Every claim is different. At this stage it is difficult to give a realistic estimate of how long it will take to settle your claim.
A straightforward claim can be settled within twelve months, but others may take a lot longer. A claim can take longer to settle if liability is disputed, if it goes to court, or if you have suffered complicated injuries.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on how badly you were injured, how long your injuries take to recover, and how much your other losses are. Whilst there are no fixed amounts for injuries, there are past reported cases and guidelines which we consult to give us a good idea of what you should receive.
Over 95% of claims never go to a court hearing. It is very common for issued cases to be “settled” at some point prior to the hearing date.
The most common reasons why a claim is issued into court is an argument about fault for the accident or the amount that is offered in compensation, or the three-year anniversary of your accident has expired.
Once a case is issued all parties must adhere to a strict timetable laid down by the court. We will fully explain these procedures to you when we issue proceedings and as your case progresses.
You will not be responsible to pay the Defendant’s costs of the claim if you lose as long as your claim is deemed to be genuine (although there are some exceptions to these rules). If the Defendant makes you an offer which you refuse, but subsequently a lower sum is recovered, then you may have to pay the Defendant’s costs but these would be limited to the amount of damages and interest that you recover. We will discuss your options about this at the relevant time and explore whether you should take out an insurance policy against that risk.
You may also have to pay the Defendant’s costs if your claim is determined to be fraudulent or your conduct has been unreasonable. We will provide detailed advice should these situations arise.
If you have a claim for personal injuries, unless the claim settles, court proceedings must be issued within three years from the date of your accident, or three years after their eighteenth birthday if the injury is to a child.
If you have not suffered injury, your claim must be issued at court within six years from the date of your accident.
If these periods are missed it will mean that you will lose your right to claim damages (barred by the Limitation Act 1980) and you will receive no compensation. Accidents abroad are subject to different timescales and we can advise you accordingly.
The Motor Insurers Bureau can compensate victims of uninsured or untraced motorists however you must have reported the accident to the Police within five days of it happening or as soon as reasonably possible.
If you suspect that the other driver has provided false detail, has failed to provide you with insurance details or not stopped to give their details you must report this to the police immediately and obtain a police reference number. The Motor Insurers Bureau can refuse to deal with your claim if you have not reported the matter to the police. We will provide you with further details if we have to take this route.
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