Small Claims Procedure
Small claims procedures are defined as those involving disputes worth less than £5,000. Where they include a claim for personal injury the injury must be worth less than £1,000 also. Where Court proceedings are issued then these cases are normally allocated to the Small Claims Track with simplified directions leading to an early trial.
The Small Claims Track is designed for people to bring their own claims without the use of a lawyer. If you use a lawyer you are unlikely to recover the cost, although there are limited circumstances where this may happen. It is likely that any legal costs will equal a large part of or even exceed the amount you are claiming.
We do not usually deal with small claims. This is because we try to ensure the client has at least a reasonable prospect of the other side paying for us. However, we have found in the past that insurers and tradesmen often tend to make these claims as long and as awkward as possible. This guide therefore offers free guidance on how to pursue a small claim to Court.
Whilst the Government may think that claims up to £5,000 are too minor to need a lawyer, we know that to most people this can be a considerable amount of money and the legal process very daunting. If you follow the links below you will be able to access the free guide. The guide is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation of the law, but rather a simple procedural guide. It does not do away with the need for specialist legal advice if you find yourself in difficulty, What it seeks to do is provide a simple, straightforward guide so that you can take most of the steps yourself without incurring legal fees. It is not linear, so you need to go through it all to understand how to run a claim. Sections and steps overlap, so you cannot just progress each stage and think you will successfully get to the end.
The cardinal rule to remember is to be sensible and focus on the important issues. State your case and bear in mind that an awful lot of insurers and legal representatives will try and set up a smoke screen to take your attention away from the key facts. Keep your letters simple and polite and keep records of everything.
If you need our help, either e-mail us anytime, or call 01404 861868.