Professional Negligence

Anyone can make a mistake, but a mistake by your lawyer can have a serious impact on your case. The most common type of solicitors’ negligence is missing a deadline needed to pursue your case or missing a time limit set by the court. The other main areas are; where the solicitor has missed crucial evidence that affects your claim; where the solicitor has made a mistake on the type of claim you should bring; or if your solicitor simply lacks the expertise to advise you properly on how best to pursue your case. Brief case studies of these types of solicitor’s mistakes appear below.

Pattinson & Brewer can help you in addressing any of these mistakes made by lawyers. If you think you have a claim, please call Jane Radcliffe on 01904 680 000 or email to discuss your case.

There are strict time limits for starting court proceedings. If your solicitor fails to issue court proceedings within the relevant period you may be able to bring a claim for damages.

PC M –v- XY Solicitors – Mr M, serving police officer, was injured in a road traffic accident whilst driving a vehicle during the course of his employment. He suffered serious injuries and was retired from the police force on the grounds of ill health. His solicitors failed to commence court proceedings on his behalf within three years of his accident. We successfully sued the solicitors and our client received damages of £110,000.

Many cases for personal injury arise out of road traffic accidents. Most claims brought against drivers are paid out by their insurance companies. However, as many as 5% of drivers drive their cars uninsured. On average, an individual uninsured driver causes an accident on the roads twice a year and a staggering 10% of all UK motorists have experienced being in an accident with a driver who is not insured. They are 10 times more likely to drive over the limit, and are 3 times more likely to be convicted of driving recklessly. The statistics are quite frightening, and indeed, uninsured drivers have a big impact on the roads.

Cases against uninsured drivers are paid out by the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), a statutory body. There is a set procedure for bringing a claim involving the MIB and if your solicitor fails to comply with the relevant procedure the MIB will refuse to pay out your claim.

Bayes –v- RJW Solicitors. Mr Bayes sustained injury when he was involved in a road traffic accident. The other vehicle was not insured. He instructed solicitors to act on his behalf. They failed to issue the correct notice to the MIB who therefore refused to settle his claim. Mr Bayes instructed us to bring a claim against his solicitors who admitted their negligence and they agreed to pay him the sum of £120,000 in respect of damages.

Claims for damages arising out of personal injury, industrial disease and clinical negligence can be complex and require a great deal of expertise.

Mr A –v- XY Solicitors – Mr A suffered injury as a result of two incidents at work. One was a straightforward accident for which his employer was responsible, the other was an assault; both involved injuries to his back. His solicitor obtained a medical report in connection with the first incident (the accident). The medical expert suggested that 80% of his symptoms were caused as a result of the assault and so the solicitor advised him to settle the accident claim for 20% of its potential value.

The solicitor then instructed another medical expert to report on the injuries caused by the assault. This doctor advised that only 20% of his injuries were caused by the assault but by that time the claim for the accident had already been settled. Mr A had effectively lost a large percentage of his damages and instructed us to bring a claim for negligence against his solicitors.

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