Personal injury claims will be dependent on two leading factors, namely the nature of the accident and the level of injury attained as a result.
More serious scenarios can take a lot longer to solve, as there are more factors which need to be considered.
Therefore the nature of any claim will vary extensively and as such it is very difficult to predict how long a certain case may take.
However, there are some key points to keep in mind that might help provide a rough idea of how long the whole process will take.
Accidents occur in many different formats, from simple scenarios such as a trip on a broken paving slab or slipping on a wet floor up to serious road traffic accidents and office disasters meriting an accident at work claim.
Injuries can also be as varied, ranging from cuts and bruising to whiplash, head injuries, broken bones and even fatalities.
In each instance the process for dealing with each case will vary, as other processes including police investigations must be completed first.
Furthermore, if the other party refuses to admit liability then the claim can end up in court, and depending on the outcomes these cases can take many months or even years to fully complete.
Two factors to consider
Claims are made up of two separate parts: whether there is liability and someone to blame for causing the accident; and quantum which covers the value of any claim.
No two cases are ever the same, so claims will vary depending on the extent of any injuries and those that can have permanent or lasting consequences can take longer to reach their conclusion.
Generally speaking however, those cases with more complex backgrounds and more serious injuries will take longer to complete.
In any case, a solicitor will be able to guide you towards whatever solutions you strive for in order to help you get any compensation that you might feel you deserve.
Many solicitors work on no win no fee arrangements meaning they are only likely to take on cases where they believe the claimant has a significant chance of winning their claim.
This should act as a starting point for where exactly you stand in any given case and you will know from the start whether or not the other person or persons involved has a claim to answer.
Damages will only be awarded in claims cases if it is possible to establish that someone else is liable for your accident.
In road traffic accidents this is generally fairly straightforward and accident investigators’ evidence will often be used in support of a case.
Claims under £10,000 are dealt with electronically and the other side will have a 15 working day response period to confirm or deny liability.
Where injuries are not serious and damage to vehicles is minor, cases can usually be dealt with in a matter of weeks.
Medical advice in these instances can be obtained quickly and the case can be wrapped up in two or three months as long as no other factors come to light.
Workplace accidents and those in public places cannot be resolved via the electronic register so they require more time to resolve.
In these instances, the other side has three months to respond once a claim is made and can then investigate before deciding whether they accept liability or not.
If injuries are not too serious and if liability is accepted in that period, cases can then reach a conclusion.
Cases that take the longest to solve are when liability is denied or when serious injury has been suffered by the person making the claim.
This is because it is often difficult to determine the lasting consequences of the injury and to then calculate the value of quantum as a result.
In cases of broken bones and trauma injuries, setbacks can occur at any time and it is very difficult to adequately settle a case until recovery has occurred.
Often, previous cases of settled cases – known as case law – will be used to settle cases involving similar injuries, and are often used as a point of reference by solicitors as to what claims should be.
If the other side denies liability then claims can take a considerable time to resolve as court proceedings can be required.
In extreme cases they can even go all the way to a trial and the time frame will depend entirely on the nature of injuries sustained and the level of detail required by those bring about the proceedings.
While it can be beneficial to settle a claim quickly, there is no reason why you should accept less than you deserve just for a quick solution.
There really is no set time period for how long a claims case should take but solicitors can provide guidance every step of the way.
It’s always best to consult personal injury claims experts if you’re ever unsure of where exactly you stand.