How many personal injury claims go to court?
One of the most common questions we are asked by people thinking of making a personal injury claim concerns whether they will have to go to court or not.
Suffering an injury due to the negligence of someone else can be a distressing time for the Claimant as well as their family. They may be forced to leave work for a period of time, undergo treatment and rehabilitation and not be able to lead the same life they had before the accident.
Add on the anxiety of appearing before a judge in court to make a compensation claim, and you can see why many people find it too stressful and decide against pursuing a claim for compensation they are rightfully owed.
If you are concerned at all about going to court, we have put together this below guide to help explain the likelihood of this happening and the process involved…
Most of the personal injury claims we handle are settled out of court – meaning we reach an agreeable settlement with the Defendant and their representatives without the need to go to court for a ruling. In terms of percentages, approximately 95% of all personal injury claims are settled out of court – so it is extremely likely that your claim will not require you to go to court.
However, if it does there’s no need to panic…
Why do some personal injury claims go to court?
A court hearing may be required for a number of reasons. The most common reason is that either you cannot agree on the level of compensation that should be awarded with the other party, or if the other party denies being responsible for your injury (see: What is negligence?).
You may also need to go to court if the person/company liable for your injury fails to respond to your claim against them.
Other less common reasons for a case going to court include:
- If your solicitor believes that your injury claim should involve compensation which allows for interim payments; e.g. if the injury has caused you to miss work and you require replacement income. The prospect of court proceedings can either speed up the acceptance and processing of your interim payments, or establish a deadline regarding how long you will have to wait to receive compensation.
- To speed up the responses from third-party insurers dealing with the case. This can be required if the insurance company is not responding quickly enough to your claim. If the case is taken to court then the insurance company will have to appoint solicitors to represent their client, which can speed up the whole process.
A court hearing will also put a value on your claim and will make the final, legally-binding decision regarding how much compensation you will receive. For more information on compensation levels, see our Personal Injury Claims Payout Guide.
Would I need to attend court if my claim is taken to court?
In most cases, if your claim is valued under £25,000 then there is no requirement for you to attend the court proceedings as your solicitor will be able to represent your interests in court.
As personal injury claims valued over £25,000 tend to be more complex you might be asked to attend the hearing in order to be questioned over your version of events regarding the accident, as well as the impact your injury has had on your life.
Your solicitor will be on hand to help and guide you through this process, so you will be in safe hands and there is nothing to worry about.
What happens at the court hearing?
Your personal injury solicitor will usually arrange for you a specialist lawyer or barrister to represent you in court, and they will present your claim to the Judge and do most of the speaking.
As the Claimant, you will called up to take the court through the statement you provided and will be questioned by your representatives and then the third party’s representatives. If you have any witnesses to ‘back up’ your version of events then they will also be asked to go through their witness statements.
As personal injury claims are ‘civil claims’. no jury will be present during the proceedings. Once the Judge has heard all the statements and evidence by both sides they will provide their Judgement – which is their conclusion regarding either who was at fault for the accident (if liability is in dispute), or the amount of compensation to be paid.
Once the Judgement has been made it is typical for the Court to require the compensation be paid within 21 days.
For more information about how CL Legal can help you make a No Win No Fee compensation claim, get in touch now for a free, no-obligation consultation: