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  • How long will my personal injury claim take?

How long will my personal injury claim take?Go back to all FAQs

A common question posed to solicitors is "How long will a personal injury claim take to complete?". This is a difficult question to answer definitively. Although it is possible to give a rough estimate for some types of claim, the complexity of personal injury claims varies enormously.

The following sets out some of the considerations that can affect the length of time a claim takes to complete.

Alternatively, you can call 0800 612 7456 if you would like a no-obligation consultation with your solicitor to discuss your claim in more detail.

What factors affect the length of my claim?

There are a number of factors that can affect the length of time a claim takes to complete. These include: the type and seriousness of the injuries or illness
the circumstances of the accident

  • the time it takes to gather sufficient medical evidence
  • whether the other side accepts responsibility
  • whether the identity of the other side is known

Your solicitor will be able to discuss these with you and will advise on any which may influence the time your claim takes to complete.

How does the type of injury affect the length of time a claim takes?

The type of injury or illness a Claimant has sustained is a key factor. To ensure Claimants receive maximum compensation, solicitors may recommend that a claim be settled only when the extent of the injuries are fully understood and recorded.

A local medical professional nominated by your solicitor will diagnosis and document your injuries as efficiently as possible.  This could take anywhere from a few months to years in the most complex cases.

Do the circumstances of an accident impact the time a claim takes?

Road traffic, Employer's Liability and Public liability claims

If the value of claims for damages is less than £25,000 and the claim relates to a road traffic accident, employer's liability or public liability, the claim will now be processed in accordance with the ?Pre Action Protocol' through the online ?Claims Portal.

This service allows for the faster transfer of information between parties, reducing the time taken to reach a settlement.
Claims settled through the Claims Portal should take around 4-9 months, assuming a settlement offer is accepted.

Accidents abroad

Many accidents abroad claims can be completed relatively quickly, especially if the accident occurred whilst on a package holiday.  If the accident did not occur on a package holiday, it is often still possible to pursue a claim.  Your solicitor will be able to advise you accordingly.

Medical negligence claims

Medical negligence claims are typically more complicated and involved.  It is more difficult to provide a claim length estimate without an initial claim assessment,  As a very rough guide claims may take 6 to 12 months if liability is accepted immediately and 12 to 18 months for moderately complicated claims.  More complicated cases can take significantly longer

Industrial Disease

Similarly Industrial disease claims can be settled relatively quickly of liability is accepted.  They may however take significantly longer.

If a final medical prognosis has been made then the claim length should fall within a normal range.  However if the prognosis is ongoing then this will typically protract the claim.

Will the claim be delayed if the other side does not accept responsibility?

How the other side (the Defendant) responds to a claim is also a significant factor. If the other side accepts responsibility quickly, it should be possible to settle the claim in a shorter period of time, without the need to go to Court.

If the other side does not accept responsibility, or does not offer a reasonable settlement, a solicitor may need to take court action on behalf of their client. Going to court can take more time, but it may be the difference between winning and losing a claim.

In some cases, such as criminal injury compensation claims, the identity of the other side may not be known. There are a number of bodies set up by the Government to support claimants in these circumstances, to ensure they can still receive compensation for their injuries.

These bodies include the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). It may take more time for these bodies to reach a decision than if the claim was made against an individual defendant.

What if I just want to settle as quickly as possible?

Solicitors are there to give you advice so you are able to make better-informed choices. This advice may include a consideration of when to accept a settlement amount offered by the other side.

You are entitled to settle and end your claim whenever you wish. You can accept a first offer as soon as it is made, or instruct your solicitor to try to negotiate for a higher amount. It may be prudent to wait for additional medical evidence to support your claim.

Be aware that, while you negotiate, additional evidence may come to light that might reduce the offer made by the other side.

More information about your claim

If you require a more detailed response, you can speak with an expert now on 0800 612 7456.

A solicitor will be able to give you a better estimate once they have a clearer understanding of your personal circumstances.