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A Client Guide to Negligence Claim Finance

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Although there is no requirement to hire a lawyer to file a claim for professional negligence however, there are significant advantages to having a solicitor. In this article we will look at ten important aspects you might want to think about before deciding to hire a Frankowicze kancelaria or pursue the claim on your own.

Introduction

In the past, and as result of the broad accessibility of legal aid, making a decision of whether to hire a solicitor make a claim for professional negligence was relatively simple. However, with the removal of legal aid by successive governments as well as increasing costs for getting legal advice, this is not the case today.

While conditional fee arrangements (also called ‘no-win agreements, no fee’ or CFAs) provide a enticing solution to the legal system for a lot of litigants, they too are now a result of the success they have achieved.

After the introduction on April 1, 2012 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and In 2012, the Punishment of Offenders Act the fees associated with success in CFAs stopped being recovered from defendants but, instead, were paid to the successful claimant typically through deductions from the compensation received. Many claimants have meant hiring a solicitor more costly and, consequently an even more difficult choice to make.
Some things to keep in mind

Although the cost of settling claims for professional negligence is usually one of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to hire a solicitor it’s not the sole consideration. Beginning with the cost, we look at the elements we think to be significant when you are making your choice process.

1. Affordability

The cost of instructing solicitors is not cheap and usually there is an inverse relationship between costs charged and the quality of service that is offered. But, there are numerous ways to fund legal negligence claims. These options are as we go over in more details in the Fund claims section on our website. It is important to note that by involving a solicitor and a lawyer, you may have access to funding options that are not open to the litigant in individual.

But, the question of affordability does not have to be only about determining whether you can or do have the funds needed to pay the services of a solicitor. Another factor to consider is whether you have the financial means to pay for it. If you do not have an experienced lawyer it is possible that any case will take a lot longer to settle and, consequently, any settlement to take longer to be repaid. Also, there is the greater possibility of incurring a cost obligation on behalf of the defendant due to procedural inconsistencies. In addition, and perhaps most importantly there is a greater possibility of a valid claim being ruled out by the judge.

So the issue of affordability is one that requires more than a single-dimensional analysis and is definitely one you must consider when you are in the middle.

2. The dispute’s nature

Sometimes , it is unclear if, properly classified the actions of the adviser at issue is professional negligence, a case of professional services that are not adequate, or is a case of professional conduct. In some cases the behavior could fall within any of these categories, however it isn’t the case in all cases.

It is usually the latter (professional negligence) that could be able to justify a claim for substantial financial compensation as well as to justify the advice of the solicitor. Concerns about inadequate services are typically handled by ombudsmen. However, matters of misconduct fall within the purview of regulators, like the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England & Wales (ICAEW).

3. Proportionality

Professional negligence claims are usually complex and, as consequently, are costly to pursue. If the amount of your claim is small, it’s likely that the cost of hiring a solicitor to pursue it will be greater than the amount of compensation you get. If the amount for your case is lower than PS10,000, you’re likely to have a lower chance of recovering the costs even if you’re successful. Even if the amount of your claim is higher than PS10,000, successful claimants won’t always be able to recover all their expenses.

When your claims are not of much worth, you can choose to engage a solicitor to complete a small number of duties, and then take on others on your own. Or, you could decide it’s not necessary to engage an attorney at all.

4. Timing

In the decision-making process, you may be thinking about whether it is best to engage a solicitor. In some instances and in order to cut costs, you could opt to take on the initial steps of an individual negligence claim on your own and then having a solicitor on the case in the future in the event that you believe it essential.

This is definitely an option you have however, prior to deciding to it you might want to think about the risks you might face in doing this. This includes the possibility of knowingly skewed your claim in its early stages or delaying its resolution and both of these could result in a more costly claim to settle in the end.

5. Arms equality

The majority of professionals purchase an insurance policy for professional indemnity to safeguard themselves from any professional negligence claims that are made against them.

If a claim for professional negligence is filed, it is likely to be reported to an insurer , and later on to an internal adjuster. The adjuster will typically be a solicitor with special training and experience dealing with claims involving professional negligence. According to the policies the adjuster will typically decide, usually at the back of the room the manner in which your claim is addressed. If required the adjuster may select an outside solicitor at times, secretly through its panel. In this instance, the chosen solicitor is a specialist, usually within a big commercial law firm that only handles claims for professional negligence. The fees of the solicitor will be paid by the insurance company.

Although the reality that the professional will benefit from the guidance of a group of specialist solicitors doesn’t mean you have to hire your own lawyer of your choice It is important to be aware of what you’ll encounter and why there could be a significant inequity if you choose not to take the advice of a specialist solicitor.

6. Personal experience

It is not common for plaintiffs to have prior experience the process of pursuing a professional negligence claim. While this could be a good situation however, if that is applicable to your situation it could present you with a major disadvantage and could be a factor you should consider in your decision-making.

In the same way it is beneficial if you have experience in the particular area that led to the claim or previous experience in different legal areas, you could be more comfortable managing your claim on your own. In our experience, it’s uncommon to come across the same claim in two cases that look similar and we’d advise you not to believe that one case can serve as a solid model for another.

7. Complexity

Professional negligence claims are renowned for their complex nature. The reason for this is due to the events that led to them, the evidence they refer to as well as the lawful principles that are to be followed or the process that needs to be followed to pursue the claims. Even if it is evident that the professional committed an error, problems may arise in proving (both in terms of law and fact) the fact that the professional was responsible for losses and the extent and nature of the loss. In it’s own, this doesn’t need the intervention of a lawyer, but it is an important factor to consider.

8. Time commitment

Because of their complex nature, professional negligence claims typically require a substantial amount of time, not just for lawyers who have experience handling these cases. If you are not, the obligation is even greater. If you’re retired and/or do not have any other obligations it might not be an problem for you. However, if you are a part of other obligations at home or with your family and you are not sure if you find the opportunity, or the motivation, to the pursuit of any claim.

It is vital to keep in mind that, even if you engage a solicitor it is likely to be a time commitment from you however, it is significantly less than when you handled any case on your own.

9. Stress from emotions

When you pursue claims for professional negligence as a private individual or on behalf of a company it is important to not underestimate the emotional impact it will affect you. In its nature, the process of pursuing claims is adversarial and the tempers of litigants can be challenged. A solicitor competent to protect you from and defuse heated exchanges is often a benefit that isn’t anticipated in the beginning by those who haven’t previously had to deal with litigation.

10. Strategy

The last thing to consider is the implications of strategic planning of the professional negligence case. When deciding whether to instruct a solicitor or performing the act in person one of the primary considerations is the impact this has on the defendant’s adviser (and its insurance company). If you do not have legal representation, there’s likely to be more doubt about your dedication and determination, aswell being a lack of credibility. This might encourage you to defend rather than settle your claim. The reality advisor’s (and in turn , its insurer’s) risk of liability for the costs is reduced significantly in the absence of counsel, may cause it to deny or delay your claim.

Although it is reasonable to state that litigants in person have certain procedural rights over litigants who have legal representation, a number of court rulings in recent times have proven that this indulgence is not indefinite. One prime instance of this can be seen in the more recent case of Reynard Fox v Fox in which an action for professional negligence brought by the litigant in person with an expert in insolvency practice was dismissed because of procedural inconsistency. The details of the case are comprehensively reported within The Law Society Gazette.

It’s also wrong to think that, as litigant in person the court could (or will likely) be more accommodating and/or more generous in determining your case. It is highly unlikely that this will be the situation.

Alternatives

There are a few alternatives to hiring lawyers or acting on your own. But, you may want to think about contacting an Citizens Advice Bureau for advice and assistance , or perhaps you could contact a local law center which is able to do pro-bono projects.

Conclusion

The claims of professional negligence can be naturally complicated , and although this may not pose a major obstacle for individuals who are acting on their own You should take into consideration various factors prior to making the decision to take action.

If you decide to engage a solicitor you’ll surely want to get the best you can.