How Long Does a Compensation Claim Take to Settle?

As with so many aspects of a personal injury or medical negligence claim, how long it takes to settle will depend on a few different factors.

There is no set length of time a compensation claim takes to settle – just as there is no set amount of compensation you could be awarded. It will depend on the type of accident you’ve experienced, how severe your injury is and whether your claim ends up in court.

Your injury claim is unique, which makes it difficult to say exactly how long your claim could take without speaking to you. But in this guide, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the personal injury claim settlement process. Keep reading to find out more. Or, for advice that’s tailored to you, get in touch with our knowledgeable legal services team.

How long does a personal injury claim take?

The type of injury you suffer and the accident that caused it will generally be the biggest factors affecting how long your compensation claim takes to settle.

For example, a straightforward case of whiplash suffered in a car accident will usually be much quicker to settle than a complex case of medical negligence – particularly after the government’s introduction of a new online portal for road traffic accident claims.

Generally, the more difficult it is to prove a claim, the longer it will take to settle. Your solicitor will need to put evidence together to support your case, and they will need more time to do this if your case is complex.

For instance, your solicitor may arrange for you to be seen by a medical expert who will provide an assessment of your condition as evidence. But where injuries are more severe, it’s not uncommon for medical experts to ask for more time before giving a full review of how you could be affected.

So although a straightforward claim could take around six months to settle, more challenging cases can take three years or more to come to an end.

But while you’ll need to begin a claim within three years of your accident, there is no deadline for a case to be settled – so running out of time isn’t something you need to worry about.

How long does it take to get paid after a settlement?

There is no set answer to this question. But in most No Win No Fee claims, your compensation will first be sent to your solicitor – they will then take their payment from this amount.

This could be up to 35% of your final settlement plus VAT for road traffic accident and housing disrepair claims, or no more than 25% for other injury claims. After your solicitor has been paid for their work, you will be sent your compensation.

From the day your compensation amount is settled, it could take up to 28 days for you to receive your payout. But in many cases, it will be much faster. You may be able to get your compensation within just a few days of your settlement being agreed with certain insurers.

If your solicitor has your bank details, they’ll be able to pay your compensation directly into your account. If they don’t, they’ll likely send you a cheque – this could mean that you have to wait a bit longer for the payment.

Can I settle my claim early?

You will always have the option of accepting an offer of compensation and settling your claim early. But this could be a mistake, especially if your solicitor thinks a larger settlement could be achieved through further negotiation.

It can sometimes be difficult to know the full extent of your injuries when an accident has just happened. So you could find yourself in a position where you accept an offer that doesn’t fully reflect the long-term impact on your life.

You should also consider any future financial losses related to your accident. For example, if you’re no longer able to do the job you did before, your future income could be affected. It’s important that this is factored into your compensation as well as any losses you’ve already suffered.

If you’re thinking about accepting an early offer because of financial struggles, it could be beneficial to talk to your solicitor about interim payments. This is where you are awarded a part of your compensation before the case is fully settled, so you can address any immediate costs.

Will there be any delays?

There are a few reasons why your claim could be delayed. Some of the most common include:

  • Difficulty tracking down the responsible individual
    This will usually apply to cases of hit and run where another road user has caused you harm and failed to stop. In these instances, a solicitor may refer your claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau who have their own timescales for investigations.
  • Liability being denied
    If the other side is denying any responsibility for your injuries, your solicitor will need to go away and gather further evidence to prove your claim. This may add weeks or months on to the time it takes for your case to settle.
  • Longer recovery times
    It’s important that medical evidence is updated throughout your recovery so that the full extent of your injuries is recorded. If you’re expected to need a longer recovery period, it may affect the amount of time it takes for your solicitor to gather and submit this evidence.

After an initial consultation, your solicitor will be able to give you a better idea of how long your claim could take. They will then do their best to make the process as stress-free as possible, keeping you updated at every stage.

To be matched with one of our specialist injury solicitors, all you have to do is talk to the team at First4Lawyers. We’ll have a free no-obligation chat with you about your accident and set out your options. Just give us a call or start your claim online and we’ll get back to you.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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