Professional Negligence and Personal Injury
It can be difficult to put an accurate value on a personal injury claim, and even the most experienced lawyers can sometimes make a mistake. If you believe that your lawyer has agreed to a settlement for your personal injury claim which is substantially under its value, and that as a consequence you are out of pocket financially, you may be able to make a claim against your lawyer for professional legal negligence.
There are many different reasons why a law firm may agree to settle a case at too low a value. Sometimes it’s down to pure accountant negligence or incompetence, other times it is down to inexperience or due to the fact the law firm agreed to settle out of court at a low figure to avoid going to a full court trial.
Any valuation given in a personal injury claim is an estimate. It is a “best guess” arrived at by taking into account the levels of losses experienced by the client and working out how much the client would be likely to get if the case was decided in court by a judge. Lawyers who only have minimal experience working in this area can easily get their estimates wrong, and in these cases the claimant might be able for professional negligence claim.
Your Personal Injury Claim - Calculating the Value
When legal professionals are trying to take the right level of compensation into account, they consider a variety of factors. The first of these is the level of pain or suffering of the claimant. The severity of the injury and the long term prognosis of the claimant is also looked at, and there are judicial guidelines about this. Pain and disability can be difficult to quantify though, and no two personal injury claims are ever the same.
Other factors which the lawyers have to take into consideration is any overlap when the claimant has suffered more than one injury at the same time, as well as their individual circumstances and the age of the person involved. All of these variables help to establish to what degree the loss of earnings will be affected by the injury suffered. For example, a television announcer who receives a severe injury to their face could lose work in the future if they are permanently disfigured as a consequence.
There are other expenses which can be claimed for, and the ethos behind this is to put the person in the same financial state as if the accident hadn’t taken place. Loss of earnings in the future are commonly claimed for, especially if the person concerned can no longer do their original job and have had to take a more poorly paid job instead. Costs such as ongoing medical treatment, self-employed earnings and any future support needs have to be looked at too.
Professional Negligence and Under-Settling a Case
If a legal professional has poor negotiation skills or has little experience in handling negotiations, they may be pressured into taking short cuts or settling too early.
Other factors to consider are that many of the larger claims management style companies have lots of very junior members of staff who are recruited with no experience and no legal training. There have been occasions where these sort of these “production line” law firms have accepted settlement offers before even obtaining medical records” which may well cause the claimant to receive a cash settlement that is much lower than it should have been.
If you believe that you have been give negligent advice about a personal injury compensation claim, then speak to an experienced and properly qualified professional negligence solicitors who can help put forward your claim for the compensation you really deserve.