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About 95% of personal injury claims settle without going anywhere near a Courtroom.
Of those claims in which Court proceedings are issued, only a very small number will reach a trial. Most will settle at some point between proceedings being issued and the trial date (some at the door of the Court on the morning of the trial!).
How does a claim get to Court?
There is a specific court process that must be followed before your personal injury claim will get to a trial. This process usually takes between 9 months and a year and settlement can usually be reached during this time.
Part of the Court process is the disclosure of documents and preparation of written witness statements for you and all of the witnesses to the accident giving rise to your claim. More often than not, the content of those documents and witness statements will result in the Defendant making an offer of settlement.
Why would a claim go to Court?
Instigating court proceedings is a last resort in a personal injury claim but, if the Defendant (or their insurer) disputes your claim, sometimes this cannot be avoided in order to properly progress the case.
For example, where a Defendant (or their insurer) is failing to co-operate or causing an unreasonable delay, issuing Court proceedings may mean that settlement is achieved much more quickly than waiting indefinitely for their response. Once proceedings have been issued, the Court will provide a fairly tight timetable with which the parties must comply or face being struck out. The threat of proceedings alone often forces an insurer to take a sensible view and give a claim proper attention.
Court proceedings will only be issued if it is in your best interests to do so and with your prior agreement. The thought of being in a Courtroom can be a daunting prospect but you should definitely not let worries about going to Court put you off or stop you from making a personal injury claim.
What happens if my claim does go to Court?
If your claim is one of the very few that does reach a trial, it is unlikely to be anything like you fear it will be. A civil trial is not heard by a jury and there will not be a public gallery. You should remember that it is your opportunity to tell the Judge about your accident and your injuries and how your life has been affected.
For more information
If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, it is important to seek specialist advice as soon as possible to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries and losses.
Contact our team of expert personal injury lawyers, based at our head office in Leicester, to speak to someone today. Your first meeting with us, whether at home, the hospital or at our offices, will always be completely free and you can reach us 24 hours a day on 0800 634 1777.