1. We will obtain copies of your relevant clinical records.
This takes a minimum of 3 months depending how quickly records are sent to us.
2. Our in-house dental advisors will assess your clinical records and decide whether there is evidence that you received negligent treatment which caused avoidable injury or loss.
This takes a minimum of 4 months.
3. We will advise you of the outcome of the clinical assessment.
If we think that your claim is unlikely to succeed, we will explain why and close your file at no charge to you.
4. If we think your claim is likely to succeed, your file will be transferred to a member of our Legal Team who will draft a Letter of Claim, setting out the basis of your claim.
This takes 1-4 months and longer if further information is needed.
5. Once you have approved the Letter of Claim, it is sent to the Defendant’s representatives. They should investigate and respond within 4 months, but it can take longer.
This procedure is called the Pre-Action Protocol, and many cases are resolved at this stage.
6. If the Defendant denies your claim, we must decide whether to issue court proceedings. The first step is to instruct an independent expert to confirm whether they support your case. If they do support your claim you might have to attend the expert for examination.
It will take at least 3-9 months to obtain expert evidence, depending how busy the expert is and whether you have to attend for examination.
7. If your claim is not strong enough to instruct an independent expert, or if the expert does not support your claim, then we’ll do our best to negotiate a settlement.
8. If we receive independent expert reports and we can’t negotiate a settlement, we will instruct a barrister (Counsel) to draft the formal documents we need to issue court proceedings. These documents will have to be approved by you and the expert.
It will take at least 3 months for the documents to be drafted and approved.
9. We issue court proceedings by sending a Claim Form to Court. Within 4 months of issue we must serve the Claim Form, expert evidence and formal court documents on the Defendant.
The Defendant will then serve a formal Defence.
This process can take a minimum of 6-12 months.
10. Your claim is then listed for a court hearing and the Judge will set a timetable to exchange witness statements and expert reports before your claim is listed for trial.
We aim to resolve your claim within 1-3 years, but this timescale can vary.
Your case may settle at any stage during this process, and it is very rare for a claim to reach trial.