Injury claim????

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G

Guest
Hi folks!!
I had an accident 3years ago. my case is coming up soon in court.
I have to see my solicitor this week. He has never mentioned a settlement target for me and I didnt want to sound greedy so I let him do the talking.. But how do I know what I am entitled too?? It was a pretty serious leg injury so I didn't want to be undercut by everyone on the day yet dont want to come across as a know all as Judges must be sick of false injury claims by now..
Also, I don't trust anyone, not even my solicitor, so how do I know on the court day that he and their insurance company are not in "kanooks" with each other to keep the settlement down as I have heard in some cases...
Cheers all.. Hope ya can help???
 
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tobo

Guest
injury claim

How do you know that anybody replying to this posting is not involved with your insurance company???

I think the first thing you should do is get a grip on your paranoia and begin to trust your solicitor rather than believe many of the urban myths about them. Your solicitor will be attempting to get you the best deal on offer in any settlement discussions or court hearing. You will no doubt have counsel there to represent you in addition to your solicitor (now maybe you think there is a conspiracy working against you as well!).

Given the attitude that you display then if there are any settlement discussions on the day of the hearing I would advise you to reject all offers regardless of any recommendations made to you by your legal team. Insist that the matter goes on in court and let the judge hear all the evidence and then decide whether you should be compensated and if so by how much. This way you manage to avoid the risk that you are so worried about. Otherwise you will always feel that you did not get your just deserts because you were ripped off by an unscrupulous solicitor and barrister who were in "Kanooks" with your insurance company.

My advice however does not protect you against the very real risk that the judge has also been got at by the insurance company and is sharing the murky contents of a brown envelope with your legal team.

There is no fixed figures for any injury. Everything depends on the facts of each case. Your legal team will have a range of awards in mind based on their experiences in other cases. The other side may well have a different range of awards in mind. The figures can fluctuate based on a great deal of variables which would include the individual judge who is drawn to hear your case and the mood that judge is in on the day.

Awards have also been coming down quite substantially in recent years (about 30% to 40% in the past 2 or 3 years) and continue to fall. Your legal team will utilise their considerable knowledge, skills and experience to get the best deal for you but that can never be guaranteed because of the nature of the litigation beast.

Please also remember that the costs received by your solicitor is linked to the size of the award or settlement. This is further encouragement to obtain the highest amount possible for you.

I am a solicitor working in the area of litigation. I recall a case I dealt with last year involving somebody with a leg injury. I and the barrister I instructed valued the case as being worth €25,000. The other side valued the case as being worth €21,000 and made an offer in that amount. The client rejected the offer and the matter went to a full hearing. The judge awarded my client €4,500. On appeal the award was increased to €9,500.

The moral of this tale is that nobody reading your post can tell you the value of your claim or where you might find out the value. The value of your claim is what a judge says it is worth on the day or the settlement figure that is agreed between the parties outside of court based on their own assessments of the case value.

People displaying the attitude you have expressed here about their solicitor will rarely, if ever, be satisfied with the outcome and many of these go on to promulgate the view that they were ripped off by their solicitor who had been in "Kanooks" with the defendants insurers.......which is where you came in!
 
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<A HREF=http://pub145.ezboard.com/baskaboutmoney.s

Guest
Re: injury claim

I think the first thing you should do is get a grip on your paranoia and begin to trust your solicitor rather than believe many of the urban myths about them.

...

My advice however does not protect you against the very real risk that the judge has also been got at by the insurance company and is sharing the murky contents of a brown envelope with your legal team.
Are we to believe urban myths about hookey judges and barristers though? What is the basis for this innuendo?
 
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Elcato

Guest
Re: injury claim

I suspect tobo had tongue in cheek on that one.
 
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anon

Guest
similar story

I've been through a similar story to G, my case was settled out of court a no. of months ago to my satisfaction.

However I can understand some of what is behind G's thinking. The whole process is very long winded and murky. There are no clear guidelines as to how long it will take or what the awards will be. One suspects that the legal profession has a vested interest in this lack of transparency (expecially with stories in Sunday papers on earnings!). Hopefully the PIAB will go some way towards making future cases like mine & G's more straightforward.

Bottom line, trust your solicitor, even if you don't respect them ;-)
 
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tobo

Guest
Injury Claim

Elcato....your suspicions are correct!

Anon.....The process cannot be put on the same level of transparency as purchasing a can of beans in a supermarket. Not all accidents are the same and all injuries are not the same as they affect different people in different ways over different periods of time. You may break your leg in an accident and the injury may be healed and you may return to work within 8 weeks. Another person might not be fully recovered within two years because of medical complications or specific employment effects.

I may write for a medical report from a client's GP and get a reponse within 4 weeks. Other GP's will take in excess of 6 months before such a report will be provided. Consultants can be worse and a client may have to wait 6 months for an appointment for examination.

The age, fitness and healing powers of accident victims will play a part in how long their recovery will take. The eventual award will take into account the level and duration of pain, suffering and loss of amenity suffered by that victim. All these factors and many more make it most difficult to accurately predict how long any case will take or what the final value will be. If you were to ask me how much a broken leg was worth and I responded €15,000, you would be very quick to qualify why your broken leg should be worth more than any old broken leg because of the particular effects you suffered. That is why lawyers try to avoid placing a value on a claim from the outset.

The law is a very difficult and learned profession. It cost me over GB£65,000 to qualify as a solicitor and for several years after that I was earning less than most non-law graduates that I knew. Even today, as an employed solicitor in private practice I earn less than many electricians, plumbers, plasterers and other trades people who come to me for legal advice and services. The vast majority of lawyers will never earn the telephone figure salaries of those legal colleagues featured in the Sunday newspapers, or for that matter reach the level of earnings of similarly high paid farmers and business and media people. Junior marketing personnel in commercial operations earn more than the average solicitor and yet the myth rolls on that all lawyers are fat cats.

It will not fit your mental image of me and my colleagues to know that we give a great deal of out time and effort for no reward. If a person comes to my office with a real and urgent problem and they cannot afford my services then invariably I will advise and represent them for nothing or for whatever they decide they can afford to pay me. At least one third of my clients are not charged an economical fee for the service they receive, but without the assistance that I and many hundreds of solicitors daily provide many thousands of our citizens would be deprived of access to justice. My belief in justice is what brought me into the law, not the prospect of riches. I don't expect you to trust me or to respect me but I am satisfied if you have listened to what I have to say.

By the way, don't hold your breath about PIAB improving things for claimants....but that is another story!!
 
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G

Guest
Injury claim??? Part 2

Tobo my friend.. If only I knew you 3 years ago you could have represented me!!! Serious, I sympatise with your situation. You sound like a genuine solicitor and an honest person. Maybe I am being a bit paranoid but as the "bad" word of mouth is the one that carries tale, it gives you a feeling that your only a number and you can't trust anyone..
I really appreciate your letter and it has made things clearer and now I understand the other side of the story as will others who read this page so keep up the good work Tobo!!!!
Also Tobo, is it a normal procedure to meet the defendants insurers before a court date?? I have been asked to meet them (without going into detail) somewhere to discuss a certain fact. Is it strange for them to try and settle over a coffee or why would they be calling on me? If it does go to court what are the procedures on court day??
Thanks again Tobo and all the best in 2004!!!
 
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Elcato

Guest
Re: Injury claim??? Part 2

is it a normal procedure to meet the defendants insurers before a court date?? I have been asked to meet them (without going into detail) somewhere to discuss a certain fact.
Yes
Is it strange for them to try and settle over a coffee
No - Probably the law library
If it does go to court what are the procedures on court day??
Follow your solicitors instructions and you'll be fine.
 
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brendan74

Guest
Re: injury claim

Tobo,
is there any chance you can tell me where one can (i.e. Joe public) find out about settlements made both in court and if possible (pushing it I know!) out of court. I'm recovering from a nasty accident and have plenty of time to do this.
many thanks in advance,
brendan
 
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tobo

Guest
Re: injury claim

As far as I am aware there is no register of such things that one can inspect and certainly not in respect of out-of-court settlements that are not then made as an order of the court. There are text books on the quantum of damages that give sample court decisions in respect of certain types of injuries. This can only be used as a very rough guide as there are so many variables. You can get such books from the Law Society Bookshop at the Four Courts or direct from the publishers.

You would be far better off to rely on the experience and knowledge of your legal team in respect of such issues. It would appear from your query that you may not have sufficient confidence in them to accept the value that they may place on your claim.
 
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