When you bring a claim for damages following a serious injury, as the Claimant, you must prove that you have suffered an injury which has been caused by the accident.
In order to do this your solicitor will obtain a report from a medical professional. Access to your medical records will be required so that your solicitor and the expert can establish your relevant medical history. The expert will be “instructed” by your solicitor however the expert has a duty to report to the Court rather than a duty to either the Claimant or Defendant. This is because if the expert produces a report they have to swear a statement to confirm they hold an honest belief in the contents of the report. This is called a Statement of Truth.
In serious injury claims, there may be an expert of a particular discipline for each party with both experts coming to a different view after their examinations of the client. In that scenario they may need to attend court and produce their report to the Judge, who will decide which expert’s evidence is preferred.
In a case involving serious injuries, it is likely that more than one report will be required. There may be reports needed from medical experts to deal with the physical injuries but also reports needed to address psychological injuries. If the injured person cannot work or needs aids and equipment an occupational therapists report will be needed to tell the Court what the issues are and what is recommended with costings. If adaptions are needed to the home an accommodation expert will be necessary. The client may need to see the same expert more than once for a review if treatment has been recommended.
All of the reports form the basis of the evidence needed to tell the Court and the other party about the injuries sustained, the likely outcome (will they recover from the injuries or will the injuries be permanent) and any future problems which may be anticipated.
Once the solicitor is satisfied that all of the injuries have been addressed they will set about valuing the injuries and piecing together a document known as the Schedule of Special Damages which will tell the Court and the other party what you are claiming and why.
If you wish to know more about Damages, please see our guide on Damages.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident resulting in a serious injury, contact one of our experts at Maxwell Hodge Solicitors to see how we can help guide you through this difficult time.