Does a compensation claim mean court?

Many of the more dramatic stories about compensation claims come from court cases. In the minds of the average person, then, ‘compensation’ is automatically connected with ‘court hearing’. A court hearing doesn’t always have to be the outcome of a claim for personal injury; in fact, in many cases, the claim never goes near a court at all.

For anyone claiming for a personal injury in Manchester, for example, their first step should be to find a personal injury solicitor in Manchester. The next step would not be to bring a hearing in a court for accident claims in Manchester, but a letter of claim to the person named as responsible for the injury. That person has a fixed amount of time to reply, and in most cases will consult their insurer and legal team about what sort of action to take.

Most often, the next step is that the defendant will make an offer. A negotiation may ensue, and in many cases a settlement for damages can be reached out of court. If the claimant or their solicitor believe that the offer is unreasonable, however, the offer may be refused. Only then would the court be approached with the dispute.

Accident and personal injury claims are so often settled out of court for two reasons. The first is that most people are keen to avoid a court hearing if possible, as it adds extra costs for the defendants if they lose. The second reason is that the legal system encourages matters to be settled out of court.