One personal injury solicitor firm has been accused of negligence in how they handled the personal injury claim of one of their clients, resulting in an out-of-court settlement for £500,000.
Bristol-based personal injury lawyers Clarke Wilmott were taken to court for professional negligence by a former client, Kenny Jordan, a 54 year old man who was involved in an accident in May of 2004 that left him wheelchair-bound. His insurers recommended Mr Jordan to seek legal advice from the personal injury firm, but Clarke Wilmott only settled the claim for a touch over £510,000 – and that’s without ever obtaining any expert evidence or even going to see Mr Jordan in his Manchester home.
Dissatisfied with such a comparatively small compensation award for the life-changing injuries he sustained, Mr Jordan brought suit for negligence, leading Clarke Wilmott to provide the injured man an additional £500,000 from their own coffers. Of course, since the case was settled out of court, the solicitor firm gets to avoid actually making an admission of negligence.
This is, of course, rather ridiculous, especially because nobody just gives up half a million pounds in order to avoid bad public relations. Yes, Clarke Wilmott may not be in danger of being declared liable as a matter of public record, leaving their reputation technically intact, but anyone with any sense at all would do well to avoid a law firm that not only bungles a case and then throws hush money at an irate client in order to circumvent the impact of any bad publicity.