If you are involved in a ‘low value’ Road Traffic, Employers Liability or Public Liability Accident, your claim will initially follow the streamlined Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims. This procedure has been put in place to regulate and simplify the claim process for accident claims worth between £1,000.00-£25,000.00.
There are timescales and rules which both parties must follow and the claim process is made up of 3 Stages. We’ve put together the following explanation to help you understand the work Smith Jones undertakes on your behalf in this type of claim.
Stage 1 – Completion and Submission of the Claims Notification Form
A Claims Notification Form will be drafted from the information provided by you and submitted to the Defendant Insurer electronically via the Ministry of Justice Portal. The Claim form sets out your claim and includes details of the accident circumstances, injuries sustained and allegations of negligence.
In Road Traffic Accidents, the Defendant Insurer has 15 business days in which to provide a decision in respect of Liability. This is 30 business days in Employers Liability claims and 40 in all others. If Liability is disputed the matter will exit the Portal Claim Process. If an admission of liability is received the matter will move to Stage 2 of the Process.
Stage 2 – Negotiation Period
At this stage your medical evidence will be finalised and any additional financial losses will be identified. You will be expected to attend a medical appointment with a Court approved Medical Expert who will prepare a Medical Report detailing your injuries, any treatment/investigations required and expected length of recovery.
It is during this stage that we may be able to submit an Interim Settlement Pack on your behalf to obtain interim payment in the sum of £1,000.00. This is possible should the initial medical report recommend further treatment or referral to another Expert.
When you have either made a full recovery from your injuries or we have medical evidence which gives a final prognosis, your claim should be ready to settle. We would review all of the medical evidence obtained and discuss the value of your claim with you as the onus would be on us to put an offer to our opponents which would also include your expenses, loss of earnings etc in settlement of your claim.
The Settlement Pack will be submitted to the Defendant Insurer via the Portal who will have 15 business days to consider the pack and either accept the Settlement Pack or put forward counter proposals. If a counter offer is received, there will be a further 20 business days for negotiations.
If negotiations are successful and an acceptable settlement is agreed the matter will be concluded at this stage. If a reasonable settlement cannot be achieved by the end of the negotiation period, the matter will move to Stage 3 of the Portal process.
Stage 3 – Court Hearing
This stage involves issuing Court proceedings and requesting either an Oral or Written hearing, where a Judge will assess your claim and award. Do not be alarmed by this as you would not have to attend.
The case would be attended by one of our experienced Litigation Team who would be fully familiar with your case and would prepare their presentation to the Court in advance. The only evidence that can be used is that previously submitted but a verbal assessment of your case to the Judge is a very powerful and useful method to achieve a good settlement for you.
Once the Judge has heard from both sides, an award will be made in respect of your claim with the damages (compensation) awarded being paid within 10 days of the other side receiving the Order from the Court.
Not all compensation claims will be suitable for the Portal claim process, for example if your case is thought to be valued in excess of £25,000.00 this will be dealt with by an experienced member of our Litigation Department. Rest assured that advisors are on hand to fully assess your claim at the outset and ensure the matter is handled by the most suitable member within the correct Department.
Smith Jones specialises in Personal Injury (we don’t handle any other areas of law) and as a result we are able to focus 100% of our time on our personal injury client’s cases. Our offices are equipped with the latest I.T systems and our highly qualified team are immersed in personal injury law 7 days a week. We believe this is key to providing our clients with the best and most up-to-date advice in relation to their compensation claims.
You can contact our team on Freephone 0800 195 95 90 or alternatively, request a call back here.