How a Standard Case might Progress

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes by which an independent mediator assists the participants in reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement. It is an extension of their own negotiations.

A mediation session involves a discussion of the dispute by the participants.  It is not a formal presentation of witnesses and evidence.   The session will normally be attended only by the mediator, the participants and their  chosen advisers.

Mediation is an informal and voluntary process and can very often be completed in a day or less.

The mediator has no power to force the participants to accept a settlement. The mediator’s role is to assist in negotiations by identifying obstacles to settlement and developing strategies for overcoming them.

A mediation session is private and confidential. It is normally held in a private office or meeting room and no public record is made of the proceedings. If no settlement is reached no part of the proceedings are admissible as evidence in any subsequent litigation.

If an agreement is reached the participants sign a document that is a binding agreement.

How likely is it that mediation will work?

In medical negligence more than 85% of cases that reach NHS Resolution(NHSR) are resolved. However, it takes two three or more years before a case reaches NHSR and there is further time taken at the mediation stage.

IMNR will offer to achieve this same success rate by proceeding to mediation at the beginning of the injured patient’s journey. The aim will be to reach resolution within months not years.

What happens if mediation is not successful?

It remains entirely possible to pursue a claim through litigation.

How Might a Case Progress through Litigation?

Patients who believe that they have been injured seldom know the steps that will  be involved in proceeding to litigation.

  1. Contact Hospital Complaints Department. If not satisfied proceed to step 2.
  2. Contact solicitor who takes a statement.
  3. Solicitor decides whether there may be grounds for a claim, with or without taking medical advice in the form of a screening report.
  4. Solicitor arranges After The Event Insurance.
  5. Solicitors may hand over the management and financing of the case to an agency.
  6. Solicitor instructs expert witness(es).
  7. Solicitor collates reports and instructs barrister to draw up Particulars of Claim that are sent to NHSR.
  8. NHSR instructs solicitors.
  9. NHSR solicitors instruct expert witnesses.
  10. NHSR instructs barrister (Counsel) to draw up a rebuttal of Particulars of Claim.
  11. Solicitors pose Part 35 questions to expert witnesses.
  12. Counsel on one or both sides may require a meeting of experts.
  13. Judge may require a Joint Statement from Experts.
  14. NHSR and Claimant’s Counsels meet to reach an agreement.
  15. No agreement reached and the case goes to Court.

In one third of cases that reach NHSR the Claimant receives no compensation.