Any compensation claim can be a scary process and one of the most dreaded aspects of it has always been going to court. With any form of legal action, a scene involving judges and jury looking on while you stand on the dock springs to mind, which can often put anybody off of making claim for their slips, trips and falls or other form of injury. However, there is no need to be afraid.
Am I obliged to go to court to win accident compensation?
In a word, no. Official research reveals that under 4 per cent of cases actually make it to court, with many avoiding this due to costs. Sometimes it may be inevitable, but in most cases there is a clear ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ party, which removes the need for such proceedings.
So what happens if I don’t go to court for my accident claim?
The majority of cases are settled outside court. This means that the ‘guilty party’ agrees to pay a sum of money or offers some other form of compensation to the victim to avoid the costs and inconvenience of heading to court. This method is usually used when one party is known to be in the wrong and is unwilling to pay legal fees as well as compensation. The majority of victims accept this, as it allows them to steer clear of most of the stresses associated with the process.
What if I have to go to court?
Sometimes heading to court to process a claim for a slip, trip or fall or any other injury is unavoidable. In general, your solicitor should take care of the whole process for you, to take some of the stress away. You will be given a specific date and time, which will need to be adhered to. When in court, evidence and statements will be read and a verdict reached. This may be a lengthy process, but a clear verdict should be given.
In general very few compensation claims make it to court, so the fear attached to the process of making a claim is actually unjustified. Out-of-court settlements are commonplace, but it’s always best to seek legal advice before proceeding with a claim.