Personal injuries happen all the time. This especially counts in urban places. There are many vehicles on the streets. People lose their nerves while waiting in line, and they usually cause an accident because of that. However, car or bike accidents are not the only reasons for personal injuries. This also includes things like dog bite accidents. These things happen all the time in the parks where many dog owners go for a walk with their pets.
Let’s move to another explanation. There are a couple of different types of personal injuries. According to Quirk Law Firm, there are 5 of them – back injuries, brain injuries, dog bite injuries, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
As we said, accidents are happening all the time. Our intention is not to be negative here. We only want to prepare you with valuable pieces of information. Each person must know exactly the personal injury protocol.
There are 2 main reasons why we tell you this. First of all, the protocol helps encourage an early settlement without the need to go to court. However, it also ensures that the entire case is well researched and documented.
So, let’s find them out together.
This is the very first step of the entire protocol. The legal representative of the claimant must notify the defendant as soon as they know that a claim is going to be made. The notification itself needs to come before a detailed letter of the claim.
The letter of claim
If you accomplished the first step, the detailed letter needs to be sent to the defendant. Despite that, the letter should also have a copy that you will send to their insurers.
So, what does this letter contain?
First of all, it should start with a clear summary of the claim. After that, the letter needs to describe the injuries in detail. Finally, the letter of claim should contain any losses incurred by the claimant as a result of the injury.
With all these pieces of data, the defendant and their solicitor will have the chance to fully investigate the claim.
From the moment when a detailed letter is sent, the defendant has 3 weeks to give a response. The importance of the preliminary response is huge. The defendant needs to include any piece of info that relates to the claim which the defendant feels is missing. In case that a defendant completely denies the claim, the version of the accident needs to be supplied with as many as possible details.
Finally, the claimant is entitled to start with the court proceeding if the defendant fails to acknowledge the letter of claim.
Here comes the main part. If the defendant has issued the preliminary response, then they have a maximum of 90 days to investigate the claim. Thanks to the investigation, they will have the chance to determine if the response is liable or not.
After those 3 months, they need to send a response to the claimant. In that response, they need to accept or refuse the liability. If they refuse it, they also need to explain the reasons for the dispute.
Have you ever heard about the Schedule of Special Damages? Well, your lawyer will explain to you what this is. However, the claimant is required to send it to the defendant as soon as possible. The Schedule of Special Damages needs to come with any supporting documentation associated with the claim. Despite that, the claimant needs to state if the amount of damage is set to change during the proceedings.
“Experts” in personal injury claims usually relate to medical experts. They need to provide a full medical report on the claimant’s injuries. If you are a victim, it is necessary to go to the hospital immediately after the injury. Getting the proofs is not the only reason why we tell you this. It is necessary to ensure that your health is stable. This includes both – physical and psychological.
Anyway, both parties have the right to appoint an expert. Each party will need to cover those costs independently.
Yet, there is one thing that all the parties need to do before appointing a medical expert. They need to provide a list of the potential experts to their opposing party. After checking that list, the party has the right to accept or refuse the experts from the list. More precisely, they can decide if a current doctor is suitable for that role or not.
Anyway, if the party does not want to accept a current doctor, then they need to give notice within 14 days.
Anyway, the expert that will get involved in the case should be mutually accepted. Yet, in some cases, this won’t happen. That’s why each party should instruct an expert of their choice. Still, we believe that with a proper conversation, the deal can be made easily.
There is one more thing that both sides should know. If you are not responsible for the expert, then you have the right to ask any questions you have.
We truly hope that rehabilitation won’t be necessary in your case. That means that the injuries made during the accident are not huge. Still, we can’t skip this part because it is important.
If the claimant’s injuries require rehabilitation treatment, then this should be considered by both parties at the earliest opportunity.
Resolution of Issue
The claimant needs to delay any proceedings for 3 weeks if the defendant has admitted liability. During that period, both sides have to consider a settlement.
Failing to Comply with the Protocol
The last stage is probably the most important one. If any of the sides fail to comply with the protocol, the court has the right to impose sanctions. Those sanctions can be quite expensive for the infringing party.
Because of that, we would want to mention a couple of them. For instance, it includes suspending the proceeding of the claim until the Protocol has been followed correctly. Despite that, the infringing party will have to pay the other party’s costs. The list is long and we suggest you talk with your lawyer about that.