How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take to Go to Court?

Posted on: 4 mins read
Jonathan Thursby

Associate Solicitor, Personal Injury Claims

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This article was updated on 20 October 2022.

If no agreement can be reached on who’s to blame for an accident that caused a personal injury, or if your claim can’t be resolved before the third anniversary of the accident, it’ll be necessary to settle the case in Court.

However, our Personal Injury Solicitors aim to conclude claims before they go to Trial, and the vast majority of personal injury cases do settle out of Court.

For more information on claiming compensation, or for free legal advice, get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors – ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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Do I Have to Appear in Court?

Even if a Court date has been set, the defendant could still change their mind and settle out of Court, in which case a hearing won’t be necessary.

If this doesn’t happen and your case is worth between £1,000 and £25,000 compensation, depending on the nature of your case, it’s likely that your Personal Injury Solicitor or Barrister will speak on your behalf in Court. However, you will be expected to attend in person if the value of your claim is above £25,000, or if your case is more complex.

If you do have to appear in Court, you’ll be cross-examined by both your legal representative and the defendant’s Barrister, as will any witnesses you may have. The Judge will make a decision and decide how much compensation you should be awarded.

Going to Court to settle a personal injury claim is often a last resort and a scenario both claimants and defendants will wish to avoid.

For you, it can be upsetting to rake over the details of what happened to you and be questioned about it by your opponent’s Barrister. But the defendant may also have good reasons for not wanting the matter to go this far, as by refusing to settle out of Court, they run the risk of facing much greater legal costs at the end of the case.

That’s one reason why so few personal injury claims end up having to go to Court, but rest assured that if this does happen, our expert Personal Injury Solicitors can support you and represent your interests.

How Long Does the Personal Injury Court Procedure Take?

If a suitable compensation settlement can’t be agreed with the defendant, or they refuse to admit liability (fault), and we’re happy there are reasonable prospects of success, we will start Court proceedings.

Filing a claim at Court could lead to your case being delayed slightly, as getting an initial hearing in the Court timetable can take a while. The Court will usually aim to hear any claim worth up to £25,000 compensation within 12 months of the claim being issued. But it may take longer for higher value cases to reach trial.

There are a number of factors that could affect how long Court proceedings take in your individual case, including:

  • The severity of your injury or injuries – if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury such as a trauma to your head or an amputation, Court proceedings are likely to take longer than if you had endured a ‘minor’ injury like whiplash.
  • The complexity of your accident – if the circumstances surrounding your accident were more complicated, or there’s a lack of witness and CCTV evidence, the process of building your case could be made longer.
  • Disputes over your compensation – Court proceedings could take up more time if the other party continues to deny liability or refuses to pay out the amount of compensation that you’re entitled to.

When a timetable has been drawn up by the Court, both parties will have to stick to it, and in low value cases, the Court will probably list the case for Trial. This is important as it means both parties will know when the claim will finish.

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How Likely is my Personal Injury Claim to go to Court?

It is rare that Personal Injury claims will need to go to Court. Between April and June 2021, only 3 percent of Personal Injury claims went to trial in the UK according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice.

We settle the majority of our clients’ injury claims without them ever needing to go through Court proceedings. We work hard to negotiate with the party responsible for your injuries on your behalf and secure an admission of liability.

Will there be a Jury at my Personal Injury Court Case?

If your claim does go to Court, there won’t be a jury present at it will be held in a civil courtroom. This means there will be no public galley and a decision will be made by the Judge alone after they’ve heard all the evidence from both sides.

The Judge’s decision will outline who they believe to be responsible for your accident where this was disputed, as well as the amount of compensation you should receive for your suffering and financial losses.

After a judgement has been given, there will usually be an order for a payment of compensation to be made within 14 and 21 days of the date of the hearing.

If your personal injury case does go to Court, it’s very important that you have a specialist Personal Injury Solicitor handling your case, so that all the right documents can be submitted on time. This may include:

  • photographs of the scene of the accident;
  • medical reports outlining the severity of your injury;
  • witness statements and receipts that prove the financial impact that the injury has had on your life.

Our Personal Injury Solicitors are experts and have years of combined experience in securing compensation and support for people who have suffered an accident through no fault of their own. For initial advice, get in touch with our approachable team today.

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