Making a claim for Personal Injury can be stressful and worrying. We do not want the legal process and the wording we use to make the situation worse so we strive to keep legal jargon to a minimum. We appreciate you will come across terms you may not understand so we have tried to explain these as clearly as possible in the definitions below, so that you fully understand the process you are going through.
If you need further explanation then please do contact us.
The process where the parties agree the outcome of the claim without the matter progressing to trial.
Repayment of losses that can be worked out precisely in pounds and pence. Examples of this are out of pocket expenses like travelling to medical appointments or lost earnings during the period between the injury and the hearing of the case.
What needs to be established to win a case. In a medical negligence case, this is “on the balance of probabilities”, which is a much lower standard than in a criminal case. The Claimant must prove that their injury is more likely than not to have been caused by the ‘breach of duty’. Another way of looking at it is in percentage terms, i.e. 51% or more.
A certification within any statement before the court confirming that the person making the statement believes the contents to be true. The Civil Procedure Rules require that other documents such as a Claim Form, Particulars of Claim and Defence (in non-family cases) are also verified by a statement of truth.
The collective terminology which refers to the Claim Form, Particulars of Claim and (if appropriate) a Reply.
A written declaration (statement) signed before a Justice of the Peace or a person who is authorised to administer oaths (such as a solicitor) but not sworn on any religious book (not “made upon oath”).
In conveyancing matters this is a document similar to a statement made under oath (affidavit), however, it is not sworn. Statutory declarations are commonly used to allow a person to declare something to be true for the purposes of satisfying some legal requirement or regulation when no other evidence is available – for example the use of a right of way.
A (normally temporary) halt to court proceedings which is either be agreed between the parties or ordered by the Court. A stay is normally agreed in order to enable the parties to take part in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) so that further costs are not incurred. In the event that ADR is not successful then the proceedings can continue once the stay has been lifted.
Pursuing claims for Personal Injury can be risky and not all claims that are taken on are successful. This may be due to
evidential issues, or facts that were not disclosed at the outset of the claim.
The success fee is normally 100% of the Solicitors’ base costs but is capped at 25% of compensation recovered for general damages (pain and suffering) and past financial losses. It exists to acknowledge the risk taken on by the lawyers in pursuing the case. The fee is charged on the successful conclusion of the claim. If the claim is lost, or abandoned, the success fee is not charged.
In non-criminal cases, doing something which harms someone else. It may result in a claim for financial compensation (damages).
A solemn promise to the court to do or refrain from doing something; breach of undertaking is treated as contempt of court.