It’s unlikely you’ll need to go to court when making a claim
It’s quite uncommon for a personal injury claim to go to court – in fact, around 95% of our cases are settled without a hearing. And even if a court date is set, your claim might still be settled before the date comes up.
It’s completely normal to be worried about the idea of going to court – it can be a very daunting thought, especially if you’re still in the process of recovering from your injury. But you can rest assured that our solicitors will be on-hand to guide you through each step of the process, so you’ll have the help you need.
Personal injury in court
Our specialist solicitors always try to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible by contacting the other party’s insurers or solicitors – in many cases, the claim is then negotiated without a hearing.
Your claim is more likely to need to go to court if the below applies to your case:
- The other party has been slow to respond or has refused to negotiate with your solicitor
- If your solicitor thinks you could be entitled to interim payments – this means you could receive money before your final compensation to cover the immediate costs of your injury
Although it might seem worrying, a court hearing can be very positive – your solicitor will only suggest it if they think it’s the best way to make sure you get the compensation you need.
Joint settlement meetings
If your solicitor can’t come to an agreement with the party you’re claiming against, either by phone or in legal documentation, they might call for a ‘joint settlement meeting’.
It’s exactly as it sounds – both sides of the claim meet to discuss whether an agreement can be reached to avoid taking it to court. You won’t need to worry about appearing at a joint settlement meeting – your solicitor will go to the meeting on your behalf. They’ll then report back to you to find out how you feel about what’s been discussed.
It’s quite rare for an agreement not to be met during a joint settlement meeting, which is why the court will usually suggest that this happens before a court date is set. If your case is particularly complex, high-value or if the other party refuses to accept liability, then it’s more likely that a court hearing will still be needed after the meeting.
What’s a Part 36 offer?
At any point during your claim, the other party might make a ‘Part 36 offer’. Quite simply, this means that they offer to pay your compensation before your claim goes to court, but without admitting liability.
Generally, you have 21 days to accept a Part 36 offer – after this, the other party can withdraw it.
In some cases, you might be able to receive more compensation by declining the offer and taking the claim to court – your solicitor will be able to advise you on what they think would be the best course of action.
What happens if the other party doesn’t accept liability?
When your solicitor first starts your claim, it’s common for the other party to deny ‘liability’ – this means they refuse to accept responsibility for your injury.
If this happens, then your solicitor will look for evidence to prove that the other party is responsible, so that you can then receive your compensation.
However, in some cases, the other party might still deny liability even after the new evidence has been given and a joint settlement meeting has been held. If this happens, then you might be advised to issue court proceedings, which means your claim could go to court.
To give you the best possible chance of winning your case from the start, our legally trained advisors will ask you some questions about your accident when you get in touch with us. We’ll try to get a clear idea of what happened, so that we can then let you know whether we think you can make a successful claim.
If you choose to go ahead, we’ll then be able to pass you on to one of our specialist solicitors who will guide you through the next steps.
Still worried about starting a compensation claim?
With over 20 years’ experience in helping people to claim compensation for injuries which weren’t their fault, we know that starting a claim can be nerve-wracking.
Our solicitors have to sign up to our customer charter before partnering with us. This means they’ll stay in touch with you throughout your claim, and will keep you updated on any progress. They’ll also make sure you know exactly what to expect before starting, so there won’t be any surprises along the way.
We’re here to answer your questions and to offer free, impartial advice. We can also help you understand whether you could make a claim, but will never pressure you into taking the next steps. You can speak to us on 0800 376 0150 or we can call you back if you fill in the secure online form.