If you’re looking to find a legal settlement on a minor claim, you can save money through the small claims court. Cases with a minimal value can take their claim through the small claims track. Personal Injury and repairs to landlord-owned premises have a special cap.
Some of the more common claims seen in the small courts include compensation for poor services, faulty goods, neglecting to make repairs (landlords), and wages owed. However, if the case is complicated, you may be redirected to a full hearing.
Preparations before a Court Hearing
The judge will penalise you if he or she can’t see any evidence of you attempting to settle your claim before heading towards court. You must contact the defendants in writing and give them a reasonable amount of time to respond with compensation/the outstanding debt. Warn them that this is your final notice and that you’ll resort to court action, if they don’t respond within the given time.
A mediatory hearing is a good place to start, and shows the court that you’ve done everything in your power to resolve the issue. Here, both parties sit down to come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. Mediation doesn’t always work, but it’s preferable to a court hearing.
Starting Your Claim
Before you head to court, you must fill out an N1 form – this covers the basic details of the claim. Remember to keep your own copy of this document before you send it off for evaluation. You’ll have to also submit your court fee. This sum is subject to change if you’re on benefits or if you’re in financial hardship. To get your court fees reduced, you’ll have to fill in more forms, but your legal charges may be waivered, so it’s worth the effort!
Once approved, the claim will be sent to the defendant via first class post.
Representation in Court
Largely, people choose to represent themselves in a small claims court’s legal system. You should still get some professional legal advice though – if you’re in financial hardship, you could get this for free. You have the option of choosing a ‘lay representative’ if you’re tentative about presenting your case; this can be a friend or a family member who basically acts as your lawyer in court, without the hefty price tag.
When preparing for your case, try to amass as much evidence as possible. From pictures to damaged goods, the more proof you have, the more successful your case is going to be. Keep all correspondence with the defendant and any expenses incurred by the claim.
In some cases, the defendant loses, and yet still doesn’t pay back the money owed. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go back to court again to get your cash. This is enforcing the judgement. You’ll have to pay a fee to begin this process, but at least you’ll get your money back.
Jigsaw Law road traffic solicitors who also focus on other personal injury areas to help ensure the claimant is given a holistic approach, ensuring they receive the necessary support through every stage of the process.
Visit their address here at Jigsaw Law Ltd, Pioneer House, Pioneer Business Park, North Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 1AD or follow them at @jigsaw_law
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