What are provisional damages?

I have a personal injury claim going on which my solicitors have been dealing with for 3 years since my accident. Court proceedings were started in 2019 but the case keeps getting placed on pause. I understand it is because the main fracture in my right leg has still not healed properly. I am now fed up with the stress of the case and would like it concluded but my solicitors say they cannot do so because of my ongoing problems. Surely I am allowed to settle my own case?
Adrian Baker, by e-mail

Answer

The court can agree to a stay (pause) in proceedings when a case is not ready for settlement. I imagine that your solicitors are concerned about the non-union of the bone in your leg and possible deterioration. One possible solution would be to ask your solicitors about “Provisional Damages”. It is sometimes possible to settle your claim on the basis of your current injuries and return to court later should there be a material deterioration with your leg. Such a settlement requires a court order and is quite a complex area so you must discuss this in details with your solicitors. As court proceedings have already been started the Particulars of Claim should have referenced Provisional Damages. If they did not then you will need to apply to the court to amend that document. Expert medical evidence should be obtained to address the reason for non-union of the bone and to comment on the chance/nature of deterioration.  

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