Issue Court Proceedings: UK solicitor sets out how to commence an accident claim for personal injury compensation at court
Discover how to issue court proceedings to start a claim in the UK courts, when you will need to issue a case at court to enforce your legal rights to claim accident compensation and how long you have to start a claim before it is legally too late.
When is it necessary to issue court proceedings?
“Issue court proceedings” is a legal phrase used to describe the formal process you must follow to start a claim for compensation in a UK court – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Before it is necessary to issue court proceedings you should have sent a letter of claim to the person you believe responsible for your accident giving that person an opportunity to make an offer of settlement.
If the person you believe is responsible for your accident, or the insurance company on behalf of their insured, has denied liability and failed to make an offer to settle your claim – you will the need the help of the court to enforce your rights against the person at fault.
The first stage of enforcing your right is to issue a civil court claim.
How do you issue court proceedings to claim your accident compensation?
The process to issue court proceedings requires you to send the court specific documentation setting out your case and a court fee. The court will thereafter issue our court case.
To start proceedings the court stamps the documents with a court seal, dates the documents and provides a notice of issue (including an issue date and court issue number).
How long do you have to issue proceedings at court following an accident?
For the majority of accident claims you have three years from the date of an accident to issue court proceedings after which time it will be too late for you to make a claim.
There are exceptions to the three year rule which include:
1. The person injured was your child (under the age of 18 years)
Your child has until the 21st birthday to issue proceedings at court in England and Wales. This is because the age of adulthood in England and Wales is currently 18 years of age (the age of majority) and a child has three years from this date to start a claim before it is too late.
Watch out – other legal jurisdictions in the UK may have a different age of majority. For example – Scotland considers the age of majority as 16 years of age.
2. Date of knowledge of significant injury
In many types of injury claim, such as industrial disease claims, you will not be aware that you have suffered an injury until many years after your exposure to hazardous substances. In such circumstances – you will have three years to start a court case from your date of knowledge that you are suffering a condition from exposure to hazardous substances at work.
Quite often this might be the date that you first commenced experiencing symptoms or alternatively the date that you were first diagnosed by a doctor as suffering from a recognised industrial disease, such as industrial deafness or mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.
3. Other exceptions to the three year rule to start court proceedings
There are various exceptions to the three year rule so if you are in doubt you should speak to a specialist compensation claims solicitor as soon as possible.
Summary Of How To Issue Court Proceedings
In this article we have set out how you issue proceedings at court to claim compensation following an accident in the UK.
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