What stages does a claim go through?

In any case the first stage will be a client/solicitor meeting. This will be a chance for your lawyer to make sure that they  have a clear understanding of what happened, an idea of what damage has been done and a chance to start thinking about what the next step in your claim should be.

The next stage is that the solicitor will make contact with the defendant's insurance company, assuming they are insured. This is done either by letter or for more recent claims it can be done through a computer website which has been set up for this purpose.

Once the insurance company have details of the claim they will investigate it and then respond within one to four months depending on the type of claim. At this stage they will either admit the claim and agree to pay damages, deny the claim, or admit that they are mainly responsible for the claim but say that it was also partly the client's fault (this is known in the law as contributory negligence)

if the claim is admitted then the next stage is to obtain a medical report. This may involve examination by a medical expert or having the expert review your records. Details of any financial losses will be added up and likely cost of any treatment still to be done. Once you are happy that everything has been included, the medical report and a list of the losses will be sent to the defendants who will then make an offer. In most cases it is possible to settle everything at this stage.

If liability is denied, or you do not accept that you were partly to blame, or if the defendants offer  well below what you are advised that your claim is worth then it may be necessary to issue court proceedings. This does not mean that the case goes straight to court or will be seen in court straight away.
Your solicitor has to file full details of your claim in the court system; the defendants then file a reply saying why they are not liable. The court will then issue a timetable for the claim and if it does proceed to a full hearing it would probably finally appear in court  at least six months later.

If you have a personal injury, accident at work or other accident claim and you would like a telephone consultation, then please contact me on 0151 282 1111 or email me at peter@knealesolicitor.co.uk You could always call in to our office at 1 Prescot Road, Fairfield, Liverpool L7 0LA as well. All our details are on our main website, and our home page is www.knealesolicitor.co.uk


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