What is a multi-party claim?
Thompsons Solicitors is highly experienced in supporting clients in multi-party claims. Our skilled medical negligence lawyers are currently representing hundreds of clients in claims against jailed breast cancer surgeon, Ian Paterson, who performed countless unnecessary operations on his former patients across a number of NHS and private hospitals.
Our experience in multi-party claims has seen us not only secure significant compensation for clients, but we have also provided access to rehabilitation services and forged links with charities representing more seriously injured claimants.
Here, we answer eight frequently-asked questions about multi-party personal injury compensation claims…
1. What is a multi-party personal injury claim?
A multi-party personal injury claim is a compensation claim started by a group of people who have suffered the same, or similar injuries, due to the negligence of the same defendant. A multi-party claim can also be referred to as a ‘group claim’ or a ‘class action’.
2. When might a multi-party personal injury claim arise?
A multi-party personal injury claim may be started following a sudden disaster that has killed or injured many people at the same time, such as a major road traffic accident involving a bus or coach, or a plane crash.
Other causes for multi-party claims may be a defective product or treatment that injured a large number of people over a specific period of time, or a long-term injury or illness. This could be an industrial disease claim following mass exposure to a dangerous chemical or substance at work, a defective drug that has affected people over a long time, or negligent medical treatment provided by the same doctor, surgeon or dentist, for example.
3. What is the difference between a multi-party compensation claim and a normal personal injury claim?
Sometimes, the court may make a “group litigation order” to ensure that cases with a common cause are heard together. Where this happens, the court will make special directions to determine how the cases are dealt with. This can include matters such as selecting one or more cases as “test cases”, nominating a lead law firm to spearhead the litigation and setting deadlines for claimants to join the litigation.
It is important that you contact Thompsons Solicitors for legal advice as soon as you realise that you have been harmed by someone else’s negligence. This applies equally if you think you may be one of a number of people affected and your claim could be part of a “group action”.
4. What happens if I miss the deadline for a multi-party compensation claim?
If you miss the deadline set by court for a multi-party action, it may still be possible to make your personal injury compensation claim but it will be more difficult, so we would advise contacting us quickly. Our legal team are there to support and advise you.
5. Are there any other time limits on making a multi-party compensation claim?
There are strict time limits in place to make any personal injury claim. Most personal injury compensation claims need to be started within three years of the injury occurring. There are some rare exceptions like whether you were a child when the accident happened or if you develop an illness or injury which is not immediately obvious, such as developing an asbestos-related disease caused by exposure to the substance a long time ago. If you are not sure if your claim is still in time, you should seek legal advice without delay: contact Thompsons Solicitors’ legal team for further information and advice on either 0800 0 224 224, or via our online claim form.
6. How long will it take for Thompsons Solicitors to settle my multi-party personal injury claim?
Multi-claimant cases are likely to take longer than individual cases, due to the complexities of managing a large number of claims at the same time with a greater volume of information to gather and review.
Thompsons Solicitors’ personal injury specialists will always endeavour to bring multi-party personal injury compensation claims to a successful close as quickly as possible – taking into account the need to ensure a good outcome for all clients involved.
7. Will I need to go to court if I start a multi-party personal injury claim?
Very few personal injury cases go all the way to trial but often we will need to start court proceedings to get you the best possible settlement from the person or organisation whose negligence injured you. Thompsons Solicitors will keep you updated on your case’s progress at every step and will support you throughout should the case reach the courts.
8. Where can I get advice on a possible multi-party compensation claim?
If you or someone you know thinks they have a valid compensation claim, telephone Thompsons Solicitors for accurate advice. Our personal injury lawyers have more experience than any other law firm in securing personal injury compensation and will be more than happy to talk you through the process of making a claim and to answer any questions you may have. Call us on 0800 0 224 224 or complete one of our online personal injury compensation claim forms.