The term personal injury litigation is widely used to describe claims for compensation for injuries which a client has suffered. The aim of the claimant’s personal injury solicitor is to establish that the Defendant is responsible for the client’s injuries and to obtain the appropriate amount of compensation for those injuries. Our solicitors will attempt to obtain the compensation as quickly as possible although you should be warned that the process can and will take time.
The most recent updates to the Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol can be viewed on the www.justice.gov.uk website should you wish to view the protocol in full. An outline of the requirements and timescale is set out below. If you are injured whilst at work, on the street, or in any public place and this occurred before August 2013 then the following applies
- Once we have sent a letter of claim out to the Defendant, they have 21 calendar days, from the date of posting, to acknowledge receipt of the letter of claim and identify the insurer.
- The Defendant’s insurer will have a maximum of 3 months, from the date of acknowledgment of the claim, to ‘investigate’. No later than the end of that period, the Defendant (insurer) shall reply, stating whether liability is denied, and if so, giving reasons for the denial.
- A breach of either of the above timescales entitles the Claimant to issue proceedings, which will result in cost implications to the Defendant.
Given the changes in the law as of April 2013 claims are now submitted through the ministry of Justice portal systems. This is an electronic submission which means the opponents insurers will now have 30 working days to investigate an accident at work and 40 days if your accident occurred on the street or in public place. If your opponent insurers fail to provide a decision on liability within those time scales then the matter will revert back to 90 days from the date the claim notification form was submitted. Court proceedings can be raised against your opponent should they fail to comment on liability in time. There are certain types of cases which will not proceed through the portal for example if the value exceeds £25,000 or the accident occurred abroad as part of a Travel Package Holiday, on the plane or at Sea.
In short, following your initial consultation, a claim letter will be written and from delivery of the same the claim could be idle for a time period of some 15 weeks before anything further can be done.
Independent medical evidence will be required pursuant to Pre-Action Protocol and Civil Procedure Rules. Alkers will not arrange any medical appointment until we have received a concession of liability and/or the Defendant (insurer) have agreed to fund the specialist report. This is to avoid any costs be incurred which you would be liable for.
Obviously, as medical evidence is required, timescale becomes an issue again. The process is time consuming as medical records are required by the expert who then has to prepare a written report before releasing the same to us. It is his/her prognosis that the Defendant (insurer) will base their valuation of quantum upon and thus if any further treatment is required, ie physiotherapy, further time will lapse before settlement can be reached.
Alkers Solicitors will ensure that the process runs as smoothly, quickly and efficiently as possible for you and will keep you informed of developments throughout the life of the action, although if you have any queries at any stage you will be provided with direct telephone numbers for your specific file handler.