Area of law: Personal injury
Complaint reason(s): Delay
Remedy: The firm had already paid £2,500 in compensation to settle the claim and the ombudsman felt that no further remedy was required
Outcome: Ombudsman’s decision rejected by complainant
Miss A instructed a firm to act on her behalf in a personal injury claim, following an accident at work. Miss A wasn’t very happy because during her claim, the firm she appointed were taken over by another firm, which caused a delay.
She was also unhappy because her solicitor changed four times; Miss A felt this caused further delay and left her in a weakened position because the other side’s lawyer had a firm grasp on the case. She believes this caused her to get a lower settlement offer than she was entitled to, while running up higher costs. She also thinks she was poorly advised regarding a split in liability; although the firm agreed on a split in Miss A’s favour, she believes that she wasn’t liable at all. Miss A felt that her solicitor allowed the amount she received to be negotiated away and so brought her complaint to us to investigate.
We found that although Miss A had a total of four solicitors this did not cause any excessive delay and that the transfer of the case was based on finding members of staff with suitable experience to deal with the matters raised. The settlement was lower than Miss A hoped because the other side had medical evidence that undermined her case. We did find some poor service, however: the firm failed to give Miss A clear costs information and there was a period of four months where they didn’t update her. However, this did not affect the outcome of the case. And the firm had already paid Miss A £2,500 compensation for it.
The ombudsman felt that the £2,500 compensation the firm had already paid was adequate to cover any poor service received by Miss A and that no further remedy should be made. Miss A rejected this decision and the case was closed.