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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44896
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My Mother had a district nurse call on her back in 2011 and

Customer Question

My Mother had a district nurse call on her back in 2011 and my mothers dog jumped up at the nurse who claimed the dog bit her on her abdomen the nurse called the police and they said there was no dog bite so there was no case to answer.

Almost two & a half years later on 20th August 2013 my mother has received a letter from a no win no fee solicitor saying the nurse is now claiming compensation damages.

I have written several letters to the solicitors representing the nurse reiterating what the police had said back in 2011, now we have been told they are going to start court proceedings in seven days. What can we do.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have they provided any evidence of the injuries she is claiming for?

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

They have provided a typed extract from a accident emergency summary.

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

When can I expect an answer?

Ben Jones :

And does ot state on there what injuries were suffered?

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

It claims the nurse was bitten by a dog but the date and time of the incident differs from original claim.

Ben Jones :

The person can make a claim against your mother if she was genuinely injured by the bite. This will be treated the same as any other personal injury claim where a person can claim if they have actually suffered an injury. Whilst the police may have said there was no bite and no further action would be taken against your mother, they are not medical experts and cannot make a decision on whether there was an actual injury or not - this will come from medical experts who would have examined the nurse and provided an opinion on what the injuries were and if they were attributable to the initial incident.

So it is possible to make a claim against your mother but they would need to prove that the bite from her dog had caused an injury. They would need to provide evidence that this was the case and any discrepancies in this evidence will be questioned by a court when determining it.

At this point you may wish to ask for further, more credible evidence to show that the injury they are claiming for did occur and that it was attributable to the bite by your mother's dog, specifically challenging the discrepancy in the details of when it was supposed to occur.

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

So what you are saying even though there was no bite this person is able to make a claim for compensation against my mother.

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

Can they take my mother to court without passing over all the evidence and as my mother who is 87 has no money for compensation only her pension what will the do?

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

have you made your final answer to my questions?

Ben Jones :

I cannot say whether there was a bite or not or if it was attributable to that incident - that is for the medical professionals to determine. What I can say is that anyone can bring a claim if they wanted to but to be successful they need to prove they have a valid claim and that won't be possible without some sort of evidence which backs it up. They can make the claim without passing the evidence over before the claim is made but once it has been submitted they would need to provide that as part of the claims process.

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

Can they take my mother to court without passing over all the evidence and as my mother who is 87 has no money for compensation only her pension what will the do?

Ben Jones :

It could be that they are just being threatening at this time hoping for some easy settlement and that they will not actually proceed with the case by taking it to court. There must be some credibility in the claim for the solicitor to advise them to take it further although they do not have to disclose that at this stage to you, but there is nothing stopping you asking for further evidence and stating that you will vigorously defend any claim and also pursue them for costs for making a claim without reasonable prospects of success. Also as mentioned they can make the claim without giving her the evidence at this stage, but they will have to submit it one the claim has been made

Ben Jones :

if she cannot afford paying out any compensation she is required to pay then it would be for the claimant to try and pursue this further and enforce the judgment, whether they will do so knowing she has no money or assets is another matter though and if I was their solicitor I would advise them to think twice as they are likely to incur further expenses without any guarantee of success

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

The nurse did not tell her employer about the incident ,and since I have contacted them they are proceeding with disciplinary action and gross misconduct because the nurse has gone against NHS protocol.

Ben Jones :

the only thing this would change is attribute some contributory negligence and could potentially reduce any compensation awarded but does not remove the fact they can still make a claim if they believe there is a case to be pursued

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

So my mother can be taken to court and made to pay for compensation for something that did not happen and the law falls on the side of the claimant not the innocent party. Where is the justice?

Ben Jones :

No, this is not what I said - she can be taken to court but she cannot be made to pay compensation unless the other party can show that they have a valid claim by providing evidence that what they are claiming happened and that there was a personal injury suffered as a result of the attack in question

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

But she is a nurse and she has provided written evidence of a dog bite all be it the date of that injury does not tie up with the date of the incident.

Ben Jones :

well that is just part of the evidence - a decision will not be made just based on that one document, she will still need to provide a witness statement to back up what happened and the court can pick holes in her story - they can spot these

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

So our solicitor needs to be good.

Ben Jones :

Well to be honest any competent solicitor can deal with this, we are not talking about that complex of an issue here, this is going to be based mainly of facts and evidence

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

Will my mother as a pensioner with no assets be able to get legal aid?

Ben Jones :

Not for this type of claim I'm afraid

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

Why ever not?

Ben Jones :

legal aid is strictly limited otherwise everyone will be claiming for it and that is simply not possible

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

So how does my mother find the money to go through all this, and as I previously mentioned she is a pensioner and only has her pension and no savings.

Ben Jones :

I cannot say how she can do this as for her it would be a personal matter seeing there is no legal aid she can use. But she can simply ignore the claim if she wants to - it is a risk depending on how they proceed with it but as mentioned if I was a solicitor for someone pursuing a pensioner with little or no money I would advise them to consider either not going ahead with it, or if they do and win - to be very careful about whether they actually try and enforce the judgment as the chances of getting anything back would be minimal

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

no more at this time.

Ben Jones :

ok just before I release this for closure could you please let me know if your query was answered, thanks

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

A disappointing realisation of the law in this country. My questions are answered.

Ben Jones :

I understand and sorry it may not be the answer you were after but I do have to be honest and tell you what your legal position is...and as mentioned remember this may not end as badly as you may think, it could just be scare tactics at this stage

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-6sbiaqio- :

I need to go

Ben Jones :

ok all the best

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