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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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Two years ago I had a car accident, I've stopped on a red

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Hi! Two years ago I had a car accident, I've stopped on a red light and another car drive in rear of my car, It was not my fault and the other driver admitted that as well, now after two years my solicitors dropped my case due to damage on my car its much bigger than on other car (£250 against my £4000 ) and suspicion of fraud. I've got absolutely nothing to hide, I've done nothing wrong, Im not trying to commit a fraud and now I cannot find a lawyer who would like to represent me in this case due to the low chance of winning, what can I do now? All I want is to get my money back I've lost due to repairing my car because I had to repair it myself and on top of that company who supplied my replacement car want now me to pay for it as well as insurer refuses to pay for it either.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Grimsby
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: hire solicitors
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I will attach my previous solicitors email

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,
Jim

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank You for Your quick responce! There was a whiplash claim as well but they are disputing injuries due to low impact, either way it was a claim under 10k but right now all I want to get my money back I've lost to repair my car and for them to pay for my replacement car at least. Like I said I'm not scared as I've done nothing wrong and I've got nothing to hide but talking about the worst-case scenario what may be the other side's cost I may be liable to? Or maybe is worth to hire a lawyer on private basics, no on no win no fee agreement.
I Will paste a letter from my previous solicitors as well regarding my case:
"I write to bring you up to date with the information that has become available from my enquiries and to offer my advice on the basis of all the information now obtained.
The Defendant has raised low velocity impact which means that the impact speed was very low and the vehicles suffered minimal damage. The third party insurer’s have written to us advising that their client has told them that the it was a low speed impact. They have sent their client’s engineer’s report and images which confirms minimal damage to third party vehicle.
They are disputing any injuries as it was such a low impact.
An Additional problem is that the third party insurer’s report confirms low damage to their own vehicle (at most £250) but their, and our own, engineer’s reports on the vehicle you were in shows damage of repair costs of over £3000. Therefore, a major inconsistency in addition to the allegation of LVI. Even if we were able to explain that there was some issue with your vehicle which resulted in the high level of damage the fact remains that due to their minimal damage the issue of LVI remains live. The issue here is establishing how you were injured as a result of an accident which has such low damage/inconsistent damage. The major concern is that this could leasd to an allegation of raud which if we issued proceedings and were unsuccessful at court could lead to you being personally liable for the other side’s legal cost and possible even subsequent criminal prosecution.
Given the efforts we have already made to see if any settlement can be achieved, I am concerned that there is no realistic prospect of pursuing negotiations that might lead to settlement.
As it has not to date been possible to resolve the claim by negotiation with the Defendant it would be necessary to issue court proceedings for the claim to be pursued.
Unfortunately, for the reasons already set out when considering liability, I must conclude that the claim is more likely to fail than succeed if it had to be decided by a court.
In these circumstances, my firm’s risk assessment panel has to review the case and has concluded that these risks outweigh the benefits that might be gained in the event of proceedings succeeding.
Whilst it has been quite right for the matter to be investigated, and my firm has been happy to do that whilst running the risk of not being paid if the claim could not be successfully concluded, we have reached the point at which it does not seem appropriate for the firm to incur further costs, which will probably not be recovered, or for you to have to spend further time and energy when a successful recovery of compensation seems unlikely.
Accordingly, I consider that the claim cannot be pursued in accordance with the conditional fee agreement.
You may, of course, give instructions to proceed on a private basis if you wish, although I would be reluctant to recommend that you incur the costs of this given the assessment of the case already set out in this letter. However, if you do wish to have an estimate of the costs that would be incurred on a private basis, please let me know.
By dropping the claim at this stage, you do not incur any responsibility for costs because my firm will not be paid for the work undertaken, as we agreed at the outset by entering the conditional fee agreement. Please note should you wish to pursue the claim for personal injuries further yourself the claim must be settled, or legal proceedings issued prior to the 3rd anniversary of the date of incident"

Thanks, ***** ***** it's just the repair claim then you can use the Money Claim Online website. I would expect them to defend the claim though. Insurers regularly defend low velocity impact (LVI) cases and you would be wise to get a solicitor, either privately-paid or on a no win no fee basis. Claimants can and so suffer injuries from low velocity cases though - it all depends if they are vulnerable or not (if they have pre existing issues or not) and also the size of the respective vehicles. Your solicitor says nothing about medical history and they simply drop the case at the first hurdle - why couldn't they use a barrister to get you in a conference and discuss a strategy?. Some firms are more risk averse than others. If you were injured then you should include the injury claim, despite the fact your solicitor does not think there are prospects of success. Not every firm takes this stance. Here are a few firms you can try :

  1. http://www.seriousinjurylaw.co.uk
  2. http://www.cfglaw.co.uk
  3. http://www.slatergordon.co.uk
  4. http://www.irwinmitchell.com
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I will try this firms, thank You for Your help!

No problem, when you contact them, tell them you had an accident with a whiplash injury. They will want to know the accident date. And tell them you had solicitors acting but with the LVI argument, they didn't want to continue - you should ask the new firm to apply for a copy of the file from your old firm and to ask them to consider a no win no fee agreement for you.
Many thanks

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