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What affects the length of a personal injury claim?

Because no two accidents are the same, it's very difficult for us to tell you exactly how long it can take for your claim to settle. When you speak to one of our solicitors, they may be able to give you a rough idea, but it can depend on a lot of factors.

For example, the amount of time it takes to claim can depend on:

  • The type of accident you were involved in e.g. road accident or medical negligence
  • The seriousness of your injuries and the amount of time it'll take you to recover
  • The evidence your solicitor needs to make your case
  • Who you're claiming against
  • Whether the other party accepts or denies liability

Our expert solicitors will work hard to keep your case moving as quickly as possible, and they'll keep you updated every step of the way.

If the other party accepts responsibility (also known as ‘liability') for your accident straight away, then your claim will usually progress fairly quickly.

But it's not uncommon for them to deny liability at first; if this happens then your solicitor will need to gather evidence to prove that they were responsible, and then negotiate with the other side to decide who was at fault.

These discussions can take some time, especially if there's a lot of compensation at stake, or if your claim is particularly complex.

It can also take time to get the evidence your solicitor needs to build your case, as this can involve a lot of different people. For example, your solicitor might need:

  • Medical reports
  • Statements from witnesses
  • CCTV footage
  • Expert opinion and reports

Before you start your claim with us, your solicitor will arrange a free medical assessment. This is so they have medical evidence of your injuries and recovery.

But if it's too early to tell what impacts your injury could have in the future, your solicitor might recommend that you wait until this is clearer - this is to make sure you receive the right amount of compensation to help you deal with the long-term effects of your accident.

If your injury is particularly serious or unusual, then your solicitor might need more medical reports from specialists and this can cause your case to take longer - in some cases, the other party might even want to organise their own medical report.

In any case, your solicitor is working to negotiate the maximum amount of compensation for you, so while these steps may add some time to your claim, in the long term it means you're fully compensated and supported in your future.

Once your claim has been settled, your compensation will normally be paid to you quite quickly - usually within 2 weeks to a month.

If your case is settled in court, then the judge will give a deadline for you to receive your compensation by. If it's settled out of court, then your solicitor will agree on a deadline with the other party.

If your case fits certain criteria, your solicitor may be able to make your claim through the claims portal so that it's dealt with more quickly.

The claims portal is an electronic system which streamlines the process by acting as a go-between for your solicitor and the other party. It also sets a strict time limit for the party you are claiming against to respond (between 15-30 days, depending on the type of accident).

If the compensation is less than £25,000, the following types of claims can usually be made through the claims portal:

If the other party denies responsibility for your injury, your claim will be removed from the portal as it might need to go to court; your solicitor will be able to guide you through the process and can do most of the paperwork for you.

The rules for making a small personal injury claim following a road traffic accident changed on 31st May 2021. The new structure for road traffic accident injury claims looks like this:

Type of personal injuryLimits and thresholds
Small Claims (minor injury)£5,000 total damages or less
Fast Track (intermediate injury)Over £5,000 up to and including £25,000 total damages
Multi Track (severe injury)Total damages of £25,000 or more

Exemptions: the small claims limit is £1000 for vulnerable road users (VRUs) i.e. pedestrians & cyclists.

You may be worried that your case will take a long time to complete and that you'll struggle to keep up with the costs of your injury and the effects it's having on your life in the meantime.

You don't need to worry about this. Our solicitors can usually arrange for you to receive an ‘interim payment' of compensation - quite simply, this is compensation you're paid before your claim is settled to cover the immediate costs of your injury.

Your solicitor will be able to discuss this with you before starting your claim and can arrange it on your behalf.