If there is no reply to the Letter of Demand, the claimant will issue a Summons, which is a document that is stamped by the court and which lays out the details of the claim.
The particulars of claim, which set out the allegations against a doctor, usually accompany the Summons.
The trial plays out in customary fashion, with both claimant and defendant lawyers presenting their side of the case.
Evidence is presented and witnesses are called and they can be cross-examined.
However, it is much better to have this criticism given to your defence team at this stage than have it played out in open court.
Your defence team will be better placed to prepare for the case if it has all the facts and potential vulnerabilities to hand.
The ensuing judgment can then be followed by a review or appeal.
In South Africa, trials are normally split into liability and quantum.
If the solicitor is acting on behalf of the patient, it is usually safe to assume the request is being made on the patient’s instructions – but a signed consent form is still preferred.
When responding to the request, it is vital that you: The claim officially begins with the issuing of a Letter of Demand.