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This is probably in the wrong forum but not sure where it should go so apologies in advance.

 

I had a back injury at work in 2003 and my condition worsened so that I needed major surgery in Feb 2006. After the surgery I immediately started one of these 'have you been injured' claims and was put in touch with a solicitor who quite frankly wasn't that interested and I was naive. I did get sent to a specialist at the time who agreed I had suffered injury, I was offered in July that same year 8k which the solicitor told me to accept as my employer wanted to settle out of court. As I said I was so naive and the solicitor seemed like I was a nuisance taking up his time so the figure was accepted.

 

However later that year in October I went through a divorce moved area so left the company this had all happened with and as I had got a settlement out of the divorce I didn't bother for a couple of months looking for work. During all this time my back was getting far worse than it had been before the surgery.

Moving to 2012 now I am unable to work because of my back injury this also brought on chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and arthritis.

 

8k has already gone along with the money I had from the divorce - what I am seething about now is.

 

1. Why didn't I wait a bit longer to see if the back surgery had worked after a period of convalescence, because in hindsight it was no good accepting money for the injury, I should have had money for all those working age years I have been left unable to work.

 

2. Because I left of my own free will and did not retire on medical grounds I have no redress to even benefit from the pension I have with them which is small and cannot have it until I am 54 and they wont budge on that one as I have asked, I am 50 now so from age 44 (female) til whatever the retirement age for me is presumably 66 now there are 22 years I should have had compensation for.

 

Im sure that you cant go back and claim more money for lack of hindsight can you? It does however seem wrong when I worked full time since 16 - 44 years and this is what Im left with.

 

Any advice please?

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When you settled out of court did you sign a non-disclosure agreement? Was there a no further action clause in this?

I am not a legal professional or adviser, I am however a Law Student and very well versed areas of Employment Law. Anything I write here is purely from my own experiences! If I help, then click the star to add to my reputation :)

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I am afraid not. It was your responsibility to quiz your solicitor well on what settling meant.

 

I do hope you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to - have you checked?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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When you settled out of court did you sign a non-disclosure agreement? Was there a no further action clause in this?

 

I feel embarrassed to say I have no idea and my papers on this were lost when I moved out after the divorce.

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Well, even if you did manage to bring another claim, you're far past the limitation date. You also couldn't bring a negligence claim against the solicitor who advised you, as that's past limitation too.

 

This is one to chalk up to experience Im afraid. I presume the settlement figure was based on an experts prognosis of your condition, which means it may well have been the correct amount for the circumstances. Even if you'd known about about the divorce, it wouldn't have affected the amount your PI claim was worth.... It's just very unfortunate circumstances.

 

As above, I would recommend checking you're receiving any benefits you're entitled to.

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I agree with all the above.

 

You should, however, lodge a claim with the DWP and indicate that you have had an Industrial Injury. Industrial Injury Disablement benefit is available to any person that has been injured at work. It works on a percentage basis in regard to what you are now unable to do.

 

At the time you should have ensured that the injury was logged in the workplace. Employers have a legal duty to ensure these are logged. That is the first stage. The next stage would be to ensure that the DWP know about it and that means filling in a form and telling them. They then write to the employer and asks for their side of the story.

 

The last stage is, once it has been accepted as an industrial injury, is to apply for the benefit. You have to reach 11% disablement before they dish out any money, which is quite a high threshold.

 

If you have not done any of this, I don't suppose that will be a big problem because the cr*p solicitor you trusted should have copies of the paperwork and that should show the DWP that you did have an incident and it was reported at the time or soon(ish) after. The point being that it did happen. Then you just need to prove that it is bad enough to get some money.

 

You should also apply for DLA ESA and anything else that your personal circumstances dictate. Call the Benefits Enquiries Line, they normally are very good in telling you what you might be entitled to, that doesn't mean that you will get all that but at least you have a chance.

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Yes I have ESA and have been placed in the support group because of my back and have also high rate mobility with DLA again because of the same. I also receive Industrial Injuries benefit for life as was found to be 35% disablement on that assessment.

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