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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48192
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I need to write to a lawyer about an injury case. I

Customer Question

Hello, I need to write to a lawyer about an injury case. I am not sure which Lawyer type to send this to, can you please help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you please explain your situation in a bit more detail?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben. My Son had a motorbike accident back in July 2014 and the case has been passed from one solicitor to another due to firms closing. Basically it has got to the point where the current solicitor has listed everything they believe to be correct and has stated my son should accept liability on a 65/35 case in his favour. i wanted a solicitor to look at the details of what this solicitor has listed and recommend whether you think we should accept on this basis or let the case go to court. I can send you a cut and paste of the details if that is possible?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Did you mean that you want us to look at it, or you wanted to go to a lawyer in person but were just not sure which type of lawyer to approach? The issue with having us to look at it is that there will be very little information we can base an opinion on
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am just looking for you to have a look at the breakdown and let us know what you think. Everything is detailed.Dear Mr TippingRe: Your accident on 20th July 2014I have reviewed liability and the value of your claim again in light of our recent conversation and Counsel's advice.LiabilityLiability has to be looked at in terms of what a Judge would find at Trial. Counsel has highlighted that the issue of liability is limited to whether or not the Defendant would be found to be indicating before making the turn in question.If the Judge considers that the Defendant was not indicating, then you would be 100% successful in your claim. However, if a Judge considers that the Defendant was indicating before beginning the turn, the Judge would find that some contributory liability rests with you for failing to notice the indication. As the independent witness cannot confirm whether the Defendant driver was indicating, at Trial the decision would rest on whose evidence the Judge believes – yours or the Defendant driver. Therefore there is a risk that the Judge may find you contributory liable and this needs to be taken into account.The Defendant’s insurers have made an offer of 50/50 liability split. The effect of this offer is that if we do not accept the offer and proceed to Trial and the Judge finds that there is a 50/50 liability split then you would be responsible for their costs from the expiry date of their offer.Counsel does not think that this offer puts you at risk because he does not think that a Judge would make this liability finding of 50/50. However, he does think that there is a likely risk that a Judge would find that the Defendant was indicating before making the turn and to reflect this, he suggests that we make an offer of 65/35.I am aware that you are not happy with making this offer but I do think that we need to be realistic in terms of what will be decided at Trial if we proceeded to take the claim as far as Trial.Under the circumstances, I propose to make an offer of 70/30 in your favour at this stage. If the Defendant does not agree to this, then I believe that you should be willing to accept 65/35 if necessary in line with Counsel’s advice.QuantumAlthough I respect Counsel's advice given his experience of the Courts and likely level of awards, I do believe that Counsel has been reserved with his figures.I attach the report of Mr Slowik, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, for ease of reference.In respect of your shoulder injury, you underwent a surgical operation to stabilise the acromioclavicular dislocation on 23 July 2014 and the hardware was surgically removed on 23 October 2014. The medical report of Mr Slowik notes that your shoulder pain settled by about 8 months with some residual symptoms. He expected that these residual symptoms would resolve within 6 months of the report (by December 2015). Therefore although the main symptoms were resolved within 8 months, the overall symptoms lasted 1 and half years.Based on the Judicial College Guidelines (which are the Guidelines that are used by Solicitors and Courts to assess the value of injuries) I believe that the injury to your shoulder would be valued at the higher end of the bracket of £4,290 to £10,230, as opposed to the lower end which Counsel proposed. If the shoulder were to be assessed in isolation, I would value it at £10,000.In respect of the injury to your left femur, I believe that Counsel has correctly assessed this in the bracket which runs between £7,620 to £11,770, however again, I would place this higher in the bracket and value it in isolation at £10,000. I note that you will be removing the metal rod from your leg in due course and so I have suggested that an updated opinion is sought from Mr Slowik to determine his final prognosis following this to allow a more accurate valuation of this injury. However, I understand that you are not keen on this approach.The courts do not simply add the two values of injuries together; therefore an overlap needs to be taken into account. I would value the general damages overall at £15,000.This is simply an opinion on the amount of damages we believe your claim would be worth should the matter proceed to trial. I would however stress that this is just an opinion, and is by no means an indication that you will receive this kind of figure. The figures quoted are based on the idea that proceedings are issued and the case proceeds to trial.I note that Mr Slowick mentions the development of psychological symptoms following the accident and this is also mentioned in your GP records. If you wish, I can seek to obtain an opinion from a Psychologist to confirm whether you have sustained any psychological injury. I understand that you do not wish to delay your claim any further however this could possibly increase the value of your claim and if you have any ongoing psychological symptoms, then treatment could be recommended.AdviceIn view of the
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
AdviceIn view of the above and pending whether you wish to obtain any further expert evidence, I propose disclosing your medical report and Schedule of Special Damages (once approved) then making a formal offer of £50,000 with a 70/30 liability split to the defendant insurer in an attempt to settle your claim. The amount is in full and final settlement of all outstanding losses (special damages) and includes compensation for your injury (general damages). If accepted, the overall damages will be £35,000 taking into account 70/30 liability.This offer is probably not something which the Defendant insurer will accept however, it may result in a reasonable counter offer being received. In order for me to propose such a settlement, I need your consent and therefore, I would be grateful if you could confirm your agreement in writing.If you are happy with making this offer then the conference with Counsel will be unnecessary so please let me know before Thursday 24 March 2016.If you wish to discuss the contents of this letter then please do not hesitate to call me.I look forward to hearing from you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i have attached the medical report
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I would agree that without any independent evidence confirming that the respondent as indicating before making a turn, there will always be a risk that you may not win this. This will effectively amount to a factual dispute where it is essentially one person’s word against another’s. In these situations the courts have developed certain tests that would be applied that would help them decide how much weight to attach to each side's evidence. As a general rule, the following are some of the more widely used tests:{C}· Demeanour - includes matters such as a person’s conduct, manner, bearing, behaviour, delivery and inflexion. They are matters of impression, which are not necessarily revealed by reading a transcript of evidence. It is the more 'personal' side of the individual providing the evidence{C}· Inconsistency – mainly to do with any apparent inconsistencies in a person’s evidence{C}· Probability – this would ask of the evidence as a whole, or of a particular part of it: whose account is more probable in the circumstances? So the courts will apply these or other similar tests in coming to a decision that they believe is fair in the circumstances. That does not mean it is factually the right one, but what has been judged to be the fairest outcome based on all available information. So this is the min risk here – even if he had not indicated in reality, the court may find that on the balance of probabilities he had and that will adversely affect your case. No one can stop you from pursuing this on a full liability basis but you cannot guarantee you will be successful and as such you are at risk of having to walk away with less than what you were expecting and also be liable for their legal costs from a specific date which could further reduce your compensation. So when there is no direct evidence to prove something, lawyers will have to try and mitigate any risks and go for something which reduces your potential exposure to further costs and go for an offer which, whilst not your ideal outcome, is there to cover the potential risks where you could end up with a lot less if you were to pursue this and lose. So the initial offer of 70/30 and the final offer of 65/35 is not unreasonable in the circumstances. It is the lack of direct evidence which lets your case down, but of course it is up to you whether you want to take the risk regardless. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben. There is one witness report as well but this has been taken into account. I just wanted to ensure the solicitor was not just wanting to close the case and protect their fee before accepting. Did you read the medical report?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I only have the advice letter
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attached the medical report did you receive this?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
only the document with the advice you pasted earlier
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please see the attached
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if you have already reviewed this please let me know. thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
ok thanks leave with me please I have to go offline now but will repsond tomorrow. An specific queries you have about this in the meantime?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Morning Ben, no other specific queries just wondering if you had a chance to look at the medical report. Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I haven't had a response from you today like you said you would?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, sorry I have only just got back online, with it being Easter I have been engaged I other things today. I have looked at the medical report and I can only comment on the level of potential compensation when considering the reported injuries. The first injury is the shoulder dislocation. The level of injury will be classified as serious as it involves dislocation of shoulder leading to restricted joint movement and possible pain in neck, arms and hands. This may attract compensation of between £8,500 - £12,500. I would agree that you are looking at around the £10,000 mark for that. The other is the leg injury. Assuming a fracture with complete recovery that would be up to around £9,000. If incomplete recovery it would be higher, maybe up to £15,000. So 10,000 alone as suggested is not far off. There is no exact science to all of this, what you get from one judge on on day can easily differ to what you get from another on a different day so there will always be a risk that you will not get what you are hoping for, so bear that in kind. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben thanks for responding. So based in everything do you still believe 70/30 is the best to go for?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
As a starting point yes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, my question has been answered and I have rated you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks and all the best