The most honest answer to the question "How long does it take a personal injury claim to settle?" is, it depends. There are several steps in a personal injury claim and each step has a separate timeline. If you have a simple, straight-forward claim where the defendant accepts responsibility and your injuries are uncomplicated then the claim can take as little as a few weeks, however; delays can happen so let's have a look at the different steps of a personal injury claim and how best to avoid delays.
The first timeline to be aware of is the time in which you can make a claim. You have up to 3 years from the date of the accident or illness to contact a solicitor and make a claim. You can contact a personal injury solicitor at www.winwales.co.uk, and they'll be able to give you a good idea of how long the remainder of the process will take. There are exceptions to this 3 year rule, as when children are involved, but it is best to begin a claim as soon as you are feeling fit enough to do so. The settlement is partially based on your estimated recovery time therefore as soon as you have this information it is a good idea to contact a solicitor.
To make your claim you must submit a number of documents to your solicitor so that they can make the best assessment and present the best case to the defendants. Keep all documentation you receive from doctors, police, and any other involved parties so that you can present all the pertinent information to your solicitor. The more documents you have on hand when you present your claim the faster this process will be. Once the documents are received by your solicitor they will go through them, make sure there is nothing missing and then send a claim off to the defendants who have 3 months to investigate your claim at which point they can either assume full liability, partial liability or deny liability. Each of these scenarios will determine a different time frame for proceeding and your solicitor can advise which steps are next and the likely time it will take to proceed.
The next step in the process is the valuation of your claim by you, the claimant, and your solicitors. This can take just a few weeks depending on how complicated your claim is. This process is where the negotiations really begin and with offers and counter-offers going back and forth this can take some time to complete. Make sure that you don't grow impatient so that you get the best offer for your needs. Settling for less than what you deserve hurts you in the end as you cannot renegotiate later.
Finally, if no agreement can be reached you may have to go through court proceedings. Remember that every case is unique and it does take time for the court proceedings to be arranged. Once the court proceedings have come to a conclusion, you should receive your settlement cheque within 6 weeks.
As you can see the process can be simple and quick or it can be complicated and drawn out, but don't lose hope. Take care of yourself and keep in contact with your solicitor. When you are asked to provide information, provide it promptly so as to avoid delays.
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