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Only a very small number of clinical negligence claims actually go to trial.

The Courts expect parties to follow the Pre-Action Protocol for Clinical Disputes first. Briefly, the protocol states that once the claimant’s solicitors (us) have completed initial investigations, a detailed letter of claim should follow. This sets out the nature of the claim, the losses suffered, and the negligence which has occurred and by who.

The defendant (the negligent party) then has a period of four months to investigate the claim and provide a letter of response. Parties who don’t follow the protocol will be criticised at court as the aim is to try and settle as many of the disputes without issuing court proceedings.

Even if court proceedings are issued, parties may still reach a settlement through negotiation or through mediation.