Switching solicitors during a claim – can you do it?

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In the vast majority of personal injury compensation claims, claimants report high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive from their claims management company or the specialist solicitor they have instructed to run their claim.

We 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. 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 – unless the claimant is coming to us.

But that’s not the case for everyone. Once you have instructed a solicitor to pursue your claim for personal injury compensation on a conditional fee agreement basis, how easy is it to switch to a different solicitor if you are unhappy with the way in which they are managing your claim?

If your solicitor closes your claim

The most common reason that someone comes to us after having already approached another company 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 and if they believe a claim is unlikely to do this, by pursuing your claim they are 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, that they have a very strong defence to the claim and that it would be unlikely to succeed should they take the matter to court (their only option other than close the claim if liability is in dispute), it could still be possible to pursue your claim although it is unlikely that another solicitor will take a different view to that of your previous one.

However, we suggest that you should always seek a second opinion and to that end, advise you to contact us as we can get a solicitor to review your claim file and 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.

Complaint against current or previous solicitor

Occasionally, clients come to us when they believe that the solicitor they previously instructed to run their claim for personal injury compensation has acted negligently or handled the claim poorly.  It is rare that solicitors set out to 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 hire 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 solicitor partners. Find out what is so special about us, or take a look at the feedback shown on our testimonials.

56 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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  1. I instructed a solicitor after I fell and broke my arm in a restaurant. They put a claim in and the initial response the restaurant hasn’t admitted liability due to staff statements. I have proof and witnesses that the statements are incorrect and my solicitor doesn’t want to respond to them? Is this normal

    • Do you mean that your Solicitor doesn’t wish to pursue the case further? If the Solicitor simply doesn’t wish to respond to the defendants comments on their statements, then you should ask why and obtain their ‘advice’ in writing. If the Solicitor is still pursuing the claim, we would recommend following their advice.

  2. 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 ?

    • 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.

  3. Hello, I’m wondering if you can help.

    I was involved in a car accident and fortunately had legal cover on my car insurance. About 6 weeks after, I underwent a medical examination organised by the law firm chosen for me. In the weeks following, I have developed some quite severe symptoms of depression and anxiety which my GP believes to be PTSD. I have recently been referred for therapy. I contacted my solicitor and explained that there had been quite a significant change in the psychological symptoms I am presenting with, and that the medical report due to be disclosed to the third party does not reflect this. I was told that I would need to wait until the predicted prognosis period for the injuries that were reported on at the time has passed until anything can be done about my new symptoms.

    My solicitor had sent me a Form of Auhority to sign in order to disclose the report to the third party. However, I no longer feel that the medical report reflects what I am experiencing. I am wondering if it’s worth requesting a change in legal representation with my insurance company so that I am able to disclose a more accurate medical report to the third party?

    The wording in the Form of Authority concerns me as it states that:

    “If we send the report to the other side, then we will be seeking to finalise your case on the basis that you will recover in accordance with the prognosis in the report. Your claim will be valued on that basis even if you do not recover as expected.” I have been told that there is an opportunity to be ‘re-examined’ at the end of the prognosis period, however I am reluctant to sign a document in retrospect that I no longer agree with.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    • You can seek to switch Solicitors in this matter, but that should be something you do only when you have lost all faith with the existing Solicitor. To this end, we would advise that you put in writing your concerns regarding your medical condition and what information is being disclosed to the defendants regarding your symptoms and seek a written response regarding the same.

      You are right to be cautious, as you can only settle this matter once and therefore, it is important to ensure that the full extent of any relevant medical condition changes are included in any claim related submissions to the defendants. Therefore, if your Solicitor is unable to give you the peace of mind and confidence you need to proceed, you can then seek to switch Solicitors and at that point perhaps you could contact us again?

  4. 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

    • 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.

      • 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 therfore I would have thought it shouldnt have been submitted to the defence yet, however i will check

  5. I have a contract with my solicitor when I try to phone him I can never get in touch with him he sent a letter out for my husband sign we need some amendments doing too it this is the second letter we have to amend we have been trying for three weeks and no response from him I feel like I should change but its the contract I signed that bothers me I can not afford a bill for is work could you advise

    • Before switching to a new Solicitor, you should look at your current Solicitors complaints procedure (which should be published on their website) and instigate a formal complaint to them. This will give them a final opportunity to resolve your concerns and give you confidence in them. If they are able to do that, that would be the best course of action for you. If they can not adequately answer your complaint you could then contact us to switch your claim to a new Solicitor such as ourselves.

  6. 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 dose he stand? Does he still have to pay this fee?

    • 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.

  7. 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?.

    • 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.

        • 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?

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. Hello. I was involved in an accident on 25/07/2016. I ran a taxi belonging to the corporation under their insurance. The accident was with the participation of a truck on Polish registrations. The truck driver pleaded guilty. The case was automatically dealt with by the insurance representative representing the taxi corporation. After a few weeks, they returned the car repair costs for the corporation. I was sent to the physiotherapist because of pain and cracks in the neck. Time run, and the representative all the time claimed that I do not have any news because it is a truck from Poland and communication is difficult. On March 14, 2017, I received a letter from a lawyer dealing with the calculation of costs and the likely amount of compensation. In conversations with me, the corporation’s insurance broker maintained that he would be calling and dealing with the matter. I am also an emigrant myself and it’s not easy for me to deal with such matters, but I decided to call the lawyer responsible for my case. I called there on March 20, 2018. The lawyer said that not much was done in this matter and that he would try to contact the insurer of the truck and that he would call me back the next day. He did not answer. Now, as I’m trying to connect with him, after redirecting me to his phone is just a signal and does not answer. The list was included with the existing cost of a law agency is £ 1327. What should I do in this situation? Would they charge me if I change solicitors? Thanks.

    • If your claim is being pursued on a No Win No Fee basis, you should not be charged if you opt to switch your claim to a new specialist personal injury Solicitor as the new Solicitor would give an undertaking to the existing law firm regarding their lien costs should they go on to succeed with your claim. Everyone has the right to switch Solicitors if they lose faith in the firm that they have instructed. However, it is not something you should do without having expressed your concerns to the existing Solicitor and giving them an opportunity to resolve your concerns and show you that they can pursue your claim correctly. If however, your relationship with an existing Solicitor completely breaks down and you have no faith in their ability you should then seek to switch to a specialist Solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

      If you would like to speak with our specialist Solicitors regarding your ongoing claim and the situation in which you find yourself, call our team on 01225430285. We would take some initial information and get the right specialist Solicitor to contact you to offer you advise and support with a view to taking over your claim if it were in your best interests for them to do so.

  10. I was 21 years old in a RTA back in 2014. I was the driver and a car hit the driver’s side of my car 60mph whilst stationary. I was taken to hospital and had surgery to remove glass from my arm. I have 6 scars to my arm, I suffered PTSD and had problems with my neck back and knees. I have underwent all medical examinations and treatment and my solicitor has recently evaluated the claim at 14-17k. I have not signed the papers yet as I feel this is not representative to my injuries. What are my options now?

    • Your road traffic accident sounds nasty and it is easy to understand how distressing it must have been both physically and psychologically. We would imagine that your Solicitor is basing the value of your claim for compensation on the basis of a detailed specialist medical report that would have been conducted on the instructions of your Solicitor. This report should have then been made available to you to read through to then check the contents and agree with them before it was handed to Counsel for an expert opinion on claim valuation. Is this the case?

      If so, it is hard to then argue against the valuation as it will be reached on the basis of case law and claim history. You could seek a 2nd medical opinion, but it is likely you would have to pay the cost of that report and in any event, the defendant insurers would undoubtedly draw attention to the first report if there was a large discrepancy in the appropriated value that a 2nd report provided.

      You mention your PTSD, neck and back problems. Were those matters properly reported to your Doctor and treatments provided? Clearly, at the time of your accident the lacerations to your arm would have been the immediate and obvious trauma that required attention, with the PTSD and ‘soft tissue’ problems likely to have presented over the following days and weeks. Could it be that the full extent of your PTSD and whiplash related problems have not been correctly taken in to account? Did you discuss those issues at your medical assessment?

  11. Hi

    Please could you advise me on whether I should change solicitors. In Sept 2013 I was in a road traffic accident, the other driver accepted responsibility. They hit my car from behind at approx. 30mph, I was stationary with my left foot on the clutch and right on the break, the impact was painful to my neck as my head whipped forward and back and I had an instant headache. I noticed the following day that my left knee was very sore, after several days I visited my gp and informed them, and a week or so later I went to A and E as my knee was very painful.
    After X-rays and MRI it was discovered I had a torn cartilage which I believe happened in the accident, 12 months after the accident I had surgery, 6 months later my knee was still sore, 12 months later it was still sore. My solicitor suggested £4000 in compensation, I refused as it was still sore. 18 months later the consultant did a second operation.
    It is over four years later and I have still pain every day in my knee. The independent report seems to have back tracked somewhat while initially saying it was highly probable that the knee injury was caused by the accident to suggesting that one would not normally expect significant damage to the knee in an accident of this kind.
    In addition to this it is being suggested that the second operation was as a result of something that happened between surgeries but this is not what was suggested by the consultant at the time. Regardless of whether that is true I had no knee problems prior to the accident and I am of a healthy weight etc.
    £4000 is again now being suggested but I feel this is not reflective of the pain and change of life style I have had to endure. Is this a reasonable offer or should I consider moving to a solicitor who is going to look after my interests?

    Many thanks.

    • It would be very hard for us to advise you to switch Solicitors in this case as it seems like you have received an appropriate medical assessment by an expert arranged by your Solicitor.

      If you are unhappy with the contents of the experts report, you should advise your Solicitor of this. However, whilst you can seek to instruct a second separate expert in the hope that their report will be more favourable, it could be that the defendant insurers refuse to pay the cost of that assessment at settlement.

  12. my son aged 16 had motorbike accident non fault
    instructed garvins solicitors
    jayson had leg hip knee injuries and walked with a limp
    had mri scan twice on knee and consultant said would repair within 12 months
    jayson became 18 and signed full settlement as nothing was ever explained to him as i his mother had been dealing with it
    after 6 months of payment jayson is in more pain i have taken him back to the physio guy and it now diagnosed and been refered as its a spinal problem he has been wrongly examined
    is there anything we can do

    • Unfortunately, your chances of doing anything further with regards to seeking further damages from the defendant insurers are very slim. When signing for the full and final settlement, your Son has done just that and effectively forgone any further right to damages.

      It would be wise to return to the previous Solicitors to discuss the matter with them.

  13. Hi, I was involved in a road traffic accident with the other party being at fault and admitting so. I took up the insurance companys 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 its too late for me to change solicitors at this stage?
    Regards
    Patricia.

    • 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.

  14. I was knock off my cycle 1 year ago and I have used Slater Gordon to take a no win no fee claim. They have come back with the offer from the third part which I have rejected due to the refusal to reimburse for my cycle in full and my mobile phone. I have now been asked to sign a form of authority to sign to release my interim payment and disbursement of my solicitor for acting on my behalf. I feel very uneasy about signing this as I wish my claim to go to court for my cycle and mobile phone loss.
    I have spoken to them and they “claim” they will continue to fight for my compensation but I don’t feel they will. Should I sign? They have said if I don’t sign this within the next week they will have to return the money to the thirst party insurer and it will cause problems.
    Urgent advise please, I just don’t know which way to turn. Thank you

    • It is very difficult for us to advise you what to do as we are not aware of the full facts held within your claim file. However, our gut instinct would be to trust your Solicitor. The company you mention is a well known and respected legal firm and I have no doubt that they will do their utmost to ensure that your losses are recovered in full.

      To refuse to accept the interim payment would not be wise and in accepting the payment, you are not doing so in a full and final settlement so you do still have room to return to the table to seek full settlement including your cycle and phone.

      • 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

  15. 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.

    • 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.

  16. I have just found out that slater Gordon solutions will be taking 25% of my award. I feel this is very unfair as they have taken just under 3 years to settle my claim, they changed companies from quindell then my paperwork went missing so I had to start the process over again. I now find that the company who the claim is against will not take calls from slater and Gordon only e-mails. My question is, can I expect/demand a reduction in there fees. I tried to ask them this question but would not answere, also would I be able to telephone the company who the claim is against and deal with it myself.

    • If the claim was ‘registered’ or made on or after 1st April 2013, you will be obliged to contribute up to 25% of your claim award towards the costs of the claim. This is not the Solicitor simply taking it, but due to law changes in the LASPO Act 2012, Solicitors acting on Personal Injury claims were forced to sign claimants to an agreement that saw up to 25% of the award deducted towards the costs of the claim. None of us on the ‘claimant’ side of Personal Injury compensation felt that the legal changes were fair as they clearly reduced peoples compensation and boosted insurance giants profits. However, the law is the law and we must work within that framework. You can read more about why claimants are obliged to contribute up to 25% of their award in this article.

      If you think that your Solicitor has been negligent and handled the claim poorly, you may be able to seek a reduction in fee from them. You will need to make a formal complaint to your Solicitor outlining your concern and allow them to investigate. If they are unable to satisfy your complaint and you remain aggrieved, you could then ask the Law Society to investigate this for you.

  17. Hello.I had a shoulder injury in my previous employment that has lead me to just having an operation. I tried to make a claim which was tejected.I feel so angry that i cant work or claim benefits.I am in horrendous pain and its lead to my depression. eing at an all time low. If a claim has been rejected can anyone else take this claim rewuest on?
    I would really appreciate some advice as i dont know what else i can do.
    Kind Regards

    • Diane

      Thank you for telling us about both your workplace injury and your personal injury claim experience. I am sorry to hear that you didn’t get a good outcome with your claim enquiry the first time around.

      You can seek an alternative opinion from us or another specialist injury compensation Solicitor even if your claim has been rejected. Of course, if one Solicitor has rejected the claim it may indicate areas of weakness within your claim but it could simply be that the Solicitor didn’t feel adequately experienced to handle the claim. Do you know if the claim was simply rejected upon consideration by a Solicitor or if the claim was closed after being brought to the attention of the defendant insurers and on the basis of their defence of the claim? If an insurer has successfully defended a claim and a Solicitor has opted to ‘close’ the matter rather than take it to court, it could indicate that you are unlikely to get any further. If however, the claim never got that far then it is definitely worth looking in to this again.

      Please send your contact number to me and I will call you to find out more and offer some advice regarding your options going forward.

      With regards to benefits, have you explored all the state benefits that you may be entitled to? If you were injured whilst performing your working duties, you be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit which is non-means tested. You should definitely investigate further with this.

      Yours sincerely

  18. Hi i lost my whole index finger at work and half of my knuckle the insurer has accepted 30 per cent blame and offered me £40 000 my solicitor has said i should reject the offer because he thinks we can get more your thoughts.

    regards

    Simon

    • Simon

      Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and for discussing your situation with us.

      Clearly, the injury you have sustained – total loss of an important digit (index finger) with partial loss of knuckle joint is a very serious injury with permanent implications in terms of dexterity and hand use. With this in mind, the likely value of any final settlement is likely to be substantial.

      Without knowing the full details of the accident that lead to the injury and your losses to date, it is very hard to provide accurate advice as to the settlement offer you mention. However, I would suggest that the offer seems reasonable and is within an appropriate value range. That said, if your Solicitor is of the view that you should reject this offer on the basis that it is likely that you can obtain a higher settlement, I would very much recommend that you take that advice and instruct your Solicitor to reject the offer.

      Your Solicitor will have sought expert advice from a Barrister with regards to the medical reports written in relation to your injury, treatments and prognosis. The Barrister will have provided an opinion on the likely settlement value for your claim and it would seem apparent that the 3rd party insurers have failed to make an offer that matches the higher end of your Barristers valuation. As such, your Solicitor would be right to advise you to reject the offer of £40,000. The Barristers opinion will come from previous settlements for similar injuries and claimants, using precedent to provide value.

      Whilst rejecting the offer will of course lead to a delay in your receiving settlement, it is likely to be worthwhile in terms of the final settlement value.

      • Hi Ian thanks for your promt reply its nice to read your thoughts from someone other than my own solicitor its seems as though we`re heading in the right direction at this particular time of writing thankyou .

  19. Hi, can you please advise me at the moment I am going through a accident at work case which happened 17 months ago hospital has said I have been left with c r s p since having a tibia plateau to my knee , my employers are being awful but the company working for me who will receive 25% of my claim say they can’t help with my work issues and that I would have to join there other team who do this line of work and that I would need to pay money up front and then further down the line this is money I do not have the company I work for excepted liability last March but are saying for me too go back to work I must be able to work one on one with heavy manual handling and being on my feet all day but I still use crutches as they no when the area manager comes to my house my law firm say get your daughter to take notes which means she is having to take time off work for this and to take me to appointments can I move to another firm or will I have large costs to pay them.

    • You can swap from your existing Solicitor to a new firm, but in most cases this should only be done if there has been a full breakdown of relations between your Solicitor and you.

      Whilst we sympathise fully with your feelings of stress and angst, we can also understand that your Solicitors are unable to give employment law advice on a No Win No Fee basis in the same way that they have been able to pursue the personal injury claim for you. Sadly, the Government changed the law in relation to employment disputes in the recent past and this has placed a large cost burden on people in the situation in which you find yourself.

      Whilst your injury is relevant to your employment and the injury was sustained at work, any issue you have about your return to work or how your employer is handling your employment is not related to your claim for personal injury compensation and as such, needs to be handled separately.

      We would suggest that you continue to pursue your claim with your current Solicitor as to switch at this stage could delay the claims process and may not be in your best interests. Regarding the employment issue you have, you may wish to seek some advice or guidance from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

      I hope that this helps.

  20. Hello. I had a personal injury claim against Sainsbury’s Supermarket which was being dealt with by Slater & Gordon through my union. I fell in Sainsbury’s whilst shopping and suffered severe damage to my shoulder including a dislocation which resulted in having to undergo surgery. Sainsbury Maintain they did everything required of them in law and are in no way responsible. Consequently my solicitor has said she feels the case will not succeed in court and will be closing the case! Would your company be interested in taking on the case? As you can imagine I am rather upset about this as I suffered and continue to suffer a lot of pain and although I have now had an operation it is a 12/18 month recovery period!! Sainsbury did not even offer good will!

    • Rosemary

      Hi, thank you for telling us about your accident at Sainsbury’s. I can appreciate your frustration at the lack of success with your claim for compensation.

      We would certainly be able to get one of our specialist solicitor partners to obtain the file of papers held by Slater & Gordon in order that they could review the work undertaken by them and the responses provided by Sainsbury’s in relation to the claim. This would enable one of our solicitors to evaluate whether or not there is any chance of taking the matter further for you.

      I should add that if Slater & Gordon are closing their interest in the case, it is likely that Sainsbury’s have mounted a robust defence of the claim. With regards to claims for compensation after slipping on a wet floor within a supermarket, the courts have been fairly generous to the defendants in such claims. In order to defend a claim, the supermarket must simply provide proof that they have inspected their shop floor regularly (usually once every 30 minutes) to look for hazards and show that regular cleaning takes place. In your case, I would imagine that Sainsbury’s have provided a check list showing that someone had inspected the shop floor in the 30 minutes before you fell and found no hazard. With this in mind, the courts would likely find on Sainsbury’s side should the claim get that far on the basis that they had done everything reasonable to provide a safe environment and that the hazard/spillage that caused you to slip and fall may have only been present for a very short time and not been reported to Sainsbury’s staff or seen before you fell.

      I can appreciate that this doesn’t satisfy your grievance and given the extent of your injury I can understand your anger at the lack of apology or good will from Sainsbury’s.

      When it comes to No Win No Fee claims, solicitors must apply a strict risk assessment on any work they undertake on the basis of whether or not the prospects of succeeding with the claim warrant them working on the basis that they will only obtain their fees if they win. In your case, Slater & Gordon have taken a view that it is too risky to undertake further work on your claim as they don’t feel that they will succeed.

      However, as I said at the outset, if you would like us to get one of our solicitors to review the work for you, we would be happy to do so. You never know, we may find something that has been missed. Whilst such an outcome is far from certain, it does happen from time to time and at least you would have the peace of mind of a 2nd opinion.

      Please email me via: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk if you would like us to help you.

      Yours sincerely

      Ian

  21. Hi..i had a discectomy in nov.2012..i started a new job in may 2013 i told the employer about my operation at interview and got the job.the job was driving and lifting’delivery driver’i wasnt giving any health and saftey advise or training just put in the van and told to deliver the goods..in aug.2015 i felt my back and legs getting sore every day so went to my gp who advised to take time off to see if it gets better but it didnt it just got worse and in the end i ended up with sciatica down my leg and had to have another discectomy.i went back to work on jan.2017 and they have giving me a different job which could be heavier work so i told them i cant do it incase i hurt my back again and need another operation..so now im unemployed..could the sciatica have been prevented if i was giving training and health and saftey..

    • Steven

      Hi, thanks for your comment. Given that your employer failed to provide you with the basic health and safety training required for a manual job, I would say that it is definitely worthwhile making a claim for personal injury compensation against the employer on the grounds of employer negligence.

      All employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment and they must ensure staff are shown how to work safely and then provided with a workspace/environment that allows them to work safely. Given that you would be expected to lift and move items repeatedly, the lack of any training regarding safe manual handling of items would given the employer a problem if you were to pursue a claim against them.

      I would suggest that you call us on 01225430285 or email us your phone number to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk and we can then have a chat and help you get the ball rolling.

  22. I have just been advised by my solicitor to accept an offer of £5000 (if agreed) less £500 for physio & xrays and then 37.5% for their fees. I fell & broke ankle 3 years ago & it has been me instigating all correspondence. I have always been told the case could go either way. Solicitor has always taken between 4-6 to respond to any emails I have sent. Last report from consultant had incorrect ankle (I know this could just have been a type error) but obviously it should have been accurate. I feel it has been dragged out for a long time & I have been the one chasing everything. Is this normal & would the amount being offered be normal amount?

    • Marion

      Thank you for contacting us. I am unable to advise on the proposed settlement value that has been suggested – as we have not seen the medical evidence and don’t know the long term prognosis regarding your injury.

      One thing that does jump out to me from your comment is that your Solicitor is to deduct 37.5% from your award for their fees. Are you sure this is the correct % total?

      The maximum deduction you should face is 25% from your award. With this in mind, I would double check your agreement with them and perhaps contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority to ensure that your firm are acting legally.

  23. 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 beleive 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).

    • 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.

      Please make contact with us by calling 01225430285.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Regards

      Ian

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

          Yours sincerely

          Ian Morris

Direct2Compensation Personal Injury Claims

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