How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Court?
Only about 1% of personal injury claims in the UK reach Trial, but Court proceedings can be issued for a number of reasons, for instance:
- You have three years from the date of your injury to claim compensation, so issuing Court proceedings before this 3-year period stops your claim from becoming statute-barred
- The defendant/s may deny any sort of liability, and therefore it’s up to a Judge to resolve this issue
- Even when liability (fault) isn’t in dispute, both parties cannot come to an agreement on the value of the claim.
During this time, your Personal Injury Solicitor will start gathering evidence for your compensation claim, which will include documents such as a “Particulars of Claim” setting out your accident circumstances and why we believe the defendant is at fault. In addition, any medical reports prepared would be attached to these documents, along with any further evidence that you were out of pocket as a result of the accident.
It’s important to know that during Personal Injury Claims that the Courts are there to assist and move your claim along to an amicable resolution. When disputes arise surrounding the details or costs of a claim, the Court can make decisions based on the evidence provided, but that doesn’t always result in a Court date.
For free legal advice get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors. We may be able to deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.
Court Dates and Hearings - Do I Need to Attend?
When Court proceedings are begun, a Barrister will usually be instructed on your behalf to attend any pre-trial hearings in order to progress your personal injury claim. These may be necessary in order to identify any issues in dispute and whether these could be ironed out. A Case Management Conference (CMC) usually also results with the Courts producing a timetable of next steps.
You wouldn’t need to attend these hearings or Court dates, as our team of highly experienced Personal Injury Solicitors will act on your behalf and keep you updated along the way.
Negotiations and Alternative Dispute Resolution
You may, however, be invited to attend a conference with your Solicitor and Barrister. As we always work to deal with personal injury claims outside of the Courtroom, conferences are a great alternative to Court in understanding the current position that you’re in and discuss any offers.
What Can I Expect at Trial?
If your personal injury claim does reach Trial, a civil hearing will take place i.e. one without a jury. During the Trial, you’ll be accompanied by your Solicitor and your Barrister, to represent you. There will also be a Barrister representing the defendant’s side.
Any witnesses that are involved would be invited to provide their evidence, but there would also be opportunity for them to be cross examined.
Once all parties have been called to the witness box for examination and both Barristers have provided their closing submissions, the Judge shall make their decision and will then call the parties back in to read out the judgement.
These sorts of Trials will be those of a much more complex and larger scale. Otherwise referred to as “multitrack” claims, these typically deal with Serious Injury Claims valued at £25,000 or more.
At Simpson Millar, our Personal Injury Solicitors understand how daunting it can be to face a Judge, so we’ll always aim to settle your claim out of Court. Therefore, while it’s unlikely that a personal injury claim will go to Court, it can still happen.
For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.