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When you instruct a lawyer you can expect a high degree of professionalism. Legal professionals are highly trained and are highly regulated and must comply with a professional code of conduct. But from time to time things can go wrong.
Where this happens a claim can be brought against your lawyer if they have failed to provide their service to a reasonable standard and this causes you to suffer a financial loss. This is often called a claim for “professional negligence”.
Often people do not even realise this has happened. Even if you are happy with the outcome of your claim how do you know that the claim was not worth more?
There are time limits for bringing claims. For instance in personal injury claims court proceedings must be commenced within 3 years or you lose the right to claim. Once proceedings are issued they must be served on the party you are claiming against within 4 months from the date of issue. If they are not served you may lose the right to continue. This happened to Mr and Mrs J and here is their story. The Courts lay down a timetable that must be complied with leading to trial. There will have been a date to produce all documents you want to rely on; a date by which witness statements had to be filed or expert evidence such as medical reports filed. If any of these deadlines were missed you may not have been able to rely on all the necessary evidence which might have prejudiced your case. If a time limit is missed it might be possible to take steps to rectify the problem but you must act quickly. If you think your legal adviser has missed a deadline act now. Complete our online form here so we can urgently consider your case. If the position can be rectified we can take over the conduct of the claim. If it is too late we can advise you on bringing a claim against your legal adviser if you have suffered a loss as a result. Where we think you have a claim we will offer you a No Win No Fee Agreement so you have nothing to lose. Act now before it is too late. .
This often happens where the lawyer is inexperienced with the type of claim they are pursuing, and particularly so in personal injury claims that we specialise in.
For instance inexperienced advisors often miss signs of a head injury which are not always obvious. Where this happens they do not obtain the necessary medical evidence to investigate the effects of this which can have a big impact on your life.
They may not have properly investigated the claim where liability is denied and have failed to obtain vital evidence to win the case, and advised you to settle for a lower sum advising you that you would probably lose at trial. This happened to Mr David Henry Click here to see his story.
They may not have included valid parts of your claim and presented the claim at an undervalue. This also happened to our client Mr Henry.
Challenging the bill from your solicitor can be a stressful and often complicated process. But we are here to help.
Sometimes it is not obvious that you have been overcharged. Where you have a “no win no fee” agreement a deduction may have been made from your compensation up to a maximum cap, often 25% or sometimes higher. But just because a reduction has been agreed in principle the solicitor cannot always just deduct the maximum cap at the end of a successful case. All too often this is what happens which has resulted in a vast number of Clients being overcharged. For more information see the link below.
If you would like us to review your Solicitor’s bill we can do so free of charge. If we feel you have been overcharged we will advise you on what you can do. We may be able to offer you a no win no fee agreement to challenge the bill. Also at the same time we will review free of charge whether the amount of compensation awarded was a fair sum (Click Here for more information).
If we feel that the Solicitor has done everything correctly, then at least you have the peace of mind of knowing this, and it will not have cost you anything for this second opinion.
Is it taking too long? Is your solicitor not listening to you? Is your solicitor not keeping you informed?
If your opponent has denied liability, has the solicitor done everything possible to obtain evidence to win?
If you were injured, has your solicitor looked into all of your injuries and the affect they might have had on you now and in the future? In our experience head injuries for instance are often over looked when there has been a blow to the head as the injury might not be obvious (click here for more information).
Have you been advised to accept an offer which you don’t think is enough?
Whatever the reason contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your concerns. Telephone us on 01329 227 986 or contact us using one of the methods below so we can either obtain your file of papers now and undertake a free review of your case or you can request a free no obligation consultation before you decide.
It may be that the advice is correct. But in our experience many lawyers will only take on sure fire winners under a no win no fee agreement and reject all other cases.
Here at Hayward Baker we are always prepared for a challenge, and are committed to obtaining compensation for all clients where we consider it is possible to win the claim even where that claim will be difficult.
If you would like a second opinion free of charge click here. If it is not too late to pursue the case and if we think the prospects of success are above 50% we can offer you a No Win No Fee agreement.
Alternatively, if it is too late, then you may have a claim against the solicitor for negligent advice.
You have nothing to lose. Act now for a second opinion.
Also if your lawyer deducted fees from your compensation we can check whether the fees charged are fair or whether you should be entitled to a refund (click here for more information).
Our client’s injuries
David Henry tore cartilage in his left wrist after a ladder fell on him at work, resulting in him requiring multiple operations. He has never returned to full fitness since the accident, and suffers from persistent aches and pins and needles.
The accident and David’s fight for compensation
David sustained an injury in January 2003 while carrying out work for a maintenance company in the Treasury Building in London. He had been asked to replace a faulty ceiling light.
As he and his colleague were returning a ladder to a storage room it fell on top of David. In raising his arm to protect himself, David sustained extensive damage to the cartilage in his wrist, which required numerous operations.
When he returned to work, it was under instructions not to carry any heavy lifting or climb ladders – two key parts of his role – as the accident left his wrist permanently weakened.
David appointed his previous solicitor to pursue a claim for him in June 2003; the first step in what was to become a drawn out process that left him angry and frustrated. David was only paid up until October 2003, meaning he had no income for ten months until he returned to work in August 2004.
His first solicitor estimated his case to be worth an amount in the region of £100,000, but repeated failings from his previous solicitor resulted in David receiving just £10,000 – the amount his solicitor advised him to accept from the insurance company prior to the case going to trial in February 2006.
During this time David was forced to sell his home to avoid repossession and clear the debts that had been building up due to his inability to work for so long.
What did Hayward Baker Solicitors do to help?
Hayward Baker became involved in the case in November 2008, when David visited the home of our Managing Director Keith Hayward in France to carry out some electrical work.
Just prior to sustaining the injury, David had purchased a run-down farmhouse in the country to renovate and retire with his wife. After selling his home in the UK he relocated to France to live in the farmhouse as it awaited renovation. While there, he was doing as much electrical work for expats in the area as was possible, given the pain his injury was still causing him.
After a conversation about his injury – David arrived at the house with his wrist in a splint – he instructed Keith to obtain his case file from the previous solicitor to see if it had been handled properly. When it emerged it had not, David instructed us to pursue a negligence claim against his previous solicitors.
Our investigation revealed David’s previous solicitor had made little attempt to pursue avenues of enquiry that would have made victory very likely had the case gone to court. The defence team employed by the building’s insurers disputed liability on the basis that they did not believe the accident had occurred, but we located witnesses who had not previously been spoken to and obtained evidence showing David should have been supplied with lifting equipment, rather than being left to use the heavy ladder that fell on him.
Armed with this information, we obtained quotes for the renovation work to David’s property in France – work he would he would have been able to do himself were it not for his injury. His previous solicitor denied being liable, arguing that the firm obtained a good settlement for David as they believed his case would not succeed in court. When presented with our evidence, however, we were able to convince them otherwise.
After Hayward Baker’s intervention we made a successful claim against David’s previous solicitors for an additional £50,000 in July 2011, helping David and his wife to complete renovations on their French farmhouse and ensure financial security.
You may be entitled to more compensation
You have nothing to lose