Professional Negligence Solicitor, Lee Dawkins, anticipates an avalanche of professional negligence claims from miners who have lost out due to their lawyer’s negligence

The court of appeal has rejected an application by Raleys Solicitors to overturn an earlier decision that they had been negligent in dealing with a personal injury claim on behalf of a miner.

Raleys Solicitors had been criticised for failing to consider the full extent of a miners personal injury compensation claim, highlighting the solicitors’ over-reliance on standard forms to collect information.

Individual partners have also come under scrutiny, with disciplinary hearings taking place.

The original personal injury claim

The claimant had been employed as a miner and had used vibratory tools.  This had led to him developing vibration white finger, or VWF, and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, HAVS.

Raleys Solicitors were appointed to pursue a personal injury claim on his behalf.  However, when his injury claim settled it only included compensation for the injury itself, together with a further sum for "handicap on the labour market".  Crucially, the compensation award did not take into consideration the claim for "services" which he now required as a consequence of the disability arising from his injuries, such as gardening, car repairs and do-it-yourself.

Impact of the court's ruling

This decision is likely to lead to further professional negligence claims against solicitors by miners who’s personal injury claims have been under-settled.

It is estimated that 170,000 injury claims were brought under the Government’s Miners Compensation scheme.  Over 100,000 of those claims would have attracted compensation for "services".  However, it is thought that less than half actually included a "services" award.

Thousands of miners will therefore  be entitled to bring a solicitors negligence claim for the compensation they have lost out on.

Making a professional negligence claim

We deal with professional negligence claims against solicitors on a no-win – no fee basis.  We operate a free solicitors negligence helpline.  So if you are a miner and think you may have missed out on compensation due to under-settlement of your injury claim then give us a call on (0808) 139 1595.