Why Is My Personal Injury Claim Taking So Long?

My personal injury claim is taking too long!

Do you share this view? or even:

My personal injury claim is taking ages!

In this article we discuss:

  • How long should a personal injury claim take to settle in the uk?
  • Why your injury claim is taking so long?
  • How long it can take to claim for personal injury?

How long should a personal injury claim take?

It depends!

Firstly, you may have a “nailed on case” but do the other side admit that? If not, your case will drag on until they change their mind or a Judge tells them they are to blame. If a court hearing is required you will have a wait! See below for the court process.

If the other side admit that they injured you, the case can still drag on whilst they argue about the extent of your injuries and losses.

The amount you are claiming has an impact. Broadly speaking the more you are claiming the longer you can expect your case to take. However, even with very straightforward whiplash cases the insurance companies may fight them all the way to a court hearing. Once again see below for the delays in this process.

Bearing in mind all the above, we will now consider the average case. The insurance company accepts that they will pay you compensation for your injuries and it is just “How much compensation you will receive?” that needs resolving.

Your case cannot be settled without at least 1 medical report. This report may suggest that other expert opinions are needed. The time does not start to run until you have obtained all the required medical reports and sent them the Insurance company. It is sometimes sensible to wait until you have fully recovered before sending the final medical reports to the insurance company because you only get “one bite of the cherry” to make a claim.

When sending the medical evidence to the insurance company you also need to send them details of all your other financial losses and evidence in support. You should also make them an offer of settlement. They then have 35 working days to respond which is 7 weeks. If they do not make an acceptable offer within this time period, you are entitled to issue court proceedings, that means asking a Judge to decide how much compensation you should receive.

What to do if the Insurance Company has not admitted fault or made an acceptable offer of settlement.

If you are unable to reach agreement you are required to issue Court proceedings. This is where claims are often delayed due to a considerable back log in our legal system.

Ministry of Justice figures show that from the date court proceedings are commenced:

  • Claims for injury worth less than £5,000.00 take on average 51.9 weeks to reach trial.
  •  Claims for injury worth more than £5,000.00 take on average 79.9 weeks to reach trial.

The Association of Consumer Support Organisations said the figures represented the worst on record since 2009.

In summary, if you are unlucky enough to be injured and the insurance company disputes fault or the amount of compensation it should pay, it will take on average 87 weeks to get to trial. As discussed above this could be longer or shorter depending upon the particular circumstances of your case.

Often this is not the end because you still have to get the insurance company to actually send the payment. We are regularly asked:

How long after settlement does it take to get paid?

Unless agreed otherwise, the insurance company has 14 days from the date of agreement to pay. They routinely miss this deadline by quite a considerable margin. Your only recourse is to issue court proceedings and you are referred to the section above for the timescale involved! The best plan is to constantly chase them for payment and hope they get sick of you.

At HW Solicitors we are experts in personal injury claims and dealing with insurance companies. We are very experienced in resolving injury claims, ensuring that they are resolved as quickly as possible and for the correct amount of compensation. Should you wish to have a free, no obligation conversation about your personal injury claim please contact us.