What happens if a defendant is insolvent or doesn’t exist ?

With some types of personal injury, the injury may be latent and can take many years to become apparent – the classic case lof thus being asbestosis.

In these situations, the defendant may no longer exist or may be insolvent, and many claimants worry about this.

However, in the vast majority of cases, either via compulsory insurance such as employers or public liability, any settlement amount or amount awarded at trial is in fact paid for by insurers. The same general principle, according to Bradley Bloom, a specialist insolvency lawyer at J E Baring, applies where the defendant is insolvent.

This is reassuring news but doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right insurer – as Bradley explains “perhaps the biggest issue is in finding whoever is now responsible for a company, whether it’s a private liquidator or Government appointed one, and getting that individual or firm to access the right paperwork to get the right information about insurance”. Unfortunately, however important the matter is to you, it isn’t going to be high on their agenda, especially if they have closed their files and been paid perhaps years before. In terms of redress, frankly, you really don’t have any in these situations, so you need to be patient yet persistent.

There is no public database to check public or employers liability and frankly there should be.

How common is misdiagnosis and why are complaints more common ?

It may be easier to answer the second part of our above question that the first.

There are probably 3 reasons why medical complaints are on the rise :-

  • The internet – in the same way as with law and other professions, the internet has provided an explosion of information, forums and opinions which enable all of us to find out a lot more than was previously the case. This is to an extent a dangerous thing since a “little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. American research indicates that as many as 8 out of 10 internet users will at some point visit medical or symptom checking websites and the tendency to self diagnose has even been give a new medical term, “cyberchondria”.
  • People are more aware of their rights and access to justice, with many law firms offering no win no fee, has meant it is now easier for someone who believes a mistake may have been made to pursue the matter.
  •  For reasons perhaps linked to the above and societal changes, the degree of unquestioning acceptance and respect for professional advice has diminished. This factor may also be linked with a perception that, for reasons of insurance or perhaps in some cases arrogance, when questions are asked about treatment or advice and a clear, straight answer or perhaps even an apology are not given, the matter ends up in the hands of lawyers. Continue reading

Will the PI sector go back to being mainstream law ?

With the recent huge changes massively reducing the possibility of making an injury claim worthwhile for smaller claims both for claimant and lawyers and therefore likely to reduce the huge volume of claims, is it likely that injury law will revert back to being like other areas of law ?

Lloyd Green

Lloyd Green

You may immediately say that you don’t understand what I mean, so let me explain. Personal injury claims have been sold like a commodity, not based on the skills of the law firm or individual lawyer, but essentially as a product, with marketing to the fore.

What’s especially noticeable about personal injury until now is that the marketing budgets have dwarfed other legal marketing for other sectors and the message has been fundamentally different. It’s been almost taken as a given that a claim would succeed and has been all about who can get the best advertising and offer the best inducement.

A particular facet that evidences the clear difference is that very few personal injury websites have even bothered to have a staff page or biographies of staff, which is completely unlike most other legal websites and areas of law where the prospective clients increasingly will want to check out who might handle their case and in an ever more in-depth way, which of course makes total good sense given the importance of legal matters.

The personal injury market has changed now as it simply won’t be as lucrative going forward so it is unlikely that the public will be subjected to the same amount of marketing and the message will also have to change as few if any firms can offer 100% guaranteed compensation now.

Once the public realise also that, in the absence of guaranteed 100% compensation it matters who they instruct, they are likely to be far more discerning about the lawyer that handles their case and the funding offer available, as this is also likely to be different from 1 firm to another.

In short personal injury is likely to become more niche, and whatever the rights and wrongs of the recent changes, that is a good thing because otherwise, it would be all too easy for a an unwitting claimant who has sustained a really nasty injury to think that all PI ;lawyers are the same. A classic example of the more niche approach is medical negligence law because that has always been highly complex and a world away from a whiplash claim following a rear end car accident shunt. With a prospective medical negligence case it’s very important to have an experienced lawyer and law firm to consider the case and advise whether it should proceed.

Lloyd Green is Senior Partner at Lloyd Green Solicitors who can assist if you need no win no fee advice either from medical negligence solicitors or the more specific area of cosmetic surgery.

Holiday accident claims

Holiday Accident Claim

When an individual suffers an illness or accident which wasn’t their fault whilst on holiday then, the chances are, they may be able to claim compensation.

A holiday accident can encompass a wide spectrum of scenarios, from hotel accidents and injuries and travel accidents to sporting injuries and illness. Continue reading

Motorbike Accident Claims

Any road traffic accident can be an incredibly traumatic and sometimes even devastating occurrence but this is even more so when it comes to traffic accidents involving motorbikes. A motorbike rider is far less protected from danger than a car driver and, sadly, far more likely to suffer serious injury or even death as a result of an accident on the road. Continue reading

Traffic accident claims

Traffic accidents (or road traffic accidents) are unfortunately frequent despite the increase in road safety awareness and the safety features in modern day cars. This is because most traffic accidents are due to human error or negligence and because of this most people are familiar with the fact that if you have suffered an injury following a traffic accident that was not your fault then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Continue reading

Guide to Judicial Studies Board Guidelines

The Judicial Studies Board

The organisation known as the Judicial Studies Board train both England and Wales’ high court, crown court and county court judges as well as the lay magistrates, chairmen and tribunal judges in both Great Britain and Ireland.

The majority of the legal material used for training is produced and compiled by the Judicial Studies Board themselves and includes the guidelines which should be used when dealing with personal injury cases for the assessment of general damages. Continue reading

Accidents and no win no fee claims

In the past few years we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of personal injury compensation claims being made, most likely due to the introduction of the No Win No Fee system.

Before the introduction of the No Win No Fee system many claimants had to rely on legal aid in order to pursue their case which often proved a difficult and somewhat unfair system for many of those claimants. The No Win No Fee system, which was brought in in 1995, has made the entire procedure of claiming compensation for injuries and accidents a much easier and far less risky process for many individuals with genuine or valid claims. Continue reading

Compensation for injury to ankle

A sprained ankle can cause serious discomfort and limit mobility. In contrast, a broken ankle is capable of causing complete incapacitation to an individual. This can render the affected individual completely immobile, and cause them to live in a state of constant pain. Other issues may arise which are not solely down to these ‘nuisances’, but they could cause longer term problems which can commonly include arthritis. Continue reading

Claims solicitors

A claims solicitor is someone who represents an individual who has suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, and as a result is pursuing the body responsible for compensation.

The type of work they take on falls under tort law, which basically covers the laws and regulations concerning civil wrongs. It can include legally representing clients who have been injured due to a trip or fall that wasn’t their fault, or those who have been injured from a car accident, an accident at work, or from an accident which has occurred in a public place (such as a road, park, or swimming pool), where the accident was someone else’s fault (either through their own negligence or through a wrongdoing). Continue reading