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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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How do i find a reputable dispute lawyer to handle an action

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how do i find a reputable dispute lawyer to handle an action against a garage who were negligent in servicing my car and in its subsequent repair
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: My daughter, who's car it is, has been trying to deal with the garage directly but they have been unhelpful and unprofessional in their handling, culminating in a second breakdown on a dangerous section of the M25 this morning.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I dont think so

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Please provide some more details of your circumstances. Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I am seeking to help my daughter, who has more detail and dates etc., but a few weeks ago she put her car in for a service by Mr Clutch (who I assume to be a franchise) for MOT / Service, following which the car broke down and she was advised by one of their mechanics that the engine needed replacing due to a failure unrelated to the service. Another mechanic at the same garage told her 'off the record' that the oil cap had been left off by mistake by the garage and that the engine was irrepairably damaged due to their fault. The garage relented and provided her with a courtesy car pending repairs, although my daughter instructed them not to touch the car until they provided a detailed report in writing as to the cause and what they intended to do to rectify it. She instructed them not to commence any work in the interim. After numerous attempts to engage with them, no report was forthcoming, but without authority they proceeded to replace the engine. Whilst unhappy with this, my daughter picked the car up yesterday from the, without signing any acceptance of what they had done, only to break down this morning on a busy section of the M25. She had a 2 year old in the back of the car and was only 1 mile short of a smart section of the motorway that had no hard shoulder. This could have been catastropic. The RAC were called and they have suggested that the new engine had not been correctly but told her that the garage are legally entitled to attempt a repair again, and have returned the car to their workshop. She has told Mr Clutch not to touch it but fears that they will, as they did before.Needless to say, she has no faith in any more work being undertaken there, and as suffered considerable inconvenience and out of pocket expenses due to this sequence of events. She is also shaken up at the potential risk that she and her daughter faced on the M25 day.She drives as an NHS mental health nurse working across Kent and has to have a reliable car, yet Mr Clutch have taken advantage of her and bullied her into accepting a repair that she never authorised in the first place. Needless to say, she needs an early resolution and, in due course, compensation for the ordeal that she has been put through.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about this situation and any associated issues.

As we are just an independent chat service, I cannot say who will be able to take this on, but due to the nature of the claim and the relatively small compensation that may be due, it is unlikely you will get many options for a no win no fee representation. You should therefore expect to pay for the lawyer you use and that will certainly eat into any potential returns you get.

Legally, you do not need a lawyer to take it further and can always try and make the claim personally in the Small Claims Court, which is designed for the smaller, unrepresented parties.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

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 – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best

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