Can I sue a solicitor?
Just over four years ago I came off my bike on a large spill of cooking oil. The tin and lid were found a few yards away. The police said it looked like used oil from a takeaway, but couldn’t find the firm responsible. My insurer-designated solicitor never found out which company was to blame, so they dropped the case.
I’ve now discovered I may have been able to get compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. But my solicitor’s said it wouldn’t succeed – and I’m out of time. In your view, could I be compensated for bad legal advice? JJ, Highbury In the absence of CCTV A or witnesses, tracing the business responsible would be virtually impossible. However, this is undoubtedly an accident arising out of the negligent use of a motor vehicle, so even if you can’t locate those responsible, you should still have been advised to submit a claim to the MIB. This is because an untraced road user was to blame in not properly securing their load, causing it to be deposited on the highway and create a foreseeable risk of injury to other road users.
I believe (assuming you have a supportive police report about the cooking oil) your solicitor was wrong to say the MIB wouldn’t have paid up. However, you have only three years to claim, assuming you were an adult at the time. You need to look at suing the solicitor’s firm for the lost chance of a successful MIB claim had it been made in time. This will succeed if you had more than a “fanciful prospect of success” in the original claim against the MIB, had it been made.
‘Your solicitor was wrong to say the MIB wouldn’t have paid up’