If you have been injured and wish to bring a personal injury case to court, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of steps which must be completed. Without going through the proper procedure, your case may be unsuccessful thanks to a formality. It is, therefore, very important to inform yourself and to make sure that you know what you’re doing before you pursue action against the person or persons you hold responsible for your injury.
A law firm such as Schwaner Injury Law in Chicago can help to advise you on the steps you will need to take. Your attorney can walk you through what’s required to take your case to court.
What is Pre Action Protocol?
Although the phrase sounds a bit like legalese, a pre-action protocol is actually extremely straightforward. It is nothing more or less than the series of steps that must be taken before formal court proceedings are pursued. One of the primary goals of this protocol is to facilitate communication between the parties in a dispute and, if possible, to help them find an alternative method of resolving things besides going to court.
The Pre Action Protocol Steps
The steps for pre action protocol are straightforward and must be followed in order:
- A letter of claim should be sent from the claimant to the defendant, describing the facts of the case and any injuries sustained and including a Schedule of Special Damages.
- The defendant’s response is generally due within 21 days and should disclose his insurer and describe any alternate version of events he wishes to present. If the response is not forthcoming, the claimant may pursue proceedings.
- Expert evidence must be collected by both sides to support the claims of their case
- Both parties must consider whether the claimant has needs that could be met by rehabilitation, specifically adhering to the rehabilitation code.
- A dispute resolution might prove worthwhile at helping the parties settle their disagreement without going to court.
A pre-action protocol can be undertaken with or without the assistance of a lawyer or solicitor—it just depends on how confident you are in your ability to manage the process on your own. It is not necessary to go through this process for medical negligence claims and small value personal injury claims that have their roots in such events as traffic accidents.
If you have any uncertainty as to how to proceed, a personal injury attorney will always be able to advise.