How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Court in the UK?

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Article Updated 10/8/2022

Only around 3% of personal injury claims, in the UK, reach trial according to figures from the Ministry of Justice (Apr – June 2021). A trial is where a judge will look at the facts around a case, examine the evidence and decide the outcome of a case in court. 

Most personal injury cases are settled without having to attend trial and many are settled before court proceedings even have to be started.  However, sometimes the courts do have to be involved. The main reasons are:

      • The claim is coming up to limitation. Limitation is usually (but not always) three years from the date of the accident.  You must either start court proceedings or settle your claim before the expiry of limitation.  If you do not either settle your claim or start court proceedings before the end of the three year anniversary of your accident, your claim will be statute barred and you would not be able to pursue a claim for compensation.
      • The defendant denies liability, and therefore it’s up to a Judge to decide whether the defendant is responsible for your accident and subsequent loss;
      • Even when liability isn’t in dispute, both parties cannot come to an agreement on the value of the claim. It will then be for the judge to decide how much the claim is worth.

If we need to start court proceedings, your Personal Injury Solicitor will prepare the court papers, which will include documents such as a “Particulars of Claim” and “Schedule of Loss”.  The Particulars of Claim is a document which sets out the accident circumstances and why we believe the defendant is at fault.   The Schedule of Loss sets out the losses caused by the accident.  These losses can be financial, psychological and physical.  In addition, any medical reports prepared would be attached to these documents, along with any further evidence in support of any financial losses resulting from of the accident.

It’s important to know that during Personal Injury Claims the courts are there to assist and move your claim along to a fair resolution.  As set out earlier, just because court proceedings have started it does not mean that your claim will definitely run all the way to trial.

For expert 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.

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Personal Injury Court Dates and Hearings - Do I Need to Attend?

When court proceedings begin, a Barrister will usually be instructed on your behalf by your solicitor to attend any pre-trial hearings in order to progress your personal injury claim. These may be necessary to identify any issues in dispute and whether these could be ironed out. A Case Management Conference (CMC) may take place during which the court will set a timetable for the next steps.

You wouldn’t need to attend these hearings 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 be invited to attend a conference with your Solicitor and other legal advisors. As we always initially try 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 to discuss any offer of compensation or settlement.

What Can I Expect if my Personal Injury Claim Does go to 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 the Barrister representing 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 give their evidence and both Barristers have provided their closing submissions, the judge will make their decision and then call all the parties back in, to read out the judgement.

At Simpson Millar, our Personal Injury Solicitors understand how daunting it can be to make a claim and the prospect of court, so we’ll always try to settle your claim out of court. If this is not possible, we will guide you through the process and be there to offer the support and guidance you need. For more information on how we can help you and possibly deal with your claim on a No Win No Fee basis get in touch using the details below.

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