18 Dec Do you have to go to court to claim compensation for a car accident?
Although road safety levels are improving, there were around 171,000 casualties as a result of road traffic accidents in the UK in 2017, ranging from minor to serious life-changing injuries. Being involved in a car accident is traumatic and stressful and can have a lasting effect on your life.
However, many people are put off from making a personal injury claim following a car accident as the prospect of the case potentially going to court can be intimidating. In such cases, it’s important to realise that not all claims go to court, with the majority able to be settled through out-of-court proceedings.
Ways to avoid your personal injury claim going to court
If your claim is worth £1,000-£25,000 then it can usually be dealt with through the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents. This protocol is in place to ensure that smaller value claims do not escalate to the courts and that compensation is rewarded to the claimant faster and more efficiently.
The quickest and easiest way to settle your personal injury claim is through negotiation with the defendant. An independent legal advisor can help you put forward your claim clearly and help to negotiate the best solution for you. However, if the defendant refuses to accept liability for the accident or you can’t come to an agreement on the amount of compensation to be awarded, then your case may have to go to court.
Other reasons for your case going to court are if the defendant fails to respond to the claim, if your insurer is not progressing your claim fast enough, or if your solicitor believes that your injuries are severe enough for you to require an emergency payment as a form of income if you are unable to work.
What happens if your personal injury claim goes to court
If your claim does go to court but it is under £25,000 then usually your solicitor will attend court on your behalf. However, if your case is more complex or is over £25,000 then you may be required to attend court.
You will be given a deadline by which the court will need to receive certain information and your solicitor will be able to prepare you for what will happen and what will be expected of you. Once a trial date is set then it will normally take the form of a civil hearing, which does not require a jury.
Small claims hearings and fast-track hearings will generally last no longer than one day, however a multi-track hearing applies to more complex claims and can last several days.
Get advice about your personal injury claim
Initiating a claims process can be stressful and daunting, but with our experienced lawyers here at Smooth Law, we can guide you through the process and ensure you get the result you deserve. Our lawyers are members of APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) and have successfully settled thousands of cases recovering millions in compensation in the process.
To start your ‘no win, no fee’ claim, call us free today on 0800 161 5709 or request a call back at the top of this page.