I was involved in a road accident in 2006. I never felt better after the accident and in 2008 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I had been well before the accident and I told my solicitor that I thought the fibromyalgia had been caused by the accident. He told me that that was something very difficult to prove and it was disregarded. The claim was settled for £5000 in 2009. Do you think that my solicitor may have been wrong and is it too late for me to do anything about it now?
Solicitors do make mistakes. It may well be that your solicitor made one here by not asking a medical specialist to consider if there was a link between the accident and your fibromyalgia. Specialists who understand fibromyalgia will often make that link, but they have to be asked. The instructions to them have to be complete and thorough. It is not good enough just asking a specialist for an opinion without giving him all the relevant information. However, it sounds like your solicitors did not even do that. I do not know how bad your fibromyalgia was, whether you were working before the accident and have been unable to work since, whether you have needed a lot of help from your spouse or family, but all of these are aspects which should have been considered, together with the main point as to whether there was a connection between the accident and the fibromyalgia. It is certainly worth investigating whether your solicitor’s advice meant you under-settled your claim. If the claim would, in capable hands, have been worth £200,000 and you settled it for £5000, you would have a very substantial claim against those solicitors. This is a situation we come across very frequently.
You are concerned that you may be out of time. You are not. Although accident claims have to be commenced within three years of the accident, claims against solicitors for negligence need only be commenced within six years of the negligence occurring. Your case settled in 2009, so you would theoretically have until 2015 to start legal proceedings against your solicitors if they have been at fault. I would not advise you to leave it until then. It should be investigated by solicitors who understand fibromyalgia as soon as possible.
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