November 7, 2014 11.14 am This story is over 85 months old

Are you sure your solicitor handled your case properly?

Insuring the best: Feel like your solicitor let you down? John Knight explains what you can do.

It is a fact of life that we are receiving more and more queries from potential clients who are dissatisfied with the service they have received from other solicitors.

In personal injury and clinical negligence cases, this is all too commonly a result of a failure of the previous solicitors to provide their clients with clear advice based upon evidence received and to take proper informed instructions from their clients.

Unfortunately, failure to do so can often result in their clients receiving a poor service and having their personal injury or clinical negligence claims under-settled or, in the most extreme of cases, abandoned due to the way in which they have been conducted by the previous solicitors. Although they may still have reasonable prospects of success had a competent solicitor progressed the case properly.

National Law Firms
We are frequently seeing that national firms with large, open-plan, processing centres are operating under strict timescales with regard to the amount of time that they can spend per case. They simply do not spend enough time with either face-to-face or direct contact by phone or email with their clients to enable them to handle the case sufficiently professionally.

This can result in:-

  • Inadequate evidence being obtained
  • Heads of claim and serious injuries being missed
  • Financial losses associated with the injuries being missed, such as future losses and future disadvantage on the open labour market.

We treat every case with equal importance and ensure that we give our clients the best opportunity to provide us with full and detailed instructions by spending time with them and giving them the appropriate level of care and attention. We understand that experiencing any personal injury or clinical negligence claim is an emotional, distressing and worrying time. We ensure that we have processes in place for the benefit of the client, not for the benefit of the solicitor handling the claim – unlike the previous experience of clients who transfer their cases to us.

Current Changes
The current changes that are sweeping Court procedures in personal injury and clinical negligence cases are, in our experience, likely to give rise to an increase in professional negligence claims against solicitors. If you are concerned that your previous solicitors may have failed;

  • In their duty to correctly gather the evidence needed in order to properly assess your claim;
  • To take your full and detailed instructions;
  • To advise you properly as to the right level of settlement;
  • To consider future losses and to settle your case in a timely fashion without falling foul of any Court deadlines and the Limitation Act 1980;

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our legal advisers who will talk you through your potential remedies.

Time Limits
You have six years from the time when you first considered that your previous solicitors may have carried out a negligent act in which to bring Court proceedings against them for professional negligence. The remedies can include action being taken against your previous solicitors for your loss of chance and the difference between any damages that you did receive and the damages that you could have received but for their negligence actions.

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John Knight is the Head of the Personal Injury and Medical Negligence departments at Ringrose Law. He has worked in the Personal Injury team at Ringrose Law since 2003, and particularly specialises in complex and high value claims such as accidents at work, road traffic accidents and accidents resulting in death. He also specialises in representing families at inquests and helping people suffering serious injuries from assaults or other criminal activities via the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority.