If you have suffered an injury in any type of accident that wasn’t your fault then the first step is to contact a solicitor who specialise in this type of claim.
Wanstalls are a firm of solicitors specialising exclusively in personal injury claims arising from all types of accidents.
When clients contact us the first stage of the process is to discuss with the client what happened and obtain as much information as possible. This can be either done on the telephone or face to face. As part of this initial discussion we will identify the best form of funding for the claim.
The next step is to provide the client with the appropriate paperwork as there is a lot of information that solicitors are required by the Law Society to provide to new clients.
Once the paperwork is in place the next step is for the solicitor to start your claim. How this is done depends on the type of accident.
If the accident is any form of road traffic accident worth £10,000 or less then it is dealt with electronically. The details of the claim are put onto an electronic system called the “MOJ Portal”. The details go automatically to the relevant insurers who then have 15 business days to indicate whether or not they are accepting liability.
If liability is admitted the claim remains in the electronic system and moves to the next stage which deals with medical evidence, details of other loses and expenses and settlement.
All claims arising out of other types of accidents and those road traffic accidents that don’t come within the electronic system are commenced by writing a letter of claim to the other side.
Once the other side have received the letter of claim they have a set period to acknowledge receipt of the letter and they then have three months to investigate the claim at the end of which they must confirm whether or not they are accepting liability. If liability is denied then they must provide reason for their denial and copies of all relevant paperwork.
If liability is admitted then medical evidence and details of all the other elements of the claim are provided to the other side and in most cases a settlement of the claim is then negotiated.
It is worth pointing out that the majority of personal injury claims are settled by negotiation though the time scale for settlement depends very much on the level of injuries that the client has suffered. Where the injuries are quite serious it is often necessary to wait for some time before settling the claim to make sure that we have a clear understanding of the long term consequences of the injuries.
In those cases where liability is denied or the value of the claim cannot be agreed with the other side it becomes necessary to consider the commencement of court proceedings.
If court proceedings are necessary they are issued and served on the other side. The other side provide a defence but it does not mean that the next step is going to trial.
Between the service of court proceedings and the case going to trail there are many procedural steps which are aimed at making sure that each side has a clear understanding of the other side’s case and the evidence that they will be relying on.
Most cases are settled without court proceedings and not many of those where court proceedings are commenced go all the way to a trial. Many cases settle during the procedural steps leading up to a trial as each side asses its chances of being successful at a trial.
The last step in those few cases that do go all the way to a trial is that the court hears all the evidence and decides whether the defendants are liable for the accident and/ or the value of the claim.
The time scale for dealing with a personal injury claim can vary from a couple of months in straight forward road traffic accidents to a number of years in claims of substantial value that go all the way to a trial.
At Wanstalls Solicitors we do our best to advise clients at the outset how long we think their claim is going to take, the procedure for pursuing their claim and the factors that might make the claim take longer than the majority of cases.
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault why not give Wanstalls a call so that we can advise you on all aspects of your potential claim and then guide you through the various stages of your claim. You can also contact us using the contact form here.