Professional negligence – 10 simple steps to achieving your compensation
For most people, a compensation claim isn't an everyday occurrence so here is a brief explanation of how we manage your claim and the 10 steps we both need to go through.
Step 1 - Understanding what went wrong
Our initial in-depth discussion with you helps us collect important information about your claim, such as what you feel went wrong, the financial or other losses this caused you and when you first found out about this.
Step 2 – Reviewing relevant documents
We’ll review all your documents and other information, including any that the professional holds, which will then enable us to give you our expert opinion on the strength of your case and the likely value of your claim.
Step 3 – Obtaining an initial response to your grievance
If your case is strong enough to proceed, we’ll send a Preliminary Notice to the professional involved, setting out the basis of your grievance and the claim you are intending to make. The professional then has 21 days to respond.
Step 4 – Sending the Letter of Claim
Once we receive a response, we’ll prepare the detailed Letter of Claim and send it to the professional, along with any relevant documents that support your case. This letter will set out the facts upon which your claim is based, the allegations against him or her, an explanation of how this has caused you loss, the estimated value of this loss and details of how this has been calculated.
Step 5 – The professional’s detailed response
The professional has 3 months to investigate and fully respond to our letter. They must provide their answers to the allegations you have made, identify which they admit or deny, send us copies of any documents they wish to rely on, and provide details of any further information needed from you.
Step 6 – Taking a detailed statement
We will work with you to draft a detailed, accurate statement in your own words about your claim and the losses that you are now looking to claim for. We may also need to take witness statements from other people who can support your case – for example your family members.
Step 7 – Obtaining experts’ reports
Depending on the nature of your claim, we may need to engage one or more experts to provide a report to support your case - for example, if you have long term injuries. Once the experts’ reports have been received and agreed by you, we will send a copy to the professional you are claiming against.
Step 8 – Issuing court proceedings
If your case has not been settled, we may need to issue court proceedings against the professional so we will deal with all the detailed court processes on your behalf.
Step 9 – Attending your court trial
If your case does go to trial, you will need to attend the hearing, together with any other witness and possibly the experts we instructed in the case. If the judge decides that the professional was negligent, the judge will decide on the amount of compensation you will receive for your losses. The defendant will usually be ordered to pay us the costs we have incurred in preparing your case, including court fees and expert reports.
Step 10 – Awarding your compensation claim
If you are successful in your case, we will agree a date by which your compensation will be paid to us so that we can pay your compensation to you as quickly as possible.
How long does a claim take?
Because the circumstances surrounding every claim and their effects are different, it’s very difficult to give a definitive answer on how long it takes to settle a claim. Often it depends on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information, how quickly we can get your file of papers from the professional and any expert reports required, and whether the insurance companies are willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claims.
Whilst we aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure we secure the maximum compensation for you. This often means we have to do some hard negotiation with the defendants – which takes extra time. Our aim is to balance progressing the claim as fast as possible with getting you the maximum settlement.
We realise that you’ll be keen to know about the progress of your claim so we will send you regular emails and texts to keep you up to date, and also to remind you if there is any information we’re waiting for from you.