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How Long Can a Personal Injury Claim Take?

Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth



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Contact us today by calling 0330 1332 857 to find out if you have a claim.

Navigating a personal injury claim can be a complex and often lengthy process, influenced by various factors unique to each case. From the initial incident to reaching a resolution, numerous stages must be traversed, involving legal procedures, negotiations, and sometimes litigation.

Understanding the timeline of a personal injury claim is crucial for claimants to manage expectations, make informed decisions, and anticipate potential delays or obstacles along the way.

At Beacon Law, our specialist team of personal injury solicitors are well equipped and highly experienced to assist clients on a range of injury claims and the legal processes involved. If you have been left wondering, “how long can a personal injury claim take?”, please get in touch today.

How long can a personal injury claim take?

The duration of a personal injury claim can vary widely depending on several factors. Here are some key factors that can influence the timeline:

  1. Severity of the Injury: Claims involving minor injuries might be resolved more swiftly compared to those involving severe or long-term injuries that require extensive medical treatment and a medical report.
  2. Complexity of the Case: Cases with multiple parties, unclear liability, or disputes over the extent of damages can prolong the process. Additionally, if there are legal complexities it may take longer to resolve the claim.
  3. Insurance Company Response: The responsiveness and cooperation of the insurance company involved can significantly impact the timeline. Delays in communication, investigation, or settlement offers from the insurer can extend the duration of the claim.
  4. Negotiations and Settlement Discussions: If the parties are able to reach a fair settlement through negotiation, the claim can be resolved relatively quickly. However, reaching an agreement may require multiple rounds of negotiation and evaluation of settlement offers, which can extend the amount of time required.
  5. Litigation: If settlement negotiations fail, the case may proceed to litigation, which can significantly prolong the process. Court schedules, discovery proceedings, pre-trial motions, and trial dates can all contribute to delays in resolving the claim.
  6. Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): In some cases, parties may opt for mediation or other forms of ADR to resolve the claim outside of court. While this can expedite the process compared to litigation, it still requires time for scheduling, preparation, and negotiation.
  7. Appeals: If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the claim, they may choose to appeal the decision, further extending the timeline.

Given these factors, the duration of a personal injury claim can range depending on the type of accident. For example, car accident claims can take around 4-9 months to settle, whereas industrial disease claims can take anywhere between 12 to 18 months to settle.

Personal injury solicitors can give a general estimate of how long a personal injury claim may take to settle after taking all of these factors into account. It is essential for claimants to work closely with their legal representation, stay informed about the progress of their case, and remain patient throughout the process.

Why can some personal injury claims take a long time?

Unfortunately, some claims do involve a lengthier process, and there are several reasons for this:

  1. Complex injuries: In complex cases, the injuries sustained can be intricate, requiring thorough assessment to fully comprehend their impact. It may take time to evaluate the extent of the injuries, ensuring that any compensation awarded accurately reflects their consequences and the time taken to fully recover.
  2. Identification of Responsible Parties: While in many instances, identifying the liable party is straightforward, there are situations where it is more complex, such as hit-and-run accidents.
  3. Contesting Liability: The party at fault for your injury may dispute liability upon being notified of the claim. In rare cases, this disagreement may lead to litigation, extending the settlement process.
  4. Interim payments: The process of negotiating and obtaining interim payments may require some time and effort, as the claimant’s legal representatives will need to provide evidence of the claimant’s financial needs and the liability of the defendant. This process may temporarily delay other aspects of the claim.

Time limits for personal injury claims

In the UK, there are time limits for making a personal injury claim. The general time limit for making a personal injury claim is three years from the date of the accident or from the date when you became aware of your injury. This time limit is set out in the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there can be exceptions to this time limit, depending on the circumstances of the case. For example:

  • Children: If the person who suffered the injury was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, the three-year time limit begins on their 18th birthday. This means they have until their 21st birthday to make a claim. Alternatively, a family member may make the claim on their behalf at any point up until their 18th birthday. 
  • Mental Capacity: If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, there is no time limit for making a claim. The three-year time limit begins once they regain capacity.
  • Delayed Onset of Symptoms: In cases where the injury or its effects are not immediately apparent, the three-year time limit may begin from the date when the person becomes aware of their injury or its connection to the accident.

It is crucial to be aware of these time limits and to seek legal advice promptly if you’re considering making a personal injury claim. Failing to make a claim within the applicable time limit could result in your claim being barred, and you may lose the opportunity to receive compensation for your injuries.

How can Beacon Law assist?

Beacon Law is a law firm of specialist personal injury solicitors. We provide assistance for a variety of compensation claims, including road traffic accident claims, accident at work claims, medical negligence claims and many more.

We have years of experience in assisting those who have experienced all types of injuries from accidents that were not their fault. If you have been left wondering, “how long can a personal injury claim take?”, please get in touch today.

You can request an initial consultation by completing the online help form, and an experienced solicitor will contact you to discuss your case. Alternatively, you can call us at 0330 1332 857 or use our contact details at the bottom of the page, and we will be happy to assist you with your query.

Beacon Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. To find out about our conditional fee agreements, have a look at the funding section on our website.

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