Instructing a lawyer
Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 7:51pm
From time to time we get posts from riders who have been injured in a collision. While each case has its own particular features, there are aspects common to most of them.
The Cyclists' Defence Fund has this guide to the immediate steps to be taken:-http://www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk/legal_information
I've just found this recently published advice on instructing a lawyer on the Cycling Silk
blog. Essential reading for anybody in this situation. IMO.http://martinporterqc.blogspot.com/
Another useful blog from a lawyer:-http://thecyclingsolicitor.blogspot.co. ... ident.html
Although the title is What To Do If You're In A Cycling Accident
this includes advice on before, during and after.
Elsewhere on this blog there's also a recent (24-02-2017) explanation of the news rules on compensation claims.
(Obviously, I can't comment on the accuracy of this but it is clearly written.)
Re: Instructing a lawyer
Posted: 20 Apr 2011, 8:19am
The above post and links are generally helpful. As a Solicitor who has specialized in personal injury claims for over 20 years, including many cycling claims, I can add some comment:
"Cycling Defence Fund
Personal Injury Procedures"
It is of course impossible to sum up personal injury law and procedure in it’s entirety in the space available, which is constantly evolving, but below are some observations on this document:
When sufficient information is available, a letter of claim will be written to the party or parties believed to be liable for the accident (or illness or disease).
Motor Insurers’ Bureau
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau deals with claims against untraced drivers as well as uninsured drivers.
Pre Action Protocol
The £15,000 limit, known as the fast track limit, is now £25,000.
If the Defendant denies liability or admits primary liability but alleges contributory negligence, then depending on the issues raised, it may be necessary for experts to be instructed. For example, in a cycling accident, this could be a cycling expert or road accident reconstruction expert. The Defendant’s representatives may also wish to instruct similar experts. Where serious injuries have been sustained which result in a lengthy rehabilitation period and large financial losses and expenses, it may be appropriate to issue court proceedings and proceed to a split trial; a trial where the liability aspect is decided alone, with the quantum aspects (how much the claim is worth) being dealt with at a later date.
Where serious injuries have been sustained, it may be several years post accident before a final Schedule of Special Damages can be prepared. This is because where lengthy treatment or rehabilitation is required, it may be several years before a final medical prognosis can be given and, following that, a period of time will then be required to assess what impact any residual injuries or impairments will have on the ability to work, carry out activities of daily living and leisure interests.
In more serious injury cases, it will be necessary to instruct more than one medical expert. For example, in a serious brain injury case, it is not uncommon to have to instruct four medical experts to deal with the various impairments and symptoms arising from the brain injury. If there are orthopaedic injuries in addition, at least one orthopaedic expert will have to be instructed. For catastrophic injury cases, experts in physiotherapy, care, occupational therapy, accommodation and employment will also have to be instructed.
The timing of the instruction of the various experts is decided on a case by case basis. It can be a false economy to instruct experts too early and in the wrong order. Factors to be considered are the severity of the injuries, the treatment and rehabilitation required and the financial and other losses suffered and being incurred.
"Instructing a Lawyer
My top tips for selecting a lawyer"
I agree with much of this document. My only observation is that even within the law firms used by the cycling organizations there will be Solicitors, Legal Executives and Paralegals (fee earners) who are not all of uniform quality and your case may be allocated to a fee earner who is not the best lawyer for your case. These fee earners may also be conducting large numbers of cases meaning that your case may not receive the attention that it requires.
“There are specialist cycling lawyers out there..” Agreed, the challenge is to find one.