1. Letter before Action (plaintiff) and Constructive Reply (defendant)
Prior to the commencement of proceedings, the claimant should send to the proposed defendant(s) 2 copies of a letter of claim, which should follow the prescribed format of the specimen letter provided under Practice Direction 18.1.This letter of claim can be amended to suit the particular case. Where the identity of the insurer(s) concerned is known, a copy of such letter of claim should additionally be sent to them. It may be appropriate to make a proposal for arranging expert medical examination. The claimant shall give as much information and produce such documents as are reasonably required to enable the proposed defendant(s) to give a constructive reply.
The letter of claim should be sent no later than 4 months prior to the commencement of proceedings, and the proposed defendant(s) should reply constructively to the letter of claim within one month. If the defendant makes no such reply, the claimant will be entitled to commence proceedings forthwith without risk as to legal costs. If the plaintiff receives a reply within one month, the parties should over the next 3 months communicate constructively and provide mutual disclosure of information and documents with respect to issues of liability and the amount of compensation sought.