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Title: I've no faith in our lawyers' claims valuation

Date: 24 April 2013

Question

I am writing for advice in relation to my husband. We are currently going through a personal injury claim with X Law for a bike accident 2 years ago. The 3rd party was at fault as she pulled out from side road onto main road and into him.

Basically he broke both feet (1st & 5th metatarsal) and was in plaster for 12 weeks. His  right foot is worse than left so then had to have an air boot on this foot for a further 4 weeks.

To cut a long story short he has finally had his 1st offer come through and the offer is £5k for the injury, having spoken to X Law they advised that foot injuries are not classed as serious so they would only be able to probably secure another £2k. We weren’t expecting thousands of pounds in injury claim but the offer seems quite low compared to the suffering my husband has had to go through. The physio he went to said he was permanently deformed in the right foot & he still has to endure pain of which he will probably always have. We are not happy with X Law, their attitude and the fact that we have constantly had to chase them for appointments, updates etc.

Mrs DT, Birmingham

Answer

Without seeing the medical report/s it is very difficult to assess the valuation. You mention that a physiotherapist has referred to permanent symptoms. If this is confirmed by the orthopaedic surgeon who has (hopefully) been instructed to prepare a medical report on your husband’s injuries then it may well be that £5,000 is too low. The bracket would be anywhere from £5,000 to £9,800 (according to the latest valuation guidelines we work from) and probably somewhere in the upper quartile. However I cannot advise accurately on the limited evidence before me.

I suggest you ask X Law to justify their valuation with reference to the medical report/s and JSB Guidelines. The answer will lie within the medical records and evidence. If the surgeon needs to be asked to see your husband again to update the report based on what the physiotherapist has said then that is perhaps the best way forward. If there are no permanent symptoms £5,000 could be correct. This therefore needs clarification from the expert instructed to report on the injuries, not a treating physiotherapist.

You do not have to put up with poor service from your solicitors. You are free to change solicitors and indeed appoint the solicitors of your choice from day one.

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