I want to make a compensation claim but think that my case might be quite complicated and so, I wanted to know how often do personal injury claims go to court?
The question “how often do personal injury claims go to court?” is frequently asked by potential plaintiffs who are worried about expense and time and the possibility of complications in their personal injury compensation claim. Therefore, it may come as some comfort to realise that most personal injury cases in Ireland do not go to court as they are settled in advance. In fact, approximately 80 per cent of all claims never even see the inside of a court.
The direct answer to “how often do personal injury claims go to court” is, not very often. The truth is that more often than not a settlement between all the parties is reached before the trial date or sometimes on the day of the trial.
If the defendant in your claim wishes to offer you an early offer of settlement and you are willing to settle your case out of court, your solicitor can arrange negotiations with the defendant’s legal representatives before the date of trial. Your solicitor will explain to you at the meeting the benefit and disadvantages of accepting the offer made by the defendant and will advise you on how successful your claim may be at trial and how much in damages you may receive from the court. If achieving a satisfactory settlement in these meetings is impossible, you may elect to continue your claim through court.
To fully answer the question “how often do personal injury claims go to court?” you should be aware of instances where having your claim heard in court is, in fact, entirely necessary – for example, when liability is disputed. This may occur because of a lack of evidence to support your claim, or if you possibly contributed to the accident and injuries due to your own lack of care.
Another example would be if you are representing a minor as a “next friend” as all personal injury settlements for children under the age of eighteen are required to have approval from court before any payment can be made.
Although the vast majority of cases are settled without the need for a court appearance you would be well advised to ask an experienced solicitor “how often do personal injury claims go to court?” in a consultation where he or she can assess your claim, determine its viability and establish whether the circumstances of your case may call for court action.