How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Court?

Do personal injury claims go to court in the UK?

Straightforward personal injury claims rarely end up in court. This is because solicitors take on claims that they think have a strong chance of being successful. That means that in many cases, the responsible party will accept that they caused an accident.

Typically, these types of claims will then be settled out of court.

Those cases that do go to trial will usually be more complex – often involving multiple injuries, high-value claims or vulnerable people. But it’s important to remember that the other side will usually want to avoid court proceedings just as much as you.

This is reflected in annual statistics released by NHS Resolution, which show that 80% of NHS medical negligence cases were settled without the need for court intervention in 2022/23. So while it’s understandable that you might be worried about appearing in court, this shouldn’t put you off making a claim.

What happens if my personal injury case goes to court?

If the other side doesn’t admit responsibility for your injuries, there’s a small chance that a date could be set for your claim to go to court. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that court proceedings will go ahead.

Your personal injury solicitor will carry on negotiating up until your court date and it may still be possible to settle your claim before the trial is scheduled to begin.

In the unlikely event that the case does go to court, your solicitor will make sure you’re prepared and will be at your side throughout. They’ll present the evidence supporting your claim and a judge will make the final decision – there won’t be a jury involved.

Why is my personal injury case going to trial?

The main reason for a case going to trial is continued denial of liability. But this is rare as the other side will usually want to settle the case quickly to reduce the costs involved.

Another instance where court proceedings may be needed is if the individual or organisation responsible for your injuries is unresponsive. In these cases, your solicitor may take the case to court as a last resort.

Some more complex claims may also need to be heard in a courtroom. These could include cases involving children or accidents where serious injuries have been inflicted – such as brain damage or spinal injury.

Your solicitor will consult you at each stage of the claims process. So if your case does need to go to court, you won’t be taken by surprise.

How long do court proceedings take?

If your case goes to court, the amount of time the proceedings take will vary depending on a number of factors. These include:

  • How severe your injuries are
  • How complex your accident was
  • Disagreements over the compensation you should be awarded
  • Delays in the court system

Based on the complexity and financial value of your claim, the court will place it under one of three ‘tracks’:

  • Small claims track
    In these cases, your claim for personal injury (covering your pain and suffering) will be worth less than £5,000 and the total claim value (including any financial losses) will be less than £10,000. 
  • Fast track
    This can become more complicated, especially in cases involving road traffic accidents. For adults in a vehicle, the claim will be worth a value of £5,000-£25,000. For children, it could range from £0-£25,000. For all else, the claim’s value could be anywhere between £1,000 and £25,000.
  • Multi track
    This will apply if you’re expected to receive more than £25,000 in compensation, if your case is particularly complex or if a serious allegation has been made.

A timetable will then be set for your court proceedings, so you’ll have a better idea of how long the process could take. Small claims tend to take less than six months, while fast track and multi track claims can take longer.

Our solicitors will keep you up to date on the progress of your case throughout. And they will do their best to make sure it goes as swiftly and as smoothly as possible.

To find out more about how we could help you, give us a call on the number at the top of the screen or start your enquiry online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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