Under settled cases

Our client Mr Richards (not his real name) was seriously injured in an accident at work when he was working under a truck without any safety jacks and it collapsed on top of him. He sustained a broken back and cannot work anymore as he did manual work. He went to a solicitor to deal with his claim, who settled the claim for only £25,000 on his behalf without asking for his authorisation.

A high proportion of personal injury cases are relatively straightforward and can be dealt with by most fee earners or trained members of staff. With a complex case like this one, it should have been transferred to an experienced solicitor. We believe it was dealt with by the secretary; the case file was in a complete mess. What complicated this case was Mr Richards had one year previously been involved in a serious road traffic accident so the two incidents had to be separated.

Mr Richards has been suffering ever since as he should have had a care plan put in place as well as a substantial amount of compensation. Our solicitor, who is an experienced senior partner, is progressing well and we are expecting a settlement within the next 12 months. The solicitors we are taking action against shortly afterwards went out of business.

This makes us ask the question, did they under-settle the case due to their financial situation? Remember solicitors get paid regardless of how much their client receives.