Police Officers. His belief in this particular case was that, in view of the evidence already to hand, it would not have taken your case much further. Clearly you do not accept this and in hindsight I accept that your wish should have been complied with more swiftly. You do know that we have interviewed the Officer who was in fact positively hostile to your case. His response was that he felt that you had been speeding and that if you had not been injured would have considered reporting you for prosecution for driving without due care and attention. The Officer's memory in relation to the matter was very clear indeed, aided by your frequent contact with him following the accident. I do not, therefore, believe that your case was prejudiced by the failure to have him interviewed more swiftly.

 

 

3. Advice to accept a lesser sum than that obtained

 

 

In all litigation there is a risk when a matter goes to Trial. There is always the possibility that a Judge will prefer the evidence of one party over that of another.

 

The difficulties in your case were well set out in xxxxxxxx letter to you of 3rd October 2001. The problem in your particular case was that even if all the evidence that you gave was accepted and, obviously the Judge did find that you were a credible witness, the Judge still had to find that the Council had been negligent in the way the road works had been sign posted. This is not always an easy burden to lift. It was a question of assessment of the facts of the case by the Judge as to whether this would have constituted negligence. This was also pointed out to you in the Conference you attended with xxxxxxxx, the Barrister whom you saw 1 August 2001. He confirmed the valuation of your damages for your personal injuries in the same range as that eventually agreed at Trial by xxxxxxxxxx. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us at all stages before approaching Trial to advise clients of the risk of proceeding to Trial and if there is an offer that has been made we do have a duty to report it and to advise whether we think it is acceptable. The cost consequences are even worse where the Defendants have paid money into Court as they did in this case. In your case xxxxxxxxxx did think that the offer was acceptable taking into account the risk of litigation. As it happened on the day a Judge did find fully in your favour but it has to be said that the case was assisted by the failure of one of the Defendant's key witnesses to attend Court.

 

4. Mention of loose chippings

 

Here it has to be said that xxxxxxxxx did incorrectly mention loose chippings in the Statement prepared on your behalf. The case had been correctly pleaded in the Particulars of Claim, which alleged the danger to have been smooth tar and so your case was, in fact, correctly pleaded for Court. Unfortunately, there was the inconsistency in your Statement which has to be accepted but this was, as you know, dealt with at Trial and the Judge accepted that this was not intentional. It is, of course, also correct that you did have a draft of the Statement, which you altered in other respects and it is unfortunate that the question of the loose chippings was not picked up at that stage by yourself. There is reference in your letter to questions of problems with the bundles. Any minor discrepancies there were in the bundles were remedied at Court and had no effect on the outcome of the case.

 

5. Attitude of xxxxxxxx and qualification

 

I regret that you feel you have had a problem with xxxxxxx attitude towards you. If in any way he came across as discourteous or patronising then he sincerely apologises to you in that regard and he certainly had no intention whatsoever of coming over to you in that manner.

 

With regard to his qualification, xxxxxxxx is a executive of many years' experience. It has never been stated to you that he was a Solicitor nor does our website or any other literature say that all work will be handled by a Solicitor. In all legal firms it is normal practice for work to be handled by experienced personnel other than qualified solicitors. I personally spent at least a couple of hours reviewing your file and we did speak on at least one occasion.

 

6. xxxxxxxxx did not attend the Trial

 

At the final hearing you were represented by experienced Counsel with the assistance of xxxxxxxxx (who is a qualified Barrister) from this firm, about both of whom you say you have no complaint. It is not now usual for a client to have both Counsel and a Solicitor’s representative at trial and only in unusual cases will the cost of a Solicitor attending as well as Counsel be allowed. Indeed, in your case the Judge disallowed our claim for xxxxxxxxx attendance. On the subject of costs, I should also correct the misapprehension you have that this firm is £3000 better off as a result of your case. The final figure for our costs was £1384.91. The remainder of the payment we received from the Defendant was comprised of disbursements that we had paid out on your behalf.

 

With regard to the documents you request I enclose a copy of the Witness Statement that you signed.

 

I do not have a copy of the transcript of the Court Proceedings. The Court will have taped the Proceedings and it is possible to obtain a transcript but this will have to be at your own expense. I do not have a contact address for the Judge who presided over the case but I am sure if you correspond through the Court correspondence will reach the Judge. xxxxxxxx address is 7 Harrington Street, Liverpool L2 9YH.

 

I confirm that I have spent many hours going through this file and your letter. I hope that I have been able to put your letter into some sort of order to highlight the issues that you have raised. I believe that I have dealt with those issues to the best of my ability and obviously there are matters that you need to return to me on.

 

When responding, perhaps you would let me know if there is anything else you feel I have omitted to deal with. Perhaps you would also be good enough to let me know if the Solicitors whom you have instructed are still intending to pursue a claim against this firm.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Respond if I can help you further!

Edited by rebel11
removing names

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Hello, If we are speaking about the same solicitors:

 

I also had the most horrendous time with this solicitor, it is a long story, I will post the answer to my complaint by the owner xxx xxxxxxx, Before I can inform you that you need to report them to the Solicitors Ombudsman,The Law Society, any company that referred you to them including your insurance company, Trading Standards, and anyone else you can possibly think of:

 

 

 

 

Your Ref:

 

 

23rd April 2002

 

 

 

 

Dear

Re: Road Traffic Accident 6th June 1999

 

Thank you for your letter of 10 April.

 

I have now had the opportunity of spending some time going through your file.

 

What I am going to attempt to do is to concentrate the areas of concern into specific items so that we can more easily identify issues that have to be dealt with.

 

As I see it the main areas of concern are as follows:-

 

1. That your case undersettled.

 

You believe that you should have been awarded a sum in the region of £5,800 rather than the amount of £3,958.75 that was awarded by the Court after quantum had been agreed subject to liability by xxxxxxxxxx, Counsel acting on your behalf at the Hearing. With regard to the losses that you say you have incurred in addition to the alleged under-valuation of personal injury damages, these are listed by you as follows;

a) Loss of earnings, £600

I understand that this related to employment in the USA with your Mother’s firm. A letter from her firm was produced and this was discussed with xxxxxxxxxxx. You confirmed to him that the purpose of your visit was for a holiday. You then conceded the point and withdrew this element of the claim.

 

b) Ruined holiday

This would form part of your claim for general damages which was agreed by you in discussions with xxxxxxxxxx at the trial. The discomfort on holiday is mentioned in the medical report relied upon at trial.

 

c) Interest

A claim for interest was included by us in the Particulars of Claim. As is often the case this was rolled up into the overall figure for the purposes of negotiation at trial. The alleged loss of interest has absolutely nothing whatever to do with any of the allegations you are making about the conduct of the matter.

 

d) Medical Expenses

The claim for $120 was mentioned in your statement and included in the settlement figure. Please clarify the claim for expenses up to £250 as I cannot find any documents in support of the claim for the balance

.

e) Personal Injury Damages

In relation to the alleged under-valuation of your personal injuries a Report was obtained from xxxxxxxx, the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, dated 7th December 1999.

 

The Report confirms the soft tissue injuries that you suffered. At the time of the examination, 6 months after the accident, it was recorded that your neck and chest wall were entirely pain free and that your only complaint at that stage was that you suffered some hip pain when walking over a long distance, for example over 5 miles.

 

The medical opinion and prognosis was that a full recovery would be achieved in the early part of 2000 and that you would be able to make a successful return to running or other athletic activity. There was no risk of future deterioration. With regard to the failure to obtain a second Medical Report, in view of the fact that you confirmed the original Medical Report and that you were making a recovery in accordance with that Report, it was not felt appropriate to obtain further evidence. The Judge was quite capable of dealing with the valuation of your injuries on the existing medical evidence and your own evidence to back that up if necessary.

 

I note that you did mention that there were minor ongoing residual problems but you had not sought any further medical treatment for them and that this aspect was dealt with in your Witness Statement. You had confirmed in your Witness Statement that you agreed with the contents of xxxxxxx Report. I note that you were happy at the Trial to dispose of the matter along the lines as suggested by xxxxxxxx. I am sure that if you had been unhappy with the figures that were suggested then xxxxxxxx would not have agreed quantum on your behalf. I do know xxxxxxxxxx and he is certainly not a Barrister who would ever consider under-settling a claim. I do not, therefore, believe that we have acted improperly in this regard. I note, however, that you have already instructed other Solicitors in this regard whom you mention in your letter. They have, of course, had the file and are no doubt considering the same. If, which I most certainly do not accept, there has been an under-valuation of the case by ourselves then this would be negligent conduct of the claim and, no doubt, your new Solicitors will be pursuing a claim in that respect. It is not, however, something that I believe the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors will wish to deal with if there is a potential claim against this firm.

 

2. Failure to interview the Police Officer

 

This is clearly a major concern of yours. It is not agreed that xxxxxxxx has stated that it is valueless to interview Police Officers. His belief in this particular case was that, in view of the evidence already to hand, it would not have taken your case much further. Clearly you do not accept this and in hindsight I accept that your wish should have been complied with more swiftly. You do know that we have interviewed the Officer who was in fact positively hostile to your case. His response was that he felt that you had been speeding and that if you had not been injured would have considered reporting you for prosecution for driving without due care and attention. The Officer's memory in relation to the matter was very clear indeed, aided by your frequent contact with him following the accident. I do not, therefore, believe that your case was prejudiced by the failure to have him interviewed more swiftly.

 

 

3. Advice to accept a lesser sum than that obtained

 

 

In all litigation there is a risk when a matter goes to Trial. There is always the possibility that a Judge will prefer the evidence of one party over that of another.

 

The difficulties in your case were well set out in xxxxxxxx letter to you of 3rd October 2001. The problem in your particular case was that even if all the evidence that you gave was accepted and, obviously the Judge did find that you were a credible witness, the Judge still had to find that the Council had been negligent in the way the road works had been sign posted. This is not always an easy burden to lift. It was a question of assessment of the facts of the case by the Judge as to whether this would have constituted negligence. This was also pointed out to you in the Conference you attended with xxxxxxxx, the Barrister whom you saw 1 August 2001. He confirmed the valuation of your damages for your personal injuries in the same range as that eventually agreed at Trial by xxxxxxxxxx. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us at all stages before approaching Trial to advise clients of the risk of proceeding to Trial and if there is an offer that has been made we do have a duty to report it and to advise whether we think it is acceptable. The cost consequences are even worse where the Defendants have paid money into Court as they did in this case. In your case xxxxxxxxxx did think that the offer was acceptable taking into account the risk of litigation. As it happened on the day a Judge did find fully in your favour but it has to be said that the case was assisted by the failure of one of the Defendant's key witnesses to attend Court.

 

4. Mention of loose chippings

 

Here it has to be said that xxxxxxxxx did incorrectly mention loose chippings in the Statement prepared on your behalf. The case had been correctly pleaded in the Particulars of Claim, which alleged the danger to have been smooth tar and so your case was, in fact, correctly pleaded for Court. Unfortunately, there was the inconsistency in your Statement which has to be accepted but this was, as you know, dealt with at Trial and the Judge accepted that this was not intentional. It is, of course, also correct that you did have a draft of the Statement, which you altered in other respects and it is unfortunate that the question of the loose chippings was not picked up at that stage by yourself. There is reference in your letter to questions of problems with the bundles. Any minor discrepancies there were in the bundles were remedied at Court and had no effect on the outcome of the case.

 

5. Attitude of xxxxxxxx and qualification

 

I regret that you feel you have had a problem with xxxxxxx attitude towards you. If in any way he came across as discourteous or patronising then he sincerely apologises to you in that regard and he certainly had no intention whatsoever of coming over to you in that manner.

 

With regard to his qualification, xxxxxxxx is a executive of many years' experience. It has never been stated to you that he was a Solicitor nor does our website or any other literature say that all work will be handled by a Solicitor. In all legal firms it is normal practice for work to be handled by experienced personnel other than qualified solicitors. I personally spent at least a couple of hours reviewing your file and we did speak on at least one occasion.

 

6. xxxxxxxxx did not attend the Trial

 

At the final hearing you were represented by experienced Counsel with the assistance of xxxxxxxxx (who is a qualified Barrister) from this firm, about both of whom you say you have no complaint. It is not now usual for a client to have both Counsel and a Solicitor’s representative at trial and only in unusual cases will the cost of a Solicitor attending as well as Counsel be allowed. Indeed, in your case the Judge disallowed our claim for xxxxxxxxx attendance. On the subject of costs, I should also correct the misapprehension you have that this firm is £3000 better off as a result of your case. The final figure for our costs was £1384.91. The remainder of the payment we received from the Defendant was comprised of disbursements that we had paid out on your behalf.

 

With regard to the documents you request I enclose a copy of the Witness Statement that you signed.

 

I do not have a copy of the transcript of the Court Proceedings. The Court will have taped the Proceedings and it is possible to obtain a transcript but this will have to be at your own expense. I do not have a contact address for the Judge who presided over the case but I am sure if you correspond through the Court correspondence will reach the Judge. xxxxxxxx address is 7 Harrington Street, Liverpool L2 9YH.

 

I confirm that I have spent many hours going through this file and your letter. I hope that I have been able to put your letter into some sort of order to highlight the issues that you have raised. I believe that I have dealt with those issues to the best of my ability and obviously there are matters that you need to return to me on.

 

When responding, perhaps you would let me know if there is anything else you feel I have omitted to deal with. Perhaps you would also be good enough to let me know if the Solicitors whom you have instructed are still intending to pursue a claim against this firm.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Respond if I can help you further!

 

 

 

That letter seems fair enough and the explanations fair and reasonable. Are you still pursuing the firm?

 

Don't take this the wrong way but were your expectations possibly a little too high?

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Knock yourself out, give em a try!! But I beg you don't reply to me with nonsense!!

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Knock yourself out, give em a try!! But I beg you don't reply to me with nonsense!!

 

 

So basically you spat your dummy out because you wanted £5800 for a 6 month injury and only got just over £3000....

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