Sometimes, obtaining the best possible outcome in your personal injury claim will mean that your case will need to go to Court.
This can often be an intimidating thought for claimants when they consider making a claim for personal injury. In actual fact, only a very small percentage of claims will end up in court and even fewer will reach a trial hearing.
Court Proceedings can be expensive and time consuming for both claimants and defendants, meaning that the vast majority of claims will be settled either outside of the court process or before they reach trial.
When would my claim go to Court?
Starting court proceedings may be necessary in your claim for a number of different reasons including, but not limited to:
- Liability for the claim has been denied.
- Liability for the claim has been admitted, but the parties have been unable to reach an agreement on the value of the Claim for settlement.
- The Claim or injury is particularly complex
- The 3 year limitation period for bringing a claim is approaching expiration and it is necessary to prevent the claim from being statue barred.
What happens next?
After Court Proceedings have been issued, the Court will decide on a timetable for your claim to proceed under. It will consider factors such as the complexity and value of the claim, ongoing rehabilitation, and the seriousness of your injuries.
Your solicitor will need to take your instructions at various points during the process, and you will need to read through and sign off evidence that is sent to the Court. It is extremely important that once Court Proceedings start you are able to meet the deadlines set by the Court.
Will my case go to trial?
The parties can continue their negotiations even after the court process has begun. Sometimes the Court will order or suggest for meetings between the parties, such as Joint Settlement Meetings or Mediation, to encourage them to reach settlement without the need for a trial.
Even if a trial date is set by the Court your case may not necessarily require the hearing to take place, as many claims are settled before the trial actually begins.
What should I expect at a trial?
If your claim does not settle prior to the trial date, then a hearing will take place before a judge.
Your solicitor will instruct a barrister to represent you at this hearing and the defendant will also have a barrister representing them.
Any required witnesses will be invited to provide their evidence at the witness box and there will be an opportunity for them to be cross-examined by both barristers. Some more complex trials might be listed for multiple days, due to the amount of the evidence that is presented.
After evidence is given and the barristers have made their closing submissions, the judge will make their decision.
If you’re in need of expert advice relating to personal injury claims please call our highly experienced personal injury team today on 0808 252 5231 to talk through your situation with us. Alternatively, you can request a call back online.