Yorkshire law firm liable for failings of ‘commoditised’ personal injury advice
The Court of Appeal has upheld a negligence claim against a Yorkshire law firm whose ‘commoditised’ personal injury advice left its client ill-informed about what he could claim for.
The law firm secured a settlement of £11,141 for the client, a former miner who had suffered a vibration white finger injury, but there had been no claims made for loss of earnings or ‘services’ (the help he needed with domestic tasks following the injury).
The man lodged a claim against the law firm and was awarded a settlement of several thousand pounds in the County Court. The judge criticised the firm’s use of questionnaires and standard letters along with its lack of personal contact when acting for the client. The law firm then appealed in the Court of Appeal.
Lord Justice Tomlinson of the Court of Appeal agreed with the findings of the County Court judge. He said: “The solicitors were dealing with a client who could fairly be regarded as unsophisticated in the relevant field.
“The written advice given to him was unclear, and there were clear indications that it may not have been understood.
“It is not asking much of a solicitor in such circumstances to make sure that his client understand the opportunity apparently being passed up.”
The managing partner of the law firm concerned admitted this case was one of 186 similar claims made against the firm.
Gaby Hardwicke Personal Injury Services Partner Iona Smith commented: “At Gaby Hardwicke our approach ensures that our clients’ compensation properly reflects the impact upon them as individuals rather than employing a 'one size fits all' mentality which is all too common in the larger firms where very often there is minimal (if any) face to face contact between lawyer and client. We will always maximise the amount of compensation recoverable by getting to know our clients and, in so doing, making sure all angles are covered.”
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At Gaby Hardwicke we pride ourselves on giving each personal injury and clinical negligence client personal and individual attention with expert support and guidance at every stage of their claim.
Our specialist team includes nationally-accredited members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and Headway (the charity for those with serious head injuries).
Our premier service is provided on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. If you have a strong case we will pursue it tenaciously, and if you lose you will have no liability for our costs or associated expenses.
Posted: 06 May 2015
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