Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will resolve this for you.
Sorry to hear of the issue. The solicitors you are approaching are probably considering a no win no fee agreement. For them to take on your case they need to be satisfied they will recover legal costs if you win. Or that the case has merit and there is no argument of fraud, which makes the case more complex and costly. Your claim is £4,000 so would be a small claim - you are more than capable of dealing with this without a solicitor. Indeed, in a small claim (one under £10K), a solicitor cannot recover their charges which is why I think you have been knocked back.
I presume there are no injuries to claim for - that being the case you can deal with the claim yourself without a law firm. A case may sound like a sure-fire winner if liability is admitted but there are other elements to prove too. If fraud is alleged then it is serious in that the claim could be struck out if the third party insurer convinced the court that fraud occurred. In that case you would be liable for the other side's costs - so there is a risk. If you wanted to pursue the £4K claim yourself, I would recommend that you send the third party a letter to demand payment within 30 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. And copy in their insurers.
You will need to register at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.
You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904862/ex50-eng.pdf) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim. If a hearing is required then there is a fee for this too - see page 7 of the previous link for details. Again, that fee is recoverable if you win.
If you are on a low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits), you can ask the court for a fee remission so you do not have to pay the court issue fee.
If you are eligible, let me know as you cannot use the online money claims site – you have to use the paper method, which is an N1 claim form sent to the County Court Money Claims Centre (I have a copy, let me know if you would like one).
If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.
There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), apply to summons them to court for questioning, attachment of earnings order against their employer (if employed), apply to bankrupt them if they owe £5,000 or more - all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.
You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.
I hope this helps and answers the question - please feel free to ask me anything else.
Have a good day,