Thursday, March 15, 2007

All aboard the Eastern European "Litigation Express"

There is something about people from behind what was the iron curtain. They really do know an awful lot about their legal rights.

To say that they or at least their parents were possibly brought up under a totalitarian regime, this demographic are happy to jump on the compensation bandwagon for even the slightest reason. Im not saying they are vexatious litigants, just incredibly aware of how this country and its marvellous civil laws protect one and all.

We are picking up literally dozens of Polish, Lithuanian, Slovakian and Balkan claimants right now. Obviously this is helped by the huge influx of migrant workers into the UK.

One guy rings up today, accident at work which is by far the best PI business out there - barely spoke English but was able to ask in a disjointed fashion:

How much compensation do I win?
Is it No win No fee?
When will I get paid?
He also wanted to know what slice we took from damages and was gobsmacked when I said zilch!

He probably struggles to order a coffee in the caff yet here he is asking me about compo because he fell off a ladder and had no training (his argument by the way not one prompted by me). He virtually tried to educate me on the working at height regs!

So the guy is on board and in the bag. But thats the easy bit

When you start discussing funding and cover oral advice that can be when your problems with foreign claimants really start. Now there is rarely any LEI cover in place - most migrants or even long term residents tend to have no insurance of any kind. So youre left with the CFA which is fine by me because as ever Im happy to take my 20-40% wedge.

But this is the difficult part. How the hell do you explain a CFA to a person with limited English? Its impossible. You can barely get away with it when explaining the finer points to a native. Anyone with half a brain will inevitably be confused and every sensible lawyer will agree that the new cfa is the biggest pile of horse crap that has ever landed on our desks.

Best practice would be of course to translate through one means or another in order to ensure the key message within the CFA gets across.

Sod that. Its not the bleedin United Nations.

Tell you what though - there really is gold in them thar eastern European hills.

1 comment:

Antoni said...

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