Can You Claim Against A Solicitor For Failing To Meet Deadlines Or Missing Court Appearances?

This guide will discuss eligibility to start a professional negligence claim against medical negligence or personal injury solicitors for failing to meet deadlines or missing court appearances that result in a claim being struck out. Legal professionals are bound by a duty of care to provide services to their clients that meet a specific standard. Falling short of those standards can involve late submissions of court documents and missing court dates that result in a compensation claim being struck out by the court.

As a consequence, your personal injury or medical negligence claim can be dismissed in part or in full. Or it can fall outside of the time limits to claim and become statute-barred. This means you lose the chance to pursue your claim. These acts or inactions on the part of your solicitor could constitute negligence if they damage the prospects of your claim.

This guide will explore what evidence can be used to show that you experienced loss after professional negligence. We look at who is eligible to claim and the compensation that could apply if your claim is a success. As well as looking at how a No Win No Fee agreement like the one offered by our panel of professional negligence solicitors could benefit you.

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A Guide To Claiming Against A Solicitor For Failing To Meet Deadlines Or Missing Court Appearances

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  1. What Does Solicitor Negligence Mean?
  2. Can You Claim For Your Solicitor Failing To Meet Deadlines Or Missing Court Appearances?
  3. Compensation You Could Receive When Claiming For Professional Negligence Against Solicitors
  4. What Is The Time Limit When Making Professional Negligence Claims?
  5. No Win No Fee Professional Negligence Claims For A Solicitor Failing To Meet Deadlines Or Missing Court Appearances
  6. Read More About Professional Negligence Claims

What Does Solicitor Negligence Mean?

Professional negligence is broadly understood to be a failure to meet the correct standards of service for a client. Many professionals are expected to apply a duty of care, including legal professionals.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) outlines a Code of Conduct that describes the expected standards of professionalism for solicitors authorised by the SRA to provide legal services.  Failure to adhere to these standards is not automatically professional negligence. However, legal professionals do have a responsibility to provide services to a correct standard as part of their duty of care.

Firstly, it is important to clearly explain the three criteria that need to be met in order to start a professional negligence claim:

  • Firstly, the solicitor in question owed you a duty of care.
  • Secondly, they breached this duty in some way.
  • Thirdly, you experienced loss.

If you would like to learn more about whether you are eligible to start a professional negligence claim against a solicitor, please get in touch at the number above.

Can You Claim For Your Solicitor Failing To Meet Deadlines Or Missing Court Appearances?

Solicitors failing to meet deadlines or missing court appearances when it comes to a medical negligence or personal injury claim could mean that the court strikes out all or part of your case. If this were to happen, it could either mean you lose the chance to pursue all or part of your compensation claim which could result in you suffering losses.

To be eligible to make a professional negligence claim against your solicitor on these grounds, you first need to be able to prove that your original compensation claim would have succeeded. This means showing that your personal injury or medical negligence claim could have on the balance of probabilities been successful but for the negligent actions or inactions of the solicitor. On the basis that this can be proven you could proceed on to making a professional negligence claim.

Other Ways That Negligent Solicitors Could Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

If a solicitor is negligent when representing your personal injury claim it could result in a lost chance. Here are some scenarios:

  • Settle your case for too little by failing to incorporate all future expenses or losses.
  • Miss the limitation date of three years for initiating legal proceedings for your personal injury claim meaning your case becomes statute-barred.
  • Drop your case right before the limitation date leaving you no time to find alternative representation.

Compensation You Could Receive When Claiming For Professional Negligence Against Solicitors

If your professional negligence claim against a solicitor is successful, the compensation aims to put you in the position you would have been in but for the negligence.

With this in mind, successful settlements in personal injury and medical negligence claims can comprise two heads of claim. If your professional negligence claim is a success, your settlement can therefore include these damages.

General damages compensate for the suffering and pain caused by the injuries. Legal professionals are able to refer to a document called the Judicial College Guidelines to help them value these injuries. We have included some of the guidance award brackets below, but please note they are only guidelines, not guarantees. Each payout will vary according to individual circumstances:

Award Bracket Guideline Examples

Area of InjuryHow Severe?Award Bracket Guideline AmountsNotes
Head(b) Moderately Severe £219,070 to £282,010Very serious permanent disability is caused that then requires significant reliance on others for basic needs.
Arm(a) Severe Injuries£96,160 to £130,930Injuries almost as serious as a complete amputation and therefore reduce ability to a similar level.
Leg(b) Severe (iii) Serious£39,200 to £54,830Compound and comminuted fractures that require lengthy recovery and create an increased risk of future arthritis.
Back(b) Moderate (i) £27,760 to £38,780Injuries that compress or crush the lumbar vertebrae are assessed in this bracket. As well as cases where an increased risk of osteoarthritis is indicated.
Elbow(b) Less Severe Injuries£15,650 to £32,010Injuries that impair general function but may not demand any significant surgical intervention or create a permanent disability.
Knee(b) Moderate (i) £14,840 to £26,190Injuries of torn cartilage and dislocations that cause weakness, instability and wasting issues.
Ankle(c) Moderate£13,740 to £26,590Fractures and tears to the ligaments that cause difficulty standing for long periods of time, or navigating stairs and uneven ground. Increased prospect of future osteoarthritis.
Neck(b) Moderate (ii) £13,740 to £24,990Soft tissue injuries that limit movement and cause permanent or reoccurring levels of discomfort and pain. Bracket includes cases where there is a potential need for further surgery.
Wrist(c) Wrist Injuries£12,590 to £24,500Injuries of a less severe nature that nonetheless cause a level of ongoing disability such as pain and stiffness.
Shoulder(c) Moderate£7,890 to £12,770Injuries such as frozen shoulder that cause limited movement and persist for approximately a 24 month period.

It’s also important to note that you can receive an additional 8% interest. This is on top of your compensation for each year that has passed since your initial claim.

The second head of damage called special damages aims to compensate for the associated financial losses caused by the injuries. This can include any drop in income or loss of earnings incurred from time off work while recovering. Also, any care costs required.

In professional negligence claims against solicitors the compensation may be worked out on a balance of probabilities. To find out more, please contact our team for free advice.

What Is The Time Limit When Making Professional Negligence Claims?

The Limitation Act 1980 sets out a time limit of 6 years to start a professional negligence claim. There can be exceptions to this limitation period, so please call our advisors for further advice.

No Win No Fee Professional Negligence Claims For A Solicitor Failing To Meet Deadlines Or Missing Court Appearances

Whilst you are welcome to start a professional negligence claim against your solicitor yourself, it can be much easier with help. You may find it advantageous to work with a solicitor from our panel. They have extensive expertise on how to claim against a solicitor for professional negligence. In addition, they will assist you to aim for the maximum compensation potentially owed to you.

They can offer to work on your claim with a version of a No Win No Fee contract. A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) means you can access your solicitor’s services without the need to pay upfront or ongoing fees as the case evolves. Furthermore, there is no need to pay fees to your solicitors for completed work if the claim fails.

Should your claim enjoy a successful outcome, you will need to pay a success fee from your compensation. The fee is taken as a percentage, and there is a legal cap that applies, so you always receive the majority of the compensation awarded.

To find out whether you have valid grounds to pursue a professional negligence claim for your solicitor failing to meet deadlines or missing court appearances, you can:

Read More About Professional Negligence Claims

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Thank you for reading our guide on how to make a professional negligence claim against a solicitor. If you have any other questions, call an advisor at the number above.