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Contact Made With Other Party or Their Insurers
Once you have confirmed in writing that you would like us to act on your behalf, your lawyer will make contact with the defendant, usually through their insurer. This can either be completed by an online portal or a letter of claim, depending on the nature of your case. Your lawyer will explain to you what the process will be on your case.
Contact Via Online Portal
For many claims that are not likely to exceed £25,000, contact with the defendant is initially made via an online portal.
We will complete a claim notification form on your behalf, which contains information about your injury, including:
- Details about your injury
- The circumstances of your accident
- The impact it has had on your life
- The reasons for which the defendant is held responsible for your accident
You will then review and sign the document.
It is then the defendant’s insurer’s responsibility to review the information and respond within a predetermined period of time.
Contact Via Letter of Claim
The letter of claim outlines the case, your injuries and financial losses you have incurred. If appropriate, your lawyer will use the letter to also request documents that the defendant may hold that are relevant to your claim or assessment that are required.
The defendant’s insurer will then have some time to investigate the claim, after which time they are obliged to contact us and confirm whether they accept or deny liability for your accident.
What If The Defendant is Not Insured?
If the defendant does not have an insurer, it is the defendant’s responsibility to deal with your claim, unless it is a road traffic accident claim.
The defendant can instruct a solicitor to act on their behalf, and your lawyer will deal with the defendant’s solicitor throughout the case. As the defendant will be obliged to respond to your lawyer, you will be advised on how the defendant will be dealing with the case and if they have instructed a solicitor.
Depending on the complexity of the case, the defendant may choose to represent themselves; however, there are restrictions on whether the defendant can do this, which your lawyer will advise you about.
In the case of road traffic accident claims, if the defendant is not insured, your claim will be dealt with via the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). This organisation was set up to deal with accidents caused by uninsured or untraceable drivers, and is supported by all insurers in the UK. Your lawyer will liaise directly with the MIB if they need to be involved.
What Happens if There is No Response?
If our attempted contact has not been acknowledged within a certain timeframe, your lawyer is entitled to issue court proceedings against the defendant on your behalf. This is because the defendant will be in breach of the pre-action protocol for personal injury claims.
Your lawyer will let you know if there has been a response, and whether court proceedings need to be issued if the defendant is non-responsive.
Although you are entitled to issue court proceedings, this does not mean that you should. Your lawyer may feel it is more appropriate to grant an extension to the response deadline. There may also be mitigating circumstances as to why the defendant has not responded in this time period.
For Serious and Catastrophic Injury Cases
When dealing with serious and catastrophic injury claims, your lawyer can request that the defendant’s insurer agree to (and fund) an Immediate Needs Assessment (INA) when they initially make contact. This means that a care expert visits you at home to determine the following:
- What level of care you may require
- What medical treatments you may need
- Whether adaptations are required in your home or to your way of life
- Any potential rehabilitation programmes
- What all of it is likely to cost
This allows us to assist with your recovery and potentially request an interim payment from the defendant’s insurer to cover some of the costs of the assessment where something is immediately required.
It also assists in placing a valuation on your case, providing both sides with an idea of the medical advice required on your case and what the most appropriate way forward is.
Not Satisfied With Your Solicitor?
If you are not satisfied by how the law firm you have appointed is handling your case, we offer a “Check My Claim” service so you can get a second opinion on the service you are receiving from your current solicitor.
We can check your claim if:
- Your case has been mishandled or progress has taken too long
- You have been told your claim is not worthwhile pursuing
- You are not happy with the amount of compensation you have been told you will receive
- Your solicitor has settled your case on a lower amount of compensation that you feel you deserve
For more information on how you can switch solicitors, take a look at our dedicated page.
Talk to Us
To speak to an expert about an injury that was caused by somebody else’s negligence, contact JMW today to make a claim. Our solicitors are waiting to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions you may have.