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Legal advice routinely fails seriously injured clients, according to specialist healthcare professionals.
More than 80 per cent of case managers, who co-ordinate rehabilitation and care for accident victims, said they had experienced situations where claimant solicitors had not acted in the best interests of their injured clients, a survey found.
Researchers pointed to one example where it was alleged that an immigration solicitor took on a high-value personal injury case “and the client suffered because he did not receive the support, treatment and interim payments he desperately needed”.
It was also alleged that in another case a client developed a psychosis following her injury and was admitted to a mental health ward with paranoia. Her solicitor wanted to continue with the expert witness appointments but the case manager said it would not be in the client’s best interests owing to her mental health condition.
According to the report “the case manager was told by the claimant solicitor that the expert witness appointments should continue as the case needed to settle”.
The law firm that commissioned the research expressed surprise at the findings. “Never in a million years did we expect our research to deliver this finding,” said Yasmin Ameer, a solicitor at Nockolds Solicitors, based in London and Bishop’s Stortford. “It is extremely concerning and has wide reaching implications but we mustn’t rush to judgement. We need to consider all the factors.”