Do I have to go to court?

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    Do I have to go to court?

    One of the biggest fears people have about putting in a claim for personal injury is the possibility of having to go to court. Courtrooms can be a daunting place, but in many instances, claiming compensation for personal injury doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to venture into one. In fact, most claims for personal injury don’t require a claimant to appear in court, although it can depend on the individual circumstances.

    Out-of-court settlements

    Most claims for personal injury are settled out-of-court. Many businesses and insurance companies do not want the additional expense and bad publicity associated with a court case. If your solicitor advises you that you have a strong case then it is doubtful that you will have to go to court. Normally, if the evidence is strong enough, an insurance company will admit liability and offer damages rather than going through the courts. Of course, you do not have to accept these damages as you may get more by actually going to court, but your personal injury lawyer will advise you if this is the case.

    What happens if liability is disputed?

    The only time you really have to go to court in a personal injury case is if the other party denies liability – in other words, if they dispute the fact that they are responsible for your accident. If this happens then you may have to got court and give your side of the story to a judge, who will decide whether or not the other party is liable. However, these cases are quite rare, and your solicitor will offer advice as to whether court action is likely when you first make a claim.

    Going to court to settle a financial dispute

    Occasionally, you may have to go to court if both sides cannot agree on the amount of compensation that should be awarded. In these cases, a judge will decide what the appropriate amount of damages is. Sometimes this works in favour of a claimant, meaning you will get more than an out-of-court settlement, but sometimes it means you get less. Again, an expert solicitor is the best person to advise you whether an amount offered in compensation is fair.

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