How long does an insurer take to settle an injury claim?
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
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Questions about the injury claims process?
Frequently asked questions:
- How will a personal injury claim affect my benefits?
- Will I have to pay tax on my injury compensation award?
- Can I make a personal injury claim for someone else?
- Can I claim injury compensation if there were no witnesses?
- Can I make an injury claim if I don't know who's to blame?
Get all the answers in our comprehensive FAQ section:See more FAQs