Can you change solicitors during a compensation claim?

145 questions have been answered on this subject, why not ask your own?

In the vast majority of personal injury compensation claims, claimants report high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive from their specialist personal injury Solicitor.

Direct2Compensation work hard to ensure that our Solicitors are able to settle the majority of claims for personal injury compensation quickly and in our clients favour.  Over the years, we have developed a specialist claims process that provides a great service. Our clients are kept up to date, know how to communicate with their Solicitor and understand what the claim means to them in terms of costs.  So, luckily for us, we don’t have an issue with clients complaining about their Solicitor or wishing to switch Solicitors during the process of the claim – unless the claimant is coming to us having had a bad experience elsewhere!

Sadly, a good personal injury claims experience is not the case for everyone. When a claimant has instructed a Solicitor to pursue their claim for personal injury compensation on a conditional fee agreement basis, how easy is it to switch to a different solicitor if the claimant is unhappy with the way in which they are managing the claim?

The claim must be financially viable

One consideration a ‘new’ Solicitor must take in to account when considering a claim that is already under instruction with another, is whether the matter will be financially viable for them.  This is due to the requirement for a new Solicitor to meet the costs incurred by the previous Solicitor should the new Solicitor go on to successfully settle the claim for the client.

As Solicitors work on quite restricted fees in standard personal injury compensation cases, sadly it is often just not financially viable for a new Solicitor to undertake involvement in a claim where a previous Solicitor has acted.  Solicitors must undertake a considerable amount of working hours and incur costs when pursuing a claim for compensation and if they then had to hand over the majority of the fees recovered on success of a claim, there would be no merit in the effort and cost that they had incurred.  With this in mind, claimants need to be careful when instructing their Solicitor to ensure that they are instructing the right specialist with the right expertise in order to minimise the risk of the claim not being handled correctly.  Claimants must also be very careful when considering withdrawing from their current Solicitor or seeking to cancel their claim – on two counts: The potential exposure to costs under the terms of the CFA they have signed when instructing their Solicitor and not being able to find a new Solicitor able to take on their ongoing case.

In cases where the potential settlement value of a claim is substantial, it is much easier for a new Solicitor to undertake involvement as the potential fee recovery for the successful Solicitor would be higher and this would render the financial viability issue redundant.

Of course, if you can’t find a new solicitor there’s always the possibility of claiming by yourself, but this can be fraught with difficulty.

Switching if your solicitor closes your claim

The most common reason that someone comes to us after having already instructed another claims management company or Solicitor is because their Solicitor has closed their claim, having taken the view that the prospects of succeeding are less than 50%.  Remember, your solicitor only gets paid IF YOU WIN. If a Solicitor believes that a claim is unlikely to succeed, they will close the matter.  It’s important to remember that by pursuing a claim that is unlikely to succeed, a Solicitor is only risking further costs to themselves should the claim fail.  Whilst it costs you nothing if you lose, there are costs to the Solicitor and they must make a decision as to whether it is in your or their best interests to continue.

If your solicitor has closed your claim and advised that the 3rd party will not admit liability and that the defendant has a very strong defence to the claim that the courts would likely accept should your Solicitor continue to take the matter to court (their only option other than close the claim if liability is in dispute), A new Solicitor will not view the case any differently without new evidence available to strengthen the claim or weaken the defence raised.  With this in mind, if your claim has ‘failed’ and been closed by your Solicitor due to a robust defence, you should be prepared to accept that there is no realistic prospect of succeeding with a new Solicitor unless you can uncover new evidence that had not previously formed part of your claim.

However, you do have a right to seek a second opinion and to that end, if you feel strongly about your claim, you can contact us as we can get a Solicitor to consider whether there is merit in undertaking a review your claim file to see if there is a way forward. Understandably, any claimant who has a claim that has been closed or failed will be disappointed, yet most understand why this happens as long as they are given a simple and clearly understandable reason for this by their solicitor.

Complaints against a current or previous solicitor

Occasionally, clients come to us when they believe that the Solicitor they have instructed to run their claim for personal injury compensation has acted negligently or handled the claim poorly.  It is rare that Solicitors manage claims poorly or neglectfully, but we’re all humans and mistakes can be made.  Indeed, when we look in to such enquiries it is often the case that the Solicitor has given the client bad news regarding their claim and the client doesn’t like it.  We all want someone to blame when things don’t go our way and this can happen in personal injury compensation claims too.  However, when there does appear to be a genuine case of poor claim management by a Solicitor or negligent behaviour, there are things that a claimant can do in order to rectify the situation, with the last resort being switching solicitors to a new firm.

When it comes to personal injury compensation claims, it is always important to be honest and transparent.  With this in mind, Direct2Compensation advise clients that it is not always in their best interests (or even needed) to switch Solicitors with their claim.  There is a correct way to handle a complaint about a Solicitor and their handling of your claim and often things can be resolved with your current Solicitor which if done, will see your claim settle more quickly than if you switch to a new Solicitor.  If you believe that you have a genuine complaint against your current Solicitor, here is a list of the things you can do about it:

  • Complain to your Solicitors office and ask for a written reply to your complaint.  In the majority of cases, you will find that there may have been a lack of communication about a certain point of interest in the claim or that you may not have received an important bit of correspondence.  By complaining, your Solicitor will have every chance to rectify the situation quickly.
  • If you are not happy with your Solicitors response to your complaint, you can contact their regulator – the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. They have a complaints department and can hold your Solicitor to account for their actions.
  • If you are not sure what you should expect from your personal injury compensation Solicitor, contact us as we can advise you on this and let you know what you should expect from them.
  • If you feel really aggrieved about your current Solicitor, that the relationship with them is beyond repair and that you have no faith in them it is probably then best to end their instruction and authorise a new firm to investigate taking the claim forward.  This should only be done once the above process has been attempted and exhausted.

Of course, you might just want to discuss the way in which your claim has been handled and not yet be sure that you wish to switch solicitors. We’ll be more than happy to give you our honest opinion and let you know what you can do about it and if needs be help you to instruct a competent specialist no win no fee Solicitor to pursue your claim for personal injury compensation.

Direct2Compensation can boast a proud record of excellent service and work with some really great specialist firms – we call them our Solicitor partners. Find out what is so special about us, or take a look at the feedback shown on our testimonials.

145 questions have been answered on this subject, why not ask your own?

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    Questions

    Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

    I had a case with new haven solicitors who never once spoke to me did not reply to my emails and then they dropped my case. I still believe that the housing group had a responsibility to my safety. The court manager has told lies but I also believe it can be proved that she did. I have been suffering pain sine December ladt year. Can you help

    Ian Morris

    Unfortunately, if a previous Solicitors has had a case that has failed or been closed by them, it is now almost impossible for a new Solicitor to be able to take over the claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This is a direct result of the way the Government have changed the framework within which Solicitors acting for claimants must operate which massively favours defendants and makes it financially unviable for a new Solicitor to get involved.

    Whilst it may well be the case that the defendants have given misleading information, to have evidence sufficiently strong enough to demonstrate that in a court is very difficult and as you can appreciate, it is too risky for a Solicitor to get involved until that evidence is there.

    If you are of the view that your Solicitors were negligent or failed to act in your best interests, you should formally complain to them.

    Reply

    I have made a claim against my ex employer, I feel through the faulty floor and injured my leg. Liability was denied – they said I should have been watching where I was going as I was aware of the faulty flooring.
    My solicitor said my case will be dealt with in 21days. Does this mean I have lost the case?

    Ian Morris

    A denial of liability is not necessarily the end of a claimants hopes, indeed it is pretty common for successful claims to have had an initial denial made by a defendant insurer.

    In your case, if you knew the floor was faulty it may mean that you could be forced to accept some contributory negligence, but if the employer has failed to cordon off the area or provide warning signs regarding the risks caused by the floor disrepair, they must surely be found to have been negligent.

    Reply

    I had a non fault RTA on 170322. My motorcycle was subsequently written off and I suffered a broken shoulder.

    5 months later I have not received any compensation. I understand the personal injury claim is subjective and may take time to conclude however, the PAV of the motorcycle has been established by an independent engineer 3 months ago.

    I was expecting to be paid for the vehicle promptly after valuation and then again at a later date when the injury claim is settled. Is this not the case?

    I am finding it difficult to get any information at all from my appointed solicitor, hence the question.

    Ian Morris

    You should receive settlement for the loss of/value of your motorcycle as soon as liability is established and the value of the vehicle is agreed. As for personal injury, settling that claim will take a longer time.

    Reply

    two and half years ago the hospital admitted liability to medical negligence. My solicitors have dragged my case out. I am one month from a court deadline and just responded to my solicitor re the starting amount for negotiations. She has ignored my questions and advice 3 times. I emailed my advice again and questioned why the barrister was pulling apart the experts report and downgrading her opinions. Within 30 minutes I received an email from the solicitor saying she declines to act for me any longer. Is she allowed to do this, we were literally about to negotiate settlement after ive waited 2 and half years.

    Ian Morris

    A Solicitor is able to withdraw from a claim/withdraw from representing a claimant if they believe that the claimant is not acting in accordance with the instructions that they or a Barrister provides to the client.

    Clearly, this is a difficult situation for you and you may wish to make a formal complaint to the firm who have been representing you regarding this.

    Reply

    Ongoing complaint with my solicitor, they have been acting for free due to errors, very poor service . Complained again , they now tell me they will be writing when they have a reply from their insurers. They won’t tell me what’s going on

    Ian Morris

    Insurers are being very slow with responses and decisions etc at the moment. With this in mind, despite your understandable frustrations with your Solicitor, you’ll need to wait for the correspondence to come from your Solicitor.

    Reply

    I have an accident in 2014 the company that was dealing with my claim has been struck off and closed down, can I take my claim to another company?

    Ian Morris

    Do you know if the claim was ‘issued’ (in order to ensure that the standard 3 year claim limitation issue was not a problem for you) by the previous firm?

    It is certainly a possibility that a new Solicitor could take over the matter given the previous firm having been struck off. Please email a summary of the situation to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk in order that we can have our Solicitors review this and advise further. Please include as much information as possible including your contact details.

    Reply

    We had a non fault accident sept 2020 my partner has now been paid out but my case handler (which has been swapped several times) is not answering any of my emails and has had little communication with me and I just don’t know what to do.

    Ian Morris

    The poor or mishandling of claims for personal injury after a road traffic accident is sadly not uncommon, particularly with regards to the legal providers car insurers providers like to get you to pursue your claim.

    Although you have a right to switch your claim to a new Solicitor and we can certainly look in to helping you to do so, it is not always straightforward. You should certainly make a formal complaint to the Solicitors acting on your claim (you should be able to find their complaints procedure on their website), in which you can complain about the numerous swapping of a claims handler, the fact that you are not being represented by a specialist qualified Solicitor and that they are failing to act in your best interests or communicate clearly with you.

    Reply

    Hi I’m in the middle of a personal injury claim and my solicitor is being negative about whether it will be successful she thinks the third party will say I contributed to my injury by not going to the doctors straight away will they deny because of that reason ?

    Ian Morris

    Whilst a claimant having not sought medical attention quickly won’t prevent a claim from succeeding, it does make life for the claimant harder and easier for the defendant. The issue will be establishing that you couldn’t have sustained the injury for which you are claiming somewhere and somewhen other than at the defendants premises or due to their negligence and it will fall upon you to establish that you did.

    Reply

    I’m currently going through a negligence case for an operation I had on a broken leg, I had metal work placed in and the bolt broke and was see sawing making a hole in my bone, I also had issues with numbing on my foot due to the metal work being laid over my nerve. The bolt started to pop out of my leg and push the skin out. My current solicitor never gets in touch unless I ask the questions. They gave my case to a reviewer who said there was no negligence but they never mentioned being discharged when the bolt was poking. This is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m currently on my third surgeon and still in care of the hospital.

    Ian Morris

    Establishing whether someone has been the victim of clinical negligence, or just extremely unfortunate (bearing in mind that it is not always possible to operate successfully on injuries) is a notoriously difficult process and pursuing a claim for clinical negligence successfully is far from straightforward.

    Given your concerns about your Solicitor, as always, we would recommend that you make a formal complaint to your Solicitor outlining your concerns and the issues that you feel have not been handled correctly. This will afford them the opportunity to address your worries and hopefully give you peace of mind.

    Reply

    My solicitor left the company and didn’t tell me until I contacted him he has had my personal injury claim for 3 years and hasn’t done anything what can be done?

    Ian Morris

    The scenario you describe would be professional negligence. The firm of Solicitors in question should have informed you of the new person handling your file and the fact that a Solicitor left the company in the meantime should have no bearing on the outcome of your claim.

    If you have not already made a formal complaint to the firm in question, we would advise you to do so immediately. Also, you should contact a firm of Solicitors that handle claims for professional negligence and seek damages from the firm for their failure to act on your instructions.

    Reply

    Hi Ian…february 2020 been in a bad car accident, not at fault, lucky to be alive (was stationary, car hit me from the back and been pushed on the other lane where a lorry hit me again from the front). End up with broken femur, that after surgery left my leg shorter ,twisted plus many others things not been the same with my body. So far from my solicitors, 14 months later send me twice the medical report to sign, in which none of my main injuries were stated and i keep telling them that. So the report is inaccurate and a did not sign it. To mention that i haven’t been asked to see a doctor, or had any support from them to help me with recovery, actually, since the accident i been seen just by my GP physio department 2 times. All my injuries are stated in my GP medical reports which my solicitors have. What should i do with this solicitors, cause so far I’m so disappointed with the way my claim is handled. Keep thinking to change them, but they will want me to pay them for basically nothing after 14 months.

    Ian Morris

    Initially, you should make a written report to the Solicitor about your serious concerns and give them notice to address the mistakes and ensure that things are handled correctly. If they then fail to resolve the situation, make a formal complaint to them and contact us again so that we can have our specialist Solicitors advise you about taking over the matter.

    Reply

    Hello, Ian.
    My wife had a botched dermal filler treatment in her forehead in 09/2019. It left injuries on her forehead, moreover, excess filler travelled to her scalp causing hair loss. We took photos and Irwin Mitchell took her case. We told IM that photos are our only evidences without any definitive medical evidences to prove that her injuries were caused by the treatment. Quite strangely, without reviewing her medical records or without any definitive medical evidence, IM issued a Claim Form to the Defendant’s insurer in 12/2019. IM then sent us a letter saying that in case the Defendant accepting liability, then offers would be made and in case of denial of liability, the case would go to the court, which we might win or lose. But IM never told us another possibility that they might even close the case. In 02/2020 the other side denied liability. New case-handler came in and she also didn’t review my wife’s medical records or send her to any specialist medical professional for medical evidence. Instead IM wasted 2 months by asking the Defendant’s insurer’s questions which had already been answered in the Defendant’s response. We asked why. Case handler answered : just to be sure no nasty surprises when the case will go to the court. In 04/2020 we asked IM for rehabilitation of the scalp with hair loss but IM said inability as the Defendant denied liability. Then in 06/2020 IM decided to send my wife to a medico-legal expert without reviewing her medical records. In 10/2020 she saw the expert and his report was naturally inconclusive about her hair loss due to lack of any diagnostic medical evidence. He suggested invasive biopsy but without any guarantee due to 1-year delay from the index incident. Then case-handler reviewed my wife’s medical records, found no definitive entries and decided to close the case leaving my wife in the lurch after 17 months. Now we can’t find any new solicitor due to lack of any medical evidence.

    My wife is very upset. For 17 months she has suffered from dry scalp, thinning hair and poor hair condition. She has spent money to restore her hair. We had hope that she would recover her expenses or at least the case would go to the court. We feel betrayed by IM because they never told us that they might close the case. IM never told us about their getting cold feet and we always believed that we had a strong case.

    We think IM are at fault because they never tried to get any medical evidence to prove causation. Instead of getting my wife first examined by a specialist expert for medical evidence and then only sending her for a medico-legal expert, IM did the second step without the first. They wasted 17 months leaving my wife in the lurch. IM are incompetent time wasters. What can my wife do now? Nobody wants to take her case now. Do you think that IM have acted in my wife’s best interests? Your valued opinion will be highly appreciated.

    Ian Morris

    Given the situation, I can understand why the claim can’t now be taken by another Solicitor. Essentially, it would seem the only route to redress may be against the Solicitors in question – if professional negligence in their handling of the claim can be established.

    Initially, I would suggest that you make a formal complaint to the Solicitors outlining the points you raised in this query and see what their response is. If they can’t resolve it for you, you could then seek to discuss the situation with a Solicitor in terms of a claim for professional negligence. We do not do such claims directly here – but one of our specialist panel Solicitors does have an excellent professional negligence department. If you would like me to pass the details you have provided here along with some contact information so that they can advise you further, please email me at ian@direct2compensation.co.uk and i’ll be more than happy to do so.

    Reply

    I had a accident third party accepted Liability, Cardiff law limited took on my claim they would never answer calls and eventually I couldn’t find them online after some time they guy dealing with my claim contacted me saying his working for a firm called love solicitors and has taken my claim with him to the new firm ( which I don’t get how that’s possible ) he now fails to update me and I can’t get through to him, when I do he says he wants to take my case out of the portal and give it to a barrister yet it’s almost 2 years and nothings progressed. I’ve complained formally to the office and to him yet no response. I’m really stuck and worried and just need someone to over look my case and hopefully get me out of this situation.

    Ian Morris

    A Solicitor cannot simply take your claim with them to a new firm – certainly not without your express (written) consent and that of the previous firm, so in this case, something smells fishy.

    I would recommend that you contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to discuss this situation with them urgently.

    Reply

    Hi.
    I had a car accident and injury solicitor, the accident happened 9 months ago , at that time I delivered the case to my solicitor but the solicitor acted negligently and procrastinatinated the claim. Now the solicitor started the court proceedings after 9 month , I am very angry at the solicitor who wasted my time, and also at the beginning the third party’s insurance company accepted the fault of its customer after a while the other driver declined the liability and claimed against me. After this confusion situation I have decided to switch my solicitor. I am wondering if I can do it or not? If yes what I have to do?
    Sincerely
    Habib

    Ian Morris

    You can switch Solicitors, but it is not as easy as it would seem to do so. The main reason for this is that any new Solicitor has to provide an undertaking to the previous Solicitor to meet their reasonable (lien) costs should the new Solicitor go on to succeed with the claim. This makes the financial viability of the claim difficult for the new Solicitor.

    The first action you should take is to formally complain to your existing Solicitor. If the complaint fails to resolve the situation, you can then seek to switch to a new Solicitor and could contact us again at that time.

    Reply

    After a phone interview made by the 3rd party to the person who cared for me after an accident that they admitted liability for, how long do they have to come to an agreement with my solicitor please? If there is still a dispute what are my rights to go forward without the solicitor who is acting for me under no win no fee?

    Ian Morris

    When was your accident? In usual circumstances, a claim will take a minimum of 12 months to go from start to finish – often longer. If you are in financial hardship and your Solicitor is not yet in a position to settle the claim, you could ask the Solicitor to seek an interim award from the defendants.

    It would be unwise to go without your Solicitors representation as you would be likely to receive a paltry settlement from the defendant as they would know that you were not being appropriately represented.

    Reply

    I am 22 months into my personal injury claim on a no win no fee basis.
    My solicitor perused this as she felt we had a 51% in favour.
    My solicitor has gone on maternity leave and out of the blue, apparently due to the complexity and size of my claim I have been appointed a new solicitor within the company, who on looking at the case feels that although my injuries were catastrophic and life changing she feels that as the store had a cleaning policy in place it would get thrown out of court.
    My previous solicitor had the view that debris on the floor for 37 minutes and the manager sending staff home early and staff not on the shop floor during this period of time was our case.
    I am awaiting the barrister decision as to whether this is being carried on. Can they just dump me like that? Leaving me with a tarnished case that it is highly unlikely that anyone else will now touch?
    At the end of the day I walked into a shop and came out disabled? I lost my hand. I would appreciate your advise

    Ian Morris

    Further to your conversation with us earlier today, we feel that there could still be a route forwards in this matter. Although the defendant does have a cleaning policy in place, the fact that the debris that was on the floor for more than 30 minutes BEFORE your injury does indicate that they were not keeping the premises as safe as they could and this exposed you to the risk of injury – which transpired to be catastrophic.

    If your current Solicitors close your claim, please do come back to us for further help.

    Reply

    Need a solicitor asap to take on my claim as I don’t know how to carry on with my claim as my solicitor has pulled out and left me in a right mess. I have all paper for the courts but don’t no how to go about continuing my claim.

    Ian Morris

    Given the complexities of your needs, we would recommend making direct contact with a specialist personal injury Solicitor on the phone at the earliest opportunity.

    Reply

    My daughter has incurred personal injury in a motor accident and the claim is going through her company’s insurance, as she was driving a Company car.
    Is it best to wait until the outcome of this process before speaking to other solicitors ?

    Ian Morris

    As you may expect, we would recommend appointing an independent specialist Solicitor to act for your daughter in her claim on a No Win No Fee basis. That way, your daughter gets to choose who she instructs and can be certain of a completely independent and specialist service that would represent her best interests through the claims process.

    We have specialist Solicitors who can assist in this matter. If your daughter would like further help, she can call us on 01225430285.

    Reply

    Hello!
    In July 2019 I was going up the loft ladder to reset the boiler which had again gone out in our rented property. (Numerous issues with it) I had told the landlords about the ladder verbally and there one and only inspection in 4 years (no gas safety checks were done either, possibly leading to the issues with the boiler) It also now appears the ladder may not have been fitted properly.
    Whilst at the top, the ladder broke from under me and came away from the backing, causing me to fall straight onto my back and fracturing my vertebrae. I am still having pain over a year later.
    I opened a claim against my landlords, who have denied liability stating I didn’t tell them about it. They know I did verbally during the inspection. They were terrible landlords in many ways and I have evidence of their negligence. My solicitor is proving very difficult, she often ignores my emails asking for an update (after months of not hearing), will give me a time it will take for her to review my file, I will not hear anything long after this deadline, and when I chase she is rude and offhand with me. I feel she is dragging out the process so they can claim more legal fees, which are currently over 25k. (I cannot see what for!)
    Should I be feeling this way? I am almost nervous to email her sometimes after months of not hearing anything because I am so anxious to annoy her.

    Ian Morris

    The frustrations you feel towards your Solicitor are understandable, but most likely misplaced. It is clear you are up against a somewhat dishonest/disorganised defendant and this can make the life of a claimant Solicitor far more difficult than it should be. Further, although you reported the faulty ladder (and boiler issues) to the landlord, you did so verbally, so although people are unlikely to doubt your integrity and honesty, as there is no ‘evidence’ that the landlord was on notice of a hazard, it does make it easier for them to deny liability. In such a claim, if a defendant hasn’t been made aware of a repair issue or hazard, they can argue successfully that they are not liable as they did not know of the risk. In this case, it would seem that the defendant is using the lack of a written report of the problem from you as a way of dishonestly denying liability. The fact that your Solicitor continues to fight the case – albeit slower than you would like – is a positive sign.

    With regards to your concerns about the handling of your file, you could consider making a formal complaint to the firm handling your claim and ask them to review the work that has been done to date. This would see a senior partner within the firm review the file and report back to you.

    Reply

    My accident was in Oct 2017, my claim is being handled by OCL. They have changed claim handlers numerous times, and they often do not reply to my emails. The calls go un answered and they failed to take note of key information.

    For example… the 3rd party maintained there was no roadworks on that day…a report from TFL stated otherwise. As was also indicated in my photographic evidence and written in my statement.

    I have had to chase for evidence myself, and have had treatment for my injury. The claim has been very messy from the beginning, and is coming up to the 3yr mark this October.

    I was told it was going to court, then they were waiting for defences reply, and have heard absolutely nothing since.

    Shall I complain to One Call or OCL?

    Ian Morris

    You should make a formal complaint to both parties you mention.

    Reply

    Hello, my lawyer is asking me to pay £5,000+ to drop them and go with different firm, after 5 years! , is this right?

    Ian Morris

    If you signed a No Win No Fee agreement (Conditional Fee Agreement) with your previous Solicitor, they would be within their rights to seek their incurred costs from you should you decide to no longer cooperate with them.

    If you can find a new Solicitor to act for you, they should be able to give an undertaking to the existing Solicitor to cover those costs on successful completion of the claim.

    Reply

    My wife submitted a medical negligence claim. We heard nothing from solicitor for years and this morning received a letter stating they are not going ahead due to Dr report. I would like a second opinion as a no of drs advised there is a case for negligence.

    The problem is that unbeknownst to us the solicitor has already requested a 12 month extension before issuing writ and deadline for submitting is next week.

    I feel it is unreasonable of solicitor to advise at this late stage.

    Ian Morris

    This is not a matter that we can help with I’m afraid. However, you may have grounds to complain of negligent handling of the matter by the Solicitor who has been representing your wife to this point. Initially, you should make a formal complaint to the Solicitor and if you are not happy with their response, escalate the complaint to the regulatory authorities.

    Reply

    Irwin Mitchell have decided not to take my case against my local council any further and have closed the case. The council, obviously, would’ve used the section 58 defence to avoid liability and paying out on a claim. I told IM of one occasion when the council admitted liability for someones fall due to poorly maintained pavement and paid out compensation before having to go to court, making the section 58 defence somewhat less credible. Would you consider taking my case on please? I suffered a broken wrist in Jan 2018 and have only recently discovered my knee has developed osteoporosis since my fall. IM have said all files & photos etc will be made available without hesitation.

    Ian Morris

    Although Irwin Mitchell have closed your claim due to the initial defence raised by whichever local authority the claim has been brought against, we are happy to ask our Solicitors to review this matter with a view to pursuing the claim further, should they feel it viable to do so.

    A section-58 defence is a commonly raised defence in tripping accident compensation claims and can often see a claimant forced to concede that they cannot succeed with their claim. Local authorities rely on both inspections of their property by their highways agents and reports from members of the public to locate and repair any potentially dangerous areas and remove tripping hazards. The courts have effectively stated that so long as the local authority can demonstrate that they have an appropriate inspection regime in place and that inspections are carried out in a timely manner and if no reports of hazards have been made by the public, the local authority will not be liable.

    In your case, our Solicitors would need to establish that either the inspection carried out by the authority was inadequate (i.e, they missed the hazard that was obviously present for a considerable time), or a report had been made by the public regarding the incident BEFORE you fell.

    Do you have any photographs of the accident site – ideally showing the tripping hazard that led to your sustaining a broken wrist with measurements? If so, are you able to provide the same to us?

    Reply

    Is there a solicitor no win no fee to take on a trip injury liability claim when a barrister has given the claim a less than 51% chance of success ?

    Ian Morris

    If a Barrister has given a view that you have less than 51% chance of success with a claim, the reality is that no Solicitor would be willing to take your claim further on No Win No Fee terms. Barristers are highly qualified legal specialists and they are usually asked to give an opinion on the strength or otherwise of a claim before it is pursued further. If a Barrister has stated that they do not believe that the claim will succeed, a Solicitor would not want to take it further as they would be unlikely to recover any costs for their work and would only expose themselves to higher costs for the defendants fees in defending the claim.

    Reply

    Hi,
    My wife’s father has just received a letter from his solicitor saying they have closed their file and no longer representing him without giving a reason.
    He had an accident in a large store due to no fault of his own, we have photos of before and after accident. He broke his finger, had a sling on arm and still has difficulties with his hand, how do we go about contacting another solicitor.

    The accident happened last May.

    Ian Morris

    We would be happy to ask our specialist Solicitors to give further consideration to this matter and a 2nd opinion as to whether or not it is possible to pursue the claim further. Please email the correspondence you have along with photographs, contact details and a description of the incident and injuries and we will look in to this further for you.

    You can make contact with us by emailing our team at: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk

    Reply

    Hello, I have a personal injury case for a non serious car accident in December. I received an offer in February of £1250 which I was happy about but was advised to decline that offer. I was then told to attend a medical and They would then decide what they would like to push for. I received that letter today and it says they want £1500-£1300.
    Personally the first offer was acceptable in my opinion but I taken the advise of my solicitor and declined it, if I knew it would only be for a potential further £50 I would of just accepted the original offer. I feel I’ve been advised wrongly. Am I able to switch solicitors? I would rather decline any offers by this point and totally forget it then stay with solicitors who don’t seem to care at all.

    Ian Morris

    Whilst you do have the right to switch your claim to a new Solicitor, you need to carefully consider whether that is in your best interests. Whilst we fully understand your feelings of being poorly represented, there is absolutely no guarantee that a new Solicitor would either be able to take over the case at this late stage (due to the fact that they probably couldn’t really make any money out of doing so given the work done to date), or that they would be able to achieve a substantially higher settlement.

    Perhaps the best course of action would be to accept whatever settlement you can obtain and once you have received it, then make a formal complaint to your Solicitor about their handling of your claim. If your complaint is upheld and it can be shown that your Solicitor has not acted correctly, you may be able to make a 2nd claim against them for professional negligence.

    Reply

    I was in car accident on December 2019 when a lady hit my car on motorway. The lady accepted the fault and my car was write off. My solicitor offered me £3000 to close a claim, and is going to take too long if i refuse, and i said ok. After few days they send me a letter when i was going to take only £1900 because of their fees. Can i refuse this solicitor and work with another solicitor?

    Ian Morris

    You can switch Solicitors, but if you are doing so on the basis that you are not happy with their fee deduction, before you seek to switch you need to check the agreement you signed with them at the outset of your claim. You should only contribute up to 25% of your compensation settlement towards the cost of your claim, so do check the agreement that you signed.

    Reply

    Hi
    I was involved in a car accident where I was stationary at a roundabout where a driver went into the back of me injuring me and pushing my car into the on coming traffic where I had to act quickly and turn towards the curb.
    I am currently with slater and Gordon and have nothing but bad business.
    1. They have lost my medical report on 1 occasion 2. Told me that the driver admitted to going into the back of, then saying he hasn’t admitted anything 3. The solicitor medical team are getting my report wrong on numerous occasions and even spelling mistakes are constantly made. 4. I have no contact with them as I have to make an effort to contact them and sometimes they don’t reply.
    Due to my injury I have had to have an operation and my knee still hurts.
    Can I have your opinion on this matter and advice?
    Thank you

    Ian Morris

    Given the catalogue of errors that you mention with the handling of your claim by your current form, you would be well within your rights to consider switching your claim to a new Solicitor. Before you take that step, you should make a formal complaint to your instructed Solicitor firm via their published complaints procedure. This will afford them one final opportunity to review their handling of your claim and make good any errors that they have made.

    Reply

    HI
    My mother had a RTA in OCT 18 she has seen an orthopaedic surgeon in march 2019 and the report states a follow up was need again within 4-6 months which would have been the end of sep 19 this never happened I had to chase the solicitors up they said the person dealing with the claim has left and paper work has been lost …. she has now seen the surgeon again this month he is now saying he needs to see her again with 3-6 mths I have letters dated back to nov 2018 saying that the liability adjusters for the defendant have accepted liability .. isn’t it fact that once liability has been admitted the case can proceed to settlement ? it seems to me the solicitors are dragging their heels for a bigger cut ?

    Ian Morris

    Your Solicitor is unlikely to be delaying the claim for their own gain – indeed, the claims system and the way that Solicitors are paid does not really work on the basis that a Solicitor can simply slow the claims process to enable them to earn more fees!

    In the case you describe, your Mothers Solicitor would not wish to settle the claim until a full understanding of the long term impact of the injury is known. Whilst you are right in saying that once admission of liability is obtained, the claim then moves on to valuation. However, as a claimant can only settle the claim once (full and final settlement), it is vitally important that the settlement value is reached on the basis of an understanding as to whether a claimant will recover fully or how long their recovery will take. In this case, that is clearly not yet understood, so the Solicitor would appear to be protecting your Mothers best interests by ensuring that time passes and an understanding of her situation is reached so that when settlement is made, it is an appropriate value.

    Reply

    My solicitor charged me in excess of £500 when I wanted my file in order to switch solicitors although I had paid her almost 9g. I have now found out that you are entitled to your own papers for free Can I claim this money back? I regard this as highly unethical and pure greed.

    Ian Morris

    The request for the fee is unethical and should be reported to the regulatory authority for Solicitors.

    Reply

    Not happy with my solicitor with my compensation claim.

    Ian Morris

    If you are not happy with your Solicitor or the service you are receiving, it is vitally important that you inform your Solicitor practice of your concerns in writing and formally complain.

    A formal complaint allows the Solicitor practice the opportunity to review the work that their Solicitor has undertaken and the chance to put things right and apologise. It also ensures that any issues that are not resolved can be escalated to the ombudsman or regulator if applicable.

    Reply

    I have been pursuing a negligence claim for my deceased Mother for over 4 years. The Residential Home were charged with my Mothers care during which time she developed several bed sores.
    The Home have done everything in their power to thwart a resolution and my Solicitors have thus far failed to resolve the situation. I feel (and have told them) that everything is left to the very last minute and then it is me left with short deadlines to return information. I have always without fail responded immediately but am now becoming exhausted with the process and considering dropping the claim.

    Can I do this, it is a no win no fee arrangement, the claim is worth a maximum 20k and Solicitors have thus far accrued costs in the order of 125/150k which whilst not proportionate have arisen almost entirely as a result of the third party’s failure to co-operate, thanks in advance of your kind replies in this matter.

    Ian Morris

    Before you withdraw from the claim, you should (if you have not already done so!) make a formal complaint to your Solicitor about the claim and your view that they have often left things to the last minute and not placed sufficient pressure on the defendants to cooperate with the claim. It would not be a bad idea to inform them that you are finding the whole process extremely stressful to the point that you are considering withdrawing from the process.

    Reply

    I was in a crash this week. I’m not at fault. My insurance company put me in touch with solicitors who I did give details to. I hadn’t heard from them as I couldn’t get into their emails so probably wrongly I have instructed another solicitor. But I have now received a doctors appointment that has been arranged by first solicitor. I have cancelled this and found a phone number for the solicitor to cancel the claim. Am I going to be charged a lot for this. Thanks

    Ian Morris

    If you are cancelling the claim within the first 14 days, you won’t face any issue.

    If you would like to make a claim, but with an independent Solicitor of your own choosing, please do let us know. Our specialist Solicitors could help with this.

    Reply

    I have started a claim for injury at work, but now wish to withdraw my claim. Will I be liable for any costs?

    Ian Morris

    If your claim was started more than 14 days ago, your Solicitor may have the right to charge you for the costs that they would already have incurred. On a No Win No Fee claim, a Solicitor will only receive payment for their work (their time, their costs etc) if they succeed with the claim. If a claimant fails to cooperate and withdraws from a claim, a Solicitor will be left out of pocket. The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) that you signed to instruct your Solicitor to act would contain a clause about their right to pursue you for costs.

    Of course, Solicitors would not wish to pursue a client for costs and would work hard to avoid any such issue. The best course of action would be to discuss your concerns and your reasons for wanting to close the claim with your Solicitor.

    Reply

    I have a personal injury claim ongoing since october 2018. The company have passed my case from person to person without any prior warning and it takes them a least a month to reply to any emails i send for updates and constantly failed to update me without me constantly asking for this. I still feel they are no closer to a resolution and they do not appear to care about all the time it’s taken and how upset i am about how it’s being handled. What can I do?

    Ian Morris

    Check the website of the Solicitor firm you have instructed and look for their complaints policy. Make a formal complaint to them regarding the case being handled poorly and by numerous employees and see what comes of it. If you are not happy with the outcome of the complaint, you could then escalate the complaint to the legal ombudsman.

    Reply

    I am at present claiming for personal injury. This has been on going for 7months. There is no solicitor helping me. I’m doing this myself. Should I lose my case can I start again maybe with a solicitor the next time. Or do you only get one chance? Daisy

    Ian Morris

    If the defendants deny liability, you can of course look to see if a Solicitor would be able to take the claim forward and push the defendant in to accepting liability. As you would expect, our recommendation is that you should get a qualified specialist Personal Injury Solicitor to represent you at the earliest opportunity. A Solicitor will be able to represent your best interests and ensure that your legal rights are upheld by ensuring that the alleged defendant as to prove that they have not been negligent in causing your injuries. Whilst pursuing the claim yourself would see you retain 100% of any compensation you were to receive if you succeeded, the reality is that you are less likely to succeed and even if you do, you’ll have no way of knowing what a fair and reasonable settlement value is. Of course, if you instructed our specialist Solicitors, you would pay nothing if your claim were to fail, but you would contribute up to 25% of any settlement towards the costs of the claim. Our view is that the 25% fee would be money well spent as you would not have to deal with the stress of the claim and it is likely that a specialist Solicitor would ensure that any agreed settlement was notably higher than a settlement you may reach yourself, without representation.

    Reply

    I was involved in a accident at work in June 2019 in which I was involved in a head in collision with a stacker truck due to a colleague’s horseplay/failing to adhere to health and safety.

    The employee was dismissed after the incident.

    I instructed a solicitor to start a personal injury claim and my employer’s liability insurance received the initial letter around 5th July 2019.

    My solicitor has not had any response apart from the 1st reply stating they are the correct insurer’s etc.

    Each time I ask for an update my solicitor says they are awaiting liability decision still.

    This was almost 5 months ago, I assume my solicitor should have issued a further deadline to the insurers?

    If my solicitor hasn’t issued a deadline yet can I change solicitors?

    As I feel I am not getting anywhere with this claim and have been left with a bad nerve injury and rare condition because of the accident.

    Thanks

    Ian Morris

    You can of course switch Solicitors, but before you do so you should ensure that your current Solicitor is made aware of your concerns and that you are considering switching the claim. It is most likely that your Solicitor is acting correctly and that the ‘delay’ is being caused by the defendant insurers.

    When a claim is submitted to a defendant insurer, the insurer has 21 working days to ‘acknowledge’ receipt of the claim and confirm whether or not they are the insurers. From that date, they then have a further period of almost 4 months to ‘investigate’ the claim before they will respond with an admission or denial of liability. Whilst most insurers do respond at the deadline (they are rarely early!), they can miss the deadline. Typically, a Solicitor will allow them a further agreed extension of a month or two. If that is then missed, they may issue proceedings to force them to respond.

    You should ask your Solicitor to confirm to you (in writing) what is happening and what action they have taken to press the defendant insurers to cooperate.

    Reply

    Hi, had a chat with express solicitor’s about a accident at work. I was sent a booklet with around 12 sets of paper work, terms, conditions. Clients feedback etc. Three or more forms to sign and return back, which I did not. Had a call from them 3 months later saying I entered a verbal contract with them. Is this true? Thanks Simon

    Ian Morris

    Not at all! A Solicitor would require you to have signed and dated their paperwork to allow them to claim to be formally instructed. Whilst you may have spoken with them verbally that does not constitute a contract.

    Reply

    I have been pursuing a personal injury claim since December 2016 using Lyons Davidson, who was given my details by my insurance company LV. I have found them obstructive, aggressive, unhelpful and unwilling to fight my corner with this claim. It was as a result of a collision with a police car. The investigating sergeant concluded that I was not at fault and it was the responsibility of the police officer driving. Relations have completely broken down due to the unhelpful attitude of the solicitors. Last week I emailed them some further instructions, only for me to receive an email from them saying they’ve closed my case. Are you able to advise me where I stand? I have always protected my no claims and paid extra for legal cover.

    Ian Morris

    The issue you raise with the firm that you were placed with by your Insurers is one that we hear pretty regularly. In many cases, the firms that manage to get the ‘contract’ to be the legal provider for a car insurance provider struggle to cope with the volume of work that comes their way. It is common that cases will be handled by a claims handler rather than a Solicitor as it is simply not possible or cost effective for them to have all cases handled by a Solicitor.

    Given your deep seated displeasure with the way in which the firm have handled your claim, you have a right to make a formal complaint to them. You should check their website for their complaints procedure and submit your claim. If the complaint is not resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to you, you have the right to escalate the complaint to the legal ombudsman service.

    Regarding your claim, you mention it has now been closed. Do you know why? It may be possible to have the file of papers held by your current Solicitor released to a new Solicitor and reviewed with a view to a new Solicitor taking over the running of the claim and succeeding for you.

    Reply

    Before about 3 years and 3 months ago, I was involved in a road traffic accident, 100% without my fault. I underwent left ankle surgery. I trusted my claim to a solicitor but turned out he is ignoring me. I am dissatisfied with his attitude and work have done so far.
    The medical reports are inaccurate. They barely manage to earn minimal compensation because missing essential information about physical discomfort and many of my psychological problems after the accident. I signed them because I had no idea what they should contain.
    A year and a half ago, I asked my current solicitor for a re-examination of both reports. Unfortunately, he did nothing about it. A month before the 3 years since the accident occurs, he offered me to disclose the reports to the insurers. I disagreed because these reports are of no value. To get me to agree to the reports being disclosed to the insurers, he promised me that to ask insurers to fund a rehabilitation prescripted from the medical specialist and after then will revert the reports for re-examining. Now the Solicitor does not keep his promise and pressures me to accept this mocking amount of compensation. Can you please tell me if I can transfer my claim file to another barrister or solicitor?

    Ian Morris

    You may have grounds for a claim against your Solicitor on a professional negligence basis and you should make enquiries with a specialist law firm able to pursue such matters as soon as possible.

    Our advice at this stage would be to complain formally to your Solicitor (see their complaints policy published on their website) and go through that process.

    With regards to switching your claim, it may be possible but could be too late to do so. This is not something we could help with due to the time that has lapsed between the date of your accident and now, but you may wish to make enquiries with specialist personal injury Solicitors regarding this.

    Reply

    I am a member of unite and my union has assigned me a solicitor for my claim of injury at work but these solicitors are negligent, changing solicitors without any notification, they’re rude and I’ve found out the solicitor they have assigned me has never dealt with work related compensation, can I change the firm although my union referred me to them?

    Ian Morris

    You can switch Solicitors but you should only attempt to do so as a last resort. Therefore, before you do switch you should make a formal complaint to your existing Solicitors (check their website for details as to their complaints procedure) and afford them the opportunity to resolve your complaint. Should they fail to do so, you would then be within your rights to switch Solicitors.

    Reply

    Hi, since my last a question here re: my motorcycle accident. I’ve tried changing solicitor. On the 8th Aug the firm dealing with the case recurved my signed authority for another solicitor to deal with the case. It is now October & they’ve yet to hand over my file. Is there any time limit to this or are they in their rights to delay in this manner?
    RTC 24/12/18. Offending driver charged in May. Yet I’ve had no offer of transport since as my bike was a write off.

    Ian Morris

    There is no prescribed time frame for a previous Solicitor to release a file to a new Solicitor. In most cases, one would expect the process to take around 1 month.

    Reply

    I am with a solicitor’s firm at the present moment about a work place accident that happened a year ago. I want to change solicitors because they have a paralegal working on the case and I would prefer a solicitor. What happens when you transfer your case to another solicitor’s firm? Does the case start from scratch or do you pick up from where they left off?

    Ian Morris

    If a new Solicitor were to take over the running of a No Win No Fee claim for personal injury compensation from another firm, the new Solicitor would obtain the previous Solicitors file of papers, review the work undertaken and then commence action on the claim from the point that it has reached to date.

    Reply

    My solicitors have told me they are not willing to work for me anymore! My claim is an RTA case. The 3rd party have admitted full liability and the claim has been running for over a year now. I have had an MRI scan and the report from that indicates that I may have to have spinal surgery.

    I have been fed up with my Solicitors and did fall out with a portal team manager due to their handling of the matter.

    I have been on morphine for over a year, so that doesn’t help matters! I have no solicitor now and don’t no what to do?

    Ian Morris

    If liability has been admitted in full, it is hard to explain why your previous Solicitors would close the claim. You mention falling out with them and perhaps they have taken exception to your language or complaint? That said, it should not prevent you from locating a new Solicitor and we could possibly help with that.

    I would suggest that you should email me a description of your accident including the date, time and location along with information as to what happened and the injuries sustained. If you could also include your current symptoms and the details of the vehicles involved (Registration Numbers) and your previous Solicitors name and reference, we’ll have our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors contact you to discuss the potential of their taking over the running of your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

    One point to note here is that you clearly seem to be suffering with a serious and long term injury. In that case, the length of time that the claim may take to reach a stage of settlement, could be some time. This is because your Solicitor will want to ensure that a full understanding of your long term recovery or what limits your recovery will have in order to be certain that any settlement is made at an appropriate level of damages. It may be possible to secure an interim payment award to help with some day-to-day living expenses whilst the full understanding is reached, but you should be prepared to see this matter through and follow the advice of any instructed Solicitor to ensure that your claim is settled appropriately and in your best interests.

    Reply

    I have had a complex claim with a solicitor regarding toxic megacolin I had a bowel issues and brain injury kidney failure and developed sepsis. The current Solicitor only looked into my bowel problems and not the sepsis. I was in A&E for three days and no sepsis test was done and I went into septic shock and was in a coma for four months and in hospital for months to rehabilitate and to learn to walk etc. I have been told that they can’t take the case on regarding the bowel problems but I have asked on a number of occasions to look at the lack of a sepsis test what can I do?

    Ian Morris

    If your injuries/incident took place less than 3 years ago, you are free to discuss a potential claim with any Solicitor. If your Solicitor is unwilling to or unable to pursue a claim for you, it could indicate that they are of the view that the claim is not sufficiently strong to enable a successful outcome. It could also indicate that they do not feel sufficiently expert in such a claim to be able to represent your best interests. However, it is always wise and sensible to seek a 2nd opinion and we can certainly help with that.

    If you would like to take this further with us and see what the Solicitors we work with think about your possible claim, please go to our ‘start a claim’ page and input your details and description of what happened. We’ll then be able to present your enquiry to a qualified personal injury Solicitor who can review the enquiry for you.

    Reply

    I am not happy with the way my personal injury solicitors handling my case, so I stopped the claim (not formally) but they send me their cost(bill).

    I don’t know what to do in this situation.

    Ian Morris

    If you have signed a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) you have a duty to cooperate with your Solicitor and provide them with instructions. If you fail to do that, you could then be liable for their costs.

    However, if your Solicitor has mishandled your claim or you are not happy with their work, you do have the right to switch to a new Solicitor who may given an undertaking to the previous Solicitor regarding costs. In your case, you need to complain to your previous Solicitor formally regarding the reasons for your unhappiness with their work.

    Reply

    I had accident in Dec hitting pothole and coming off my bike. I had a claim in but the solicitor who I was with advise me not to take it further. But I don’t think my case was put forward in a good way, I never heard from my solicitor. I had bad injuries, broken bone in hand and dislocated shoulder which I’m still receiving treatment from the hospital. Just don’t think my case was put across to the council, don’t think solicitor had any interest in my claim.

    Ian Morris

    It is possible to have your claim reviewed by a different Solicitor who would get you to complete a form of authority to authorise them to obtain the file from your previous Solicitor.

    However, the problem here could be that the defendant already has one version of events and they may not accept a different version.

    If you believe that your previous Solicitor has failed you and not represented your claim properly, you should make a formal complaint to them immediately (view their complaints procedure on their website). If they cannot resolve your complaint, you could then make a complaint to the legal ombudsman service.

    Reply

    Hi I slipped on a wet floor in a nightclub with no hazard sign in sight , I’ve injured my back & have deangulation of my coccyx bone, this happened July 2018 & I’m still in agony having physio/accupunture & still don’t know if I need surgery as yet, my solicitor has informed me the nightclub is not admitting liability as they have an inspection sheet & toilets r inspected, the floors in toilet were thilthy & very wet when I fell but staff said they cleaned them, no way was this toilet inspected, can you advise me if I should seek advice from another solicitor as my solicitor has closed case due to cleaning Rotas in place at Time of fall.

    Ian Morris

    Sadly, it would seem that your Solicitor has been forced to take the decision to close the case on the basis of a robust defence from the nightclub. It would be reasonable to expect another Solicitor to reach the same conclusion.

    Reply

    In November 2016 I had a fall on somebody else’s property. Building work was being taken out but no safety barriers put up, resulting in me falling down a hole which wasn’t visible in the dark. I went to hospital and as a result of this fall I dislocated and broke my shoulder and also broke my foot. I tried to make a claim at the time with a solicitors by the name of Michael Rose Baylis. It was a difficult case as the details from the builders was a dead end. This seemed to be due to them not being registered and therefore having no insurance. My solicitor at the time suddenly gave up and sent me an automated email stating he had left the company. I was left in limbo and gave up. It is only recently when somebody suggested trying to claim again with a ‘better’ solicitors. Do you think this is something that is worth pursuing?

    Ian Morris

    Whilst it may be worth taking up the claim again with a specialist personal injury firm, there are a couple of obvious issues against you. Firstly, whilst you have a claim limitation period of 3 years from the date of an accident in which you can pursue a claim for personal injury compensation and although you are within that, almost all Solicitors will require a minimum of 6 months of that limitation period remaining to be able to take the claim on a No Win No Fee basis. In your case, you could well be within 6 months of your 3 year period.

    Secondly and perhaps more importantly, what evidence do you have of the accident site and to support your claim?

    Reply

    My young daughter met with an accident in December 2018. She had the right of way and another car came in front of her and she crashed into the passenger side of the other car. Both the cars had to be written off. The other party insurance company accepted the liability immediately and paid for the car. Now she has spoken to injury lawyers, filled in their paperwork and they are offering her just £1000 for the injury without even sending her for a medical examination. She suffered from trauma due to this accident and still cries and becomes upset the minute we start talking about the accident. She hasn’t bought a car as yet because she is still going through the trauma and chest pain. At this stage can she decline the offer and choose to go to another solicitor? Please help.

    Ian Morris

    Without knowing the full details of the accident, we cannot advise specifically. However, on the basis of your description of your daughters road traffic accident and the trauma caused to her – both physically and mentally, it would be unwise to accept a settlement of £1,000. You mention that she continues to suffer chest pain and emotional trauma and we are now more than 4 months after the accident. Therefore, one would reasonably expect a settlement of a higher value than that currently offered.

    It is hard to understand why her Solicitor has not instructed a medical expert to assess her injuries – both physical and the emotional upset – and to provide a detailed report as the contents of such a report is likely to lead to her settling her claim for personal injury compensation at a far higher value.

    Your daughter can change Solicitors, but before she does, she should make a formal complaint to her existing Solicitors and give them an opportunity to act on her instructions to seek medical report evidence and a fair settlement for her claim.

    Should she wish to switch Solicitors, she could use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make contact with us. We have expert specialist Solicitors who can take over the running of her claim should such action be needed.

    Reply

    Hi, I had a rta in March 2017. Got a call from injury lawyers 2 days after to make a claim. I agreed, went for a medical the following month. Didn’t hear anything for a while, so called them and was told they couldn’t retrieve my records from GP. My records were still in my maiden name. So in 2018 went for another medical assessment (over a year later) where I innocently mentioned my injury had caused further pain up my arm, from wrist to my elbow which wasn’t mentioned in previous assessment, now they get back to me saying there’s inconsistencies in my statement about my injuries. The other party want to go to court even though their client has admitted liability at scene and in police statement. Other members in this rta have had their claims settled. My solicitor made me feel like I was in the wrong.
    Can you please give me some advice because I don’t even feel like talking to my solicitor, not like they ever get in touch anyway.
    I have nothing to hide or lie about but the prospect of going to court is quite daunting.
    Thank you.

    Ian Morris

    As long as you have not acted in a fundamentally dishonest way in ANY aspect of your claim, you need not have any concerns whatsoever. Of course, you need to know what discrepancies the 3rd party are highlighting.

    In cases for personal injury compensation, if a claimant has been shown to have acted dishonestly in any aspect of the claim, the entire claim will be failed and the claimant will have to bear the costs of the defendant – EVEN if the claim was managed on a No Win No Fee basis. For example, in a case where liability has been admitted, there is no argument that an accident happened and that it was caused by a defendant. Therefore the claimant should succeed with their claim. However, if the claimant were deemed to have exaggerated or falsified ANY aspect of their injury or exaggerated or falsified ANY aspect of their special damages claim, they will be found to have been fundamentally dishonest and not only lose their right to claim, but also have to pay the costs of the defendant.

    If this is not the case for you, you have nothing to worry about and really do need to speak with your Solicitor to make sure that they understand that you are acting honestly and need their assistance.

    Reply

    Hi, I had a road traffic accident last week and i just informed my insurer but i had a call yesterday from some solicitors regarding my accident and they had all my details and the third party’s as well. I thought they are dealing on behalfof my insurance and i agreed with them to proceed with my case but no documents have been signed. Can i now withdraw my case without paying any fees?

    Ian Morris

    Yes you can. If you have not signed any No Win No Fee agreement (formally known as Conditional Fee Agreement) you would not have any concerns if withdrawing your claim. Indeed, even if you do sign a conditional fee agreement, there is a standard 14-day cooling off period in which you can change your mind without any penalty.

    You have every right to pursue a claim for compensation if you were injured in a non-fault road traffic accident. However, we would advise of being very wary of acting on the basis of a cold-call from a Law Firm as such work is outside of the regulatory legalities placed upon our industry. You should seek an independent law firm of your own choosing and instruct a specialist road traffic accident Solicitor to work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

    We would be happy to assist you with this process and invite you to call us on 01225430285 or use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make further contact.

    Reply

    I was represented by a firm of solicitors I did not ask for ( due to my 1st choice solicitors closing practices) over 2 yrs liability was admitted straight away from third party insurance but my solicitors failed to keep in touch with me, they lied to me on so many times. I complained to their managers but nothing changed they completely mishandled my claim so I had to change solicitors, now I’m having to pay 50% of my award which is now being negotiated can this be legal?

    Ian Morris

    The situation in which you find yourself should immediately be referred to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) and Legal Ombudsman Service (LOS). Both of these bodies have powers to investigate the handling of your situation and can, if appropriate take action against any parties found to have acted negligently.

    Reply

    I have a solicitor at the moment working on a no win no fee claim for personal injury compensation. I had an accident in 2017 on the 10th November at 2pm. I slipped and fell and suffered a neck & back injury and had a chemical on the back of my hand from an unknown substance. I am having ongoing health problems. My Solicitor hasn’t been too helpful with my case and he recently told me they may not continue with my claim. Would you be interested in taking the case on?

    Ian Morris

    Whether or not another Solicitor will be able to take over the running of your claim will largely depend on the reason that your previous Solicitor has closed their file. If the defendants have produced a strong defence and your Solicitor has been given expert Counsel opinion that advises that the claim is unlikely to succeed, i’m afraid any other Solicitor will be likely to elect to not pursue the claim.

    Reply

    My 74 year old father was approached by a company to pursue a hearing loss claim. He signed with them forgetting that he’d already signed previously with another solicitor months before (he got confused and thought the first one wasn’t handling it anymore) the second firm has now discovered this and wants him to pay £5000 for their fees etc over the year or so they say they were pursuing his claim. My fathers memory is not so good these days and he’s being tested for dementia. Does he have to pay this amount to the second solicitors? He really had no idea what he was doing and I’m annoyed as they called him and he’s elderly and that it took so long for the second firm to discover the first was already involved.

    Ian Morris

    Have you spoken with both firms about the situation? Most Solicitors are reasonable and would understand if you explained that your Father possibly has dementia and issues with memory. The best course of action would be to cancel the instruction to the newer firm and allow the previous firm to continue to represent his claim.

    Reply

    What happens if I’m trying to change solicitors because I’ve lost faith in my current one and there are refusing to release the files until they are paid there outstanding fees are there ways around this?
    I’m worried my case will be on hold for a very long time if I choose to change.

    Ian Morris

    Changing Solicitors in a personal injury compensation claim is possible, but it is never easy and certainly is not always the best solution. However, in some cases it can be the only option if all other attempts to resolve the situation with the current Solicitor have failed.

    In No Win No Fee compensation claims, a Solicitor will be reluctant to take on a claim from a previous firm of Solicitors as the work that they will then do to succeed may not provide a very good cost return. In No Win No Fee compensation claims, a Solicitor who has acted in a claim will be entitled to some of the costs should a new Solicitor then go on to succeed with the claim. In this case, the new Solicitor can provide an undertaking to the old Solicitor to meet their lien costs.

    Reply

    I was a passenger in my husbands car in June 2017 when we were hit from behind by a lorry on the M25. We were spun around and facing oncoming traffic, we then hit a concrete wall before stopping. I hit my head on the door and had a huge lump on the front of my head, 2 black eyes and neck and shoulder pain, I was taken to queens hospital in Essex where i had a ct scan, my husband decided to not go to hospital as he was worried about how to get car off motorway, when i arrived at the hospital i had a ct scan and had concussion and was very shocked.
    Then my son contacted a solicitor because we had been involved in an accident a year previously, however this was almost 2 years ago and the other party has admitted liability and my husband accepted a payout of £1900, however the solicitor does not keep us up to date and i have had no treatment for my neck i was sent to see a consultant but received no treatment. I’m very concerned that my solicitor is going to accept a payment on my behalf and just send me a cheque as he did my husband. If it had been a minor accident i wouldn’t be bothering but it was a serious accident where we could have been killed and the physiological affect is huge and the fact that i have had no physiotherapy and still in pain, i don’t feel this is right, i don’t know if its too late to change but i’m not happy if this is how people are treated after such a serious accident, i would very appreciate your view on this.

    Ian Morris

    There is no way that your Solicitor should be accepting or declining any offers without having discussed such outcomes with you first. Given the description of your Solicitor, it could well be a sensible move to switch to a specialist independent Personal Injury Solicitor. Further, if your injuries or psychological trauma is ongoing, it is vital that these matters are discussed with your GP and added to your medical records and that the damage caused to you in this regard is properly accounted for during your claim for personal injury compensation.

    In cases such as yours, we would ensure that the full extent of your injuries (both physical and psychological) are taken in to account in order that should you win your claim, you would receive a settlement that appropriately compensates you for the distress, trauma and upset caused to you.

    Reply

    I am currently going through a claim regarding an accident I had in 2016, I was in a taxi at the time and the taxi company referred me to make my claim through their solicitors. However I feel as if he has not been helpful with my case and is extremely difficult to get hold of. The other side are denying liability despite it being very obvious what happened. I would really like to change my solicitors but wanted to speak to someone about what has happened to get some advice. Is it possible for a solicitor to contact me by email as I work long hours and it is extremely complex to go through on the phone.

    Ian Morris

    It is possible to switch Solicitors if you have lost faith in the firm representing you so far and our Solicitors do have the ability to take over the running of a claim from a previous Solicitor.

    We have made a request for a specialist Solicitor partner of ours to review and respond to your email.

    Reply

    I had a injury 3 years ago, I approached a solicitor and he agree to take my claim. I had written confirmation and I provided almost everything I can to support my claim. During the 3 years the communication with solicitors wasn’t great I always have to call him to find out about the claim. Although he knows my injury was bad he didn’t requested me to see the doctor all he asked was for my hospital letters of appointments and medication. I trusted he was doing a good job and let continue. At the end of three years he started claiming I didn’t collaborate by providing with my revenue paper, up to that point he didn’t send me to see a doctor so they can give him the report. At the end of 3 years period he send me to see the doctor which I missed the appointment for that reason he closed my claim, and he told me to find another solicitor to represent me. However he submitted my claim to court but I don’t have representative. Please can you advise me what to do in this circumstance.
    Looking forward to your response.

    Ian Morris

    If the claim has been submitted to the courts, you may still be able to pursue your claim. I would suggest that you contact us so that we can immediately pass you to a specialist Solicitor to discuss this situation with you.

    Reply

    Solicitors are pursuing a personal injury claim for me. The amount they intend to claim seems rather low to me. This amount was advised to me in an eMail today. I will not have the opportunity to discuss this until the return of my solicitor from leave on 3.October. Is there any way I can get a sit down meeting with another firm of solicitors for a second opinion before giving my current solicitors the go ahead?

    Ian Morris

    It will be very difficult for another firm to give you a view on the claim value as they will not have access to the expert medical report that your Solicitor should be basing the valuation of your claim upon.

    In your case, I assume that you have undergone a medical assessment with an expert. This expert will have then written a report for your Solicitor detailing the injuries sustained, the current situation and a prognosis for full recovery or statement as to any limited recovery. Your Solicitor will then have taken this report to a Barrister to obtain an expert view as to the appropriate level of damages to be pursued.

    Therefore, you need to speak to your Solicitor to find out why they have applied a valuation that you feel is low.

    Reply

    I was involved in a Road Traffic collision and had injuries. I am pursuing a claim with a personal injury solicitor. I have had a medical examination with a doctor provided by my solicitor. I disagree with the contents of his report and have informed my solicitor of my intention to pay for an independent medical examination paid for by me. My solicitor said this is not possible and i would need to instruct a new company as it is likely the two reports will conflict with each other. Im not sure why before she has even been examined by an IME why he would be so sure there would be a conflict. The area of depute with the solicitors examiner is that he says her injuries should have cleared within 6 months which they havent and an MRI scan has revealed damage to my spine. I was offered and took up Physio by my solicitor however they are now saying £500 costs will come off my claim for the treatment because the Physio took place after the six months recovery period that the solicitors doctor said i should have been recovered. Any advice please?

    Ian Morris

    Given that a medical examination has already been conducted, the contents of the report have probably already been disclosed to the defendant insurers. You need to find out if that is the case.

    If this is the case, the defendant will hang on to any part of the report that is in their favour – even if you provide a new report that refutes the initial report and provides a different prognosis. The defendants would simply say that the medical evidence is unclear and that the severity of the injury/symptoms cannot be settled at the highest tariff.

    You could of course, proceed to court and put the two differing reports before a Judge, but that is extremely risky and likely to lead to the Judge saying that the more serious prognosis has not been proven.

    Steve

    Many thanks for your reply. They sent the medical report and asked whether I agree to its contents to which i said no and I refused to sign, therefore I would have thought it shouldn’t have been submitted to the defence yet, however i will check.

    Ian Morris

    Yes, definitely check – as long as you don’t sign it if you don’t agree with the contents.

    Reply

    My son had an accident in the car on the 1st May this year. He went with a solicitor with a no win no fee claim but changed his mind and went with another company who he won his claim with. The first solicitor he went with now say that he owes them £410 court cost – even though he cancelled his instruction to claim with them within a week of this. Where does he stand? Does he still have to pay this fee?

    Ian Morris

    If your Son signed a Conditional Fee Agreement with the first Solicitor, he will be bound by the terms that he has agreed to and this may include the Solicitors right to pursue him for any costs they incur whilst working on his claim should he later fail to cooperate or instruct a different firm. In cases where a different firm are instructed, they would have to obtain the file from the previous Solicitor and the new firm would have to give an undertaking to cover the lien (incurred) costs from the previous firm should they succeed with the claim – in which case, your Son shouldn’t personally pay the cost.

    If your Son cancelled the No Win No Fee instruction signed within the Conditional Fee Agreement with the first Solicitor within the first 14 days, there should be no costs whatsoever.

    Reply

    I agreed to a personal injury claim against the person that crashed into me, with a solicitor which contacted me. A few weeks later due to family problems, I decided not to go through with this claim. Now the solicitor as wrote to me saying, I am now in breach of their signed terms of business & therefore the disbursement’s & their profit cost, are payable by me. Where do I stand with this?.

    Ian Morris

    Have you pursued the claim elsewhere? If so, you should contact them to discuss the lien costs issue. If you have not pursued the claim, you could ask the existing Solicitor to simply start the process now.

    Julie

    Yes I have pursued the claim elsewhere & it finalised in November 2016

    Ian Morris

    In that case it seems rather strange for the previous firm to now be requesting that you pay costs to them. You should contact your successful Solicitor for advice.

    Perhaps you should inform the previous firm that you had to cease the claim for personal reasons?

    Reply

    Hi
    I was in a RTA in January 2017, I went through my car insurance who instructed one of there solicitors from irwin Mitchell to deal with my personal injury claim. I suffered a whiplash injury and was off work for 2 weeks taking medication for pain. I had a medical with the report stating my whiplash was due to the accident. My solicitor has come back to me stating because there was only £500 pounds worth of damage to my car it is unlikely I will win a case in court and could incur court costs of between £3000-£10000. Can you please advise my options and should I swap solicitors.

    Ian Morris

    We would welcome you making contact with us in order that we could arrange for our specialist Solicitors to chat with you to discuss the situation and advise you as to whether or not they agree with Irwin Mitchell.

    If our Solicitors took a more supportive view of your claim, you would be free to switch your claim to our Solicitors.

    Reply

    Hi, I was involved in a road traffic accident with the other party being at fault and admitting so. I took up the insurance company’s offer to use their solicitor and two months after my accident in which I suffered a back injury, whiplash and headaches for weeks and had to take time off work due to them. I am still suffering from depression although I am back at work now. However, they have come back to me already with a ridiculous offer that I am not at all happy with and they have told me that they will only go up by another £250 and that being final. I have reason to believe that I am entitled to more compensation giving what I have endured these past couple of months but they are refusing to go up any more. I haven’t even been asked to attend a medical before my offer was made. So basically all I am wondering is if it’s too late for me to change solicitors at this stage?

    Ian Morris

    It is not too late to change Solicitors if it is deemed to be in your best interests to take such a course of action.
    Our specialist Road Traffic Accident Solicitors would be very happy to discuss your situation with you and they would then advise you as to whether or not they felt that it would be in your best interests to switch Solicitors.

    If you would like our help in taking this further, please forward your contact details to us. Our Solicitors would then have a chat with you about the nature of your claim to date and what level of compensation settlement you have been offered so far. They would then be able to advise you as to whether they agreed with you that the offer was unreasonably low or if they felt that the award was fair. From this you could then decide whether or not you wished to sign over the claim to a new Solicitor.

    Reply

    Thank you for your response it is really appreciated.

    In general I feel you should never pay someone for a job until you are satisfied they have completed the work satisfactorily. Therefore, with this principle in mind I will not be signing the Authority form for debursement the solicitor has sent.

    Kind regards

    Reply

    Hi
    Is there a period when I can I swap my solicitor? I have legal cover with an insurance policy and have been contacted by my cover provider and they advise me that they will charge nothing. I have tried to contact my solicitor but they couldn’t open my file and said that they would call me back.

    Ian Morris

    You can switch Solicitors at any stage of the claims process, although it does become more difficult for a new Solicitor to take over a claim the further down the line the process is. Therefore, it is best to switch Solicitors at the earliest opportunity.

    If you have only just instructed a Solicitor, the usual protocol is for a 14-day cooling off period before the Solicitor actually commences any work on the claim (unless you have waived this period). You could write to your Solicitor advising them that you wish to withdraw your instructions.

    However, just because you have discovered that you have legal cover available, it doesn’t mean that you need to switch Solicitors. You can simply advise your Solicitor that you have existing legal expenses insurance cover in place and that you would like to use that rather than purchase an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy from them. If you could do it this way it would probably be the speediest and best solution for all concerned.

    Reply

    I have just been told after 18 months that my solicitor is not going to continue with my claim as they had a similar case and lost it in court. They said they did not think it was worth it for them. I am quite annoyed as I signed a contract with them in October 2014 and it seemed that it was always me that was contacting them to see if they was any progress. I still believe it was not my fault I suffered soft tissue damage to my knee when I fell of the bus due to the bus driver not lowering the platform when i got off with my 15 month old daughter (at the time).

    Ian Morris

    Donna

    Hi, thank you for making contact. I can fully understand that you are frustrated with the developments with your claim and your current Solicitor. Of course, I cannot at this stage offer any realistic opinion on the claim as I don’t know the full circumstances and details of the accident.

    However, we would be very happy to see if we can take over the running of the claim. What we would need to do is have a very brief chat with you to obtain some basic details and contact information. We’d then get you to have a chat with one of our specialist personal injury compensation solicitors and they would then (with your authority to do so) contact your previous Solicitors and obtain a copy of your claim file – which they are obliged to retain and pass to any other law firm you instruct and authorise to do so.

    Once the file has been reviewed by a suitably qualified and experienced Solicitor, we would be in a position to advise you as to whether or not we would be able to take the claim further for you.

    Reply

    Hi i’m wanting to know if i can swap solicitors coz am not happy with the one i have as i’ve been misled by them!

    Ian Morris

    In short, the answer is yes. Anyone has the right to instruct a different Solicitor if they are unhappy with the work being carried out, or the quality of care that they receive from their legal team. However, swapping solicitors half way through a legal action of any sort, particularly within a no win no fee personal injury claim should be the last resort.

    Before you instruct a new solicitor you should advise your current solicitor of your concerns/complaint in writing and request assurances that they will resolve your situation positively. Once your solicitor is aware of an issue you have, they should address it promptly.

    However, if they do not resolve your complaint in a satisfactory manner, you can switch to a new solicitor and should refer your complaint to the law society.

    If you want to discuss swapping solicitors in greater detail, please do get in touch and we can help you to find out more about how to do it and give you a better understanding of your rights.

    Jeff Mullen

    Hi, I have just found out that I’ve have 2 law firms dealing with my claim for compensation, 1 of them has already booked me a medical so they told me I need to cancel the other one, is this a big problem?
    Regards
    Jeff

    Ian Morris

    Jeff

    Providing you have instructed the firms on a No Win No Fee (Conditional Fee Agreement) basis, this shouldn’t be a problem. What you need to do is work out which firm is further down the line with the claim and then ask them to continue and instruct the other firm to cease their action.

    In any case, the 3rd party against whom the claim is being made should already have notified the 2nd legal firm that a 1st firm was already pursuing the claim and the 2nd firm should have asked you whether you wanted them to take over the running of the claim or cease further action.

    I hope this helps.

    Reply
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