Finding a good solicitor
|Posted By : Bill On 09/02/2018 18:15:00|
|I had a discussion recently with a parent trying to find a good solicitor to represent his daughter with cerebral palsy. After a lot of discussion, he emailed me this summary: “So, a likeable, dedicated and skilled lawyer with a minimum of 10 years’ experience working on top-end liability and quantum cerebral palsy cases. The job ad is out now!”.|
That really says it all. So many lawyers want to do these big cases, and all do their best to talk them in. Sadly, not many families feel able to cross examine the solicitor about his or her true experience, and the evidence to support what is said. As a result, some cases are handled by lawyers who don’t have the necessary experience and ability.
That’s why one of the main features of my web site is a section advising people how to find a good, suitable solicitor – try googling brain injury solicitor, and see what you find!
The NHS - look beyond the headlines
|Posted By : Bill On 04/02/2018 14:45:00|
|There were two headlines in the paper this week which, taken together, infuriated me:|
“NHS forced to pay £1,500 for £2 pot of moisturiser” and “Compensation payouts ‘could bankrupt NHS’”.
The first one sounds like bad management; how else do you pay £1,500 for a £2 item? Is it a badly drawn contract, or a person responsible for purchasing who failed to see, and solve, the problem.
The second one is the usual NHS spin (they must spend a lot on public relations). Big claims which succeed (and the ones that fail don’t affect the NHS) do so because the staff have been negligent. They keep on being negligent, and have done for the last 25 years at least. Proper training would prevent a lot of the claims I see – simple bad management of the birth process, leading to a child born with cerebral palsy.
Taken together, the headlines suggest that the NHS don’t train anyone; either the medical staff or the purchasing officers.
Of course, behind those headlines, but I think obscured by them, is the fact that the NHS provides some wonderful care to a lot of us; many people have a story about how well they have been looked after.
The NHS - making the same mistakes for decades
|Posted By : Bill On 29/01/2018 08:15:00|
|The NHS has a Government-funded scheme to deal with negligence claims for events before April 1995. Its payouts rose by 13% last year to £27.7m, which prompted the chief executive of AvMA to say "We, as a charity, have been going for 35 years and we still see the same mistakes, the same avoidable errors causing injury now as we did 35 years ago.".|
What a very sad indictment. It fits in with my experience over 25 years, which suggests the same. I remember writing an article many years ago, criticising the NHS for the birth injuries caused by its negligence, and the chairman wrote to me, objecting. He wouldn’t discuss the problem with me, though, when I invited him to do so.
A shared interest in solving the accommodation problem
|Posted By : Bill On 26/01/2018 09:30:00|
|Another interesting aspect of that huge interim payment case is that, on the face of it, the parties had an identity of interest in solving the accommodation problem.|
Once it is clear, as it was in that case, that the present accommodation is grossly inadequate, and that it is hindering rehabilitation, the Defendant is as much interested in sitting round the table to discuss “how can we all resolve this so that the Claimant becomes properly rehabilitated, thus maximising her independence (wonderful for her), and reducing the lifetime cost of support (good for them).
One of many aspect of good negotiation and management in catastrophic injury claims is surely to look at the problem from the point of view of the other party, and to be imaginative about the solutions which will suit both sides.
Part of that process for claimants is to make a presentation to the defendant which makes it easy for the defendant to see the problem, and to guide it to various possible solutions.
For example, a defendant might prefer not to pay out £1.9 million at a time of the court’s direction, but would prefer to fit it into the financial year and budget in order to minimise adverse impact. Or, perhaps a one or two year rental, at tiny cost comparatively, would let both sides find a cheaper, and better, solution. People sometime suggest shared, or defendant, ownership of the house, but I've never thought that was viable – unless a defendant could put forward a package which allayed the obvious claimant objections to living in the wrongdoer’s house, and not having security of tenure.