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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68175
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My Aga oven caught fire, damaged beyond repair, replacement

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My Aga oven caught fire, damaged beyond repair, replacement is circa £13,000. It was serviced regularly over many years by the same company prior to the fire. An Aga headquarters engineer did a post-fire report identifying key problems that were not picked up during servicing. Insurers will not pay out under buildings insurance policy. Do i have a claim against the company for negligence in their servicing of the Aga?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Englandd
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none beyond making an insurance claim and obtaining a post-fire report from Aga HQ
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thanks

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long ago was this?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
fire was 7 Nov 19

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. To be ale to take this further you need to be able to how two things:

1. That the engineer was negligent in the work they did, specifically that their work fell below the expected standard of a reasonably competent engineer in their position; and

2. That had it not been for that negligence, the cooker would not have caught fire.

So there has to be a link between their negligence and the fire. If you can prove that you can potentially seek compensation for the cooker’s current value (not a new replacement).

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the compensation in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you that is helpful. We can certainly prove a link in their negligence; however there was no value in the existing Aga oven, and therefore depressingly it does not appear to be worth a claim.

Yes the courts won’t compensate on an old-for-new-basis, you can only expect to be compensated for the actual value at the time the incident occurred

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