What should a letter of claim for a personal injury claim contain?

The Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims sets out details as to what a letter of claim for a personal injury claim should contain. The Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims applies to all claims which include a claim for personal injury apart from medical negligence claims, disease or illness claims and low value personal injury claims arising out of road traffic accidents.

2 copies of the letter of claim should be sent to the Defendant. The second is for the Defendant to pass on to his insurers, where he is insured. Where the insurer is known, a copy of the letter of claim should be sent direct to the insurer.

What are the requirements of the Protocol?

The Protocol encourages Claimants to adopt the wording of the precedent letter of claim, which is annexed to the Protocol. In any event the letter of claim should include the following information:

Information about the Claimant

The letter of claim should contain the Claimant’s full name and address, his occupation, his employer’s name and address where he is employed and any clock or works number he may have.

Information about the claim

The letter of claim should contain sufficient information to substantiate a realistic claim and to enable the Defendant’s insurer and/or solicitor to commence investigations and form a broad view as to the “risk”. It should contain a clear summary of the facts together with an indication of the injuries suffered and of any financial loss incurred. In particular it should provide the following information: 

  • Details as to how the accident occurred;
  • The date and time of the accident;
  • Where the accident occurred.  The place of the accident should be sufficiently detailed to enable the Defendant to establish the location where it occurred;
  • Briefly, the reason why the Claimant alleges the accident was the Defendant’s fault;
  • Brief details of the Claimant’s injuries;
  • Details of any time taken off work as a result of the accident and the Claimant’s approximate weekly income, if known.

Special damages

The Claimant is expected to send the Defendant as soon as practicable a Schedule of Special Damages with supporting documents.

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For more information on:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Funding arrangements
  • Defendant’s insurer
  • Rehabilitation
  • Documents
  • Requests for information from employer Defendants
  • Request for contribution towards the cost of obtaining a police report
  • Date for acknowledging the letter of claim