Mr X sustained a serious head injury in an assault in September 2002.
He pursued a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and was awarded a sum in excess of £100,000.
As a result of the injury the Mr X lost his job and became entitled to means tested benefits. On conclusion of the case he was paid out his settlement monies and told to seek financial advice. However he was not told why he should seek such advice nor was he informed that the settlement money would affect his entitlement to benefits, or that he could set up a special needs trust to protect his benefits position.
As a result of this failure the Mr X lost entitlement to have his mortgage interest paid and was forced to utilise the settlement money to pay off his mortgage.
A claim was brought by Irwin Mitchell for negligence against the Mr X's previous solicitors who failed to give Mr X the proper advice about his case. As a result, Mr X was awarded £20,000 in compensation.
Mark Aldridge of Irwin Mitchell said, "This case illustrates the fact that a solicitor's duty of care extends beyond simply settling the claim on the best terms but also encompasses providing adequate advice about how a client can best protect their financial position especially when they are in receipt of state means tested benefits.
"The duty of care does not simply end when a cheque is received and paid over to the claimant."
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