"Many thanks, don't know what I would have done without you!"
Mrs B, St.Albans
The claims process
Following the initial discussion you will be sent the relevant paperwork to enable you to instruct Blake Lapthorn to start pursuing the claim for you. At this stage we will, if it is appropriate, take out insurance to protect you against any cost liabilities. This is known as After the Event Insurance.
The next step depends on the type of case you are pursuing. If it is a personal injury claim we will write a letter of claim to the Defendant detailing the accident circumstances, what injuries and financial losses you have incurred and why we consider them to be at fault. We will also ask the Defendant to consider rehabilitation and to agree to fund treatment. If they refuse we can organise this for you.
Protocol, Evidence Gathering and Medical Records
The protocol which applies to personal injury claims then gives the Defendants 21 days to acknowledge the letter and then up to a further 3 months to investigate. During this time we may contact any witnesses to obtain supporting statements, apply for your medical records, instruct a medical expert and prepare a schedule setting out your financial losses.
In clinical negligence cases we will need to obtain your medical records and an initial medical report before the letter of claim can be sent. This is to ensure that an independent expert believes that negligence has occurred and very detailed allegations can be raised against the hospital or clinician. Once that letter is sent, they have 4 months to investigate.
For accidents abroad, we will determine the best country in which a claim should be brought.. This will depend on where the accident happened, where the Defendant lives and how the trip was booked. Each Country has its own rules and procedures and these need to be followed.
Liability and Disclosure
For claims proceedings in England and Wales, once the Defendants have investigated the claim they have to inform you if liability is admitted or the allegations are denied. If liability is admitted the next step is to gather the evidence that will enable us to value your claim and determine a reasonable compensation award. We may be able to negotiate an agreement with the Defendant and settle the case out of court. If not, proceedings will be issued, a barrister instructed on your behalf and a Court date fixed so a Judge can determine how much you should be awarded.
If liability is denied they have to set out the reasons why and disclose all evidence they intend to rely on to support that denial. The Defendant has to answer every allegation made against them. This will be fully considered and the merits of your claim reassessed. If we are satisfied that prospects remain strong we may involve a barrister or instruct a new expert. We can try to negotiate a settlement and will put offers to the Defendant. We may have to issue court proceedings and ask a Judge to determine firstly who was to blame and the secondly how much compensation should be awarded.
Settlement and Court Proceedings
Most cases settle without the need for a trial. You will be kept fully informed throughout the process as we at Blake Lapthorn never forget that at the heart of every claim is an individual.
Conditional fee agreement (No Win No Fee)
A conditional fee agreement is often referred to as No Win No Fee. You can find out more about conditional fee agreements on the Law Society website.
Would you like us to call you back?
Call us between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or use the enquiry form outside office hours
Or call us on 0844 620 6600