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What happens if someone makes a personal injury claim against me?

Published on 18 October 2019 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett


If you do not respond to the claim, it is very likely that Judgment will be entered against you.

The quicker you deal with a claim against you the more chance you have of resolving the issue and reducing the costs to you.

If you have insurance in place tell your insurers as soon as you receive notice of the proceedings.  If you do not tell them quickly you may be found to be in breach of your policy conditions and they may refuse to pay out.

If you do not have insurance we recommend that you speak with a solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Where you do not have legal expenses insurance to cover the costs of a claim against you will usually need to pay the legal costs of instructing a legal representative. Please do not let this put you off seeking advice immediately as often firms will offer an initial consultation which will allow you to have an understanding of your options.  Early involvement from a legal specialist can help to decrease the cost and stress to you.

How you may become involved in court proceedings?

  1. The claim is issued directly against you. This makes you the Defendant.
  2. The claim is issued against someone else but they make a claim against you stating that if they are found to be responsible then they will seek an indemnity or contribution from you. This is known as a Part 20 Claim.  You are the Part 20 Defendant.

Making a counter-claim

If proceedings are issued against you but you believe that the accident was the fault of the Claimant for example in a road traffic collision then you can as part of your Defence make a claim against them for the injury/financial losses you have sustained.  This is known as a counter-claim.  You will then be the Defendant/ Part 20 Claimant and the person who issued against you will be the Claimant/ Part 20 Defendant.

Time Limits for Court Claims

You have 14 days from the date of service of the papers on you to respond to the claim by returning the acknowledgement of service at court.  You can also at this stage send your defence.  When the proceedings are served you should also be sent the response pack which has the acknowledgement of service, admission or defence forms which you would be required to complete.

Where your defence is more complicated or you are seeking advice you may choose just to send the acknowledgment of service within the 14 days and then you have up to 28 days from the date of service of the claim on you to send your Defence to the court.

If you do not respond to the claim with an acknowledgement of service or Defence within the 14 days or 28 days where an acknowledgment of service is filed then Judgment is likely to be entered against you.

As you can see the timescales to respond are very short and it is therefore vital that you take action as soon as you receive the papers.

If you have received notice of a personal injury claim against you please contact our friendly team who would be happy to  discuss your options with you. See our dedicated personal injury claims page for further information.


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