Back

After Litigation - How To Make The Money Last

As personal injury solicitors dealing with people who have suffered a catastrophic injury, our primary aim is to obtain a significant amount of money for the victim of negligence.

Once that is done, however, another worry appears.  The money is intended to pay for future needs – how can the damages be invested, to ensure the cash does not run out, leaving the injured party with no access to the specialist care and equipment they need?

The answer is correct financial advice, tailored to the individual and providing the best solution to invest the cash for future security.  General advice may be completely unsuitable to a specific Claimant’s needs and prove disastrous.

Many solicitors will delay getting this advice until after the claim has concluded, which may be too late.  Guidance is needed in the short-term, whilst the dust settles from the litigation, and long term goals are identified, together with the best source of care, therapies and other necessary items.

It is crucial to ensure that the solicitor dealing with the claim has sufficient experience to guide the injured person in the right direction with regard to such advice, and at the appropriate time – this can be important even in lower-value claims where compensation payment may affect benefit entitlement.

For those who do not have the ability to deal with their own finances, the Court of Protection will become involved. This division of the High Court provides a safety net for the Claimant, and will keep a close eye on how the money is being managed for the Claimant by his representatives, known as Deputies.

Horror stories appear from time to time in the press of injured people being left to try and work out how best to invest a very large sum of money, which then runs out leaving them dependent on the state, or of family members spending the cash on themselves rather than for its intended purpose.

In summary, it is crucial to ensure that the legal team has the correct level of knowledge to co-ordinate complex issues surrounding future projections of need, how awards of damages are put together, how all this integrates with the benefits system and local authorities, the Court of Protection and the best means of investment. Secondly, the choice of investment adviser is also of paramount importance and a specialist Financial Adviser will be required.

Lanyon Bowdler has a specialist catastrophic injury team headed by Neil Lorimer, with the necessary expertise in dealing with large-value and complex claims. In addition, the firm has a dedicated Court of Protection team, working to provide smooth liaison between the Claimant and the Court and helping those who suddenly find themselves responsible for major decisions on behalf of an injured loved one.