How do I claim?
If a viable professional negligence claim is identified, we will manage the whole process on your behalf, from initial contact right through to court representation.
To start the claim, we will write to the professional on your behalf, clearly setting out the claim and providing them with appropriate supporting documentation. We will ask them to acknowledge our letter promptly and to then provide a comprehensive response within four months.
It is not unusual that, even though they provide a meaningful response, the professional will dispute the claim. However, it is our experience that their formal response doesn’t necessarily reflect their private views and means that an amicable resolution of most claims can be found through commercial negotiation.
There are two important factors in achieving a good result through commercial negotiation:
Identifying your objective
Your objective is usually to recover a sum of money reflecting a fair contribution towards the loss suffered. On these occasions, we can advise you on the value of a claim, and on its strength, and therefore on the level of compromise that may be appropriate.
There may be occasions when your objective is more sophisticated for example, if you have multiple claims against the same professional. In these circumstances we will advise you on whether a better result might be achieved more swiftly by grouping your claims.
To achieve the right result, we aim to understand what that result would mean for you, in practical terms.
An offer to settle is rarely attractive when presented on its own. The professional will be motivated to settle as a consequence of realising what will happen if they don’t settle.
We demonstrate that there will be a real consequence if a claim is not settled. These can include:
the commencing of court proceedings;
the progression of a claim to a court trial;
liability for legal costs.
Where additional evidence or explanation is needed to justify these steps, we will liaise with you to address this. Our significant experience in this area means that we are already familiar with many of the issues that arise and the responses that will be successful.
In some circumstances we can use different methods of negotiation, including Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediation or arbitration) in order to reach a conclusion and we will make a judgment on what will work for your case.
Settling before trial
We find that this dual approach leads to the resolution of the majority of cases prior to court proceedings becoming necessary and – of the remainder - most settle at an early stage of court proceedings and well before trial.
Taking a claim to trial
When all these stages have failed to reach a resolution or a settlement, it is necessary to resolve a claim through litigation (legal proceedings) and at trial. We are deeply committed to our clients and will fiercely defend you in court until we reach an agreement that we are all happy with.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Mark Osgood.