Is My Compensation Claim Likely to Go to Court?
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they deserve. Here is everything you need to know about the likelihood of your claim going to court.
How many personal injury claims go to court?
When you or someone you know is suffering from a personal injury, the idea of becoming involved in court proceedings can be an intimidating and stressful prospect to consider.
The potential for personal injury court proceedings can be a key reason for people eligible for compensation deciding not to move forward with a claim. After all, for the average person, standing before a judge and being questioned by a barrister is the stuff of nightmares.
Sadly, the unfortunate truth is that there is no guarantee that any claim you make won’t result in personal injury court proceedings. However, the good news is that the chances of you fighting for your compensation claim in court is quite slim.
Approximately 5% of personal injury claims go to court, and generally speaking, only very complex cases or those where liability cannot be resolved will result in personal injury court proceedings.
Why don’t all injury claims go to court?
Simply put, when it comes to compensation claims of any kind, your solicitor will do everything in their power to avoid your claim going to court. Going to court is a stressful process and very expensive for any solicitor if they lose, including the solicitor of the defending party. In many cases, even if a claim is submitted to a court and a date set, your lawyer will continue to negotiate up to the last minute. It is not unusual for claims to be settled virtually on the steps of the courthouse.
In short, it is usually in the best interest of both parties to come to some form of compensation agreement outside the courtroom.
How do I know if my compensation claim is going to court?
While the likelihood of your claim going to court is low, the potential for it to do so is increased by the following key factors.
As previously mentioned, the complexity of your claim will usually dictate whether you need to settle your claim in court or outside. Some cases are inherently more complicated, including but not limited to:
- Serious work injury claims
- Industrial disease claims
- Serious road traffic accident claims
- Motorcycle claims
- Head, back, and spinal injury claims
- Injuries involving children
- Fatal accident claims
Alternatively, if you find yourself up against an unresponsive defendant or insurer, your solicitor may choose to apply for court proceedings. This will force the defendant under a legal obligation to respond to your claim correctly and, if they have not already done so, appoint a solicitor to represent them in the court proceedings if they continue to refute your claim.
However, in other cases, the defendant against your claim might provide an outright denial of liability despite clear evidence to contrary. A denial of liability means they are refusing to acknowledge that they had anything to do with your personal injury, forcing you to settle your claim in court in order to win compensation.
Lastly, you may also have to settle your claim in court if you require interim payments for urgent treatment or living expenses relating to the personal injury you suffered before your claim is fully settled.
What happens when a compensation claim goes to court?
Fortunately, going to court is a lot less intimidating than it sounds. Forget anything you have seen on television or in the newspapers about huge rooms with a judge in a wig presiding over the proceedings. Claims taking place in a civil court, where personal injury compensation claim hearings usually take place, occur in a normal room. There will be no jury, just a judge in regular clothing and both sides’ legal representatives.
In terms of the case‘s proceedings, the judge will listen to you present your version of events and talk to any witnesses who saw or heard the accident, as well as speaking to any medical experts that you saw for an independent medical assessment relating to the injuries you suffered.
They will also take into account the defendant’s side, however, by the time your case has reached court, everything will have been discussed between your lawyers and theirs, ensuring that there will be no nasty surprises.
Once all evidence has been heard, the judge will come to a decision about who is liable for the claim and the amount of compensation to be paid based on the case factors. And that’s it – your claim is complete.
How long will it take for me to receive compensation if my personal claim is going to court?
Assuming your personal injury claim is successful, the judge will specify a date by which your compensation must be paid as part of their ruling. This is typically 14 days from the time of the hearing. You can speed your payment up by making sure your solicitor has your correct bank information so your payment can go directly into your account rather than receiving a cheque and having to wait for it to clear.
If you do not receive your payment within this timeframe, your lawyer can take the other party back to court. Seen as this is not related directly to winning the claim, you will not need to be present for the proceedings.
Do solicitors go to court?
Yes. You don’t need to worry about going to court alone, your solicitor and any other legal representative you have will be with you every step of the way.
In fact, you may not have to attend a court case in person.
If your claim has an estimated value of between £1,000 and £25,000 (known as a ‘fast-track’ claim), then either your solicitor or an appointed barrister will be able to represent you without you being present.
However, if the claim value exceeds £25,000 (known as a ‘multitrack’ claim), then you may be expected to attend to answer questions about what happened in the run-up to your injury.
How long does it take a case to go to court in the UK?
Unfortunately, there is no set time limit for when a case must be heard in court. On average, it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months for a claim to be heard if the defendant accepts liability but potentially as long as 18 months if they deny liability.
However, you can make sure that your case is heard in court as soon as possible by starting your claims process early and providing your solicitor with everything they need to bring legal charges against the offending party. In doing so, you’ll likely not have to go to court to begin with and will have your claim settled far sooner.
At The Compensation Experts, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about going to court and the compensation claim process in general. Get in touch with our team of experts today to discuss your claim or take a look at some of our frequently asked questions if you’re after more information.
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident. In these cases you may then have a longer period to claim.Find out more
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can also differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure. These include: extent of your injuries, loss of earnings, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.Find out more
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence. They will then notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be up to date every step of the way.Find out more