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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14338
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I need help with small claim against small business,

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I need help with small claim against small business
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Northampton
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing yet as the case was passed from the business we got delivery contract from last week
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: It is a small business as a subcontractor . Claim from DAC beachcroft

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you.

Is the claim being made against you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
against my family business

OK, has a defence been filed yet? I presume you received a letter before action from the claimant - presume court proceedings have been issued?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing was filled yet. We work as a subcontractor to a big delivery firm(Primary organisation) . Emails were sent to the primary organisation , who requested for a quotes from the customers as they claimed there were damages to their floor. The claimed damages were superficial, they submitted a quotes of £5,000+ VAT. Based on our findings, the engineering wood are inexpensive and even if the entire floor was changed , it won't cost the claimed amount .
We caused no damaged to their floor but the DAC Beachcroft sent us a letter that they were instructed by an insurance company to advise us that we are being held responsible in negligence for their clients outlay.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We've received a letter from DAC beechcroft

OK, thanks. When they do file a claim (assuming they do) then you need to prepare a defence to address their allegations. You should respond to the DAC letter of claim as there is an obligation on the parties to try to avoid court proceedings if possible.

The claimant has to prove their loss too - they need evidence of the damage and also evidence of any negligence.

Would you like to know anything specific regarding the claim or court procedure?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They claimant have a video evidence from Ring door bell which shoes what transpired between them and the delivery crew outside the house. And it shoes the crew saying " we don't ""want to take any responsibility and odamage to the item. They we given permission to continue by the claimant. And the damage to the floor was sent by pics. So we have a ring vidoe evidence ( outside only) and pictures to the floor.
In addition, the claimant actually provided brackets to cover the item before it was moved it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would support on how to respond to DAC Beachcroft

OK, thanks - video evidence is allowed and if the court accepts what you saying is "likely" to be the truth, your defence will succeed. You should make these points in a reply to DAC. I can check your proposed draft reply to DAC (I cannot do it for you as solicitor-client relationships are not permitted on this site, sorry).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
DAC letter said that " we invite you to admit liability and settle the claim at this stage in order to avoid further costs being incurred by both sides"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that will be fine. Let me quickly write the draft copy then.

Thanks, it's a small claim - DAC cannot recover their legal costs under small claims rules. That is one thing. Secondly, you do not admit liability - you deny liability and you will set out your reasons why - and to invite the claimant to discontinue their claim as being totally without merit

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You have made my day.

Normally costs are not recoverable in the small claims track - but the court has discretion under rule 27.14(2)(g) to award costs if the other party "behaves unreasonably", examples being a failure to respond to letters/emails/calls, unwillingness to discuss the case and discuss settlement, a claim which has no merit, not following the court directions, etc.

It would be a scare tactic from the other side's solicitor if they say further costs are going to escalate

*rule 27.14(2)(g) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998*

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Jim, do you think I should send them an email to acknowledge their letter first and I could send the letter by post later?

Yes, simply acknowledge their letter, tell them you will provide a substantive reply with your liability decision shortly, and to refrain from issuing court proceedings (remind them the courts encourage the parties to avoid litigation wherever possible)

And if you come back here when you're ready to send the letter. I am around at lunchtime tomorrow and the evening too if you have further questions or if you want me to check your draft.

I hope this helps? If I have answered the question would you kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
File attached (Q1ZG7ZG)

That looks fine, I would mark it "without prejudice" at the top of the letter. Then send it off to them. Let me know if you need any further help with the claim. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You have been extremely helpful and would not mind giving you the start rating that you deserve.

Many thanks, ***** ***** good evening

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