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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a personal injury claim since February 2009 where I

Customer Question

I have a personal injury claim since February 2009 where I have been represented by Pinto Potts LLP based in Aldershot, Surrey. A crate was dropped on my head in a bar witnessed by my friend which has resulted in ongoing neck/back issues and considerable pain ever since, I had absolutely no prior history of problems in these areas. Although the bar accepted liability for the accident and offered 3 different sums of £1000, £10,000 and £20,000 my lawyer told me strongly not accept as the case had far more value although I had wanted to settle on the last amount. The rejection of this final offer meant that the defendants insurance company threw everything they had at the case and put me under surveillance and obtained photographic material via facebook that they believe suggests I misled. This is completely untrue and I have not been accused as such. My lawyer then retired without telling me, sold the practice and the case was transferred to another less senior lawyer. My original barrister who I met had suggested the somewhat sketchy surveillance and facebook images were not particularly damaging to the case but unfortunately he passed away. My lawyer did not contact me for a year and then sent me a letter stating that my ATE Keystone Insurance have refused to pay the costs of the case and consequently there has been a Court ruling that has ordered a payment of £52,000 as an interim payment of total amount of about £130,000 plus interest within a few weeks, a totally unrealistic time frame and sum. I have no way paying this and am now in an extremely vulnerable position where my lawyer is being of no real assistance and has washed his hands of the case, repeatedly advising me to seek independent advice elsewhere. I am worried how far they can pursue me for these costs, I have no savings, no money, live at the end of my overdraft. I do have a joint mortgage with my boyfriend Can they go after his half and any assets that he has? Will they pursue me if there is very little financial gain to be made, is there a statute of limitations on settling costs after the case technically has finished?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Was your case dismissed or did your Solicitors come off record please?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My case settled for £10000 however an offer had been made of £20000 which they retracted after the surveillance footage so due to the case settling for less I am now apparently liable for the defendants costs. I do know what come off the record means but technically they are still acting for me although not getting paid
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
Was this after a trial?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
There was no trial, we were going then my lawyer said that that it would be wiser to settle and make sure the insurance company covered the costs. They then withdrew cover and I am now left with a supposed bill of 130k
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
Ok - has the Court ordered these costs and if so how, if there was no trial?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
the order from the judge at the last hearing apparently was that I could not challenge the bill further as it was the courts attitude the otherside will not be able to recover this money and therefore should not face additional costs in justifying their bill, I received a letter from my lawyer saying I had less than 3 weeks to pay an interim payment of 52k. Without paying this money the judge will hear no more from our side. I was never present at the hearings as my lawyer never told me when they were.
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
Ok, what is it you would like to know about this?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can they enforce the payment of the defendants costs, and how far can they go to recover the costs? Is my house at risk despite being a joint mortgage? I have very little equity in it and no money but am worried they will go after my boyfriend. We have 2 young children and am sick with worry as this shouldn't be happening. I had a legitimate claim and was poorly represented and am still having treatment for neck/back due as a result of the accident however I am the one supposedly liable.
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
If there is a Court order then yes they can. They can do the following:1) Send in bailiffs2) Attachment to earnings3) Freeze bank account4) Get a charge on your property5) Depending on the sum make you bankruptBut whether they will is another matter. But if there is a Court order for costs then it can be enforced.I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for those points. To clarify can they go after my boyfriend/ common law spouse for costs? I only own half the house so surely they can only go after my half?
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
No - they can only go after you and no one else.They can go after your half yes.I am sorry but does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
lastly to clarify from your answers, when you say sum for bankruptcy what sum are we talking and can you put charge on half a property? thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
£5000.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
yes on the bankruptcy, is a charge possible on half a property?
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
It is yes.Alex
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your help
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
Good luckAlexIf this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget! Thank you.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Alex, I have a question on the above. If my boyfriend and I were to get married would that then mean our automatically combine?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
No.Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
So they could not pursue him in reference to the above, just me?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Just you yes.Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If they went after him to settle the costs would that be illegal?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Yes it would be illegal.Alex

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