When Should Court Proceedings Be Issued?
Your solicitor will advise you if we need to issue court proceedings in order to allow us to progress your case. Court proceedings are required for a number of reasons, such as if settlement negotiations have been unsuccessful or if liability for your injuries is still disputed.
Once proceedings are issued, the court will send your lawyer a timetable designed to manage your claim through to a final hearing. Once court proceedings are started, the defendant’s side will typically instruct a solicitor to manage the case on their behalf, who will liaise with your lawyer throughout the process.
Reasons for Issuing Court Proceedings in a Personal Injury Claim
There are a number of reasons while it might be suitable to issue court proceedings in a case involving personal injury.
Your lawyer will advise you if they believe it is appropriate to issue court proceedings in the instance that your case has reached an impasse, such as if neither side can agree on a liability decision. If this is the case, either your solicitor or the defendant's side will issue proceedings.
Court Proceedings as a Means for Negotiation
There are occasions when, once court proceedings have been issued, offers of settlement are made and, in this instance, the issuing of court proceedings has acted to encourage a case to settle quickly.
Once court proceedings have been issued and a solicitor has taken over the defendant’s case, they may re-evaluate the case and decide to make an offer to settle.
Your solicitor will advise if this has happened (although it is not something you should rely on during a case), and if so, whether their offer is appropriate and worthy of acceptance.
Your lawyer may issue protective court proceedings if your case is nearing what is known as the limitation deadline. In personal injury cases, there is a set period, usually three years from the date of the accident, where an individual is entitled to make a claim for their injuries
Therefore, there are occasions when it is appropriate to issue protective court proceedings, such as if the prognosis on your injuries is lengthy and will take longer than the three-year period to settle. Your solicitor will advise you if we need to issue court proceedings in order to allow us to progress your case.
What Happens After Court Proceedings Have Been Issued?
Once court proceedings have been issued, there are two procedures that may be required to progress your case.
Once the defence is acknowledged, your solicitor and the defendant’s legal representatives have to complete directions questionnaires. These are documents that help both sides let the court know about issues such as the number of witnesses a case may have, experts involved and the length of the trial the parties believe is required.
They also help the court determine whether the case should be a multi-track or fast track case. Your lawyer will inform you what track your claim will be allocated to, but as a rule, higher value, more complex cases are allocated to the multi-track, where lower value, more straightforward cases are fast track.
Both sides’ legal teams will provide information about the settlement of the case, and whether they wish to try to settle now. Solicitors also have to confirm that they have made their clients aware of potential costs consequences if they refuse to try and settle.
At the start of the court proceedings process, your solicitor will submit a claim form on your behalf. This form is part of a bundle of documents put together to outline your case to the court and assists the court to determine any action it has to take.
Your solicitor will also have to serve a particulars of claim, which outlines the facts of your case. Meanwhile, the defendant’s solicitor will have to submit a defence, which your lawyer will acknowledge and respond to.
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 and your right to make a claim, contact JMW today. Our solicitors are waiting to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions you may have.