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How long will it take to get my personal injury compensation and what will I have to do?

Once the details of your injury claim have been gathered, your claim can be submitted to whoever you are claiming against (typically, an insurance company). They have up to nearly 16 weeks to decide whether to admit or deny responsibility — though in straightforward cases they may respond much faster.

You will need to get a medical report to assess your injuries and confirm how they were caused. For more serious injuries, it may take some time before it is clear how severe the effects will be.

In simple cases, negotiating an agreement often takes between three and nine months. Negotiations can be more complicated if you have serious injuries, or if they argue that someone else was to blame or that your injuries are partly your own fault.

Estimating how long a personal injury compensation claim will take to settle is very difficult, as naturally each incident is different.  But if you wanted a rough estimate then, once the other party has agreed that they’re responsible, a driving accident claim might settle within 8 months, a workplace accident claim may settle within 9 months, an industrial disease claim may take up to 18 months, and a medical negligence claim can take up to 36 months to settle.

In some cases, the other party may accept that they are at least partly to blame, but it may take some time to agree how much compensation would be fair. If so, it may be possible to negotiate an interim payment to help you cope with any financial difficulties.

There’s one important factor to take into account if you’re thinking about trying to obtain a quick settlement, for whatever reason.  In personal injury claims, when a settlement is paid, it is almost always paid on the assumption that it is a ‘full and final’ payment.  That means you can’t subsequently make another compensation claim in future for that incident. 

So, just imagine you rushed a personal injury compensation claim through before you’d fully recovered, then received a full and final payment from the other party, and then your injury had developed into something much worse that required or deserved a higher settlement.  In this instance, you’d have no grounds for pursuing a further claim.  If you subsequently suffered from loss of earnings or accrued additional expenses as a result of a worsening condition then you’d have to bear these without any further recompense.

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