Once the facts have been ascertained, expert opinion on whether the case is defensible or not can be sought. If MPS is assisting you with the claim and a decision to settle is taken, we will contact the claimant’s legal team to agree on a settlement figure. If the case is being defended, the Notice of Intention to Defend – the form for which is on the rear of the Summons – is completed and submitted to the claimant’s lawyer.
Following this, a documentary exchange takes place between both parties – this phase is called the Pleadings. The legal documents involved are prepared according to the rules of court. During this stage it is still possible for both parties to agree on a settlement out of court. But if the case is heading to court, MPS will at this stage seek the opinion of an independent expert.
It is important to note that this expert is neither for or against the doctor in question; the expert is for the court, and is there to provide a reflective opinion on the specifics of the case. Sometimes this will mean the expert making criticisms of you, the defendant. However, it is much better to have this criticism given to your defence team at this stage than have it played out in open court. Your defence team will be better placed to prepare for the case if it has all the facts and potential vulnerabilities to hand.
A pre-trial meeting will be held, which brings together all experts involved in the case. Often this meeting also sees a final offer made to the claimant.