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Fast Track and Multi-Track Claims

What are fast track and multi-track claims?

‘Tracks’ are formal court procedures that allow personal injury claims to be dealt with efficiently and cost-effectively. Simply put, this means that if your claim goes to court, then it can be handled in the most suitable way. The track your case is allocated to depends on the value of your claim and how long a trial might take:

  • If your claim is worth £25,000 or under, it will be allocated to the fast track
  • If your claim is worth £25,000 or under – but the issues are more complex requiring a trial hearing that will take more than one day, it may be allocated to the multi-track
  • If your claim is worth more than £25,000 it will be allocated to the multi-track

Most claims made with an injury solicitor are settled without having to go to court. But if your claim does need to go to court – for example, if the other party refuses to accept responsibility for your injury – then your case will still need to be assigned to one of these ‘tracks’ in preparation for a hearing.

What’s the fast track?

The fast track is for straightforward claims with lower value and can usually be dealt with in a one-day trial. This track is the ‘norm’ for most cases, and a final hearing usually takes place within 30 weeks. It’s possible for a claim to be re-allocated from fast track to multi-track. For example, if your case becomes more complicated than expected.

Examples of fast track claims

What’s the multi-track?

Usually, cases that aren’t suitable for the fast track will be allocated to the multi-track. This includes claims with a value of more than £25,000, and cases that are more complex – for example, if they need more than one expert witness.

Early on, the court will hold a ‘case management conference’ (CMC). This is an informal meeting where everyone involved in the case, including the judge, meets to talk about the progress of your case and decide how to move forward.

There’s no standard procedure for how cases go through the multi-track. The timetable can vary from case to case, depending on the type of claim, and how complex it becomes. Multi-track cases usually take longer than fast track, with the final trial often taking a number of days.

Examples of multi-track claims

At what point is your claim allocated to a track?

Once you’ve decided you’d like to go ahead with a claim, your solicitor will get the ball rolling by sending a ‘Claim Form’ and ‘Particulars of Claim’ to the court. These documents give the details of your claim and its value. Your solicitor will also arrange for you to go for a free medical assessment, and the results of this will need to be sent with the details of your claim. A medical assessment might sound daunting, but it’s a good opportunity to get a second medical opinion on the injuries you’ve suffered.

The court will then let the other party know about your intention to claim. They’ll either admit responsibility for your injury or file a defence and deny ‘liability’. If this happens, then your claim will be allocated to the appropriate track at this point.

What about the legal costs?

If you win your claim, the defendant will normally pay your legal costs. But if you lose your case, you’ll need to cover the other party’s expenses – this will usually be covered by ATE insurance, organised by your solicitor. Costs in the fast track are fixed. This means your solicitor can claim a set amount for the costs of preparing your case and representing you at the final hearing. In the multi-track, your solicitor can sometimes ask the other party to pay all the costs, as there’s no fixed limit.

At the end of the case, the court will make a ‘costs order’ – this sets out what costs must be paid by which party.

Starting a claim today

The first step to starting any claim is to get in contact with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. The adviser who takes your call will have the expertise to be able to answer your questions and let you know whether they think you can make a claim.

You’re under no obligation to start a case when you speak to them. But if you do decide to go ahead, they can pass you on to a specialist solicitor on the same call. If you have any more questions about court tracks and the claims process, they’ll also be happy to help you.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.