What are interim payments in personal injury claims?

Interim payments are crucial financial support available to people who have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and have started a compensation claim. You can request these payments at any stage of the claims process and as often as necessary. If the defendant refuses to make interim payments, the court can order such payments to be made if you meet the requested conditions.

When applying for an interim payment, it’s crucial to provide evidence of your specific financial needs. These payments are strictly intended to cover immediate needs, such as medical treatments, the cost of daily living, or care costs, ensuring that you can focus on your recovery without financial stress.

To discuss your case with an experienced legal adviser and learn more about what interim payments are, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details here for a free consultation.

What is an interim payment?

An interim payment is a sum of money advanced to the claimant from the total pot of compensation before the final settlement of a claim. These payments, which are non-taxable, are designed to provide immediate financial relief, helping to cover the expenses and losses incurred as a result of the injury or accident. They can be requested at various stages of the claims process. They are typically used to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, or lost earnings, offering a sense of security during a challenging time.

It’s important to understand that interim payments may impact your eligibility for means-tested state benefits, such as Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, your solicitor will be there to guide you and can help set up a personal injury trust in your name. This trust ensures that your compensation will not be considered when assessing your benefits eligibility, providing you with peace of mind and financial security.

Vice versa, if you applied for benefits following your injury and already received financial assistance from the government, this can reduce the amount of interim payments you can claim.

interim payments

Interim payment examples

Interim payments are designed to assist with immediate needs before the final judgment of a personal injury claim. They can be crucial financial support, especially for those who have been seriously injured and can no longer work. However, you can only request such payments for specific purposes, such as:

As a general rule, interim payments do not include compensation for the pain and suffering incurred due to the defendant’s negligence. Based on your circumstances, you may choose to request a single payment or multiple payments throughout the claims process.

Why should I claim interim payments?

Interim payments can be essential if you have suffered severe injuries and are having financial issues as a result. Their purpose is to put you in a similar economic position to the one you would have had if the accident had not occurred. If you’re facing financial difficulties due to someone else’s fault, an interim payment can help cover essential expenses like medical bills, rehabilitation, or the cost of daily living.

With this financial support, you can maintain a certain quality of life during the claims process. It can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with financial strain and allow you to focus on your health. You can also pursue the necessary medical treatments without delay, speeding up your recovery process and improving your overall health outcome.

Receiving interim payments can also strengthen your position during the claims process. By addressing your immediate financial needs, you may be less inclined to accept a lower settlement offer and will fight to negotiate the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

How do I apply for an interim payment?

If you have started a personal injury claim and want to request interim payments, you first need to consult with your lawyer. They will assess what costs you have already incurred based on evidence, such as receipts and invoices, and anticipate any further you are likely to incur before the claim settles. If they believe an interim payment is suitable for you, they will make a request in writing to the defendant or their insurer. The application for an interim payment must be supported by evidence with regard to the following:

The other side and the court will expect to receive compelling and relevant evidence, such as medical records, an immediate needs assessment, financial documents showing your expenses or expert testimony. By presenting this evidence, you can prove why an interim payment is necessary and justified in your case.

Will I get an interim payment as part of my compensation claim?

Whether you will get interim payments as part of your claim will depend on the circumstances of your case. While you could theoretically ask for an interim payment regardless of the type of claim you make, they are typically reserved for cases involving severe injuries, such as:

Such claims usually take many months or years to settle, during which you may need financial help to aid recovery and cover your expenses, especially if you can no longer work. Even if you suffered a less severe injury, your solicitor will assess your situation and advise you on whether it is appropriate to request an interim payment. If an interim payment is warranted, they will submit a formal request to the defendant or their insurer, outlining the reasons for the request and providing supporting evidence.

If the other side denies liability, they will not pay out. Sometimes, the defendant may be unwilling to make interim payments even when they have admitted liability for your injuries. In such cases, your lawyer can argue your claim and apply for a court order to get an interim payment on your behalf. However, if you eventually lose the case, you will have to repay all the money you received from the other party.

When will the court make an order for an interim payment?

As stated above, if the defendant refuses to make interim payments to you, your lawyer will apply to the court to order them to pay you. The court will order an interim payment to be made if you meet the following criteria:

If you request multiple interim payments, the court must approve each one of them based on these criteria.

How long does it take to receive an interim payment?

The time it may take to receive your payment can vary depending on various factors, such as the other party’s responsiveness and the court’s schedule if litigation is involved.

In cases where the defendant admits liability and everything is straightforward, interim payments can be arranged relatively quickly. They are typically paid three to six weeks following approval or a court order, but your lawyer can push to get things moving quicker if you need the money sooner.

However, in more complex cases or if there are disputes over liability or the amount of the interim payment, it may take longer to reach an agreement or obtain court approval for the payment to be processed.

How much could I get as an interim payment?

Interim payments are typically intended to cover immediate financial needs, such as medical expenses or loss of earnings, until a final settlement is reached. The amount you could request will depend on your specific circumstances and the severity of your injuries.

There is no limit to the sum you can ask for as long as it is a reasonable proportion of the overall compensation settlement you could be paid once your claim settles. Also, there is no limit on the number of payments you can claim to cover your financial expenses.

Your personal injury solicitor will be able to advise on what is a reasonable amount you could seek based on things like:

For example, it may be reasonable to ask for an interim payment of £20,000 if you suffered a severe injury such as an amputation. But it would not be reasonable to do so if you suffered a minor ankle sprain.

How do interim payments affect the final compensation settlement?

Interim payments are provided to claimants to cover immediate financial needs resulting from the injury, such as medical expenses or lost earnings. However, they are considered part of the overall payment and will be deducted from the final compensation award. When the final settlement is reached, the total amount of interim payments received will be subtracted from the agreed-upon compensation.

For example, if your case is valued at £100,000 and you receive two interim payments of £10,000 during the claims process, you will get £80,000 as your final settlement payment. This ensures you do not receive double compensation for the same expenses.

While your final settlement will be lower, you will not get less money overall. As a matter of fact, many claimants prefer to receive periodic payments rather than one big lump sum, as it helps cover costs as they come up, without needing to put off treatments or rehabilitation until the claim is over.

Is there a time limit to apply for an interim payment in personal injury claims?

There isn’t a specific time limit to apply for an interim payment in personal injury claims or a limit on the number of applications you can make. Once the defendant admits liability or you have enough evidence to ensure you will likely win a court trial, you can begin your application. That said, if you have immediate financial needs, it is best to request an interim payment as soon as possible after liability has been admitted or established.

Nonetheless, it is essential to start your personal injury compensation claim within the time limit, as dictated by the Limitation Act 1980. This limit is typically three years from the date of injury, with a few exceptions:

If you want to talk to an experienced legal adviser and ask them more about what interim payments are and how they work, please call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. They will offer you a free consultation and answer all your questions.

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*Personal injury claims are provided on a no win no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a success of up to 25% of your compensation. If any additional costs could be payable, such as taking out legal protection insurance, these would be fully explained upfront by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply based on time spent on your case, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation, deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing. Please visit our guide to no win no fee claims page for further information.

What is Duty of Care?

Any person who suffers harm due to someone else’s negligence could be eligible to claim compensation. However, a legal duty of care must first be established. This is typically done by demonstrating that the defendant had a responsibility to act in a certain way to prevent harm, and that they failed to meet this standard.

If it can be proven that a third party breached its duty of care towards you, a solicitor can help you start a personal injury claim. If your claim is successful, you will receive damages for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you suffered due to the defendant’s negligence.

If you are wondering, ‘What does duty of care mean?’, this article aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of the concept. For further information about the duty of care meaning or to assess your eligibility to make a claim, please call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. You will receive a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser who will answer all your questions and guide you through your legal options.

How is duty of care defined?

A duty of care is a legal obligation that one party has to avoid causing any foreseeable harm to another party. That means that individuals, businesses, and other organisations must take reasonable care to prevent injury to others who could be affected by their actions or omissions. This duty exists in various contexts, including healthcare, employment, public places, etc.

For example, employers must take all reasonable measures to prevent workplace accidents and protect their employees’ health, safety and well-being. Likewise, business owners must keep all premises as safe as possible to avoid injuries to employees and visitors alike.

What does duty of care mean in practical terms?

In practical terms, duty of care means taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of others in situations where harm could occur. Based on the specific circumstances, some examples include:

In each of these scenarios, individuals or companies are expected to act reasonably to prevent foreseeable harm to others. If they fail to meet this legal duty and someone is injured as a result, they may be held liable for negligence.

Why is duty of care important?

Duty of care is crucial because it forms the foundation of legal and ethical responsibilities in various contexts, including healthcare, education, and everyday interactions. A legal duty is essential for multiple reasons, such as:

Overall, duty of care is essential for creating safe environments where individuals can carry out work and daily activities and be protected from harm.

What are the consequences of a breach of duty of care?

A breach of duty of care obligations can have significant legal and ethical implications. Some of the main consequences include:

Duty of care examples in the context of personal injury claims

Before taking on a personal injury claim, solicitors will verify that a duty of care exists and that the defendant has breached their legal responsibilities. Depending on the circumstances, a legal duty will be based on different laws and legislations, such as the Road Traffic Act 1988 in road accident claims. Some common duty of care examples include the following:

Employer’s duty of care

All employers owe a duty of care to their employees, which is primarily outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsequent regulations. Key aspects of their responsibilities include:

Employees also have a duty of care at work to follow workplace safety policies and exercise caution and common sense to prevent accidents. If you believe you suffered an injury due to your employer’s negligence, you might be eligible to make an accident at work claim.

Duty of care meaning in public places

The occupiers of public premises have a duty of care to ensure that visitors are safe from harm while on their property. This duty is outlined by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and applies to both lawful visitors and trespassers. The responsibilities it involves include:

Any accident in a public place caused by a breach of duty can result in a compensation claim. This includes supermarket accidents and accidents in restaurants, nightclubs, shops and other business premises.

Duty of care on the road

All road users owe a duty of care to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists. They must follow the rules and regulations set out by the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code and operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner, taking reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. Practically, they must:

If you suffered an injury on the road because someone else breached their duty of care towards you, you may be able to make a road traffic accident claim.

Duty of care definition for medical professionals

All medical professionals, whether GPs, doctors, nurses, dentists or other professionals, have a legal obligation to provide a certain standard of care to their patients. They are expected to adhere to accepted medical practices and standards of care in their respective fields. These are set by the General Medical Council (GMC), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other regulatory bodies. Basically, they must:

Any deviation from the reasonable standard of care that causes avoidable harm to a patient can result in a medical negligence claim.

Duty of care of manufacturers

Manufacturers are legally obligated to ensure that the products they design, produce, and distribute are safe for consumers to use. This duty includes:

A distributor, retailer or importer of a defective product could also be liable for negligence if they did not exercise reasonable skill and care and could have foreseen the possibility of an injury occurring. If you suffered harm from a defective product, you could start a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Duty of care of local authorities

The local council and authorities have the duty to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. This encompasses various activities, such as policing, education and public health. Some essential aspects of these responsibilities include:

What are the criteria for establishing a duty of care?

Specific criteria must be met to establish a duty of care when making a personal injury claim, and these are:

How do I prove a breach of duty of care?

Proving a breach of duty typically involves showing that the responsible party has failed to uphold the standard of care expected in a given situation. This can be accomplished by gathering evidence such as:

Time limits to claim compensation following a breach of duty of care

If another party breached its duty of care towards you, causing you a personal injury, you have three years to start a negligence claim under the Limitation Act 1980. This time limit for personal injury claims begins on the date of your accident or the date you became aware of the negligence, also known as the date of knowledge. After three years, your case will be statute-barred and no longer considered valid by the court. There are a few exceptions, including:

If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s fault and want to learn more about the definition and meaning of duty of care, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 to speak to an experienced legal adviser. Alternatively, you can use our contact form to request a free consultation. If you can proceed with a claim, the solicitors we work with will offer you a no win no fee agreement and will guide you through every step of the process.

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What is the time limit for personal injury claims?

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Such claims can arise from road traffic accidents, work accidents, slips, trips and falls, medical negligence and many other circumstances.

Regardless of the type of accident and harm you suffered, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims. You typically have three years from the date of the accident to start your compensation claim, but there are various exceptions to this rule.

If you would like to find out more about the personal injury limitation period, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a solicitor by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. You can also use our online claim form to ask for a call back.

What is the time limit to claim for personal injury after an accident?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, you typically have three years to make a claim, starting from the date of the incident that caused you harm. This time limit is also called the limitation period for personal injury claims.

You mustn’t wait too long after an accident to bring a claim. Your solicitor may need at least a few months to investigate your case and compile the evidence required to secure compensation. For this reason, many personal injury solicitors do not accept a claim with less than six months left to the limitation date.

Seeking legal advice and starting your claim as soon as possible can offer several benefits:

What is the date of knowledge?

Not all personal injuries are the result of acute trauma, such as a road traffic collision or sports accident. Some may develop over time due to prolonged exposure to workplace hazards such as asbestos or repetitive strain and overuse, such as in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

In such cases, the time limit for personal injury claims begins from the date of knowledge of the harm you suffered. That is a legal term used to describe the moment when you became aware or should have reasonably become aware of the following:

In many cases, the date of knowledge will be the date of the accident. However, this could be years and even decades after the initial event or exposure, as is the case for mesothelioma or industrial deafness.

personal injury time limit

Can I claim compensation after three years?

Under exceptional circumstances, the court has the authority to extend the three-year time limit under section 33 of the Limitation Act. However, this is rare and generally only applied if the claimant has an extremely good reason for the delay. The court will decide whether it is fair and reasonable to do so by considering several factors, such as:

As a general rule, it is always best to assume that an extension to the three-year personal injury limitation period will be unlikely and to start your claim as soon as possible.

Are there exceptions to the limitation period for personal injury claims?

The law imposes a time limit on personal injury claims in favour of both parties. It is meant to encourage a quick resolution of legal claims and make it easier to source the evidence needed to proceed. Knowing that there is a defined period within which you must start a claim provides clarity for both claimants and defendants, preventing the prospect of indefinite exposure to potential legal actions.

While the time limit for personal injury claims is typically three years from the date of knowledge, there are several exceptions to this rule:

Claims on behalf of children

Children do not possess the well-formed judgment necessary to make decisions about a claim. Therefore, a parent or another suitable adult could claim on their behalf at any time before their 18th birthday. The three-year time limit begins once they become a legal adult, from which they can start a claim themselves at any point before turning 21. You can learn more about making a claim on behalf of children by reading our guide to child injury claims.

Mental capacity

An adult who lacks mental capacity under the Mental Health Act 1983 is regarded as a protected party. This could be due to any condition or injury, such as:

In this case, the time limit is put on hold, and a litigation friend could claim on behalf of the injured person at any time. The three-year limitation period begins if they cease to be a protected party under the Act by regaining their mental capacity.

Criminal injury claims

If you have suffered an injury due to an assault or another violent crime, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will handle your case. There is a two-year time limit to claim for personal injury through the CICA, starting from the incident date. Those who were under 18 at the time of the incident have until their 20th birthday to make a claim. If no one reported the crime to the police before the injured person turned 18, the two-year time limit begins once a police report is made.

Claims for fatal accidents

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and qualify as their dependant, you can make a fatal accident claim within three years from the date of death. In some cases, the three-year limit may start to run from when a post-mortem has confirmed the cause of death.

Product liability claims

If you have suffered an injury due to a faulty product, such as a chair or vehicle, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. There is a ten-year rule for claiming compensation for a defective product starting from the date the product was launched.

Accidents on board ships

If you suffered an accident or became ill at sea, you will usually have two years to start a claim. The personal injury limitation period may begin from the date of injury or when you leave the ship.

Aeroplane claims

There is a two-year time limit to start a claim if you have suffered an injury or illness on an aircraft. In the case of international flights, the time begins to run from your arrival to your final destination. In the case of domestic flights, you have two years from the flight landing.

Armed Forces Compensation Claims (AFCS)

Military personnel injured on duty can claim compensation through the AFCS within seven years of their accident or illness. Claims related to mental health issues such as PTSD have a seven-year time limit starting from when you first sought medical help for the condition. If you were injured while serving in the armed forces, you can also claim under civil law within three years of the incident.

Accidents abroad

Different time limits apply to accidents abroad, depending on each country’s laws. For example, the time limit for personal injury claims is one year in Spain and Thailand and two years in Ireland and Canada.

Regardless of your circumstances, you should reach out to a solicitor as soon as possible if you want to make a compensation claim. They can let you know what time limit applies to your case and help you gather everything you need to start a personal injury claim.

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How long does a personal injury claim take?

If you have suffered an injury and subsequent losses due to someone else’s negligence, you might want to make a personal injury claim. The solicitors we work with can help secure compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses caused by your accident.

If you find yourself in this situation, you might be wondering how long does a personal injury claim take? Several factors influence how quickly you can get compensation, including the type of accident, the nature of your injuries and liability disputes. While straightforward cases may settle in just a couple of months, the most complex ones could take several years to conclude.

To find out more about how long it takes for a personal injury claim to settle, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back for a free consultation with a legal adviser.

What is the personal injury claims process?

The personal injury claims process involves several stages and can vary depending on the specifics of each case. Here is a general overview of the process:

A free initial consultation

Personal injury solicitors offer a free initial consultation during which you will discuss the details of your claim. They will assess its merits and provide advice on the next steps. You can also ask any questions you might have regarding the process.

Appointing your solicitor

If you are eligible for compensation, you will be paired with a solicitor with expertise in your type of case. The lawyers we partner with work on a no win no fee* basis, meaning you do not have to pay them anything unless your claim is successful.

Gathering evidence for the claim

After determining liability, your solicitor will help you gather all the evidence you need to secure compensation. You can assist by providing proof such as photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, witness contacts and medical records.

A medical assessment of your injuries

Your solicitor may also arrange a free medical exam with an independent specialist. They will provide a detailed report that will confirm the cause and extent of your injuries, your recovery prospects and future care needs. The other side may also request that their medical expert assesses your injuries.

Negotiations

Once your claim is ready, your solicitor will inform the defendant of your intentions to claim compensation. If the other party admits liability, they will enter into negotiations. The goal is to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for the pain and suffering endured, any psychological trauma, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries.

Settlement or court proceedings

If you reach a settlement agreement, your solicitor will review the terms with you and, if acceptable, finalise it. If you cannot settle, they may advise initiating court proceedings. The formal litigation process involves preparing legal documents, presenting evidence, and arguing your case before a judge. They will review your claim and decide if and how much compensation is owed to you.

Resolution

If your case goes to trial, a verdict will be reached based on the evidence and arguments presented. Otherwise, your claim will settle through negotiations. If you are successful, you should receive the compensation awarded to you within 2 to 4 weeks.

Each of these steps will influence how long it will take for your personal injury claim to settle. The sooner you appoint your solicitor and start gathering evidence for your case, the sooner your claim will resolve, and you can get the compensation you deserve.

What affects how long does an accident claim take?

Several different factors will influence how long it will take for a personal injury claim to settle, including:

The nature of your injuries

More severe injuries take longer to assess properly and provide the necessary medical treatment.

The circumstances of your accident

How you suffered your injuries also plays a big role in how long a claim will take. A road traffic accident where the other driver admits liability, or there have been witnesses will typically settle quicker than a case of medical negligence.

The complexity of the case

If the case involves complex legal issues or multiple parties, gathering evidence, conducting investigations, and negotiating a settlement may take longer.

Whether you know the defendant’s identity

This typically applies to hit-and-run accidents or criminal injuries where the liable party is unidentified. In such situations, your solicitor may direct your claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau or the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority), both of which have their own designated timelines for conducting investigations.

The expected recovery times

Most claims do not settle until you have fully recovered or know the full extent of any permanent damage caused to you. This ensures the compensation you receive is fair and takes into account any long-term implications of your injuries.

Gathering evidence

The availability of evidence, such as medical records, witness statements and accident reports, can also impact the speed of a claim.

Liability disputes

If the other party is denying their responsibility for your injuries, your solicitor will need to gather additional evidence to support your claim. This process can take several weeks or even months, which may prolong the time it takes for your case to settle.

The estimated value of your claim

The amount of damages you are claiming for your injuries will also influence how long a personal injury claim takes. A claim valued at £5,000 will likely settle much quicker than one valued at over £1,000,000.

Settlement negotiations

If negotiations break down or multiple offers and counteroffers are exchanged, it can prolong the process. Again, this is more likely with higher-value claims.

Whether your case goes to court

If your case needs to be resolved through court proceedings, the process can take significantly longer.

Your solicitor will work hard to build a strong case and secure the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible. To get started with a claim straight away, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back today to speak to a legal adviser.

how long does a personal injury claim take?

Does the type of accident affect how long a personal injury claim takes?

Yes, the type of accident can impact how long a personal injury claim will take to settle. Some accidents may require more thorough investigations, additional expert opinions, and more complex legal processes. Others may involve multiple parties, which can also contribute to a longer claims process. For example:

Road traffic accidents, workplace accidents and public liability claims

If your claim is valued at less than £25,000 and involves a road traffic accident, an accident at work, or an accident in a public place, it will go through the pre-action protocol. That means it will initially be processed using the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal.

Under the pre-action protocol, the defendant’s insurance company has 35 days, known as the total consideration period, to review the evidence and make a settlement offer. These time limits are subject to certain conditions and may be extended.

If your claim settles through the Claims Portal and you choose to accept the initial offer, it typically takes around 4 to 9 months to finalise the process.

Medical negligence claims

Medical negligence claims are typically more complex and could take much longer to settle. Claims under £25,000 facilitated by NHS Resolution usually resolve within two years, while those worth more than £1,000,000 can take over five years to conclude.

Industrial disease claims

Industrial disease claims typically involve extensive medical evidence, expert opinions, and investigations into the work environment and exposure history. If liability is accepted, claims related to industrial diseases can be settled relatively quickly, typically between 12 to 18 months. Some cases may, however, take significantly longer. That is especially true if your employer is no longer trading or it is hard to identify which employer from your work history was responsible for your illness.

Does the type of injury impact how long it takes for a personal injury claim to settle?

The type of injury or illness developed due to someone else’s negligence can be critical for how long a personal injury claim will take. More complex and severe injuries usually need more time to assess, treat and recover before evaluating your damages.

For instance, injuries that result in long-term or permanent disabilities often involve extensive medical investigations and expert assessments to determine the full extent of the impact on your life. Your solicitor will arrange for you to have a free medical examination of your injuries. It could take a few weeks to several months to obtain a medical report which will serve as a critical piece of evidence in your claim. This process can significantly lengthen the time it takes to settle.

Furthermore, certain types of injuries, such as those caused by medical negligence or industrial diseases, may involve complex legal and medical issues. These cases require thorough investigation and gathering of evidence, including expert opinions and specialised knowledge in the specific area of law. As a result, these cases may take longer to resolve.

If you have suffered multiple injuries, your claim may also take longer. That may be the case if the secondary injury is scarring or you have experienced psychological damage due to your accident. On the other hand, a claim for a minor injury can settle within a few months. In any case, it is essential not to rush into a settlement before the extent of your injuries and future needs are fully understood.

Does a personal injury claim take longer if liability is denied?

Yes, any liability disputes will likely increase how long it takes for a personal injury claim to settle. If the defendant denies liability, they do not accept they were responsible for your accident. If this happens, your solicitor must gather additional evidence and build a stronger case to prove liability.

This situation may involve conducting further investigations, collecting witness statements and consulting with experts. The process of gathering evidence and negotiating with the other party’s legal representatives can be time-consuming and result in court proceedings if you cannot settle. In some cases, the denial of liability can significantly extend the duration of a personal injury claim.

What can I do to speed up the claims process?

There are several things you can do to improve how long an accident claim will take, including:

If you are in a hurry, you may also choose to accept an early-stage offer from the defendant’s insurer. Many insurance companies offer an initial settlement that may be just enough to tempt you to settle to help themselves save money in the long run. It is not usually advised to take an early-stage offer, as your claim could be worth much more once you have all the facts. Once you have agreed to a settlement, you cannot ask for more compensation later.

Do I have to wait until my claim settles for my compensation?

No, you do not necessarily have to wait until your claim is settled to receive compensation for your damages. In some cases, if the defendant admits liability or this is clear, your solicitor may negotiate for interim payments during the claims process.

An interim payment refers to a partial award of the expected compensation that is made in advance. These can help you cover immediate financial needs caused by your injuries, such as medical expenses and loss of earnings.

However, the availability of interim payments may vary depending on the circumstances of your case and the cooperation of the other party. Your solicitor can advise whether they may apply to your situation. Usually, the court can order an interim payment if:

To sum up, there is no one answer to the question of how long does a personal injury claim take? That will strictly depend on the circumstances of your case and the cooperation between the parties involved and could take anywhere between a few months to several years.

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*Personal injury claims are provided on a no win no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a success of up to 25% of your compensation. If any additional costs could be payable, such as taking out legal protection insurance, these would be fully explained upfront by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply based on time spent on your case, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation, deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing. Please visit our guide to no win no fee claims page for further information.

How many personal injury claims go to court?

If someone else’s actions or negligence have caused you to suffer an injury or illness, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. If you make a successful case, you can recover damages for your pain, suffering and related financial losses.

However, many people are reluctant to start legal proceedings, worrying they might have to go to court. As a general rule, this is not something you should be concerned about, as only around two to three per cent of all personal injury claims proceed to a trial.

The article below aims to clarify how many personal injury cases go to court and what happens when they do.

To find out how likely it is that you will have to argue your claim before a judge, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. If you prefer, you can enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back without any obligation to proceed.

How do I make a personal injury claim?

If you want to start a claim, the first thing you should do is speak to a personal injury lawyer. They will offer you a free initial consultation to assess your case and determine who might be liable for your injuries. If your claim has merit, they will advise you on the next steps and guide you through the claims process.

Once you appoint your solicitor, they will start building your case. That involves gathering as much evidence as possible to prove liability and how your injuries have affected you. You can help by providing photographs of the accident scene, medical records and other proof of your financial expenses, such as lost income.

When your case is ready, your solicitor will contact the defendant and inform them of your intentions to claim compensation. If the other party takes responsibility for your losses, you may begin to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, your solicitor may initiate court proceedings and argue your case before a judge. Please continue reading the sections below to learn why this may happen and how it could affect your claim.

What percentage of personal injury cases go to court?

How many personal injury cases go to court in the UK will depend on various factors. These include the nature of the case, the strength of the evidence, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate a settlement.

However, only a relatively small percentage of personal injury claims proceed to a full trial in court. Most cases are resolved through settlement negotiations between the parties involved, avoiding the need for a court trial.

According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, only around 3% of claims reach trial in the UK. Between April to June 2021, there were 395,000 County Court claims, of which 21,000 were personal injury claims. Out of the overall figure of 395,000 cases, only 13,000 went to trial.

Based on reports from NHS Resolution, the insurance company that handles all claims against the NHS, they settled 15,674 clinical and non-clinical cases in 2020/21. Of these, 11,704 were resolved without formal court proceedings, 3,914 with proceedings but without trial, and only 56 (0.3%) went to court.

What affects how many personal injury claims go to court?

As seen in the section above, most personal injury claims settle without going to court and many resolve before even issuing legal proceedings. The main reasons that determine how many personal injury claims go to court include:

You should keep in mind that even though you initiate court proceedings, there is still a good chance that your case will settle before the trial date.

What happens if my case goes to court?

While most personal injury claims settle out of court, it may be necessary to issue formal court proceedings in certain situations. These include cases that involve liability disputes, damages disagreements, or complex legal issues. If court proceedings are necessary, your case will be presented before a judge who will make a final decision on the outcome of your claim.

During the court process, both parties will present their evidence, witness statements, and legal arguments. Your solicitor will advocate on your behalf, and the defendant’s legal representatives will do the same for their side. The judge will carefully consider all the evidence before making a decision. Once they have reached a verdict, the judge will determine whether you are entitled to compensation and, if so, the amount you will receive.

If you go to court, your case will typically be allocated to one of the following tracks based on its complexity and financial value:

Small claims track

The small claims track is a simplified, cost-effective process for handling low-value personal injury claims. In this case, your compensation is likely under £1,500 (or under £5,000 if the claim is related to a road traffic accident). Cases in this track will typically be resolved at an informal hearing.

Fast-track claims

The fast track is designed to handle medium-value personal injury claims valued between £1,500 and £25,000 (£5,000 and £25,000 for road traffic accidents). They are subject to a simplified legal procedure and are usually heard within 30 weeks of application. The hearing usually lasts under five hours without requiring any expert evidence.

Multi-track claims

If a claim is worth more than £25,000 or is particularly complex (even if it is worth less), it will typically belong to the multi-track. These cases involve significant legal and factual issues and require more extensive preparation and court proceedings to resolve.

To find out more about how many personal injury claims go to court and what happens when they do, call 0800 678 1410 today for a free consultation with a legal adviser.

Do I need to be present in court?

Given how many personal injury cases go to court, it is unlikely that your claim will reach trial. Court hearings are rare, but if you cannot settle out of court, you may need to argue your case before a judge. You may need to present evidence to support your version of the events and be available for questioning by the other party (cross-examination).

However, you are not always required to do so. If your claim is valued at less than £25,000 and is allocated to the fast-track, either your solicitor or an appointed barrister can represent you. If your claim has been assigned to the multi-track and is worth more than £25,000, you might need to attend the hearing and respond to questions about the incident and how your injuries have impacted your life.

If your case ends up in court, your solicitor will be there to provide constant support throughout the process. They will prepare you for any questions you might face and guide you through what you need to do. Contrary to how movies and TV shows may depict court proceedings, your experience in court will be much more composed and controlled.

Will there be a jury?

No. In the UK, personal injury claims are assessed in a civil courtroom and are typically decided by a judge with no jury. That is known as a bench trial. Juries are generally only used in criminal cases and are not commonly involved in civil claims.

Although they can be stressful, personal injury court hearings are usually described as less tense than anticipated. Some claimants even find satisfaction in having their claim determined by a judge. The judge will assess the evidence, listen to witness statements, and apply the relevant laws to decide on liability. They will also determine the compensation award you should receive if your case is successful.

Will my claim take longer if it goes to court?

Yes, if your personal injury claim goes to court, it will likely take longer to resolve compared to settling the claim out of court. Court proceedings can be more time-consuming and involve various legal processes. The gathering of evidence and scheduling of hearings may extend the timeline of your case from months to potentially years.

It is essential to note that each personal injury case is unique, and how long it takes to resolve a claim can vary based on the specific circumstances and the parties involved. In some cases, going to court may be necessary to achieve a fair outcome. In others, settling out of court may be quicker and more advantageous.

Why do most personal injury claims not go to court?

There are several benefits to settling a claim out of court, including:

It saves time and money

Settling out of court is usually quicker and less expensive than going to trial. Court proceedings can be lengthy and involve significant costs, including legal fees, expert witness fees, court fees, and other related expenses. Settling out of court can help avoid these additional time and financial burdens.

It offers certainty and control

By settling, both parties have more control over the outcome. They can negotiate the settlement terms, and the agreed-upon amount is the exact sum you will receive. In contrast, taking your case to trial and leaving the decision in the hands of a judge can be uncertain and unpredictable.

It is less stressful

Going to court can be a stressful and emotionally taxing experience for all parties involved. Settling out of court allows for a more amicable resolution, reducing the emotional strain and allowing the parties to move forward more quickly.

You can resolve your claim faster

Choosing to proceed with a trial can significantly prolong the duration of your case from months to potentially years. If you seek a quicker resolution and wish to receive compensation promptly, settling your claim may be the best choice.

You can enjoy more privacy and confidentiality

When a personal injury case goes to trial, the court proceedings become part of the public record. If you prefer to keep the details confidential, you should settle without going to court. This way, you can maintain the privacy of your personal information and the specifics of your case.

How can a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer help me?

Now that we have discussed how many personal injury claims go to court, you may wonder how a solicitor can help you during the claims process. There are plenty of benefits to using an experienced lawyer to claim compensation, including:

The solicitors we partner with will offer you a 100% no win no fee agreement if your case has merit. This arrangement means you do not have to pay them anything upfront for legal representation. You only pay your solicitor a success fee of up to 25% of your compensation if your case is successful.

Your lawyer will also secure After the Event (ATE) insurance on your behalf. The ATE is a type of legal expenses insurance that will cover all your costs if the claim is unsuccessful, including the defendant’s expenses.

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*Personal injury claims are provided on a no win no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a success of up to 25% of your compensation. If any additional costs could be payable, such as taking out legal protection insurance, these would be fully explained upfront by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply based on time spent on your case, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation, deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing. Please visit our guide to no win no fee claims page for further information.

How to make a personal injury claim?

If you have suffered an injury or illness due to someone else’s actions, you might be wondering how to make a personal injury claim. The following guide aims to answer the most common questions about making a claim and securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Personal injury solicitors have extensive experience handling all types of cases, including road traffic accidents, medical negligence, accidents at work and in public places. If your claim is valid, they will offer you a no win no fee agreement, so you can benefit from legal representation without paying anything upfront or taking any financial risk.

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Do I have a valid personal injury claim?

If you suffered losses due to an accident that was not your fault, you might ask yourself whether you could make a personal injury claim. A legal adviser can confirm this during a free consultation over the phone. They will verify whether:

If your solicitor believes you have a valid compensation claim, they will help assess liability and work out who you will make your claim against. Those responsible for your accident could be:

Your solicitor will refer to the relevant legislation to prove liability and will assist you in making a personal injury claim. They will work hard to secure the best compensation on your behalf and provide help and support at every step of the claims process.

What happens when you make an injury claim?

If you want to claim compensation following an injury or illness that was not your fault, the first thing you should do is contact a personal injury solicitor. There are several stages that solicitors typically follow when making a personal injury claim:

These are the basic steps of making a personal injury claim. You do not have to pay anything upfront for legal representation, and you will not lose a single penny if your case fails. This is because all the solicitors we work with provide a 100% no win no fee service.

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What evidence do I need for making a personal injury claim?

When making a personal injury claim, gathering strong and relevant evidence is crucial to support your case and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. The type of evidence required will depend on the circumstances of your injury, but here are some common types of evidence that can be valuable for making a claim:

Common types of personal injury claims

The solicitors we partner with have extensive experience handling various cases. They can let you know how to make a personal injury claim following any type of incident, including:

If you have suffered losses due to any of these or another accident, a personal injury solicitor can help you with making a personal injury claim. For a free consultation, call 0800 678 1410 today or request a call back.

how to make a personal injury claim

How much time do I have to make a claim?

The time limit for making a personal injury claim is set by the Limitation Act 1980. Based on this, you typically have three years to start legal proceedings from the date of the incident or accident that caused your injury. In certain situations, such as whiplash and industrial diseases, the three-year countdown begins on the date the injury was discovered. This is called the date of knowledge.

There are several exceptions and variations to this rule, such as:

Other time limits may apply depending on your specific case, so you should always contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible to learn more about making a claim.

How to make a personal injury claim for someone else

If a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and cannot claim themselves, you could represent them in a legal case. That is usually the case if the injured person is a child under 18 or an adult who is a protected party.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects individuals who lack the ability to make decisions for themselves. Under the Act, an adult is considered a protected party if they suffer from:

Both children and protected parties need a litigation friend to make an injury claim on their behalf. It can be any suitable adult, including a parent, legal guardian, another family member or friend. To become a litigation friend, you must submit an application to the court, accompanied by proof that you:

Once the court appoints you as a litigation friend, you will have several responsibilities, including:

Making a claim on a No Win No Fee basis

If you have a valid claim for a personal injury, the solicitors we work with will be able to offer you legal representation on a no win no fee basis. This type of arrangement is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) and means that you do not have to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor.

Instead, they will assume the risk of litigation, and you will only pay them a success fee upon receiving the compensation owed to you. By law, the success fee cannot be more than 25% of your damages for pain, suffering and past financial losses. If they fail to win your case, you do not have to pay a single penny to your solicitor.

The After the Event (ATE) insurance is essential for the no win no fee agreement. It is a legal expenses insurance that your solicitor will take out on your behalf. If you take out an ATE policy, you do not have to pay anything if your case fails, including:

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Friendly legal advisors are available to discuss your personal injury claim today.

  • Find out if you have a valid claim
  • A risk free, no win no fee service
  • We are available 7 days a week
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers

*Personal injury claims are provided on a no win no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a success of up to 25% of your compensation. If any additional costs could be payable, such as taking out legal protection insurance, these would be fully explained upfront by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply based on time spent on your case, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation, deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing. Please visit our guide to no win no fee claims page for further information.

How To Request CCTV Footage for a Personal Injury Claim?

If you were injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a business, third party or local authority, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim for compensation. However, if you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you will need supporting evidence to help bolster your claim.

Based on the circumstances of your accident, your personal injury solicitor will advise you on what pieces of evidence you may need. When available, CCTV footage can provide impartial and irrefutable proof of the event that unfolded and caused your injuries. But how do you request CCTV footage for a personal injury claim?

This guide will share some vital information on your legal right to obtain CCTV footage as evidence for a personal injury claim. If CCTV footage is unavailable, don’t despair; we will also look at other pieces of evidence that can help to support your compensation claim.

What is CCTV, and how does it work with the Data Protection Act?

CCTV is used by the government, councils, businesses and individuals to record premises and public areas. The UK is well known for being one of the most significant users of CCTV cameras, and they are visible on almost any street corner.

If you were in an accident which resulted in an injury in public, there is a good chance it may have been recorded by one of these many cameras and that you can use the footage as evidence.

CCTV is governed by The Data Protection Act 2018, which incorporates the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law. The act protects the identity and information of those who are recorded on CCTV cameras. Anyone with a CCTV camera that records public activity must adhere to these requirements.

Below are some of the most important requirements for anybody who wants to install CCTV cameras:

The act also aids those who are injured in accidents that have been recorded on CCTV cameras.

Further information about the use of CCTV and data protection laws can be found here on the Gov.uk website.

You are perfectly within your right to request CCTV footage of yourself from a business or council. All you need to do is ask for the footage from the CCTV owner using a “subject access request” to obtain information held about you under data protection laws. This sounds like quite a mouthful, but the ICO states that you have the right to access information about yourself.

Although it is in your right to obtain footage from CCTV owners, you may run into a few obstacles. This is where your personal injury solicitor comes in.

How to request CCTV footage of an accident for a compensation claim

As we’ve touched on, having access to CCTV footage of your accident can significantly assist in proving that injuries were not a result of your own negligence and that a third party was responsible for the accident.

If a guilty party gives contradictory statements or denies liability, you can easily prove what caused your accident with the CCTV footage. With this invaluable evidence, your accident claim can proceed as swiftly as possible.

How to submit a Subject Access Request?

A subject access request is a written request (letter, email or online form) you send to the owner of the CCTV footage you are hoping to get a copy of. As CCTV footage is only kept for a short time, you need to act quickly and send the SAR to the camera owner as soon as you can.

Firstly, you will need to find out who owns the CCTV camera. The owner should be easy enough to identify if you had an accident near a shop or a particular business. The owner’s details are usually displayed on a sign near the camera. But if not, you should be able to ask around to find out who it belongs to.

Once you find the details of the CCTV camera’s owner, you need to send them a subject access request. The SAR will inform them that you are requesting footage from them regarding an accident. You will also need to provide proof of identity with the SAR for the CCTV owners.

The SAR notice should also include the date and time of the accident, a description of the accident, and a description of yourself. According to UK law, CCTV owners should provide the footage free of charge, and the footage must be disclosed to you within one month of the request. However, the timeframe can be extended by two further months in some cases, especially if the request is complex or numerous requests have been made.

Collecting evidence for a personal injury claim

If you have been seriously injured or fallen ill due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. The burden will be on you to prove that you were not responsible for the accident, but luckily your solicitor will provide expert guidance in this matter.

CCTV footage is indeed a key piece of evidence in your claim, but if there is no camera footage available, you still have a few options at your disposal, such as:

Frequently encountered problems with accessing CCTV footage

Unfortunately, you may also experience some difficulties when trying to obtain CCTV footage for an injury claim.

If other people are visible in the footage, the owners may be reluctant to share the footage with you. However, your solicitors will be able to request the faces of other people to be obscured or hidden in different ways.

If the footage is being used for an ongoing police investigation, you may not be able to obtain or view the footage.

Sometimes, the CCTV owners might simply be obstructive and not want to provide the footage. To have a greater chance of getting your hands on CCTV footage from the start, consult with a personal injury solicitor.

Why use a personal injury solicitor to request CCTV footage

This is quite simple – by hiring a personal injury solicitor, you can rest assured that all possible issues will be resolved with legal requests.

Using a solicitor from the get-go can be advantageous in speeding the process up and avoiding any unnecessary stress after the accident. Although there is no legal requirement to use a solicitor to request CCTV footage from a council or any other CCTV owner, having a solicitor can be beneficial in ensuring the process is handled correctly and efficiently, particularly if there are complications or disputes over access to the footage.

By using a solicitor, you will be receiving expert advice on all the necessary steps needed to be taken and in which order. CCTV footage is also considered significant evidence, especially when you are claiming compensation for a road traffic accident.

Most businesses and other companies have CCTV cameras pointed in different directions around their premises, providing a perfect road view. Even though they must provide you with the footage, they may refuse your request. When a business denies you access to footage of you, a solicitor can assist in getting the recordings.

So, consult with a solicitor today if you have difficulties obtaining footage of yourself from someone. If the footage is for an injury claim, a personal injury lawyer can provide vital assistance throughout the claims process and ensure you receive the injury compensation you deserve.

Conclusion

In conclusion, requesting CCTV footage can be a crucial aspect of building a strong personal injury claim. While obtaining this footage can sometimes be challenging, a personal injury solicitor can help navigate the process and ensure you gather all the necessary evidence to support your case. Acting quickly and following the correct procedures increases your chances of obtaining the CCTV footage needed to prove your personal injury claim and secure the compensation you deserve.

If you have any questions about using CCTV footage for a personal injury claim, contact 0800 678 1410 for expert advice from an experienced legal advisor. Alternatively, you can arrange a call back by entering your details into our online claim form.