First Contact – a Phone Call
We try to make our clients feel comfortable with us before requesting a lot of personal information. The purpose of the first call is for us to gain more information from you, to provide us with a better understanding of what has happened to you and where we think a claim may possibly lie.
What will we ask you?
We need to know what happened. We also need to know your account of events; what you think went wrong.
What happens after your first telephone conversation with us?
What happens next is that all the information received is considered by our lawyers. We work out whether we need to be given some more information to decide whether we can actually help with your case.
What do we do if we think we can help securing your compensation?
We suggest a time to arrange a meeting. If you have any initial questions at that time we may be able to deal with those over the phone. Otherwise we book a date to see you. We usually do this at our offices in Nicosia but if you cannot visit us we may arrange to visit you at your home or at the hospital.
We Meet you Face to Face
We need to get a lot of information. The first meeting will allow us to see how you are managing after your accident. We need to see any documentation you may have in relation to your case. It is very important for us to meet you in person because this will help the future working relationship.
What do we want to talk to you about?
We want to know where you think things went wrong and what anyone may have said to you about your case. We would like to review any documentation you may have in your possession. We may need to get a statement on the facts up until that point. We really need to understand in detail what happened.
Then we will give you all the information you require about the process you are about to be involved in, what is needed to prove your claim, a timeframe with milestones of your case life, your rights and your responsibilities and what you may expect from our representation.
In cases where it is possible we may assist you with the funding of your case
If you case qualifies in our serious injury case track then we can arrange for funding in relation to medical costs, rehabilitation for your injuries and for the team experts that will support your case in Court.
Can you ask us questions?
We want you to bring with you your list of questions and make sure you do not leave our offices before you receive answers to your questions.
What happens if you decide to instruct us?
The next stage would be to execute our no win no fee funding agreement and we will then proceed forthwith with the initial investigation of your case.
What is the main purpose of the investigation stage?
The first issue is liability which in layman’s terms means to establish who was to blame for your accident and for your injuries. Our job is to investigate the evidence to see whether we can establish fault.
How do we investigate the evidence?
If you take for example a road traffic accident we may need to visit the scene to see what happened so that we get a real feel for the place. We need to speak with any witnesses to gather together all the relevant information. We will speak with the police if they were involved.
If you had a workplace accident we may need to consult with the relevant governmental department and see whether there was any investigation. We may need to talk to a health and safety expert associate of our firm to obtain assistance in establishing liability.
If you have a medical negligence case we need to see whether your complaint is something we have dealt with in the past and then seek for the proper medicolegal expert in order to see if we can establish liability in Court.
We will also need to obtain your medical records and details of your financial losses.
How long can the investigation process last?
This really depends on your particular case. There are cases where we may be able to proceed the day after receiving your instructions. There are cases where things are more complicated. We try to deal with small claims quickly and may prepare your claim within two weeks from receiving all the required documentation. Serious injury cases or cases where liability is disputed usually take much longer.
In road traffic accidents where there is an investigation by the police it may take up to 6 months before the police prepares your report and that may delay the investigation of liability but this will not stop us from working on other aspects of your case while the investigation is ongoing.
In medical negligence cases it may take up to 6 months before we are able to gather all relevant medical records and obtain a reasoned opinion from our medicolegal experts.
What happens if during the investigation Rotsides & Co feels it cannot take your case any further?
Because our approach is to be very meticulous in our investigations, it is a very rare case that we turn down a case that another law firm takes on and proceeds to a positive result. We will make sure that we take the right decision before we let you know that we can’t proceed with your case. In this case you will be free to take your file and hire another lawyer with no cost on you.
What happens if we think you do have a case?
We initiate Court proceedings forthwith and ensure you case moves forward. At the same time we engage in negotiation with the defendants in order to see whether we may reach a favourable settlement.
How do We Make Your Claim?
It begins with filing a Court Action
It is the way of getting the process started and of getting the attention of the defendant insurance company. The sooner we can do that the better because it should mean that we will get to the resolution of your case faster. That can be done early on, assuming we have sufficient evidence to support your case. At the same time we send the defendant a letter of claim setting out in detail your claim and the evidence supporting it.
How long does a defendant insurance company have to respond to a letter of claim?
The defendant insurance company will usually need to carry out their own independent investigations and the earlier that happens the earlier we can get things moving forward. There are no hard and fast rules. An insurance company may opt to handle the case internally or to assign the case to external defence lawyers or claim adjusters which will in turn assign the case to their defence lawyers. The particularities of each case will decide the length of the claim.
In a simple road traffic accident case for example we expect to have a reply within 2 or 3 weeks from forwarding your claim. Where your case involves a criminal investigation by the police, the insurance company may need to wait for the police investigation to come to an end, and this sometimes may take up to 6 months . Other times when injuries are more complex you may need to be examined by doctors commissioned by the insurance company before we are able to receive an offer for settlement. Cases of serious injuries or medical negligence typically take the longest to resolve on account of their complexity.
Do we get external advice to help build your case?
Often times you need experts to assist on the question of liability. If there is a road traffic accident we may instruct a collision investigator to help us reconstruct what happened, to understand the speed of the vehicles or whether a helmet would have made a difference to your injuries. Often, some very technical issues arise that need to be addressed. If we pursue a medical negligence case a medicolegal expert with experience in the matter of the medical procedure in question will need to support your case in Court. If you had a workplace accident we may need to instruct a health and safety expert to explain any potential breaches by the employer.
We go to great lengths and think of all eventualities before we instruct an expert for your case. We are convinced of the importance of using the right experts to fit your case. We will not just look through the CV of our expert. We will meet in person and assess the experience of our associate experts to make sure we are using the right people for the job.
Assessing your Damages
How do we value your claim?
This is not a procedure of coming up with a number out of thin air or by using a calculator. If somebody has got losses that might be ongoing for years or even for the rest of their lives we make sure they are properly compensated. It’s really important for us to get this right because if your case is settled this will be final and you will not be able to come back to it in the future.
We need to draw in lots of people and information to see how much a claim might be worth
That usually means instructing experts to advise us about different things. We may need to ensure that we know the medical side of things such as how badly you were affected by your injuries or how you are going to be affected in 20 years’ time. We may need an accountant to tell us about lost earnings or future earnings that will be lost or an architect telling us the costs of remodelling a house to suit your needs after a serious injury. We put all this information together to come up with something concrete that documents the value of your case. The more we know the more accurate we can be in getting your compensation right both in terms of your compensation for pain and suffering but also in terms of the expenses incurred and the expenses going forward.
Reaching A Settlement
Why do we initiate Court proceedings?
It demonstrates to the defendant that we are very serious about the case. It provides to the case a structure, a timetable and an end date so that things will move forward. It is very helpful for a case to have such discipline in place because you cannot ignore a Court order. There are Court procedures that provide deadlines for the parties to do things and parties must do them. It is a very good way of dragging incalcitrant insurers along with your case and sometimes if insurance companies don’t want to pay anything this is the process that you simply have to use to get the case to the Court and get results.
What does the defendant need to do in response?
If the defendants haven’t already said why they are defending a claim during the Court process they have to formally set out their defence for the Court and explain why they are defending their case.
And what do you the client need to do?
The issuing of Court proceedings does not mean that your involvement with the case changes in any way. It is a continuous process of finding out more information from you. This is very important because the more we know, the more we understand, the better we are able to value your claim and assess your losses that are due to your injury. We will be updating you in writing for every important milestone throughout your case.
What is the likelihood of the claim going to trial?
In any legal claim it is possible that you will get to a trial. But this is really a very small percentage of our cases. Many of the Judges nowadays will order you to have a meeting with the other side and if you don’t have a meeting you need to explain to the Judge why. Ultimately, the purpose is to try and get the opposing sides together to talk about settlement. We always try to use the process of negotiation to see whether cases can be settled on a consensual basis rather than having to put our client through the uncertain and stressful process of taking their case to trial. But if the trial can’t be avoided then we will advise you, tell you about the risks, provide you with our opinion that you should move to a trial and we will be there to support you through it.
When will I receive my compensation?
Once your case is resolved you will receive your compensation quite quickly. Unless your case presents some particular features (for example after a hearing the Court Registrar may have to assess the fees of the case), you will only have to wait for a few weeks. You will have your compensation to get on with the rest of your life.
To get there and to know that our clients are getting the right compensation is to us a great achievement and a real source of satisfaction.
It’s always nice to stay in touch
We like to build good strong relationships with people. It’s always really nice for us to hear how our clients are getting on after their cases are over. We get invited and we might check in to see how they are doing now that the stress of the claim is over and they are actually able to use the compensation. We make sure our clients know that we are always here and if they have a problem they can always give us a call. At any point, if we can provide advice and steer them to the right direction we will always do that.
We only represent claimants and we are very proud of the fact that our biggest source of new clients are existing client referrals. We always go to great lengths to ensure that all our clients get an excellent service that are happy to endorse.