It is estimated that there are over three million people that are injured in an accident each year. This can be at home, in their own car, at work or even outdoors. Most of the time, these accident are someone else’s fault. This leaves the accident victims with the right to claim for compensation. But how should you do you this? What is the process of a personal injury claim? Read on to find out.
Filing for a personal injury claim is something that, naturally, you will want expert help with.
Regarding the process of a personal injury claim, clients often wonder what the main steps are.
The claim process, in England and Wales, can be found below:
- Claimant endures an injury and consults a solicitor.
- Claimant and solicitor will then agree on a Letter of Engagement thus setting out the terms which the solicitor can act on.
- Solicitor will identify the defendant(s), compile important information relating to the claim, as well as make the necessary preparation for a Letter of Claim (in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claim)
- Letter of Claim will be sent to the defendant who is obliged to acknowledge it within 3 weeks. Following that, the defendant will then have just 3 months to investigate the claim.
- If the defendant admits all liability, the parties will discuss the damage etc and work towards settling the case.
- In the event of the defendant denying liability, or admits to only partial liability (possibly alleging contributory negligence), both parties will review the damage(s) and liability in an attempt to settle the case – however, ordinarily the claimant is to only discuss settlement following a disclosure of evidence from the defendant.
- It should be noted that either party is allowed to make a Part 36 Offer under Civil Procedure Rules: i) if the Part 36 Offer is accepted, or the parties settle the amount of damage that has been caused, the case will end and the defendant will have to pay the claimant in the manner agreed in the settlement, ii) however, if the Part 36 Offer is not accepted or the parties are otherwise unable to agree on liability as well as the damage,t he claimant will likely notify the solicitor to go ahead and issue court proceedings.
- The claimant’s solicitor would issue the proceedings (often with a medical report and special damages calculations)
- The claimant’s solicitor or court serves proceedings on the defendant (this has to be within 4 months of the issuance of proceedings)
- The case will proceed in accordance with the court’s case management procedures
- If the case happens to be settled before the trial, the dispute will cease and the defendant will need to pay the claimant in the manner agreed in the settlement
- In the outcome that the parties do not settle the dispute, the case will proceed to trial in order to determine liability and the damage(s)
- The court will then issue a judgement on the liability and the damages
- If the defendant is found liable, they are obliged to pay the claimant damages following the court’s order
Both claimant and defendant work can be covered in personal injury claims by Chartlands Chambers.
Each year sees over three million people injured in accidents, at home, work, while driving, or outdoors.
A majority of cases include the fault from someone else, this would give the victim of the accident the right to compensation.
With the help of personal injury solicitor, the process of making a claim can be much more simple. They will remain by your side during the deals made with insurance companies to make sure your individual circumstances are fully taken into account.
Making the claim
The initial step will cover sending a claim letter to the person/people or company that you are individually holding responsible for your accident (the defendant). This letter will entail a detailed account of your injury and the events.
The defendant must then reply to that letter within a fixed period of time (approximately between three months, however in many cases the time will be much shorter.)
Their letter should state whether they accept or deny liability for your injury.
If the case is accepted, your solicitor will aid in settling the matter in court.
Making the offer
Your solicitor should be able to quote to your the value of your claim and may ask you the amount of compensation that you would be willing to accept, also whether you would be willing to make an ‘offer to settle’ (Part 36 offer.)
You should be advised by your solicitor about a Part 36 offer and how it will affect you
Settling matters in court
If matters cannot be settled in court, there should be a discussion between yourself and your solicitor involving legal action and if it would be best to take it.
What your solicitor will need
In order for the details of your case to established, your solicitor will need to be given the following information:
– the date of the accident
– the contact details for any possible witnesses
– a detailed account of your injuries, medical diagnosis and the treatment you received
-evidence whether you are a member of the trade union or have any legal expenses insurance policies, as this may entitle you to a free legal representation or one with a significantly reduced cost
Your solicitor may also need access to:
– proof of the earnings you lost and/or any other financial expenses that are due to the injury
– any documents that relate to any insurance policies you have aka household insurance or motor insurance, to check if these could cover any costs of your claim
– any evidence that could be used to support your claim, this could include documents prior to the accident or previous accidents with similar circumstances
Further information about our personal injury law service can be found on our website.