Not every personal injury or clinical negligence claim will require a Particulars of Claim. A Particulars of Claim is needed only in the event that Court Proceedings are necessary. Court Proceedings are usually only needed in the event that the claim has not settled. This is either because the parties cannot agree on the value of the claim and therefore the Court is needed to determine the value of the Claim; or because the claim isn’t ready to be settled as the medical evidence and/or the financial evidence is incomplete and the limitation period is about to expire. The limitation periods often vary but most accident claims need to be sent to court before the third anniversary of the accident.
When sending the Court Proceedings to court to be issued (stamped by the court and a reference number provided), a Claimant’s Solicitor must very precisely state in legal language how the accident occurred, which laws were they say broken by the Defendant and approximately how much the Claimant is claiming.
The precise specifications for what must be contained in the Particulars of Claim can be located in the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Particulars of Claim is therefore the foundation of any Personal Injury or Clinical Negligence claim and it is imperative that it is accurate. In high value claims it is common for a barrister to prepare this document. Although a Claimant’s Solicitor can sign the Particulars of Claim, it is best practice for the Claimant to sign the document themselves. The Particulars of Claim is a court document and it is an offence to knowingly sign the document if you do not think that it is accurate.
Once the court proceedings are sent to the Defendant or to the Defendant’s Solicitors, then in a specific period of time (which can be extended) a Defence must be prepared and sent to the Court and to the Claimant’s Solicitors. The Defence is a response to the Particulars of Claim.
An example of what a Particulars of Claim can be viewed or downloaded for free in our Legal Library.