Every solicitor owes a duty of care to their clients to give professional and appropriate advice. Unfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong and the outcome of your personal injury and/ or clinical negligence claim was not as you had been advised and/ or expected.
We act for a number of clients when victims of a personal injury or clinical negligence are not only injured as a result of the fault of another but then go on to pursue a claim and feel bitterly disappointed by the service, advice and outcome of their claim. We are asked to advise on the following issues regularly;
Where your injury has not been properly investigated or when heads of claim have not been identified by your legal representative, you may not have recovered the level of damages you are entitled to. As a result, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against your legal representative for losses that have been incurred.
It is vital in any personal injury or medical negligence claim that the right expert is instructed to provide an opinion on your injuries as it is from medical reports that your claim for pain and suffering is quantified.
Instructing the wrong expert, or an expert with insufficient expertise in the injuries you have suffered could affect the level of damages you are able to recover from your opponent resulting in you not receiving the level of damages you may be entitled to.
There are strict time limits for bringing a personal injury and medical negligence claim. You have 3 years from the date of negligence (or date of knowledge of when the negligence occurred) in which to either settle your claim against your opponent or issue court proceedings. If your claim is not settled within this 3-year period, or court proceedings have not been issued, it is likely the court will deem your claim to be statute barred, which means you are out of time in which to bring the claim.
Where you have instructed a legal representative and your representative has failed to advise you on the limitation date for your claim, or has failed to settle your case or issue court proceedings within the 3 year time period, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against them.
Any legal representative instructed to represent you in a personal injury or medical negligence claim has a duty to advise their clients on any liability for legal costs throughout the course of your claim, whether that is relation to payment of your own legal costs and disbursements or in relation to a risk of any adverse costs claimed by your opponent. They are also required to discuss with you and, if instructed, put into place funding which would offer to you an indemnity in respect of any adverse costs.
Where you have not been properly advised by your legal representative in relation to your cost liability or where funding options have not been discussed with you and you are left with a liability to pay costs, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against your legal representative.
The file of papers held by your solicitor is your file and you are entitled to it.
The situation is different where your legal representative has not been paid for the work done on your behalf as they may have what is called a lien over your file, which means that they may be entitled to retain your file until payment is made in respect of costs.
There are strict time limits in place for bringing a professional negligence claim and it is important you seek specialist advice as soon as possible so that you can receive advice on any potential claim.
In the first instance please contact us. We are always happy to chat and give advice on your circumstances and the prospect of a legal remedy for the loss you have incurred.
You can contact Nicola Heales, Head of our Personal/Serious Injury Department, directly on 01249 814536 or Peter Shah on 01793 532363.
Head of Personal Injury and Medical Negligence
Bevirs Law is excited to announce the new appointment of Nicola Heales, Consultant Solicitor, who joins us to head up our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team.
Nicola qualified as a Solicitor in 1985 and is a personal injury and clinical negligence specialist, and her expertise is recognised by her accreditations with both the Law Society and APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers). Nicola has been successful in a number of significant Personal Injury and clinical negligence cases during her career. Nicola has particular expertise in acting for people who have suffered brain and birth injuries as well as representing clients at inquests.
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