Very few personal injury claims end up in court in the UK. Even the most complex claims are usually settled out of court. This is preferable for all parties, because going to court increases legal costs significantly.
If there is no dispute regarding your claim – the other side could contest liability or the claim value – then your claim will be settled out of court. And even in cases where the other side contests liability or the claim value, most claims are still processed out of court.
Personal injury claims and court
Some personal injury claims do end up in court though. Usually, this is because the claim value is significant. For an insurance company to deem court proceedings preferable to settling outside of court, the claim value usually has to be over £25,000.
Cases of this value or greater are naturally highly complex and an insurance company’s legal department may feel that they can get to the truth and receive a good verdict in court, or at least a verdict that obligates them to pay less than the settlement demand put forward by the claimant. The process for a personal injury claim does not usually extend to court proceedings, but if yours does then here’s what you need to know about going to court:
Going to court for a personal injury claim
In the unlikely circumstance that your claim does go to court, a barrister specialising in court work will be assigned to represent your case. Before the court hearing, it is standard practice for a conference to take place so you can meet your barrister. At this stage, your barrister will inform you of your rights and discuss your case strength.
If you are unable to attend court for medical reasons, then your barrister will represent you although you may be asked to provide a written statement.
The court will determine a fair and proportionate settlement figure for you, by referring to past cases and taking into account the extent of your injuries and how they have and will affect your life. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the judge may rule that the initial settlement demand put forward by your solicitor is satisfactory or they may demand a higher pay-out for you. Should the judge rule in your favour, then the other side will be ordered to pay all your legal costs, so the cost of your barrister will not touch your pocket.
Although going to court may seem daunting, you are protected by the law and your barrister will work hard to get you the justice and financial compensation that you deserve.