The Cautionary Tale of the Death of a Client

People die - It is the one certainty of life.

A few years ago, I was working for a defendant practice on a Noise Induced Hearing Loss claim when the claimant solicitor, who I personally knew from previously working with him, informed me that his client had died. There had been no prior warning that this would happen.

Would I still be able to consider the claim without a witness statement? The answer I gave was unfortunately for him, no.

I had to stand firm. There were the threats of litigation, but they never materialised. The reason being that they would not have an opportunity to prove the claim to the Court. 

It surprises me when a personal injury practice does not factor this risk into their claims and get a witness statement as soon as possible.

You have no comeback without witness evidence, and it can be deemed to be professionally negligent, meaning you are now responsible for the potential value of the claim to the client’s estate, whatever the cost may be.

You would likely have to inform your professional indemnity insurers, which could in turn increase your premiums for the following year. 

So, you would think that the smart thing is to get it sorted.

It is always best to get a client witness statement as soon as possible to protect your firm on every case that comes through the door. 

We can help reduce your firms’ prospects of a professional negligence claim against them, by attending upon, preparing and drafting your clients witness statement, saving your fee earners time, and for you, potentially avoiding an expensive pay out.


19th October 2020

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