Many people worry that, if they pursue legal action, they will have to endure the stress and hassle of a court hearing (known as a ‘Proof’, in Scotland).
We get this question time and again: “Will I have to go to court if I make a personal injury claim?”
Solicitors and other legal professionals are more used to the court setting, of course, though it is not stress-free for them either.
We understand that the prospect of having to go through court proceedings is daunting, perhaps to the point that it may put you off the idea of making a claim entirely.
Most claims settle “out of court”
It is important not to get too hung up on the idea that your claim will have to “go to court”.
The main reason for this is that, in the vast majority of cases, claims are settled out of court – either because it is never necessary to raise a court action at all or because the claim settles after a court action is raised but before the Proof.
The parties on each side of the claim will prefer to avoid court proceedings if at all possible.
Preparing for Proof will take up a significant amount of time and money and this provides the incentive for both sides to look to an out of court settlement as the way to resolve things.
Court procedure encourages settlement
The procedure for personal injury claims in the Sheriff Court and in the Court of Session is geared towards encouraging the parties to agree matters which are not in dispute and settle the claim as a whole, if possible.
There is a requirement for a pre-Proof meeting to take place between the legal representatives on each side several weeks before the Proof at which discussion of possible settlement must be on the agenda.
If a claim has not settled before this point, many are resolved either at or shortly after the pre-Proof meeting, with a suitable sum of compensation being agreed to reflect the losses you have suffered, including the pain and suffering associated with your injuries.
Don’t let worries about court deter you from claiming
If you are thinking about pursuing a claim for compensation for personal injury, please do not let the worry of possibly having to go to court put you off.
Many claims never have to go to court at all and, of those that do, only a very small proportion get to the stage of a Proof.
How we can help
For more information about this post or any aspect of Moray Claims’ accident and injury claims services, please call us on 01343 544077 (there is no charge for an initial telephone discussion) or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will be delighted to help you.