If you are thinking about making an injury claim, the thought of going to court will no doubt be incredibly daunting. But the fact is this – personal injury claims very rarely go to court and where they do, the cases themselves are either of a high value or they are highly complex.
Most claims are settled outside of court because court proceedings are costly and most of the time, that cost is not worth taking on by the other side.
Barrister costs and court costs are invariably high and it simply isn’t financially viable to take a claim to court if its value is less than say £25,000.
However, whether or not your personal injury claim will go to court is a case of ‘never say never’, because your case is not immune to court proceedings.
What Happens if My Claim goes to Court?
Although the thought of going to court for an accident you have had may seem daunting, it is important to remember that your injury specialist lawyer and your barrister will be fully briefed on your case. Everybody involved in your accident claim will have prepared your case and they will know what they need to do to get you a positive outcome.
Your involvement in the court process will include either attending court as the key witness or to hear a judgement, or providing the court with a written statement, which is common where the claimant cannot attend court for medical reasons.
All legal documents relating to your case will include what is called a ‘statement of truth’, which means that you agree everything submitted for your case is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. The hearing itself will be one of three types – a hearing to ascertain liability, a hearing to ascertain a fair and proportionate settlement figure if liability has already been accepted, or a hearing for both liability and claim value. The court process will only usually take a few hours at the most and it isn’t a high-pressure process by any means, and you won’t be grilled in a witness box like a scene from a Hollywood film.
If your claim does go to court then your solicitor and your barrister will explain to you your rights and also how the process will unfold. You will also be reassured that there’s no need to be nervous (because there really isn’t). If you do not have to attend court yourself, such as if you can’t for medical reasons, then your barrister will manage the court process for you and any judgement will be passed on to you immediately by your barrister or solicitor.