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What is the claims process?

ClinicalNeg7

The main stages of the claims process are as follows:

  • The client makes contact and provides details to their solicitor of what they believe went wrong with their treatment and the injuries they have suffered
  • The solicitor considers the matter and confirms whether or not the case is one that the firm can take forward
  • If the solicitor accepts the case, funding information is provided to the client and the client and solicitor will enter into a funding agreement (usually a Conditional Fee Agreement)
  • The solicitor obtains and reviews the relevant medical records and then advises the client as to whether there are sufficient prospects of success, allowing the solicitor to obtain expert medical advice on liability (fault)
  • Once the medical report is received, if it is supportive, a letter of claim setting out full details of the allegation of negligence and injuries sustained will be forwarded to the opponent
  • The opponent is provided with time to respond with an acceptance or denial of liability
  • The medical expert(s) will be instructed to examine the client with a view to providing the medical report(s) dealing with the condition and prognosis of the injury
  • If the defendant accepts liability and the case is straightforward, the case may be settled at this stage by way of an accepted offer from either party
  • If the case is not settled at this stage, then both parties will obtain the evidence that they need to support their claim for compensation. In the bigger cases, this can often include various reports from care experts, occupational therapists, accommodation experts and others. In the simpler cases there may only be the initial medical report that is required
  • Once the claimant’s solicitor has their evidence ready, if it is not possible to agree a settlement, court proceedings will be issued on behalf of the claimant
  • If necessary the case will be pursued to a trial. In the bigger cases, there can be a split trial in which the issue of negligence (fault) is decided. If it is decided in favour of the claimant, then a further trial will be arranged to decide the value of the case and the amount of compensation that will be awarded. However, cases are usually settled without the need for a trial
  • The period between issuing the claim and the trial will normally take at least 18 to 24 months. Although, as stated above, the majority of cases are settled by way of negotiation long before a trial date is provided

If you would like more information, or have any further questions, please don't hesitate in contacting us. You can get in touch via our online enquiry form and one of our team of experienced solicitors will get in touch at a time that is convenient for you. Alternatively you can email law@longdens.co.uk or telephone 0191 5666 500.

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