As a result, Litigants In Person can't recover any costs that they spend on lawyers to pursue their claim.
This all sounds very positive and you might be forgiven for thinking this some sort of Peoples Court.
However, you may be surprised to find that in general matters the "Small Claim" limit for a dispute is any amount up to a value of £10,000.
In our experience, people contacting us for advice don't regard a case with a value of £10,000 to be a Small Claim.
The most frequent enquiries we get in this category relate to car purchases, conservatory and double glazing installations and building disputes.
All of these matters regularly involve complex issues of fact and points of law, but if the cost of employing a lawyer is added, with a prospect of recovering that cost, even if you win, most people are put off raising the claim.
It is also worth pointing out that even in the "Small Claims" Court normal court rules apply and the LIP won't get special treatment, just because they aren't a trained lawyer.
The reason we mention all of this is because historically, in personal injury claims, the case is not a small claim if the injury might attract an award of £1000 or more in accident compensation.
This level of award would cover most injuries that cause symptoms or require ongoing treatment at least four weeks after the injury occurred.
Significantly, this also covers the majority of road traffic whiplash compensation claims.
As a result, if you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own and want to pursue a claim for compensation, you are able to do so on a "No Win No Fee" basis, because most legal costs will be paid by your opponent, in settle ment of your claim for compensation.
From next April, 2019, it is proposed that the thresholds in personal injury claims are raised to £2000 generally and to £5000 for all whiplash claims.
It is currently estimated that over 90% of whiplash claims settle for less than £5,000.
So from next year the courts are expecting a surge in LIP's pursuing their own personal injury compensation claims, because people won't be able to find personal injury claims solicitors to act on a "No Win No Fee" basis because the accident compensation lawyers will struggle to recover the fee !
We will still be happy to look at these cases with clients and will have suitable fee arrangements to continue to provide advice.
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