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4 November 2016
I read with some amusement recently a poster on a billboard in which solicitors were advertising that they carried out work on a no win no fee basis for genuine claims. Would a solicitor ever take on a claim other than one which was genuine? You would hope not. However the meaning of the word genuine may mean different things to different people.
There will always be a limited number of people in society who will seek to make a claim which is not genuine in the sense that the facts upon which the claim is based are either not true or are exaggerated. A solicitor should be able to weed these out at an early stage by having face to face meetings.
A claim may also be regarded as not genuine where the facts upon which the claim is based are clear true and accepted by all concerned but there is no legal basis for the claim.
It is that legal basis which has in the past perhaps been stretched to unacceptable limits creating a general claims phobia and as a result restricting everyday business and activities.
The essence of a genuine claim in this context is fault and what is reasonable or to put it another way plain common sense.
There are risks in all activities but as long as these risks are approached sensibly business and social activities could and should continue to be pursued without fear of being injured or being sued.
I am sure that anyone who has read our blogs for the 23rd September 2016 and 6th October 2016 will not feel that we took an unacceptable risk in offering homemade cakes for sale for charity. However, it does not seem that long since that there were media reports of this kind of activity being curtailed for fear of claims being made by those eating the produce!
Although we continue to see adverts on TV for personal injury claims I believe that the practices of aggressive encouragement of claim making (people in town with clipboards seeking to persuade shoppers that they must have had an accident in the last three years) are gone and that in turn can only encourage claims that are genuine in both senses of the word.
Therefore while I found the solicitors advert for genuine claims amusing we too as a firm endorse that sentiment.