How long will the insurance company take to settle my claim?

Calendar on phone screen

Solicitors can't control the efficiency of a defendant's insurance company. However, insurers must adhere to a strict claims timetable as part of a Pre-Action Protocol.

Settling your claim

If you have been injured, receiving compensation quickly can really make all the difference. Compensation is awarded to pay for necessary medical treatments and to cover any loss of earnings. If a compensation settlement is delayed, it can put enormous pressure on an injured claimant.

A proactive personal injury solicitor can certainly help to push your injury claim along. There will be many factors beyond your solicitor's control, however. These factors can include the nature and complexity of your claim and the efficiency and responsiveness of the defendant and their insurance company.

Settling a compensation claim can involve coordinating multiple parties including insurers, solicitors, witnesses, and sometimes the courts. If your case does go to court, the duration of the proceedings is difficult to estimate. Most claims don't go near a courtroom, however.

See also:

How long will my personal injury compensation claim take?

How often do injury claims go to court and what if they do?

Can I get interim injury compensation payments?

How long can an insurance company take to respond to a claim?

Pre-Action Protocols are a prescribed set of standards that set deadlines within which insurance companies must respond to a claim.

The maximum allowable response time depends on the type of claim being made. Your solicitor will apply the appropriate protocol for the type of injury claim you are making.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will send a Claim Notification Form (CNF) to the defendant's insurers. The form includes all the information the defendant's insurers will need to investigate the claim and liability.

The road traffic accident protocol

The defendant must reply to your solicitor with an electronic acknowledgment the next day after receipt of the CNF. The defendant must then notify your solicitor of the details of their insurer within 15 days.

The Employers liability and public liability protocols

Before sending the CNF, our solicitor will attempt to identify the relevant insurer. If the insurer's details are not known, the solicitor can check various databases including the Employers' Liability Tracing Office (ELTO).

If the insurance company is identified, the insurer must confirm receipt of the CNF electronically the day after receipt.

If the insurance company cannot be identified, the solicitor will write to the defendant who must also confirm receipt of the CNF electronically the day after receipt.

The Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims

If protocol deadlines are missed, then the claim will then be managed under the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims.

The maximum allowable response time under this protocol is effectively 3 months and 21 days. This period is broken down as follows:

  1. Your solicitor will send the CNF to the defendant stating the nature and details of the claim. An initial response from the defendant must be submitted within 21 days.
  2. The defendant then has 3 months to investigate the claim and respond. The response must include a decision on whether the defendant admits liability. If they do not admit liability, their response must include disclosure documentation detailing their defence.

If a response is not received within the protocol deadline, an application to the Court for a Pre-Action Disclosure Application (PAD) can be made.

When might a claim settle quickly?

There are no definitive timings for claim settlements, each case will be different. However, claims will usually be settled within a few months where:

  • Liability is accepted quickly by the defendant
  • Liability for the accident is clear and unequivocal.
  • The injuries sustained are relatively minor, with no permanent impairment.

In more complex cases, the defendant may dispute liability, or dispute the proposed settlement amount. The defendant could request further medical assessments, or ask for more time to prepare an expert testimony. These more complex cases can take much longer to go through the courts.

How did your injury happen?

The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more information:

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Chris Salmon, Director

Chris Salmon, Director