Q: My father worked in a local steelworks until it shut. He retired early but he never got the chance to enjoy his retirement because he was troubled with chest illness which got worse and worse and then he died at a relatively young age. My family and I have been told that his illness was almost certain to have been caused by the environment where he worked and that we should put in a claim for compensation. Someone told me recently that there is a Group Litigation Order with the time limit of the 23rd February 2018 to make a claim in. Should I make a claim through my local solicitors or should I use one of the two law firms acting for the Group?
A: Whilst I would usually suggest you go to a local law firm for advice and representation, in this instance I would urge you to go with one of the group firms. The reason for this is that they are already running a number of cases which will mean strength in numbers and that has to benefit you. You are also probably restricted in your choice of solicitors by the Group Litigation Order. These firms can be very large and will be remote for you, but you could still make an appointment for reassurance with your local specialist person injury solicitor who could give you advice on a fixed fee basis. This would be particularly helpful if you received anything complicated from one of the big city law firms that you didn’t understand. The key thing to remember here is to act quickly and follow up the claim before that deadline of Feb 23rd 2018.