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Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Claims- Part 2

1. What happens if the defendant denies liability?

In order for your claim to succeed, you have to prove that the defendant is liable/responsible for your accident and that you sustained an injury as a result of that accident. If liability is denied then the defendant does not accept fault for your accident in which case your solicitor will carry out a thorough review of your claim to advise whether your claim has merits. If your claim does not enjoy reasonable prospects of success then your solicitor will not be able to continue representing you.

2. What if the medical evidence does not support my claim?

It is unlikely your claim will succeed if the medico-legal Expert is unable to link the entirety of your injuries to the accident. However, it is still possible that the Expert will link some of your symptoms to the accident in which case you will be entitled to be compensated for those injuries attributable to the accident.

3. I was involved in an accident and only sustained psychological symptoms, can I still claim?

If you have suffered a recognised psychological condition such as PTSD, anxiety disorder or depression, then yes, you should be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim.

4. Can I be fired if I was injured at work and make a claim against my employer?

Unfortunately you can but, if this was to happen this would amount to an unfair dismissal for which you should seek further legal advice from an employment law solicitor.

5. What are the pre-action protocols?

Before proceedings are issued, parties are required to act reasonably in exchanging information and documents in an attempt to settle their dispute without recourse to litigation. The pre-action protocols set out the procedure to be followed, a failure to comply with a pre-action protocol will be taken into account in Court proceedings which follow and sanctions may be imposed against parties who have failed to comply with the protocols.

6. When do you have to issue Court proceedings?

There are several instances where Court proceedings may have to be started for instance:

  • When limitation is approaching
  • Where liability is admitted but a reasonable settlement cannot be reached between parties
  • Where liability is denied but your claim enjoys reasonable prospects of being successful at Trial

7. What is the Claim Form?

Court proceedings begin when the claimant issues a Claim Form that must contain, or be accompanied, by the Particulars of Claim. The Claim Form is a legal document used to start Court proceedings which will be submitted by your solicitor on your behalf.

The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim must set out a summary of the basic facts of the claim against the defendant. An issue fee will have to be paid when lodging the Claim Form, the amount of which really depends on the value and nature of your claim.

8. What are the Particulars of Claim?

The Particulars of Claim is a legal document in which a claimant includes all the details of their claim and specifying the facts relied upon.

9. What is the Defence?

When the defendant is served with Court proceedings, they must acknowledge the claim and advise whether they accept or intend to defend the claim. If the claim is disputed then the defendant must serve a Defence, normally within 28 days of receiving the claim form.

The Defence is a legal document setting out the defendant’s response to your claim. On the Defence the defendant will either admit each of the allegations, put you to proof i.e. require you to prove the allegations or they will deny the allegations and provide their own account of the incident leading to your claim.

A failure to serve a Defence within the specific time frame, or at all, will allow the claimant to enter judgment and win the case by default.

10. What are the Directions?

Once the defendant has served their Defence, the Court will send the Directions, which is a timetable sent to the parties which provide key dates by which parties must complete certain task. The Directions assist parties to progress a case to Trial.

A failure to comply with Court Directions can have serious consequences, in the worst case scenario the entire claim could be struck out by the Court. It is therefore necessary for you to maintain regular communication with your solicitor at all time.

11. What is a ‘Statement of Truth’?

The statement of truth is the paragraph at the end of some legal documents that requires you to confirm to the Court that you believe the facts you have stated in the documents to be true and that you understand that proceedings for contempt of Court may be brought against you if you make a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth. It is therefore extremely important that you read thoroughly the documents your solicitor will be sending to you and make them aware of any mistake present in the document.

If you have suffered an injury due to somebody’s else negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to help get your life back on track. For a free consultation with our specialist personal injury experts please call us today on 0330 822 3451 or request a call back online.