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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50196
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Ben, thank you reply, you mentioned some steps you had

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Hello Ben, thank you for your reply, you mentioned some steps you had prepared. Could you let me know these, please

Hi there, what type of accident was it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To my right foot. I had torn ligaments and severe infection

But how did the accident occur?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tripped on steps on a garden pathway in the dark and heavy rain

And who is the accident against?

Please note I am in and out of meeting s so may not be able to reply immediately

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The claim is against the home insurance of a family who didn't, warn me about the steps and this was the first visit to them
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You said earlier that our solicitors need to issue a formal court claim by a deadline. If the other party are delaying negotiation, then could our solicitors issue a claim before that deadline? Or, would there be penalties on us, such as court costs?If you are back from your meeting, can we speak to you over the phone?

Hi there, it is certainly possible to issue a claim before the deadline even if the other side are delaying negotiations – that should not prevent you from pursuing your legal rights. You do however have to follow what is known as a pre-action protocol. You can find detals of that here:

As you will see you need to issue the other side with a letter of claim so read that section carefully as it tells you what you can do to issue the claim or delay proceedings in the event that no response or negotiations have been completed.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do we prepare this protocol or do we ask our solicitor to prepare it. Are there any other steps we need to follow?

You do not prepare the protocol as such - you follow it, a protocol is a series of steps you must follow to ensure that you are following a set procedure. If you have instructed a solicitor then they would be expected to follow that and you are of course able to check with them that they are doing so and what stage they are at.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What date would be the deadline for issuing a formal claim if the accident was on 18th October 2013?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Usually how long would it take to prepare documents before submitting the claim to court by this deadline?

It would be the 18 October 2016 but obviously you should not leave it until the last day. Documents can be prepared as fast as you need to - they can be done in one day if you instructed someone to do it, but if you are doing it yourself allow a bit more time - how long exactly is impossible to say as that depend on the complexity of the case, how much knowledge you have of the procedure, etc - it is entirely subjective

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Once submitted to the court, how long would it normally take for the court to make a decision?

it is likely to be a few months, but it depends on how busy they are and how the overall procedure develops, does the other side defend it etc

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your time today. I have found your advice useful. I will rate you now, but I might still ask you some questions another time. Olga

No problem at all, always happy to help if needed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, I am still waiting for an offer from the other party, and my solicitor has told me that in a few weeks my solicitor will start preparing the documents to issue proceedings to be in court by 17th September (the accident's three year anniversary is on 18th October 2016). We have reached an impasse with the other party.The other party have said that they want to ask questions of the medical expert, before making an offer, but that was two weeks ago, and no such list of questions has appeared.If a formal court claim was submitted by our solicitors by 17th September 2016, would this still give the other party time to negotiate before that date? And if so, do we have to accept their offer if unrealistic?

Negotiations can occur at any time, they can continue all the way up to any hearing in court so there is plenty of time. You certainly do not have to accept an offer you are unhappy with but obviously you have to be realistic as to what you may expect to recover if you were to proceed with the claim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if the claim was submitted on 17th September, how long would it likely take to reach a hearing - and would I have to appear in court?

As mentioned it is likely to take a few months. As you were the victim in the accident then you will be a primary witness and as such the court would like to see you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't understand how a court works - I thought my solicitor would represent me in court and answer any questions for me - is this true?

a solicitor will be there to present the case, apply procedure and advise you. But when you have your own personal evidence to submit to a court, for example if you were involved in the circumstances leading up to the claim, then a solicitor cannot appear to present that evidence for you - it is your own personal evidence, you have to do that yourself. You cannot be forced to appear as a witness but if you do not do so then that can affect the prospects of success in your claim. You need to discuss this with your solicitor

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would be "the circumstances leading up to the claim"? Are these what caused the accident in the first place, the severity of my injury and how the accident has and is still affecting me personally?

In your case yes, it is the accident. You were directly involved in the circumstances that led to the making of the claim of your evidence would be crucial. It could be the deciding point in whether the other party is found to have liability or not.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The other party have admitted 95% liability (in March 2014). Our solicitors have fully prepared the case for us including a schedule of special damages and a report from a medical expert with medical evidence (with a MRI scan to show two ligaments were torn). So, the claim has already made against them - it is just that the other side are delaying in making an offer - our solicitor has warned them that court proceedings would be issued soon because an impasse has been reached.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

A claim has not been made because legal proceedings have not yet been issued

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The case has gone on for three years almost, and I am worried that I could still lose my compensation, even though I have a frim of solicitors working for me. My solicitors will issue proceedings on 17th September, and start preparing the documents in a few weeks. Should I be patient for a few more weeks or ask them to issue proceedings now. The other party have said they want to ask questions of the medical expert, which is their right - but they have taken so long to do so. If we go now to court could it jeopardise our case - like the court saying we didn't allow the other party time for negotiation. Do you think our solicitors are correct, should I be patient?

there is no immediate rush to issue proceedings straight away, especially as they would have to follow the pre action protocol I mentioned. So I do think some more patience will not harm you, as long as you are mindful of the deadline

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben, thanks very much for your advice today. I will be patient, but I may still have some questions for you again while I am waiting. Olga

no worries, all the best

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, this is Olga. I haven't received an email response from my solicitor since 27th July. I did speak last Wednesday, 3rd August on the phone to her, and she said she would send me an email to explain the procedures that they are now taking, but I haven't received it yet. She said that they will be issuing court proceedings in September, and they would be starting litigation now in August, but I haven't had confirmation in an email of the procedures.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, I have now spoken to the litigator in charge of issuing proceedings to court, and she will be sending me an email to explain the procedure and will be in regular contact with me. Thanks Olga.

ok thanks for the update. Ben

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, thanks for your reply. I still haven't received an email about the procedure and dates in a confirmation email. I spoke to the newly appointed litigator on the 11th August. Can you suggest how I can correctly ask about email confirmation from the litigator and the case supervisor, because I am worried that I haven't received any email from the solicitors since 27th July.

hi there is no such thing as 'correctly' asking for this, you simply contact them and ask them to supply you with whatever information you require.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thanks for your answer, but I have been sending emails saying I require this information by email, but the manager said that she had answered our questions over the phone - and she has not answered any of my emails.I don't understand the procedures from the explanation of the manager and that of the litigator. I need clarification.My case has now passed to a specialised litigator. Can you please explain the purpose of the litigator? She told us that she will need to serve papers. The accident date was 18th October 2013, and they intend to issue proceedings in September. She said there was a 4 month period to formally serve the claim, but she intends to do it as soon as possible. From when time does this 4 month period start?Can you please explain what the procedures should be. The manager said that they didn't use the protocol that you mentioned, but they do have a definite procedure they follow.

A specialist litigator would be someone who specialises in personal injury claims and knows the procedure and would handle the case for you Unfortunately I cannot discuss these details with you on here because this quesiton is more than 7 days old and if you need further help you have to post a new question if you need further assistance.So if you need this please post it as a brand new question (not for my attention please as I am not always available so it will then be open to all other experts who can also help you). Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help, and for being available to answer my questions over this time. I will now ask a new question. Best wishes, Olga

you are most welcome