It is not an easy task, to pursue and win a claim for compensation.
It can be a complicated and lengthy process, especially when the defending party or his insurance company contests the case or makes offers of settlement that are less than you are entitled to.
However, most cases are not seriously contested and are usually settled out of court. Depending upon the seriousness of the injury and the time that you take to recover, the simpler cases may be settled in a matter of months.
The first thing to do after you have suffered an injury is to contact us.
We will advise you whether it is worth making a claim. We will then contact the person or persons you are holding responsible. (If of course you find yourself defending a claim made against you, you should ask us for advice on how best to go about this straight away. There are strict time limits for responding to letters from solicitors and to Court summonses and cost penalties for failing to do so).
There then follows a period of time in which medical reports are prepared and both sides look for a way of reaching a negotiated settlement of the claim without going to court. During this period you will be asked for documentation to back up any claims you are making and will be required to attend one or more medical examinations.
Sometimes it is just not possible to agree a settlement, in which case a Claim Form or a summons will be issued at your local Court and served on the other party (the Defendant). The Court will then issue directions so that all of the evidence is gathered together within the specified time periods, and the case made ready for going to court.
The Courts aim to deal with claims worth up to £25,000 within 32 weeks from service of the summons.
Larger more complicated claims may take much longer particularly if your injuries are slow to heal and further medical investigation is required. If no agreement is reached the case will be heard by a Judge in your local County Court. The Judge will listen to what both sides have to say and then decide the outcome of the case making an award if appropriate
It is never too late to reach a settlement, even after the hearing has begun and we will continually look for ways to shorten the proceedings for you.
If many cases responsibility for the accident is not in dispute, only the size of the award. In such cases it may be possible to arrange for interim payments to be made to you whilst waiting for a final Court hearing to determine the value of your claim. The value of your claim is known as “quantum” from the Latin word for amount.