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Case update

Published: 19 October 2017

Don’t have a dog and bark yourself….

In a recent decision by the Court of Appeal, the importance of seeking advice from your solicitor as opposed to going it alone has been emphasised.

Here we provide a brief insight into the key points of the case (Thomas v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2017] EWCA civ 1303)

The case highlights

Mr T claimed to have suffered a personal injury. This entitled him to claim for compensation both for the pain and suffering resulting from the injury itself; and to help cover the costs of assistance with domestic tasks.

Mr T was offered and accepted compensation in respect of his personal injuries. He then had the option to claim further money to cover the cost of payments he had made for domestic assistance. Mr T chose not to pursue this part of the claim because he had been paying friends ‘cash in hand’ for help with domestic tasks. He therefore told his Solicitor that he did not have the evidence to support this part of the claim.

Mr T later changed his mind, and went to a second firm of Solicitors. They advised him that he had a claim in negligence because the claim for personal injury had been under-settled.

The Court of Appeal disagreed. Mr T’s negligence claim was dismissed as he had taken the decision not to pursue the claim for the costs of domestic assistance and had ‘… so instructed his Solicitors’.

In summary

Based on the facts of the case, it was something of a moot point as to whether or not Mr T had a valid claim for personal injury at all. However, the decision emphasises the importance of letting a Solicitor decide if there is an entitlement to claim for compensation if you then want to later allege that such a claim should have been pursued.

In other words ‘don’t have a dog and bark yourself …’ 

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