After a medical how long does a compensation claim take?
If you are thinking about claiming compensation for an injury, your solicitor will arrange for a medical examination to assess the extent of your injury.
The medical is carried out by independent medical expert who will produce a report on the extent of your injuries.
This report is a critical piece of evidence in support of your claim and is used to calculate your compensation.
Once the medical exam process is complete, how long will you have to wait for an offer from the other side?
What happens after a medical examination?
After the medical examination has taken place and the medical report is compiled, the report will be reviewed by the Claimant and the Claimant's solicitor.
If the Claimant is satisfied with the report's findings, the report will be sent to the Defendant's solicitor.
Unless the claim is being processed through the Pre-Action Protocol, there is not a standard time limit for the other side to make their offer after receiving the medical. Through the Pre-Action Protocol, the Defendant's insurer has a 'total consideration period' of 35 days in which to consider the evidence and make an offer. These time limits are subject to various conditions and may be extended.
There can be delays depending on how long it takes the doctor to compile the report, and how long the Defendant's solicitor and insurer take to review it.
What is in the medical report?
A medical report should contain within it details of your injury and a prognosis period, which estimates the rehabilitation and final recovery time.
Both of these considerations are factored into an offer.
How is compensation worked out based on the medical report?
The amount of compensation you are entitled to is worked out based on how serious the injuries are found to be, and how long it is considered that the injuries will prevent the injured party from living life as they did before the accident, including the ability to work and perform other activities such as hobbies, sports and housekeeping.
The longer the rehabilitation time of the injured person, the higher the compensation offer should be.
If the prognosis period is lengthy, it will most likely take longer to settle any claim in order to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is awarded.
Judicial College guidelines
The Judicial College publish guidelines recommending compensation awards based on the type and severity of the injury.
Insurers, solicitors and the Courts all use these guidelines when calculating awards and settlements.
Get a personal injury compensation estimate to find out how much compensation your claim could be worth.
The medical report may also recommend further investigation or treatment. The cost of these may also be factored into the compensation settlement amount.
Will I be contacted during this time?
If you have been injured and are waiting for an offer following a medical examination, your solicitor should stay in contact with you to provide updates.
Your solicitor may chase the other side for an offer or for a progress update if the Defendant's solicitors are failing to respond promptly. Some injury claims can be complex, however, and it may not be possible for the other side to consider the matter fully in a matter of weeks. They may request more time, or more information.
It is important that records are kept of your progress and recovery in order to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is rewarded. If your recovery takes longer than initially predicted, more compensation may potentially be claimed.
If you find that your injury worsens, or does not improve at the rate estimated in the initial report, it may be necessary to get another medical report while you are waiting for an offer. Another medical report could delay the process further, but may be a necessary step to ensure that you are offered an appropriate amount of compensation that is consistent with your injuries.
How can the process be made as quick as possible?
The best way to ensure that the claims process is as efficient as possible is by contacting a solicitor to arrange a medical exam as soon as possible after the injury. The solicitor or medical practitioner may recommend taking time to determine the full extent of the injuries, but even if this does occur, other medical checks and evidence can be gathered in parallel.
The medical report can be completed and sent to the other side for review. If the claim is eligible for the Pre-Action Protocol, the time limits will then apply, prompting a fast response from the Defendant's representatives.
For more information regarding whether your claim can be put through the Pre-Action Protocol, or to arrange a medical examination with a specialist doctor, call us on 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, you can request a callback for a more convenient time.