Personal injury claims are a common legal recourse for individuals who have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence. However, these claims can be particularly stressful for the claimants, who often wonder about the time it takes for their cases to conclude and whether they will need to go to court. Anna Manhas, Solicitor – Personal Injury, Lennons Solicitors, explores the timeline of personal injury claims and assesses the likelihood of a claim proceeding all the way to court.
When it comes to assessing the duration of personal injury claims, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Several factors influence the time it may take, including the type and complexity of the claim, the type of injuries sustained, and the cooperation of the defendant. For certain cases, portal claims provide a streamlined process, with an electronic portal designed to expedite the settlement. On the other hand, non-portal claims, involving more intricate circumstances, may take longer to resolve.
The value of the claim also plays a significant role in affecting the timeline of a personal injury case. When valuing a claim, factors such as the nature of injuries, recovery period, and out-of-pocket expenses are taken into account. This information determines whether the claim falls under the category of portal or non-portal claims. Portal claims, being more straightforward, have a clearer path to settlement, while non-portal claims involve more extensive investigations and communication.
Another essential factor in speeding up personal injury claims is the defendant’s admission of liability. If the defendant accepts responsibility for the incident, it eliminates the need to prove liability, and the claim can progress more quickly towards settlement. However, even in cases of admitted liability, third-party elements, such as the availability of medical experts and turnaround times, can still affect the speed of resolution.
Contrary to popular belief, personal injury claims rarely reach the trial stage, as the vast majority are settled outside of court. However, in some situations, court proceedings become necessary. For instance, if there is a significant disagreement over liability, and attempts at resolution fail, issuing court proceedings may be the appropriate step to move the case forward. Similarly, when the defendant’s settlement offer is insufficient and fails to adequately compensate the claimant for their injuries and losses, court proceedings might be pursued to seek a fairer compensation amount.
In certain cases, claims involving complex legal or factual issues, such as serious head and brain injuries or injuries to children, may require a judge’s expertise to handle the complexities and approve the settlement.
Lastly, it is crucial to consider the standard limitation period for personal injury claims, which is usually three years from the date of the accident. If this period is close to expiration, initiating court proceedings may be necessary to preserve the right to seek compensation.
For the majority of claims, there is a preference for settling personal injury matters outside of court, and this is driven by several factors. Firstly, litigation can be expensive, with various legal fees, expert expenses, and court costs. Settling outside of court helps both parties avoid the high financial burden associated with prolonged litigation.
Furthermore, court cases can be time-consuming, and backlogs can lead to significant delays in resolution. Settling outside of court ensures a faster resolution, allowing the injured party to receive compensation promptly.
Settling outside of court also provides both parties with more control over the outcome, avoiding the uncertainty of leaving the decision in the hands of others. Moreover, it helps prevent emotional trauma for all parties involved by avoiding the adversarial nature of litigation.
The timeline for personal injury claims is influenced by various factors, including the type of claim, its value, and the defendant’s cooperation and acceptance of liability. While most cases are settled outside of court due to the advantages it offers in terms of cost, time, and emotional impact, there are situations where court proceedings become necessary. Seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury solicitor can help claimants navigate the process efficiently and work towards a fair settlement without undue delays. Understanding the process and potential outcomes is crucial for claimants seeking the compensation that they deserve.