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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9358
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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On Jan 15th, I was asleep in my truck in a lay-by and was

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On Jan 15th, I was asleep in my truck in a lay-by and was rammed from behind by a Yearsley Logistics truck. The driver told the Police "I saw him in the lay-by and misjudged it" (as you do!). I blew zero on the Breathalyser (no surprise there - I'm teetotal) so I was totally blameless. I have been off sick with my injuries since Feb 5th, and my current loss of earnings stand at £15000!
Yearsley admitted responsibility on March 8th, yet I am still being made to jump through hoops, and my Solicitor is allowing them to get away with it. I've provided pay slips, P60 and Bank Statements for the complete Tax Year 2025/2016 (they wanted to prove that I was working while I am off sick!). My Solicitor overcame my reluctance to provide the Bank Statements by claiming that he would redact them. On Sep 7th, I received a letter asking for my P60 for the previous year (2014/2015) and stating that he couldn't redact the Bank Statements because there were too many (!!!!!!!!), and he didn't know what to redact (I'd have thought anything but Deposits would be a start). I sent him a somewhat curt reply asking him what the hell they wanted the previous year's P60 for (I asked if I'd have to furnish proof of my salary from when I joined the Army as a 15-year old Boy Soldier in 1963 - it was £2 4s and 6d a week). I also told him to do what he liked with the Statements - I was past caring. Last Thursday I sent another batch of paperwork, which was delivered to DAS Law at 08:30 on Friday.
It is now 4 weeks since his last contact, and I don't know what to do. Can I ask DAS Law to replace him, or should I replace DAS Law? I realise that I will probably have to start again with another Firm, but I have no idea how to get my Solicitor back on track.
Ivor Johnstone
I D JOHNSTONE MBE
07760 190425
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Have you actually spoken to another firm of solicitors with a view to getting them to take on the claim?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I thought that's what I was doing.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

We give legal advice from solicitors and barristers but we can’t take the claim on for you. We can point you in the right direction however.

I’m afraid that the experience that have had is not at all uncommon particularly with the very large firms of solicitors that run large personal injury teams whereby you are just another sausage in the machine.

There are a variety of things that you can do. You can make a complaint to the firms complaints partner about the lack of communication and the fact that although you have considerable loss of earnings, the solicitor dealing with this (it is likely to be a legal executive dealing but reporting to a solicitor) seems to be missing a whole load of points here.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, then I suggest that you find a firm of solicitors who are closer to you but who would deal with this on a no win no fee basis and almost certainly have better communication. Almost any firm of solicitors would take this on for you because liability has already been admitted.

The new firm of solicitors would be required to give an undertaking to your current solicitors to pay their costs to date when the claim is eventually settled.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I guess I was hoping that you would agree that my"Litigation Executive" was in the wrong, rather than me just being over-sensitive (ex-Army WO!, 24 years 243 days Service, the last 3 1/2 years commanding the AAC Flight in direct support of 22 SAS at Hereford - I don't think so. I expect MY Solicitor to be on MY side, but he seems to agree with everything they want, but won't do anything I want. For example, for months he has been saying that he's asking for an interim payment of £1000 for my injuries, which hadn't yet been totally verified. I stressed that I understood that the injuries matter was a flexible feast. I could be lying or I could be dead, and my injuries would be confirmed as somewhere between the two. However, I argued and argued that it was a fact that I am now losing £608.45 a week, and my current losses are over £15000 (FACT!!). The interim payment should be based on THAT, not on my injuries, at this stage. A month ago, I did receive the £1000 interim payment (WHOOPEE!).
Though I have complied with every request for information by the opposition, he has refused to tackle them for any information I have requested from them.
I also want confirmation that his behaviour, in not contacting me for 4 weeks, is unacceptable.
Best regards,
Ivor
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

There are 2 kinds of damages. General damages and special damages. General damages are in respect of pain and suffering and cannot be quantified and they are pulled out of midair (or rather from an approved schedule of damages). Special damages on the other hand are those things which can be proved such as postage, loss of earnings, taxi fares, damage to vehicle et cetera.

If you haven’t already had a medical, then you should have had a medical by now to get a prognosis of how long your injuries are going to last and hence, how long you are likely to be off work.

You may be asked to prove that the reason you are off work is because of the injuries and that would need medical evidence.

The biggest complaint levied at any firm of solicitors is generally lack of communication. There may be nothing to report but the solicitor should convey that. The reason they don’t is that as soon as they pick up the metaphorical pen, they will charge for it and they can be castigated and charging for a letter which says “nothing to report”.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
You're preaching to the converted! As I said, the crash was at 03:15 on 15th Jan (9 months ago) and they admitted responsibility on 8th Mar (7 months ago). I've had appointments with my own Doctor, x-rays on my neck and spine, and a Medical with THEIR Doctor, who correctly diagnosed my physical and mental problems. He then pronounced me fit for work, though he also said that my injuries would not be cleared until July and August respectively. He also said that I was wearing a seat-belt and braced for impact, even though I was lying prone on my bunk and was fast asleep (perhaps I'm psychic!). After I had refused to sign the Report until it was changed, he changed it, and admitted that it was done using a standard template for Whiplash injuries.
I had an MRI scan on 8th Aug, with the follow-up on 21st Sep. The scan confirmed damage to my neck and spine, with at least 2 of my discs being crimped. The damage could take a year to improve, and I have another follow-up in 6 months. They could operate at the moment, but I would just be swapping one pain for another (possibly worse) and I would face the risks inherent in surgery for old gits (which I am).
When they paid the interim £1000, they also paid expenses up to that point.
Best regards,
Ivor
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

You need to take up the matter of the incorrect report with the solicitor with a view to having that taken with the expert who clearly wasn’t paying attention! It appears that you have already done this and the fact that he used a template for whiplash injuries is also worrying.

Do you have any other specific questions I can help with?

Before you leave the site, can I trouble you to rate the service positive. We can still exchange emails of anything crops of the new come back to me later.

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