Kiteleys Solicitors

Kiteleys Solicitors. 7 St. Stephen's Court, 15-17 St. Stephen's Road, Bournemouth, Dorset. BH2 6LA. Telephone 01425 278866.
Kiteleys Solicitors is the trading style of Kiteleys Solicitors Limited registered in England and Wales, registered number 03113721. VAT Registration No: 658 8813 79.
This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office.

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9th December 2011

Road Traffic Accident claims process

If you are about to pursue a claim for compensation for a road traffic accident (RTA), or are on the defence in a case, it is beneficial to have a good idea beforehand of what happens throughout the process.

This process outlined below applies to accidents in England and Wales after 6th April 2010 with a value between £1,000 and £10,000. Contributory negligence is not to be taken account of at the outset when determining if the case is in this process.

The following are specific exclusions of RTA claims:

–    Untraced drivers agreement
–    A party is deceased
–    A party is bankrupt
–    A party is protected

The work in an RTA claim is carried out in stages:

Stage 1

a.    A claim Notification Form (CNF) is sent direct to the Defendant’s Insurers (Annex 1).
b.    All boxes on the CNF are mandatory and must be signed with a statement of truth. NB. This document will be used as the Claim Form at any final hearing and must therefore be 100% accurate and preferably signed by the Claimant.
c.    The Defendant’s Insurers have 15 business days to respond. 30 days if it’s the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau). Time will start the next business day after receiving the CNF. Time cannot be extended by agreement.
d.    For the case to remain within the process there must be an appropriate admission. That must consist of an admission of fact, breach and causation, although they do not have to agree the extent of the causation.
e.    If Contributory Negligence is alleged (other than failure to wear a seatbelt) it will leave the process.
f.    If Defendants deny liability they must give reasons. It will then leave the process and enter the pre-action protocol stage at the beginning i.e. they will have a full 3 months to investigate.

Stage 2

a.    Claimant’s Solicitors to obtain medical report. No need to nominate experts.
b.    One report is needed only unless it is clear at the outset a second report is needed or if the expert recommends a further report.
c.    Medical expert to prepare the report which needs to deal with all the issues set out in the Medical Report Form, although it appears they do not need to complete the actual form.
d.    The cost of obtaining medical records is not recoverable unless the expert identifies a need for the records.
e.    Report when received needs to be checked for factual errors before it is sent. Once it has been sent there is no opportunity to challenge errors at a later date.
f.    Within 15 business days of confirming the Medical report is correct, the Claimant’s Solicitors must complete a settlement pack and send it electronically to the Defendants along with the medical report receipts to special damages.
g.    In the settlement pack the Claimant’s Solicitors set out what figure we are seeking for general damages, special damages and whether there is to be a percentage reduction for contributory negligence. Special damages are all listed in separate boxes, no need to prepare a separate schedule.
h.    The Defendants have 15 business days to accept the offer or put forward a counter offer. They will complete the same settlement pack settling out what they agree with and what counter proposals they have.
i.    The Claimant’s Solicitors have 20 business days to consider any counter proposals. This time can be varied by agreement.
j.    If further medical evidence is needed, the Claimant’s Solicitors send an interim settlement pack and the medical report. An interim payment should then be made by the Defendants of £1000, although a higher sum can be requested. That sum should be paid within 10 days.
k.    If the Defendants deny causing the accident or quantum (the amount of compensation the Claimant deserves) cannot be agreed the case leaves the process. It will also leave if fraud is alleged, or if the Defendant does not comply with the timescale or if the level or interim payment cannot be agreed.
l.    If there is no agreement on quantum the matter will proceed to Stage 3, but before then, the Defendant will pay the full amount of their offer as set out in the Settlement Pack.

Stage 3 – if quantum cannot be agreed

a.    Claimant’s Solicitors complete the Stage 3 settlement pack and forward it to the Defendants. They have 10 business days to complete their section. If they do not comply with this timescale, the Claimant can make an application to the Courts anyway.
b.    Claimant’s Solicitors will send the following documents to the Court: CNF, Medical Evidence, Stage 3 Settlement Pack, including Final Offers in a sealed envelope, receipts for special damages and disbursement vouchers. No witness evidence is to be submitted.
c.    Request an Oral or Paper hearing.

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Kiteleys Solicitors. 40 Haven Road, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset. BH13 7LP. Telephone 01425 278866. Calls may be recorded and monitored.
Kiteleys Solicitors is the trading style of Kiteleys Solicitors Limited registered in England and Wales, registered number 03113721. VAT Registration No: 658 8813 79.
This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA ID 401309. A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office.