Do you always need to seek proper legal advice?
Following the recent case of a hairdresser who relied solely on the 800-year-old Magna Carta as a defence to keep trading throughout lockdown measures, we look at why the DIY approach to legal advice isn’t always the cheapest or wisest option.
We’re fortunate to live in a world where we have access to so much free information online at our fingertips. A few internet searches, group forum chats, or video tutorials later and you could have the solution to your problem.
And while you don’t have to be a mechanic to change the brake pads on your car, would you trust the fruits of own labour if a hazard were to occur on your onward journey? This same ideology should be transferred to legal advice. Can you afford to risk the success of your case by taking matters into your own hands?
Why should you seek legal advice?
It is always in your best interests to seek the advice of a qualified, experienced and professional solicitor to assist in any legal issue you are facing. And medical negligence claims are no exception. If anything, the stakes are higher as life-changing injuries and/or financial hardship are usually the motives behind bringing such claims.
It is the role of your solicitor to protect your rights and to help you understand the law and legal processes. Clinical negligence is a complicated area of law and even having a legal qualification isn’t always enough to prove competence. Medicolegal specialists – those who have knowledge of both litigation protocols and medical practices – have been developing this area of law greatly over the last 40 years. A reputable medical negligence solicitor should carry extensive registers listing high calibre healthcare providers who are willing to give fair opinions on cases, as well as having close-working relationships with specialist barristers.
A snip too far
In the case of the lockdown flouting salon owner, she racked up £27,000 in coronavirus fines and was forced to close by the council after simply quoting the Magna Carta – an 800-year-old agreement between a King and disgruntled barons – as a defence for remaining open.
Citing ‘common law’, her social media posts and arguments with local council officials argued that she did not ‘consent’ to being fined. She posted a notice on the salon door quoting Clause 61 (general defence of liberty) from the Magna Carta. Ahead of the latest national lockdown, some other business owners, having seen the hairdresser’s actions, have followed suit. However, the historic Clause 61 is no longer in force and so cannot be relied upon as a defence to breaching lockdown measures, putting these businesses at risk of significant fines.
The Magna Carta case is a good example of how, although legal information is available, it is critical you have appoint the skill and understanding of a lawyer to apply the relevant law to your specific situation. At Medical Solicitors, we have an extremely impressive success rate for litigated cases thanks to the experienced and knowledgeable team of specialist solicitors we have on board.
While our team has a solid reputation and a proven track record in various specialisms, that doesn’t mean it comes with a price tag to make you wince. If you are worried about legal costs, we have various ways to fund your case including no win, no fee. It all starts with a conversation so speak with one of our friendly team to see if we can make a difference to your future.