Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes necessary to pursue a claim against someone to get “the justice which you deserve”. The civil legal system is there to help you be compensated for your losses but I hear of cases where people have not been successful in doing so because they were not aware of the points below. In this article I have shared how to make a legal claim and 10 key things that you will consider.
Pre-Action Protocol before making a legal claim:
The first thing to consider when wanting to know how to make a legal claim concerns Pre-Action protocol. Complying with the Pre-Action Protocol is an important requirement which needs to be completed before you issue a claim. Parties to a dispute are encouraged to engage/communicate with a view to resolving a dispute. If this step is missed then the consequences can be as severe as you having to pay the other party’s legal costs even if you win.
The various Pre-Action Protocols can be found by way of a simple search on the internet. You will be glad to hear that they are written in plain English so that you can understand what is expected.
Civil Procedure Rules:
These rules govern civil claims and it is important that you are aware of what they say. When you look at them they can appear to be overwhelming and complex. If you look closer you will notice that they are separated into smaller categories which help explain what you need to be aware of or what is expected of you in a claim. Again, you will be glad to hear that it is written in plain English so you do not need to be concerned about “legal speak”.
The Court expects parties to a dispute to be aware of the Civil Procedure Rules and this can be a bit daunting. If your claim is below £10,000 then you should first read Civil Procedure Rules 7, 9, 15 and 27 as a starting point. These parts will help you to pursue your claim but you should also read the other parts which are relevant to your claim. Alternatively seek legal advice so that you ensure that your claim is the strongest it can be.
10 things to consider when pursuing a claim:
1. Make sure you have tried to resolve the dispute before you issue a claim. This may sound obvious but if the other party is not aware of the problem they cannot address your issue.
2. If you have any evidence to support your claim then send it to the other party. This evidence could persuade them to settle the claim and save the time, cost and stress of the claim going to Court.
3. Make sure you properly detail your claim. If there was an agreement detail that agreement, what was agreed, by who, why you are claiming and what you are claiming.
4. If the agreement is written, send a copy of the agreement to the other party.
5. If you are making the claim online often there is not enough room to detail your claim. Consider writing separate particulars of claim but also make sure they are sent to the other party if you are not able to include them with your online application.
6. Make sure your particulars of claim and any witness statement have a statement of truth. The correct statement of truth can be found in the relevant Civil Procedure Rules.
7. Take advantage of the mediation service offered by the Court. You do not have to see or speak to the other party and the Court mediator will try to help a settlement to be reached.
8. Consider your claim. Is it really necessary to have witness statements from 20 people saying the same thing whereas one or two will be enough? Is the Court going to want to read hundreds of pages of documents which say the same thing? Think about your claim, what you are trying to prove and what evidence you have to prove this. The other party’s conduct in other cases is rarely relevant to your claim as a Judge decides your case and just because the other party has done something to another person does not prove they did it to you.
9. If you have witnesses who provide you with witness evidence make sure they attend the Trial/Hearing of your Case. If they do not attend then the other party or the Judge will not be able to question them and so the strength of their evidence is weakened as a result.
10. Be honest and respectful. You may be concerned about actually going to Court and speaking to a Judge but there is no need to be. The Judge is there to decide your case but also does not expect.
These tips are not a comprehensive summary of the Pre-Action Protocol and the Civil Procedure Rules but will assist in conducting your claim.
Want to speak to us?
It is not possible to detail all legal requirements which you need to be aware of, and before you take the step of pursuing a claim or if you are unsure of what is needed of you, then feel free to contact our litigation team at Josiah Hincks Solicitors through our website or calling 0116 255 1811.
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