If your solicitor failed to perform to the appropriate standards expected and required of them, you may be able to make a solicitor negligence claim. The claim is worth what you have lost as a result of professional negligence. In a personal injury claim where the case has been under-settled, the amount you will receive is approximately what your compensation should have been if your case had been dealt with adequately.
What is a professional negligence claim?
A professional negligence claim against a solicitor for an under-settled court case is not a re-run of the original case. The original case has been decided upon and is gone forever; the claim against the solicitor is for the value of the ‘lost chance’ of having your case dealt with properly.
You can make this claim if you believe that your solicitor hasn’t performed to the standards required of them. This can occur when they give bad advice or under-settle on a claim for a client in which they could have received more compensation. However, not every under-settled case will result in compensation, even if you believe your claim to be worth more. You must be able to prove that any other competent solicitor would have treated the case differently and more appropriately in the same circumstances.
How much is a solicitor negligence claim worth?
A solicitor negligence claim can vary in its worth. The value of your claim against a solicitor is like all professional negligence claims; it varies greatly depending on many factors, including your personal circumstances and the value of your losses. For example, in a recent case regarding Mrs R P, we recovered nearly £1 million in her settlement after her solicitor under settled her compensation amount.
The court has to take into consideration a number of factors before finalising its decision; The risks involved in the original claim- Would you have been found partly to blame? Would you have settled for less than the full amount if an early offer had been made? The court also then has to consider the risks involved in proving the Professional Negligence claim.
Types of solicitor negligence
Not having been made aware of the full amount that you are entitled to and being rushed into settling a claim by your solicitor are signs of negligence. Additionally, some claimants require representation in the case that they do not have the mental capacity to make decisions about the claim, and this may not have been provided.
If your personal injury solicitor does not take into account all the potential aspects or future repercussions of your claim, such as the development of a chronic condition, you could find yourself accepting a compensation settlement that does not meet your current or future needs. Whether your claim was under settled is evaluated by different aspects of the settlement. This includes general damages, which refers to compensation on the basis of pain, suffering and loss of amenity as a result of an accident, whether physical or psychological. It compensates you for non-monetary damages, such as a reduction in quality of life and mental anguish.
Your negligence claim will also consider your claim for special damages. This refers to out-of-pocket expenses that have been incurred and takes into consideration future costs and loss of income, including medical bills, loss of earnings and transportation costs to and from appointments.
Furthermore, if the injury for which you are claiming has left you unable to return to work, you are entitled to claim for future losses, such as loss of earnings and the cost of future care. In this case, future losses should be included in the evaluation of the total valuation of your claim.
Another way in which the solicitor who dealt with your claim may have under settled is if they received medical advice from someone who isn’t a specialist or settled the claim before your medical condition was confirmed. In cases such as chronic illness, it is a lengthy process to receive a diagnosis. Therefore, it is crucial that the solicitor treating your case refers you to the correct medical experts to avoid settling a claim early or one that is significantly less than you are entitled to. These factors will be evaluated when making a solicitor negligence claim as they could have potentially significantly reduced the amount of final settlement you received. If your case is successful, the court is also likely to award additional legal fees which are required in order to put matters right, along with an amount for interest.
If you feel that your claim has been under-settled or that your solicitor has failed to re-assess your case after a later diagnosis of a far more serious condition than the one for which you received compensation, Brian Barr may be able to sue your solicitor for failing to represent you properly.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider