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'Personal Law' Category Archives

February 19th, 2020

Care home negligence claims

Gavel, stethoscope and justice scalesAccording to a 2017 gov.uk report, there are about 11,300 care homes for the elderly in the UK. We believe the numbers would have increased by now as we have an ageing population.

The CQC (Care Quality Commission) regulates all care homes in England. Whether they are for-profit or voluntary organisations, NHS or local-health authorities, all care homes are regularly checked by CQC inspectors to ensure that standards are met. In other words, all care homes should provide a safe and comfortable environment for their residents.

As CQC can take actions against care homes that fail to reach expected standards, in theory, all care homes should offer the best levels of service to their residents and patients. But in reality, the inadequate staff can fail the trust that you and your family put upon them. Negligence happens more often than we would like to think, resulting in residents or patients suffering serious injuries or even death. When neglect happens, residents and their family members can start proceedings against the care home involved and claim compensation.

In this article, our professional medical negligence solicitors in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire explain how negligence can arise in care homes, how to spot the signs of care home negligence, what evidence to gather, how to make a claim, and what the compensation will cover.

What are common negligence claims in a care home?

Negligence in a care home can arise when the care given to residents (often elderly and vulnerable) breaches the expected duty of care, leading to serious injuries, health issues or even death.

Common negligence in care home claims can include but not limited to:

  • Medical neglect, anything from dosage errors to failure to treat bedsores
  • Physical abuse
  • Mental or emotional abuse
  • Basic needs neglects including patient hygiene
  • Catheter mistakes
  • Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of hazards
  • Lack of supervision

In cases involving physical and emotional abuse, the Crown Prosecution may step in to launch criminal charges against the perpetrators while residents (and their family members) may launch civil negligence proceedings against the company.

What are the signs of care home negligence?

When you suspect that your loved one or residents in a care home have been neglected either intentionally or unintentionally, the first step is to look for signs, which may include but not limited to:

  • Bedsores
  • Regular infections
  • Bruising, cuts, and/or broken bones
  • Lack of cleanliness
  • Unusual changes in mental health and behaviour
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Becoming reclusive
  • The presence of hazardous equipment or furniture

Gathering evidence to prove a care home negligence case

A few years ago, the BBC Panorama secretly filmed a nurse giving morphine to a resident “to shut her up” – the footage shocked the nation when aired. Since then, undercover reporters and family members have reported a string of abuse and neglect from various care homes, anything from malnourished residents to patients left sitting for a day in wet and soiled incontinence pads.
They gather the evidence through CCTV, hidden cameras, hidden voice recordings, medical records, social service documents, as well as eyewitness reports from other residents, visitors and staff.

The moment you notice that something is wrong and you believe negligence is present, start gathering evidence and also seek legal advice from one of our medical negligence solicitors.

How do you claim for care home negligence?

The resident or patient who suffers does not usually seek help because they may be afraid of the perpetrators, they may believe that neglect is normal, they are simply embarrassed, or their illnesses may prevent them from speaking out.

This means a large number of care home negligence cases are initiated by the family members instead. If you have a loved one who suffers in a care home, give us a call to discuss the case. In order to prove negligence, we will work with you to establish:

  • A duty of care exists between the resident and the defendant (the care home in this case)
  • A beach of that duty has occurred
  • The negligence has caused the resident to suffer

The wellbeing of your loved ones should also be the top priority. In theory, when you make a claim against the care home, your loved one should continue to live there without discrimination. But if the care home has breached the duty of care, it may not be safe for your loved one to continue living there. Most family members either transfer the resident to another care home immediately to avoid further harm or step in to provide care.

What will the compensation cover?

In cases of negligence in care homes, the most common compensation is money, which aims to rectify the harm done to the quality of life to the residents who have suffered unnecessarily.

Compensation helps to:

  • Pay for private medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of earnings from family members who have to step in and provide care
  • Home care help
  • Other related expenses

Start your care home negligence compensation claim today

Once you start proceedings against the care home, a few things may happen. The ideal scenario is that the care home agrees with the claim and pays you the full compensation you have asked for. However, in most cases they will negotiate for a reduced amount.

Also, the care home may disagree with the claim. In this instance, we will discuss options like mediation and reaching an out-of-court settlement with you. If it goes to court, we will work relentlessly to represent you.

Our medical negligence solicitors are here to advise, represent and also negotiate on behalf of you. So take advantage of our FREE initial consultation today. The aim of the consultation is to discuss your case and thereby allowing us to provide an honest assessment of your chances of success.

Our offices are:

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February 5th, 2020

Claiming compensation with Foys Solicitors

Man with his arm in a sling is looking at a legal document, woman is behind him with a supportive hand on his right shoulder. They are claiming compensation

Claiming compensation can be a tricky process, but with a specialist and highly trained solicitor by your side, you can leave the legal jargon at the door and get the remuneration you deserve.

We’ve all been there. You pick up the phone, and it’s another company telling you that you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Most likely, you put the phone down in frustration. But when you’ve actually had an accident and you weren’t to blame, do you know who to turn to?

This is where Foys Solicitors comes in. The compensation process can be very complicated, but with the right legal representation and support, you can navigate the claim with ease and gain the maximum amount you deserve. In this article, our team of expert personal injury solicitors explain the claims process and what you could get with Foys by your side.

What does it mean to claim compensation?

Compensation is generally money awarded to a person who has been involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault and suffered an injury or loss. A common case for compensation is a personal injury claim, which is the formal process of seeking payment from the party responsible for your injury. This can be as a result of a road traffic accident, a violent crime, a slip, trip or fall, an accident at work or due to a faulty product or service. However, there are many forms of compensation.

You can be compensated for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Personal injury
  • Financial loss from fraud
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss from theft or damage to property
  • Time off work or loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Mental health issues and trauma

Suffering from an injury, whatever the cause and severity, is never pleasant. Often, you’re forced to take time off work to recuperate, and can even face financial difficulties. In the worst-case scenario, your life may be changed entirely due to a catastrophic injury. This could result in you needing extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and you may also need to alter your home or car to cope with your injuries. All of these things can be very expensive and can leave you in a bit of a financial bind. This is why it is important to start the claims process as quickly as possible so that you can get your life back on track.

The process for claiming compensation

Dealing with the aftermath of your accident is complicated enough without the added pressure of dealing with the claim process alone. This is why you need to work with a solicitor who has had plenty of experience helping people get the compensation they deserve.

The process of pursuing a claim begins with an honest conversation with a reputed solicitor. Our personal injury solicitors will aim to understand your situation and assist you in arranging the necessary paperwork. This will include a medical report outlining your injuries, estimated recovery time, proof of loss of earnings and evidence of additional expenses such as physiotherapy costs and medication.

By working with you to understand every detail of your case, we can establish the value of your claim, the likelihood of it winning and help you negotiate a settlement with the offending party. If the case goes to court, we will represent you and help get you the justice you deserve.

Are you eligible for compensation?

There are strict time limits in place for claiming compensation. Normally, you have three years from the incident to begin legal proceedings. However, if the effects of your injury weren’t realised until years later, you have three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ from which to pursue your claim. There is no amount of time that you have to wait to start your claim, so the sooner, the better. One advantage of filing a claim shortly after the incident is that details will be fresher in your mind and easier to find witnesses.

If a child has been injured, a parent or guardian can claim compensation on their behalf. This may be from a traffic road accident or even a work-related injury if the child is old enough to work. Sometimes, an injury may have been sustained during birth or as a result of medical negligence during labour. This too is a case for compensation and can be pursued via a medical negligence claim. Alternatively, you can wait until the child is 18 years old, and they can make a claim themselves. Once the child is 18, they have three years to start legal proceedings.

Reach out to Foys Solicitors

With Foys, you can rest assured knowing that we’ll be with you every step of the way throughout the entire claim process. We can determine the value of your claim and help you to negotiate a settlement that’s in your best interest. If you have to go to court because a settlement can’t be agreed on, we will be there to ensure you’re well represented.

Choosing Foys as your personal injury solicitors mean that you’ll be working with people who genuinely care about your claim. We are dedicated to getting you the compensation you need to make your life more comfortable following your accident.

So, if you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you need someone to fight in your corner, we can be there for you. For a FREE initial consultation or more information on our personal injury claims services, contact one of our local offices today. Alternatively, you can email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

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January 22nd, 2020

Medical negligence claims in England

shocked male doctor

Medical negligence (aka clinical negligence) happens when a medical professional, hospital or a medical facility fails to exercise an expected standard of care, resulting in injury, damage or loss.

Most doctors and nurses, either they are with the NHS or serving privately-run clinics and hospitals, exercise a high level of care to their patients. But inevitably, there are occasions when they make mistakes – and some of these mistakes can negatively affect your lives for many years to come.

Just look at the media and it is easy to find news relating to medical negligence. Some real and upsetting headlines include:

  • Another person died after ‘Brazilian butt lift’
  • Botox party mishap left woman housebound
  • Son left severely disabled after medical treatment went wrong
  • Boy sustained life-changing injuries during birth

Broadly speaking, medical negligence can include but not limited to:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to get informed consent to treatment
  • Failure to provide the appropriate treatment
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to warn patients about the risks of a particular treatment
  • Prescribing wrong medications
  • Incorrectly reporting on test results

The upshot of it is that when medical professionals provide care that falls below acceptable standards, patients suffer. If you are affected by medical negligence, talk to one of our medical negligence solicitors today, give us a chance to review your case and discuss your options with you.

To make a medical negligence claim, you must prove that:

  • There was negligent
  • The negligence caused an injury or harm that would not have occurred otherwise

The two points above can make or break a case. In other words, if you have not suffered physical, psychological and/or financial harm as a result of negligent treatment, you cannot make a medical negligence claim. For example, if the attending doctor had made a wrong diagnosis but corrected themselves two minutes later while you were still in the room, you cannot make a medical negligence claim because in this ‘medical accident’ or ‘patient safety incident’, you have not suffered any harm. If that has happened to you, the best option is to make a formal complaint to the management.

Why pursue a medical negligence claim

A medical mistake can leave you with life-altering injuries, limiting your ability to work and affecting your mental wellbeing. At Foys, we believe that no one should have to suffer and endure the repercussions of someone else’s negligence, which is why we take time to listen to you, review your case, and give you an honest preliminary assessment so you know if your case has the best chance of success. When you are ready to take things forward, we are here with you every step of the way, from engaging expert witness to discussing options (like mediation or an out-of-court settlement).

We work hard to secure you the compensation you deserve because the money will help to alleviate your suffering to a great extent by:

  • Paying for ongoing and future treatments
  • Paying for extra care or equipment that you may need
  • Paying for adapting your home
  • Compensation for the loss of earnings
  • Compensation for psychological damage
  • Compensation for physical limitations

If your compensation claim is successful, you may be offered two types of compensation and they are known as general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages aim to compensate you for the pain and suffering (physically and emotionally) that you have sustained as a result of the negligence. They can include:

  • Physical injury, pain and suffering (e.g. chronic pain, limited mobility, disability, etc.)
  • Mental pain and suffering (e.g. mental health problems, ongoing trauma, worsening of mental illnesses, etc.)
  • A loss in quality of life (e.g. physical and mental challenges affecting everyday life, career opportunities and hobbies)
  • A loss of career (if you had to change careers as a result of your injury, then you are entitled to damages for the loss of your unique career)
  • Employment issues (if you cannot get another job as a result of the negligence)
  • A loss of companionship (if a loved one suffered wrongful death as a result of negligence, you are entitled to make a claim)

Special damages

Special damages aim to compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses. They can include:

  • Loss of income (e.g. if your salary was cut, you missed out on monetary bonuses or other special perks, etc.)
  • Short-term medical costs (e.g. hospital charges, consultation fees, medication, etc.)
  • Long-term medical costs (e.g. physiotherapy, specialist treatment, mobility aids, etc.)
  • Transportation fees (e.g. car costs, taxi fees, bus or train fares, etc.)
  • Loss of capacity for earning (if you are forced to take a lower-paying job as a result of the negligence, you can also make a special damages claim)

How do you prove medical negligence?

For a medical negligence claim to result in compensation, you (the claimant) must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a duty of care was breached and that you have suffered injury, damage or loss because of this breach.

Here is an example of a successful medical negligence case – Claimant A underwent laser eye surgery to correct her vision problems. The procedure went terribly wrong and as a result, the patient developed complications. In this case, Claimant A could prove that the negligent procedure had taken place. As a result, Claimant A suffered damage to tear ducts and chronic eye inflammation – not an underlying eye condition, but something she would not have suffered if the laser eye surgery had not taken place. Claimant A proceeded to seek financial compensation and corrective treatment. The clinic agreed to pay and they reached an out-of-court settlement.

Having accurate and documented evidence is vital when it comes to making a medical negligence claim. Apart from you keeping good records of all the key events leading to and after the alleged negligence, your full medical records will also be submitted to independent medical experts who will review and provide a detailed report.

Additionally, you must also demonstrate any emotional (mental health issues, counselling, impacts of trauma) and financial (loss of income, medical costs, cost of medical equipment) impacts from the negligence. Working with you, our medical negligence solicitors are here to:

  • Discuss your case in detail
  • Assess if processional care of duty has been breached
  • Assess your chances of success
  • Request your full medical history
  • Engage independent medical experts to review your records
  • Obtain expert witness testimony
  • Prepare accurate events that led to you suffering the injury or worsening of a condition
  • Start proceedings

How long do you have to make a medical negligence claim?

In general, you have to take legal action within three years of the alleged negligence.

In some cases, when the effects of negligence are not known until years later, you may be able to make a claim three years on from the ‘date of knowledge’ (as specified in the Limitation Act 1980).

Can you bring proceedings against a doctor/clinic overseas?

With the rise of medical tourism, more and more Brits are now seeking treatment abroad. When the treatment went wrong, most people would sue in the country where the treatment had taken place. Having said that, they have been cases where patients could sue in England against a doctor or clinic overseas, provided that they had reasons to do so. As every case is unique, we should review your case before commenting.

Medical negligence solicitors in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

If you are affected by medical negligence, you need some closure – it could be the attending medical professional provides corrective treatment free of charge or you are awarded compensation for the damage they have caused.

So gather your medical evidence and come to discuss it with one of our medical negligence solicitors. Doing so will allow us to review your case, give you an initial assessment and discuss your options with you. When you have all the information presented to you, you can make informed decisions accordingly. With years of experience handling a wide range of medical and health-related cases, we are well-positioned to advise, represent and also negotiate on behalf of you.

We can support you through a range of medical negligence issues, including:

  • Gynaecology/obstetrics/birth cases
  • Other hospital cases including orthopaedics and general surgery
  • GP, dental and optical cases
  • Claims relating to residential care
  • Fatal accidents
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Medical misdiagnosis

For an initial free consultation, contact your local Foys office today.

Alternatively, fill out our handy Online Form.

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January 8th, 2020

What is negligence?

Negligence on paper on clipboardNegligence can take many forms, but it always causes wide-ranging effects. The highly skilled and dependable solicitors at Foys are here to shed some light on what negligence is, offer advice on how to prove negligence and tell you how Foys Solicitors can help.

What is negligence

To be ‘negligent’ is to have failed to take reasonable care to avoid injury or loss to another person. The responsible party would normally have had a duty of care to the other person and did not meet the standards of that care. All workplaces, medical organisations and businesses have a legal obligation or duty of care to ensure that persons within their establishment are fully protected against physical or emotional harm. To have been a victim of negligence is to have suffered an injury or loss which they could not avoid, at no or little fault of their own.

If you have been involved in an accident, and it was the direct result of the negligent actions of someone else, you could claim compensation. The objective of the compensation is to alleviate your suffering and give you a chance to focus on recovery and rehabilitation. The compensation usually covers loss of income, payment for current and ongoing medical treatment, psychological damage and medical equipment. To receive compensation, you must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was directly responsible for any losses incurred.

Donoghue v. Stevenson – the original negligence case

Claims for compensation against doctors or businesses for negligence was all but unheard of before the early 20th century. But in 1932, a case appeared that defined negligence laws still applied in court today. The case in question was that of Donoghue v. Stevenson, and strangely enough, it was started by a bottle of ginger beer.

The case

In 1932, Mrs Donoghue visited a café where her friend bought her a ginger beer in a dark, opaque bottle. They had no reason to suspect that the bottle contained anything other than the said ginger beer. Donoghue had consumed most of the contents of the bottle before noticing a snail, in a state of decomposition, floating in the bottle. In consequence, Donoghue suffered considerable shock and nausea, as well as serve gastro-enteritis.

Donoghue sought to claim against the beverage manufacturer, Mr Stevenson, and asserted that the defender should have exercised the greatest care in ensuring the ginger beer was safe for human consumption. It also stated that it was an obvious duty of the manufacturer to provide clear coloured ginger beer bottles to facilitate inspection. Stevenson pleaded that Donoghue’s claims were insufficient due to the fact that the drink had been bought for her by her friend.

This case, deceptively simple, was a benchmark in modern negligence law, prompting the establishment of three things you need to legally prove negligence. They are as follows:

  • That you were owed a legal duty of care under the circumstances
  • That the defendant breached this duty of care by failing to uphold certain standards
  • That you were harmed or injured as a direct result of that breach

Though the case never went to court, Donoghue was found to fit into all of these requirements and was paid £200 in compensation.

Types of negligence

Negligence can take many forms and go through many avenues of law. Common forms of negligence include but not limited to:

  • Medical negligence (or clinical negligence) – substandard care from a medical professional that resulted in injury or worsening of an existing condition.
  • Legal negligence – poor legal representation or incorrect legal advice.
  • Accountant negligence – negligent behaviour of an accountant or financial advisor that resulted in loss of finances or income.
  • Architectural negligence – failure of architect, engineer or firm to adhere to regulations, to provide accurate architectural advice or to properly oversee a project.
  • Real estate agents or surveyors negligence – failure to provide accurate reports that form the basis of property transfer.

How do you prove negligence?

For a negligence claim to succeed and result in compensation, it is necessary to establish that a duty of care was breached and that the claimant’s (person making a claim) loss was caused directly by this breach.

When it comes to claiming for compensation as a result of negligence, having accurate and documented evidence is vital. Let’s take medical negligence (one of the most common claims) for example. If you are seeking a medical negligence claim, we will work with you to:

  • Discuss your case in detail
  • Assess if professional care of duty has been breached
  • Assess your chances of success
  • Request your full medical history
  • Engage independent medical experts to review your records
  • Obtain expert witness testimony
  • Prepare accurate events that led to you suffering the injury or worsening of a condition
  • Start proceedings

During the process, our medical negligence solicitors will work with you every step of the way so you are fully informed. No matter the circumstances, we can help you understand the process of medical negligence compensation claims. Our supportive and efficient solicitors also work to ensure the best chance of success.

Another factor that influences a compensation claim is the financial effects negligence has upon you and your family. Financial loss such as missed work and loss of business should be considered when making a compensation claim, as well as any long-standing health effects (ongoing counselling, rehabilitation, mental health issues, to name but a few).

Types of compensation

If your case is successful and the involved parties come to a decision, you should be paid compensation. There are two types of compensation – General (compensation related to direct effects of the negligence) and special (compensation related to any out-of-pocket expenses).

For more information on the types of compensation you could receive, take a look at our informative Professional Medical Negligence Solicitors page. If you have suffered an injury at work or in a public area which was not your fault, contact our highly skilled personal injury solicitors for more information on the best route to compensation.

How much compensation you receive depends on a multitude of factors. We caution our clients to be wary of solicitors promising astronomical figures because it is impossible to predict an exact figure without having a qualified solicitor reviewing the ins-and-outs of your case. So contact one of our solicitors as soon as possible, give us a chance to review, advise and guide you on the best route possible to get the compensation you deserve.

Time limits for making a negligence claim

It is essential that you start the claims process the moment you know an incident has taken place. This is because you have three years to file professional negligence claims. Additionally, when things are fresh in your mind, it is easier to gather the necessary evidence.

Having said that, sometimes the effects of the negligence are not realised until years later. In this instance, you may start your case from the ‘date of knowledge’ as specified in Limitation Act 1980.

How long will a negligence case take?

It depends on how complex your case is. In some cases, we seek to resolve the case through mediation (and thereby saving your time and money) or work to reach an out-of-court settlement. If the case goes to court, it could take anything from 12 to 36 months.

What about personal injury?

Negligence can also occur at work, on the road and in various places, resulting in personal injury. For example, you slipped and fell at work or in a supermarket, or you suffer from an injury caused by faulty goods. The upshot of it is that you can claim compensation. For more information, please visit our personal injury page.

Foys Solicitors can help

At Foys, we understand how frustrating and upsetting negligence can be, both for yourself and your family.

If you have a medical negligence case or a personal injury case, contact us today. Our solicitors approach every case with the highest respect and work relentlessly to represent you and help you attain the compensation you deserve.

Our medical negligence solicitors can help in:

  • Gynaecology/Obstetrics/Birth Cases
  • Hospital cases
  • GP/dental/optical
  • Claims related to residential care
  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Fatal accidents

Our personal injury solicitors can help in:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slips and trips
  • Serious injuries and fatal injuries
  • Neglect and abuse claims
  • Criminal injuries
  • Injuries caused by faulty goods

We’ll do everything in our power to help you win your case and get you the compensation you deserve. For an initial free consultation, contact your local Foys office today.

We can begin to understand your case and offer some advice on the likelihood of its success. Alternatively, fill out our handy Online Form.

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November 20th, 2019

Crime and motoring offence solicitors

Crime & motoring offences solicitorsWith the assistance of our criminal law experts and solicitors, you can come to us for reliable legal advice and support regarding crime and motoring offences.

We understand how overwhelming and distressing it can be to deal with a crime or motoring offence. Our team of criminal law experts is here to help you through your unique circumstances. We’ve updated our Crime & Motoring Offences page so you can learn more about how we will help you.

On this page, we explain the areas of crime and motoring offences where Foys Solicitors can assist, including but limited to:

  • Theft, burglary, robbery (dishonesty)
  • Public Order Offences (drunk and disorderly, affray, harassment, etc.)
  • Fraud, deception (dishonesty)
  • Benefit fraud
  • Assault, GBH, ABH, Wounding
  • Murder, attempted murder and manslaughter
  • Sexual offences
  • Drugs offences
  • Perverting the Course of Justice / Perjury / wasting police time, etc

We also provide general information about:

  • Your rights on arrest
  • Police stop and question/search rights
  • What to expect when charged or bailed
  • Legal aid and funding a defence case
  • Court representation
  • Appeals

Get in touch with Foys Solicitors for crime and motoring offence advice

For a FREE initial consultation or more information on our crime and motoring offences services, give us a call on 01302 327136. Alternatively, you can email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

November 13th, 2019

The facts about under-settled personal injury claims

Personal injury law book on a table

Often, lawyers will settle cases before they go to court, but not always for the correct amount. If you feel like your claim has been under-settled, there are things that you can do to challenge the amount of compensation you received.

The main role of a personal injury lawyer is to value and negotiate a settlement. Some cases, however, are prematurely settled. This may be to avoid the expenses of going to court or to avoid a lengthy negotiation process.

When you’re hurt in an accident, you can make a personal injury claim against the person who is at fault. This may have been through someone else’s negligence or rash behaviour. How much to claim depends on a few factors and your legal representative would generally value and negotiate the claim based on:

  • The evidence
  • Your financial losses as a result of the accident
  • The seriousness of the injury
  • Loss of amenity
  • Any future care
  • The psychological aspects of your injury

What are under-settled cases?

The term ‘settling’ refers to the stage in the claim process where the involved parties have come to an agreement on the amount of compensation due. Once it is settled, the compensation is paid to the claimant (person making the claim). However, this compensation may not have been the correct amount due. The claim may have been settled for less than its true value.

If you are in the process of settling – or have settled a personal injury claim and feel like you haven’t been compensated fairly, then the case may have been under-settled. An under-settled case is when your claims handler accepts a lower settlement due to inexperience or wanting to resolve your case quickly.

You may have also been put under pressure to accept the claim. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to take a step back and allow the specialist personal injury solicitors at Foys to handle it. We can explain the ins and outs of under-settled cases, and what you can do to challenge them, if you suspect that your case has been handled in this way.

Reasons why under-settled personal injury claims happen

Under-settled personal injury claims happen due to negligence by your lawyer. Some examples of how a lawyer may be negligent with a personal injury claim are:

  • Inexperience – In an effort to cut costs and maintain high profits, many firms have taken to using unqualified juniors or claims handlers to manage cases. These lawyers lack the necessary skill or expertise to handle cases properly, so they may miss crucial evidence, fail to consider all of the possible damages, and even accept the first offer made without trying to negotiate for a higher sum. Often junior case handlers will be pressured to run cases quickly, in an effort to minimise costs.
  • Failure to obtain medical evidence – Sometimes, in more extreme cases, claims will be settled prior to obtaining a proper medical report. This is a dangerous cost-cutting method, as it prevents lawyers from evaluating a case reliably. This can result in claims being settled for far lower than they should be.
  • Not taking all the necessary information into account – sometimes a lawyer may improperly value your claim. They may fail to take into account care costs, future care and rehabilitation, missed pension contribution and financial losses.

Fighting back against under-settled claims

As is the case with most things, prevention is better than a cure. There are several warning signs that can indicate when a lawyer is likely to under-settle your case, and by looking out for these signs, you can protect yourself and ensure you get the money you deserve. Here are some things you can do to avoid being under-settled:

  • Ask about qualifications – Many inexperienced claims handlers may not have the correct qualifications.  Your professional lawyers should tell you who is handling your claim and prove their worth. Often personal injury claims are managed by claims management companies, where the staff may not be fully qualified to litigate. This also means that your case may not receive the level of attention it deserves.
  • Be suspicious of the first offer – Lawyers will very rarely accept the first offer, as it can often be a lowball – a deliberately very low offer, often to test the waters. There is no risk to the opposite party from making a lowball offer, so you should be extremely suspicious of any lawyer that suggests you take the first amount offered.
  • Don’t be pressured into settling quickly – There’s no denying the process is stressful, but if you settle as quickly as possible then you will likely not get as much compensation. You may also choose to settle when you have made a full physical and psychological recovery from your injury should you begin the process so that you have all the medical evidence possible.
  • Ensure a proper medical report has been generated – this will allow a professional lawyer to evaluate your claim properly.
  • Make sure your lawyer knows the gravity of your injuries – receiving compensation that matches your injuries is important, so ensure that your lawyer knows the effects your injury is having on your life. If you need future care and rehabilitation, this must be taken into account, as it will affect you and your family’s future financial stability.

Don’t risk it

At Foys, we understand how frustrating an under-settled personal injuries claim can be. Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors have a wealth of experience in winning these types of cases for our clients. Unlike inexperienced claims handlers, we care about your case and will do everything we can to handle it professionally the first time around.

To find out more, get in touch using our Online Form – or give us a call on 01302 327136. Alternatively, drop us an email at enquiries@foys.co.uk.

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November 6th, 2019

Civil dispute solicitors

With the help of our civil dispute advisors and experts, you can rely on us for sound legal advice and support regarding the prevention or resolution of a civil dispute.

Civil disputes are never pleasant and, sometimes, unavoidable. However, with us fighting your corner, you can rest assured knowing that your voice will be heard. Our team will provide you with expert legal advice and support every step of the way.

We understand that pursuing a civil dispute can be overwhelming and we will do everything in our power to make you feel at ease and alleviate your concerns. It’s for this reason why we updated our Civil Disputes page – so you can learn more about civil disputes and how we can help you.

On this page, we explain the areas of civil dispute law that we cover, including:

  • Boundary disputes
  • Property disputes
  • Landlord and tenant matters
  • Contract disputes
  • Professional negligence
  • Wills and estate disputes
  • Dispute over faulty goods

We also explore the various civil dispute resolution options available to you.

Contact Foys Solicitors for legal advice regarding civil disputes

For a free initial consultation or more information on our civil dispute services, give us a call on 01302 327136. Alternatively, you can email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

October 30th, 2019

Family Mediation Solicitors

Close-up of married couple's hands in an affectionate pose

Our team of experienced and supportive family mediators is here to help you resolve sensitive issues between family members, without the need for going to court.

As a person looking for a cost-effective tool to help resolve matters regarding divorce, childcare and finances, the involvement of a mediator could be the answer.

The family mediation team here at Foys Solicitors are committed to helping you find favourable solutions for all parties involved. Our passion for helping family members communicate and resolve disputes has led us to update our compassionate family mediation solicitors page with accurate and reliable information.

On this page, you’ll find out how we can help you with issues to do with:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Childcare
  • Money and finances
  • Property

Contact Foys Solicitors team of family mediators today

If you would like a free initial consultation on our services, call us on 01302 327136, email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

For more information on how mediation can help your family, take a look at How mediation can help your family during a divorce.

October 23rd, 2019

Medical negligence solicitors

With the assistance of our experienced medical negligence law solicitors, you can depend on us for expert advice and support if you are looking to pursue a compensation claim regarding medical negligence.

The impacts of medical negligence (also referred to as clinical negligence) can cause far-ranging and often irreversible changes to a person’s life. As a victim of medical negligence, it is often hard to know where to start with making a claim for compensation. A good understanding of and support throughout the process can ensure that you’re able to make the best decisions for your case.

The medical negligence team at Foys Solicitors is here to help victims of medical negligence claim this compensation. Our dedication for helping those on the receiving end of such negligence has led us to update our medical negligence law solicitors page with trustworthy and useful information.

On the page, you’ll find out how we can help you with:

  • Gynaecology/Obstetrics/Birth Cases
  • Hospital cases including orthopaedics and general surgery
  • GP, dental and optical cases
  • Claims relating to residential care
  • Fatal accidents
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Medical misdiagnosis

Contact Foys Solicitors’ medical negligence team today

No matter the circumstances, our solicitors and services are here to help you. For a free initial consultation on what we can offer, call us on 01302 327136, email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

For those wanting more information on medical negligence, see How is medical negligence established?

October 16th, 2019

Making arrangements after a diagnosis of dementia

The time after a diagnosis of dementia can be difficult and confusing with emotions running high. There are a number of important arrangements that need to be made to secure the future of the individual diagnosed.

There are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and numbers are predicted to increase to over 1 million by 2025. There is a wealth of support available for dementia-sufferers in order to ensure they receive the support and their needs are met.

At Foys, we understand the pressure and confusion following a diagnosis so we’ve put together this guide to inform you of the help that is available which you can use to formulate an action plan. The following areas need to be considered:

Paperwork

It is important to sort out and organise all your paperwork, ensuring that that it is easily accessible. This would include documents related to banking, mortgage, insurance policies, pension, stocks, investment etc. Seek legal advice from Foys’ specialist solicitors who have a wealth of experience in setting up a trust that will be beneficial to you now and in the future.

Banking

Support is available for managing your money at dementia friendly banks such as HSBC. From keeping track of your spending to helpful ways to protect your money such as Voice ID, HSBC staff are ‘Dementia Friends’, trained to help people living with dementia. You can also nominate a family member or a friend to support you with your account at present or in the future. They can carry out numerous activities related to your account including withdrawing cash and obtaining bank statements. For more information, contact your local HSBC bank. Some options depend on certain circumstances and require legal authorisation such as a lasting power of attorney – Foys can help you set this up.

Driving

If you have been diagnosed with dementia, you are required to inform the DVLA immediately; failure to do so can result in a fine of £1,000 or prosecution in the event of an accident. Your car insurance provider also needs to be informed. Depending on the doctor’s instruction, the DVLA will decide whether a person suffering from dementia can continue to drive and if so, they will be issued with a new driving license. In some cases, the doctor and the DVLA may declare that the individual can no longer drive and as a result, their licence will be revoked. The cases vary depending on every individuals’ personal circumstances. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s UK page on Driving with dementia.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the donor) to nominate a trusted family member or friend (the attorney) to make legal decisions on your behalf when you lose the mental capacity to do so. There are two types of LPA’s, one regarding your property and financial affairs and the other related to your health and welfare. Through the health and welfare LPA, your attorney will be able to make arrangements for your daily care, medical care and even decide to move you into a care home. This can only happen when the donor has lost the mental capacity to make these decisions for themselves.

Having an LPA is important to protect your affairs ensure your needs are met when you are no longer able to communicate them. At Foys, our specialist solicitors strive to act in your best interests and will help you draft an LPA.

Making a will

Though it may seem like a morbid affair, a Will is very important to protect your future. A Will allows you to decide how you want you want your estate to be distributed after you pass as well as specific other wishes you may have. If you pass away without a Will, your family or loved ones may be faced with difficulties and emotional distress as the courts will decide what happens to your estate through a lengthy process called probate.

Foys understands and champions the protection of the elderly and can help you to ensure your needs are met when the time comes.

Living Will

You can also consider a Living Will. A Living Will allows you to state your wishes related to end-of-life medical care in the circumstance that you are unable to communicate your needs. Dementia affects your ability to think, remember and communicate clearly as well as make sound judgement and decisions; over time this can worsen resulting in a loss of mental ability. Through a Living Will, you can assign instructions for your care and even refuse certain treatments before your dementia progresses. While we can help you with writing a Living Will, it is important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions regarding your treatment.

Claim benefits

Those living with dementia and their carers may be entitled to benefits depending on a range of factors such as income or income. It can be a complex process as the forms to apply for the benefits can be lengthy and confusing. There are different types of benefits available including attendance allowance and carer’s allowance as well as general state pensions and housing benefits. We can support you with your application for claiming benefits to ensure you’re receiving all the financial help that’s available to you. For further detailed information on the different benefits, read the dementia guide by the Alzheimer’s Society UK.

Care needs assessment

In order for the local authority to understand your needs and the non-medical support you require, an assessment called a community care assessment should be arranged through the social services or your GP. The process includes a discussion with those involved in your care such as family or friends as well as a questionnaire (not always) to detail your living and care situation. With this information, social services will assign a social worker to plan the care you require. In some cases, you may be allocated a personal budget to help with covering some of the costs of your care service.

Stay active and stay healthy.

It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after your diagnosis by staying active, having a balanced diet with the essential nutrients and avoiding consumption of unhealthy options. Regular check-ups with your doctor, dentist and optician should also be arranged. A live-in or home care supporter can help to ensure your wellbeing and support you with the changes.

Foys Solicitors can help you make arrangements after your diagnosis of dementia

At Foys, our elderly care solicitors can provide legal advice and support for making arrangements after a diagnosis of dementia. We offer a free initial consultation where we will discuss your needs and explain the best next steps are.

For a free initial consultation or more information on our employment law services, contact your local Foys office. Alternatively, you can email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

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This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.