/ Personal Injury / How long to settle a personal injury claim?

How long does it take to settle a personal injury claim?

Settling a personal injury claim can take anything from a few minutes to a few years.

In this article we will look at some of the factors that will affect how long it might take to settle your case and for you to receive your compensation. 

Disclaimer

This guide outlines general topics you should be thinking about if you want to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland. But it is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact a specialist personal solicitor for advice on your specific circumstances.

How long does it take to settle a personal injury claim?

Settling a personal injury claim take anything from a few minutes to a few years. If it is obvious who is at fault and your injuries are minor, you could receive an offer to settle almost immediately. In cases where blame is unclear and injuries are severe, it could take a lot longer before a settlement figure is agreed.

Settling Personal Injury Claims
Your claim will be met with outright denial at the start.
The defendant will say they had nothing to do with your accident and can’t be held responsible.

That’s totally normal.

Your job (and your legal team’s job) is to chip away at that position until the defendant (a) accepts liability and (b) agrees a figure for compensation.

How do you do that?

With your evidence.

The quicker you can get the defendant to admit liability and start talking about compensation, the quicker your claim will be settled.

Straightforward cases, with clear evidence, can be settled fast.

If your claim is complex, your injuries are serious or your evidence isn’t great, it will take longer for both sides to reach agreement.
Serious negotiations to settle usually begin when both sides share their evidence with each other. 

For example, the defendant's solicitors will usually deny that their client knocked you off your bike – until you show them a dashcam video of them knocking you off your bike.
Bicycle Accident Claim
Equally, if you say that you can’t walk, and the defendant shows you Facebook pictures you posted of your latest skydive, that will affect your claim too (something like this could prompt the defendant to reduce or even withdraw an existing offer).  
Personal Injury Extreme Sport
Both sides start to see the strengths and weaknesses of their cases – and serious negotiations can begin.

When negotiations are happening, it is important to keep in touch with your solicitor. They should know exactly how much you are willing to settle the case for and should keep you up to date with any new offers that are made.

And finally, do not settle a claim for a low amount just because you need money quickly!

It’s not a good idea!

If waiting for a compensation payment puts you under financial pressure, tell your solicitor. If there is a way to tide you over (maybe an interim compensation payment), your solicitor can help you find it.
The above article is part of our guide on how to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland.

If you are thinking about making a personal injury claim, you should get in touch with a Northern Ireland personal injury solicitor who will help you assess the strength of your case.

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to get in touch.

All the best,

The Team @ Lightlaw
Every effort is made to keep this guide up to date. Although it is not to be regarded as legal advice, we strive to make sure the information is helpful, accurate and practical. If you are a Northern Ireland personal injury solicitor and have spotted an inaccuracy, you can submit a suggested change.
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