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Legal Case Against Uninsured Company

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DonaldDuck92 | 11:13 Thu 02nd Sep 2021 | Law
23 Answers
Hi

Some of you will recall the story of me receiving laser burns from a beauty treatment back in April from which I'm still scared.

I instructed a legal team to pursue the case who now believe the beauty clinic are now insured and which is why they are ignoring all correspondence

1) I understand that its a legal requirement that all businesses are insured?
2) this company doesn't seem to be trading on companies house but they are still open as a business. How does that work?
3) what local government or government departments over see the law on businesses and insurance and who is responsible for this legally?
4) Lawyers say they cannot pursue a case here. Is that really the case? Surely they can't just get away with it?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated.

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//4) Lawyers say they cannot pursue a case here. //
Did they gve you a reason why they can't?
If the trader is operating as a sole trader and not as a limited company they don't have to register at Companies House.

A sole trader is personally liable which means their personal assets are at risk whereas with a limited company, only the company assets are at risk.

As you are paying for legal assistance, you really need to be asking them all these questions.
you might be able to have the individuals charged with assault, or to bring civil actions against them, though others should be able to provide better advice on this.
Which part of the UK are you in?
Your claim would be against their public liability insurance (actually, the claim would be against them, but it would be covered by their public liability insurance...if they had it).

Bizarrely, other than in limited cases (from memory nuclear establishments and horse riding establishments) there is not a statutory requirement for any business to have public liability insurance.

The vast vast majority of companies, whether they be incorporated, partnerships or 'trading as' companies do buy public liability insurance, and anyway it's often a contractual requirement and/or a requirement of belonging to a trade association.

If it transpires they do not have public liability insurance, then your claim will need to be against them personally.
Are you looking for compensation or a criminal (assault) charge?
are you doing nowin no fee? If so, they are saying they cant pursue because it will be unprofitable for them - no realistic chance of getting the money (you cant get blood out of a stone)
You are using lawyers and asking us
ask them

agree bednobs that they are thinking that there is no moolah or lu-lu in it - at least then they are telling the truth instead of racking up a bill for nothing and getting you to pay.

the best advice is to leave it
Question Author
Thanks for initial responses

I have just had a conversation with the paralegal who says that as a legal firm they wouldn't pursue it as there's too much risk- a small chance they would pay costs and I'd get compensation. That there's a risk of going against a company without insurers if we can't get disclosure documents.
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I'm in London (Camden) @TheCorbyLoon
So it is a 'no win, no fee' firm. You need to go elsewhere for legal advice and be prepared to pay.
You also need to report this clinic to your local council.
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@PedantPeter

I'm scared still 5 months after it happened. Would you leave it?
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Thanks Barry. Reported to Environmental Health who said from their point of view they couldn't do anything as company had submitted paperwork for them to check and concluded:

in line with the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Enforcement Policy Statement and Enforcement Management Model (EMM), which guides us in our decision making. This process involves reviewing standards being followed by a dutyholder and comparing these to benchmark standards (legal standards and sector specific guidance) to identify any 'risk gap', which essentially means how far below a dutyholder’s standards are to meeting the benchmark standards. I can confirm that following my desktop review of the incident and documentation provided I found a nominal risk gap with the benchmark standards. Therefore, I do not intend to further action in regard to this matter.
Have you got a full set of photos showing the burn from day 1 to today?
Have you got medical reports stating the severity of your burns?
Have you kept records of all your medical appointments and treatments?
Have you got a full record of monies lost to date? Loss of earnings, cost of travelling to / from medical appointments, cost of prescriptions and over the counter treatments?
Your reply from the council suggests that this firm does have proper public liability insurance - the council would take action if they didn't
I have a laser machine and previously I had salon treatments. The machines are expensive and are sometimes rented/leased, if that is the case maybe the company who owns the machine can help. I can't see them renting out machines to people who have no insurance.

Did the operator do a patch test to see how your skin reacted? Or did she over-treat the area?

Thinking again I suggest:
Get a friend to phone and book an appointment. Your friend should ask to see their public liability insurance. If they are insured this won't be a problem.

If they don't have insurance you need to consider very carefully if it is worth pursuing. You would be suing the business owner as a private individual and if he or she has no assets it will be a total waste of your time and money - even if you won the case you can't get blood out of a stone. If you lost, it could be very expensive for you.

Just how serious are your injuries?
or take them to small claims court?
there is still the "blood out of a stone" to consider though
The claims limit for personal injury is just £1000 in the small claims court.
1) not a legal requirement
2) not if it's not a limited company, it could be a sole trader, partnership etc
4) lawyers will pursue what you tell them to pursue If you pay them, I therefore assume that this is a NWNF firm and they do not think there is a good enough chance of winning.

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