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Understanding the Personal Injury Claim Process in Cyprus

The Pre-Action Protocol Type II, recently introduced in Cyprus, outlines the steps and expectations for handling personal injury and road traffic accident (RTA) claims. This guide will help you understand the key elements of the protocol, which aims to make the claims process smoother and more transparent.

1. Understanding the Scope and Purpose

The protocol is specifically designed to address:

  • Claims involving road traffic accidents, including both personal injuries and material damage.
  • Cases where personal injuries are the primary concern, ensuring a clear procedure for all involved parties.

The goal is to expedite the resolution process by providing a structured framework that encourages cooperation between the involved parties.

2. preparing the Pre-action Letter

The process begins with a pre-action letter, which must include:

  • Details of the Claim: This includes the facts surrounding the incident, nature and extent of injuries, and the expected claim amount, if known.
  • Copies for All Parties: Two copies should be prepared – one for the defendant and the other for their insurer.
  • Response Time: The defendant has 28 days to investigate and respond to the letter. If there’s a delay in receiving it, the insurer can request an extension to ensure a thorough response.

This step aims to provide the defendant with sufficient information to assess the claim’s validity and begin their own investigation.

3. Expert Witnesses and Their Role

Expert witnesses play a crucial role in these claims:

  • Joint Selection: Whenever possible, both parties should agree on the experts who will provide medical or technical insights.
  • Disclosure of Reports: The claimant must share any medical or expert reports with the defendant, who can then ask questions or confirm their agreement with the findings.

Jointly selected experts help maintain fairness and objectivity in evaluating the claim.

4. Writing the pre-action Letter

A well-structured pre-action letter should include:

  • Summary of Events: A clear outline of what happened and how it led to the claim.
  • Nature of Injuries: Detailed information about the injuries sustained and their impact on the claimant.
  • Medical Treatment: Where and when treatment was received, along with details of the healthcare providers involved.
  • Material Damages: Information about property damage and any related costs.

The protocol provides a template (Form A) to help structure this information and ensure consistency.

5. Responding to the Pre-action letter

The defendant’s response should follow Form B and include:

  • Admission or Denial: A clear statement on whether the defendant accepts liability.
  • Reasons for Denial: If liability is denied, the response must explain why, including any alternative versions of events.
  • Request for More Time: If needed, the defendant can request an extension for a more thorough investigation.

Providing a clear and prompt response helps move the process forward efficiently.

6. Calculating Specific Damages

When presenting specific damages:

  • Provide Evidence: The claimant should supply relevant information and documents as soon as possible to support the claim.

This ensures transparency and helps expedite the resolution process by allowing the defendant to assess the damages accurately.

Conclusion

The updated Pre-Action Protocol in Cyprus offers a structured approach to handling personal injury and road traffic accident claims. By following these guidelines, parties can ensure a more efficient and transparent claims process. Legal practitioners and claimants alike should familiarize themselves with these steps to navigate the protocol effectively and reach a resolution promptly.

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