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No win no feeproblem

(23 Posts)
Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 12:46:43

Can anyone advice.

Mil following a car accident has stupidly signed up to a no win no fee company. She said she thought they were representing to co-op insurance (she's an ex co-op employee)

The accident was her fault but she was convinced it was the othe drivers fault but he had a dashcam which proves she pulled out on him. He car insurance company are settling.

We've been worried about mil for some time but she point blank refuses to go see the dr. She accused us including dh and fil of not caring. She gets angry & puts her head in the sand. She forgets a lot of things. She is 71 & we are convinced it's Alzheimer's.

She agreed to whatever over the phone & they sent paperwork which she signed & returned. She was convinced she was going to get a couple of thousand for whiplash. She was quite belligerent about it. They sent her to a dr for an assessment.

Fil has now found out about it & contacted the company. If she stops the action now it will cost her £800. If she doesn't it might cost thousands if (when) she loses.

He (& we) don't have that kind of money spare.

She's been taken advantage of but we can't prove it. Fil does have free legal advice via his union (he's recently gone back to work p/t even though he's retired) so he is gong to call them.

What a mess!

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 20:34:18

It looks like there's nothing anyone can do.

LewisAndClark Thu 18-Aug-16 20:37:16

If it's no win no fee, why would she have to pay if she loses? Isn't that the whole point?

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 20:39:46

It's because when she loses she will get hit for the other parties costs apparently.

LewisAndClark Thu 18-Aug-16 20:42:00

Personally I would stop the action and let them chase for the £800. Don't pay it. If they're a remotely scammy company (and it sounds like it) they won't pursue it.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 20:44:30

Fil has contacted CAB - the cooling off period has passed. He has to pay.

yettiLEGS Thu 18-Aug-16 20:55:04

Probably a really thick question but won't her insurance company pay the other sides fees? Surely she had insurance at the time of the accident so they should pay. The company of ambulance chasers shouldn't get a penny as it's no win no fee.

fastdaytears Thu 18-Aug-16 20:59:05

I'm a solicitor but have no idea about conditional fees. Is this a solicitors or not? If it is then there might be a case for a complaint to the SRA as she clearly didn't have this all explained to her

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 21:26:33

The other side are currently not pursuing any costs. It was a lorry so she did more damage to her own car. Her insurance company have admitted liability & settled up including repairing her car.

Her insurance company won't pay the other sides costs for defending an action bright by mil that the other side will win.

The no win no fee people are denying everything & saying that everything was covered in the contract she signed (which she didn't understand). Even now she can't accept they arn't from the co op.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 21:28:50

I shall try & find out if it's an actual solicitors.

curlywillow Thu 18-Aug-16 21:33:32

what are they actually denying? It does sound rather as if she just didn't understand properly, not that they've done anything wrong? If they haven't done anything wrong and everything is above board then she should still pay for the fees she has incurred.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 21:46:18

They are denying that they told her they represented the co-op.

Co-op insurance have confirmed that they have had problems with no win no fee companies pretending to be connected with them.

I've had these companies on the phone myself. They bamboozled an elderly lady & convinced her if she signed these forms she would get compensation.

I wish we could get her to the Drs as she isn't fit to be entering into any legal contracts in my opinion. (We are slso questioning he fitness to actually drive)

yettiLEGS Thu 18-Aug-16 22:16:28

ask for recordings of any telephone conversations between your Mum and them. Have you seen any of the paperwork? Is the logo similar to the coop's? Ask them for copies of all the paperwork she has signed.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 22:20:26

I will tell fil to request that. (Bet they mysteriously havnt got recordings though)

She's becoming a liability.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Thu 18-Aug-16 22:31:38

I'm really surprised at this. I've worked in Personal injury and had many clients simply change their mind part way through a claim, we've never chased for money. Is it a solicitors firm or a claims management company? If it's a cmc they are basically just a sales company who pass on claims to solicitors, and they will be desperate to keep her on board so they get their commission. If it's a CMC and they won't let her shut down the claim then please remind them that as of May 2013 the MOJ banned the sale of claims, so legally they don't have a leg to stand on as they shouldn't be in business. If it's a solicitors firm directly making the threat then let them go ahead with the claim. Your MILs insurance company has admitted liability so they have no case. If it even got to court all they'd get is a roasting for wasting the courts time.

The solicitors will either have had to have an insurance policy on the claim called an ATE (After the Event) policy to cover any legal expenses or taken details of any Legal Expenses cover that your MIL has. This means that if it goes to court and they lose neither the client nor the firm have to pay - the policy covers the cost. So they can't threaten your MIL with a bill for the other sides costs.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Thu 18-Aug-16 22:41:24

And as far as costs incurred the only things paid out of pocket so far should be the ATE policy (and most firms have a deal with the ATE providers where if they never claim they can cancel polices at no charge if a claim closes before its settled - a sort of goodwill gesture).

If they've already done a medical appointment then that's their own cost to bear. They shouldn't be instructing any Medical experts without an admission of liability from the third party, as, if it's their client that's at fault how injured they are isn't relevant.

The more I think about it the stranger it is. Your MILs insurance company have admitted liability - why are they insisting on continuing with a case that's already been lost?

It must be a claims management company, as I find it impossible to believe that a solicitor would have so little understanding of small claims procedure - check your MILs paper work tomorrow.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 22:51:36

The car insurance company has admitted liability after seeing video evidence from the dash cam.

The no win no fee company are totally separate (they phoned her regarding her recent accident from whatever method they use to get phone numbers) & they led her to believe they were acting on behalf of her insurance company.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 22:52:41

Unfortunately dh & I have to travel out of the area tomorrow to collect dd from a residential so we will have to wait until the weekend with regards to checking paperwork.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Thu 18-Aug-16 22:58:13

Right so it's a cmc then, as they're well known for the whole "we're acting on behalf of your insurance company" scam.

Claims Managment companies are simply the "middle man" between your mil and a solicitors firm. They are in no way legally qualified and it won't be them representing your MIL or actually working on the case. Speak to them tomorrow and demand the name of the solicitor they have passed the claim on to. They'll either panic and shut the case down, pass on the solicitors details who will close the case for you, or they may refuse to give the details. If they refuse contact the SRA (solicitors regulation authority) as this is beyond bad practice.

Balletgirlmum Thu 18-Aug-16 23:03:18

Thank you so much for this advice. I'm off to bed now but will pass it on to dh & w will do some digging. I might call a solicitor who we deal with at work too.

Fil has been dealing with it so far. He is of sound mind but is of the mindset that he has to do as he's told by people who know more than him kind of thing.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Thu 18-Aug-16 23:07:08

Good luck, I've attached a couple of links that might be handy.

LurkingHusband Fri 19-Aug-16 10:36:10

A bit TL;DR but was your MiL treated as a "vulnerable customer" ?

yettiLEGS Sat 20-Aug-16 10:07:49

Fantastic advice from WeeBabySeamus.

Good luck OP

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