The main steps in a personal injury claim
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.