Will My Personal Injury Claim Go To Court?

If you believe that you are owned compensation by someone who has caused you personal injury, you will need to try and resolve the dispute with them directly before you take legal action and issue a court claim.
The first step is to send the defendant a letter of claim or letter before action. This sets out the facts of your claim, the legal duties and obligations which you believe the defendant has breached, the damage which you have suffered and how you believe that the defendant is responsible for this. You must allow the defendant at least 28 days to review your letter of claim and to provide a response.
Often, there will be an attempt to settle the case out of court before any further action is taken. Your lawyers and the defendant’s lawyers will try to negotiate appropriate compensation. Sometimes the defendant will be prepared to offer compensation in an out of court settlement even if he feels it is more likely that he will win at trial, in order to avoid the expense and inconvenience of legal action and because the risk to him or his business if he fails will be extremely high. Depending on the strength of your case, you should also be prepared to compromise when negotiating a settlement – you should not expect to receive 100% of the compensation which you are asking for as there is always a risk that you will not win at should also consider whether you are willing to accept a smaller amount of compensation in exchange for getting your money quickly and without a protracted and stressful trial.
If you cannot resolve the issue then you will need to issue a claim in the County Court. Cases which go to James Publishing Personal Injury court are sorted into one of three tracks: the small claims track, the fast track and the multi-track.
• The small claims track is meant for simple, straightforward cases. Hearings on the small claims track are informal and the normal rules on what evidence is admissible and what procedures should be followed are not enforced. Normally, any case which has a value under A�5000 is dealt with Car Accident No Evidence via the small claims track, but in personal injury cases this limit is reduced to A�1000. If a case is dealt with in the small claims track, the court will not usually allow the winning party to claim his legal costs from the loser and so people are not usually represented by lawyers.
• The fast-track is meant for personal injury cases which are between the values of A�1000 and A�25,000. These cases are complicated enough to need the involvement of lawyers so the winning side is able to claim legal costs from the loser, but all cases are dealt with and managed according to a standard timetable to try and limit costs. Cases on the fast-track are brought to trial within 52 weeks.
• The multi-track is meant for very high value and complicated cases worth over A�25,000. In multi-track cases the judge will set out a custom timetable for dealing with the case and will give specific directions on how the claim should be managed. Cases on the multi-track can take years to come to trial and occasionally cases which are allocated to the multi-track will be transferred to the High Court, and this is usually done where the claim is particularly high value or complex. Claims of less than A�50,000 should not be dealt with in the High Court.

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