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How long does a personal injury claim take to settle?
We are often asked how long a personal injury claim takes to settle. This is not an easy question to answer as the outcome is dependent on a number of factors.
Lisa Walton, Associate Solicitor in the No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims team at WSP Solicitors looks at some of these factors and the impact they have.
Documentation for Personal Injury Claims
Personal Injury Claims are complex. To support an injury claim, your lawyer will need documentation providing evidence of the injury and also any financial losses.
Medical Reports and Records
For injuries we obtain medical records and medical reports. However, if treatment is ongoing deciding when to obtain records or reports is not straightforward. It is often best to wait until symptoms have stabilised to start the process, which can prevent the need for further reports at a later date.
If records need to be obtained from a number of places it can take time for them all to arrive. If more than one expert needs instructing this can delay the claims progress and if the expert needed is not a GP or orthopaedic surgeon the experts’ availability of appointments can add delays.
Claiming for Financial Losses
When claiming for financial losses we will need documents to support the loss, such as;
- Payslips for a loss of earnings
- Statements from family to support a care claim
- Receipts for medication purchased.
Some documents are easy to obtain but others are not. If a person is self-employed this can add extra complexity to a case in order to prove a loss.
Accident not your fault? Who is responsible for your Personal Injury Claim?
Deciding who the claim needs to be brought against is not always straightforward and can take time to establish.
For instance, a sub-contractor on a building site it is not always clear who has overall responsibility for the site, nor for a trip or slip case on the highway. Whilst often it is the council/highway authority who the claim is made against this is not always the case.
Whilst there is legislation and protocols that encourage Defendants to respond they often need time to investigate matters. There is an initial 3-month period in which this is supposed to happen but it is not uncommon for it to take longer.
If the Defendant denies liability, further investigations will need to be carried out, which could delay the claims progress.
What if my Personal Injury Claim ends up in Court?
With personal injury claims, court proceedings must be started by the third anniversary of the accident. Up until that point the claim can be progressed by involving the Defendant and or their insurer/solicitors.
Once court proceedings are started the court get involved in the claims progress setting timetables that must be followed.
The courts are stretched and backlogs are common which could mean delays in getting a final hearing/ trial. Whilst we would always try to avoid the need for a trial to take place it is sometimes not possible.
Liability and or settlement negotiations can be slow. Particularly so as we are reliant on other parties having time to engage with us in discussions, having the relevant authority to talk with us and make decisions.
Sometimes face to face settlement meetings may be required or mediation which can be complex to set up as it involves lots of different people with different availability.
Personal Injury Law has benefitted over the years from the setting up of protocols and fixed cost schemes, all of which have helped reduce delays in the processing of claims, particularly for more straight forward accidents and injuries. However, as every incident and claimant is different and injuries can effect claimants in different ways, sometimes the cases do not easily fit into the schemes in place.
At WSP Solicitors we offer a bespoke, No Win No Fee service prioritising our client’s needs. Progressing the claim when able, whilst allowing time for recovery, placing pressure on others if and when needed.
If you have had an accident that is not your fault, you could be entitled to a claim. Get in touch today to speak with one of our No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims Specialists. You can use the contact from found here or on this page. Alternatively, you can call us on 01453 847200
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