Claims against solicitors who settled personal injury claims for less than they were worth (“under-settlement”) are on the increase, according a report released earlier this month.
Common Mistakes Leading to Under-Settlement
The amount of compensation recovered might be too low for a number of reasons:
- the case settled too quickly
- the person dealing with the case missed something important
- the claim was mishandled
- the claim was not investigated properly
- it was wrongly valued
- the solicitors unlawfully deducted costs from compensation
Reasons For Under-Settlement
Under-settlement is happening more often because of recent changes in legal rules which mean that lawyers get paid much less than they used to for dealing with injury claims.
Now, in the majority of injury claims that settle, a lawyer can claim only £500 for legal costs. And in accident claims that are funded ‘no win, no fee’ basis, the lawyer has to wait until the end of the case before he or she gets paid.
Law firms have responded to these changes by:
- recruiting low cost, unqualified people to handle personal injury claims that used to be dealt with by qualified and experienced solicitors
- limiting the amount of time that these inexperienced claims handlers can spend on a case
- encouraging early settlement of claims, so that the law firms get paid sooner
Inevitably, mistakes are made, either as a result of lack of expertise or lack of time.
What Can Be Done About Under-Settlement
All of these errors can be grounds for a professional negligence claim against the law firm that dealt with the personal injury claim.
If you are concerned that your personal injury settlement was too low, we can obtain and review your previous solicitors’ file to determine if they were negligent. And if they were, you will usually be entitled to compensation.
We can normally do this at no cost to you. And your professional negligence claim can be funded in a number of ways, to suit you, including on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.
If you think that your lawyer may have been negligent and want us to look into it, you can contact us now by
- filling in our online enquiry form, or
- calling us on 03300 50 52 54
We act for businesses and individuals throughout all of England and Wales, from London, Bristol and Cardiff in the South, to Birmingham and Nottingham in the Midlands, and Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle in the North.