Summary 5

Summary 5

Area of law: Personal injury

Complaint reason(s): Failure to advise, failure to follow instructions

Remedy: No remedy

Outcome: Ombudsman’s decision rejected by complainant

Ms W went approached the firm after she was injured in a car accident. Ms W saw a medical expert who advised that her physical injuries should heal in two months and she should recover from the psychological injuries soon after.

Ms W did not recover in this time and so went to see a consultant. In his report, the consultant recommended Ms W should see a psychiatrist. The firm explained she would need to see the psychiatrist before they could assess the value of her claim, and whether it was worthwhile going ahead. Ms W told the firm that she was not willing to do this.

Ms W raised a complaint and the firm offered to move her to a new case handler. Ms W decided to continue her case with the new member of staff.

The new case handler explained that any trip to a psychiatrist would be a one-off, in order to document her injuries. Ms W finally agreed, and attended the appointment. The psychiatrist sent the report to the firm and to Ms W. Ms W raised a further complaint with the firm, as she felt they had forced her to see the psychiatrist, which had made her very emotional and brought back bad memories. She was unhappy with the firm’s response, so brought her complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

Following our investigation, we understood that the firm were following the recommendation of the consultant when they advised Ms W see the psychiatrist. They also explained the reasons why they needed her to attend and so we did not feel that there had been any issues of poor service here. We therefore decided that no remedy was due to Ms W. Ms W rejected this decision.