Area of law: Personal injury
Complaint reason(s): Costs information deficient, failure to keep informed, failure to follow instructions
Remedy: To apologise, and pay £500 compensation
Outcome: Ombudsman’s decision accepted by complainant
Ms L had a very nasty car accident, suffering severe injuries. Ms L went to the firm to claim compensation for her injuries and to help cover the cost of her ongoing treatment.
The firm obtained a medical report and sent it to the other side. The other side made an offer of £1,850 to settle the claim. Ms L was more than a little insulted by this offer because her condition had deteriorated and she was suffering quite badly. Ms L asked the firm to put the case on hold, whilst she underwent further medical treatment.
Throughout this period Ms L kept the firm updated on the progress of her treatment, but most of her letters went unacknowledged, even when she asked them to write to her consultant.
Ms L also requested that the firm send her all the medical reports on her file, and to tell her whether they were going to update the reports They finally respond, and sent Ms L the reports. They also suggested she make an offer to the other side for £3,500.
Ms L was concerned that they had not spoken to her consultant, and that the claims submitted to court were not up to date. After a further medical report, she was advised by the firm to accept the offer of £3,500. Ms L said she felt pressured into accepting this offer.
We decided, following an investigation, that the firm had provided Ms L with a poor service. They had not responded to her letters and queries on numerous occasions, and had not even acknowledged they had received them. We also felt that they did not properly explain their advice in relation to accepting the offer, which left Ms L feeling uncertain and under pressure.
The ombudsman decided that the firm should apologise to Ms L and pay compensation of £500 to make up for the way they had handled Ms L’s case. Ms L accepted the decision.