Do You Need to Go to Court to Claim Compensation?
When someone is involved in a motor car accident that is not their fault they will want to make sure they get whatever compensation and help with resulting costs that they are entitled to. One question that many people ask is whether their claim will need to go to Court. The answer to this depends upon several factors, but the actual process of making a claim is a legal one and will almost certainly start with what is called issuing proceedings in the Courts to make a claim for compensation, which is also referred to as a claim for damages. Whether the claimant will need to go to Court to give evidence is another matter, but this can usually be determined at an early point in the process by a specialist solicitor such as WINWales.
What Has to Happen to Go to Court?
The solicitor acting for someone who is seeking compensation will first write to the driver who caused the accident, making it clear that the victim they represent is seeking compensation. It is unlikely that this alone will result in the drivers insurance company agreeing to make a settlement and so the driver making the claim must take legal action to ensure that the matter is properly considered and any compensation due to the injured driver is paid; this means taking the matter before the Courts.
To get a claim for compensation heard by a Court legal proceedings must be issued. This process involves completing a number of documents and gathering together evidence, including medical evidence of injuries sustained, to support the claim for compensation. This process can be quite complicated and most people making a claim engage a solicitor to do it for them.
How Quickly do Legal Proceedings Need to be Issued?
It is always best to issue proceedings as soon as possible but the current law states that a claimant has three years in which to issue proceedings. This period can be extended, however, if certain conditions are met such as a claimant suffering injuries that affect their mental capacity; by how long the period can be extended will depend upon the debilitating effects of the injuries.
The three-year period can also be extended if the claimant was under the age of eighteen when the accident happens; they will have until they are 21 years old to issue proceedings for a claim. If a claimant does not know they have been injured straight away after an accident, then the three-year period can be extended. A solicitor can make an application to have the three-year period extended but it is rare for the Courts to do so.
Does the Claimant Always Have to Give Evidence in CourtIn most cases, no. Although it will have been necessary to issue legal proceedings to get the case before the Courts once the evidence to support a claim has been considered by the insurance company of the driver against whom the claim is being made they can agree to make a settlement without further Court hearings. Alternatively, it may be that the Court can make a decision based on the evidence submitted without having to hear from witnesses such as the person making the claim.
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