Our guide explores the question ‘what is solicitor negligence?’. Whilst all solicitors owe a duty of care to their clients to provide a service that meets the correct standard, this guide will focus on personal injury solicitors.
If a solicitor handling your personal injury claim breached their duty of care, it could have resulted in you suffering a loss of chance. This refers to the loss of opportunity to pursue all or part of your claim. Our guide will explore when you could be eligible to make a professional negligence claim for the loss you have suffered, and how long you have to do so.
Additionally, we look at examples of how a solicitor could be negligent, and the impact this could have.
Furthermore, we explore the professional negligence compensation that could be awarded, and how settlements are calculated in successful claims against a personal injury solicitor.
To conclude, you can find information on the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, and how they could assist you in seeking compensation.
For further guidance, you can contact our advisors. To do so:
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- What Is Solicitor Negligence?
- When Can You Claim Against Personal Injury Solicitors For Professional Negligence?
- Potential Compensation From A Professional Negligence Claim
- What Do You Need To Sue Personal Injury Solicitors For Professional Negligence?
- Use No Win No Fee Solicitors To Claim Compensation
- Learn More About What Solicitor Negligence Is
You may be wondering ‘what is solicitor negligence and when could I claim?’. In order to put forward a professional negligence claim against a personal injury solicitor, you must prove the following:
- You were owed a duty of care by your solicitor.
- They breached this duty of care by providing a service that fell below the correct standard.
- You experienced loss as a result of the breach.
In addition, you also need to ensure you start your claim within the relevant limitation period. For professional negligence claims, legal proceedings need to be started within 6 years.
To find out more about the eligibility for professional negligence claims against a personal injury solicitor, call our team on the number above.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulator of lawyers and solicitors in England and Wales, set out a Code of Conduct which describes the professional standards that must be adhered to. Whilst it’s not always a case of professional negligence when these standards aren’t adhered to, you can make a complaint to them if this happens.
There are various scenarios in which your personal injury solicitor could breach their duty of care, causing you to suffer a loss. For example:
- Miscalculating the value of a claim: You could provide evidence of both physical and psychological injuries, but your solicitor only includes your physical injuries when valuing your settlement. As a result, you are awarded less compensation than you are entitled to.
- Failing to adhere to the limitation date: There is a general three year time limit for personal injury claims. If your solicitor fails to ensure legal proceedings for your case are started on time, it could result in your claim becoming statute-barred. As a result, you would no longer be able to pursue your claim.
- Not following court instructions or adhering to deadlines: The courts set deadlines and outline instructions that personal injury solicitors need to follow. If they don’t, it could result in your claim being struck out of court either partially or fully. As a result, you would no longer be able to pursue your case.
For more information on the question ‘what is solicitor negligence?’ and to discuss your specific case to see if you’re eligible to claim, call an advisor on the number above.
The purpose of professional negligence compensation is to put you in the position you would have been in had the personal injury solicitor negligence not occurred.
In successful personal injury claims, settlements can comprise two heads of loss; general and special damages. As such, if you make a successful professional negligence claim against a personal injury solicitor, you could be awarded these two heads within your payout.
In addition to this, an 8% interest amount can be applied to the overall compensation. This applies to each year since the initial claim.
Special damages compensate for the financial losses incurred because of any injuries. This can include loss of earnings, travel costs and medical expenses. Evidence, such as payslips and travel tickets, can prove these losses.
General damages compensate for the pain and suffering experienced because of any injuries sustained. A publication called the Judicial College Guidelines can be used by legal professionals to value this aspect of claims.
|Award Brackets – Guidelines
|(b) Moderately Severe
|A very serious disability that is either physical or cognitive.
|£219,070 to £282,010
|(a) Severe (i)
|A knee injury of a serious nature with disruption of the joint, considerable pain and loss of function.
|£69,730 to £96,210
|(b) Permanent and Substantial Disablement
|Serious fractures affecting one or both forearms leaving significant and permanent residual disability.
|£39,170 to £59,860
|(b) Moderate (i)
|A compression or crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae causing a substantial risk of osteoarthritis as well as ongoing pain and discomfort.
|£27,760 to £38,780
|(b) Moderate (i)
|Fractures or dislocations with immediate and severe symptoms that may require surgery.
|£24,990 to £38,490
|(b) Significant And Permanent
|Some useful movement remains despite a disability of a permanent and significant nature.
|£24,500 to £39,170
|(c) Less Serious (i)
|An incomplete recovery from fractures.
|£17,960 to £27,760
|Fractures and ligament tears that can create less serious disabilities such as difficulty walking on uneven ground.
|£13,740 to £26,590
|Frozen shoulder with limited movement and discomfort for around 2 years.
|£7,890 to £12,770
|(c) Moderate or Minor
|Simple fractures and lacerations that cause no permanent damage or function impairment.
|Up to £12,590
For a more personalised estimate of what you could receive in compensation after a successful claim, call our team on the number above.
Evidence in a professional negligence claim against a personal injury solicitor can help show that your solicitor breached their duty of care and caused you loss as a result. For example, you could gather letters and emails between you and your solicitor, as well as meeting notes.
Additionally, you can provide evidence that shows you had valid grounds to pursue your initial personal injury claim, and that it would have had a chance to succeed it had you been given the opportunity to pursue it. This can include:
- Medical records
- Photographs of your initial injury
- A diary of your symptoms
- Proof of financial losses
For further guidance on the evidence you could gather to support your claim against a solicitor, call our team on the number above.
The professional negligence solicitors on our panel could offer to represent your claim in a No Win No Fee capacity. As such, they may offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which sets out different terms that typically mean you do not have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for the solicitor’s services.
If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation. They take this as a percentage, but a legal cap applies, restricting how much they can take. Following the completion of an unsuccessful claim, you won’t pay this fee.
For more information on the services our panel of solicitors can offer, and whether you could be eligible to have them represent your claim on this basis, contact an advisor. They can also discuss the question ‘what is solicitor negligence?’ in more detail.
To reach an advisor, you can:
For more of our helpful guides:
- Learn when you could make a professional negligence claim against a solicitor, and the compensation you could potentially receive.
- Find examples of professional negligence, and the criteria for making this type of claim in our helpful guide.
- Read our guide exploring when you could claim if a solicitor failed to include loss of earnings when calculating your settlement.
- In this article you can find out if you can claim against a solicitor if they don’t maintain adequate communication with a client and the compensation you could receive
In conclusion, the following links may be helpful:
- SRA – Problems or complaints
- The Law Society – Complain about a solicitor
- SRA – Legal jargon explained
Thank you for reading our guide discussing the question ‘what is solicitor negligence?’. If you have any other questions, call our team on the number above.
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