Retribution he would seek for legal help. He could obtain legal advise and assistance if he was qualified to use the 'Form 10 Scheme'. It is only available to those who are below the income support level. Peter would have to go to a solicitor's firm which runs the 'Form 10 Scheme' and take a Means test and if Peter qualifies he would have up to two hours of free legal advice. The solicitor would fill in all the forms himself to find out whether Peter is eligible or not. As Peter's case is a personal injury case, he would not be able to get legal aid.
If Peter does not qualify for the 'Form 10 Scheme' he may turn to 'No win -No fee' procedure, also known as the 'Conditional fee arrangements'. He would have to go to a solicitor who would listen and decide if he wants to take the case on or not. If the solicitor agrees, Peter would not have to pay any fees just yet, but he would have to take out an insurance policy to pay the other side in case he loses. Peter's solicitor would then run his case for him, and if Peter won, his solicitor would take a greater fee than he would usually charge (usually up to 50-100% more).
The only problem Peter may face is that his case would have to stand a very high chance of winning for a solicitor to take it on. So unless it stands up to 90-100% chance of winning, Peter would not be able to use the 'No win-No fee' procedure. If Peter is not sure where to go and requires urgent and free legal advice he could most certainly choose to use the 'Duty Solicitor Scheme' which is run at Magistrate's Court. Its available before ten o'clock start of the hearings; a duty solicitor would be there to give any legal advice free, but he would be payed by the Legal Aid Board.
Even though 'Duty Solicitor Scheme' tends to be used by suspects in criminal system, its available to anyone as a last resort. If Peter is not qualified to use the 'Form 10 Scheme', and is rejected by the solicitor to use the 'No win – No fee' procedure, he could then obtain legal advice and assistance using his own money. They would agree to take on Peter's case if his claim is between i?? 5,000 and i?? 25,000, because if it was less than that it would not be worth their time.
Peter's solicitor would start off issuing a claim by writing a letter and there is a time limit during which the defendant should put in a defence. When the person who injured Peter defends with his letter, depending on his response, for example if he denies everything, Peter's solicitor would write a reply. After this there would be 'Discovery' which is the exchange of documents between the two sides followed by any witness statements and expert statements such as forensic driving statements.
This would then be followed by a trial in the Main County Court with a proper formal hearing. If Peter's claim is under i?? 5,000 then it would go through the small claims procedure in the County Court, however in this case Peter would not be able to get any legal assistance as he would have to issue the claim himself without the aid of a solicitor. He would then get an informal Arbitration hearing. These type of hearing have a disadvantage as there is no legal aid available and there could be a power inbalancement.
People often win with these types of hearings but only about half the cases succeed in getting their money. Peter could also turn to 'Community Legal Service' which has been the final reform so far. It's a phone advice line where Peter would be able to get free advice on using Mediation and the 'No win – No fee' procedure, however as it hasn't been properly funded yet, its not quite working yet. B. Peter might wish to avoid going to court. This is because he may be unsure of wining, so therefore he would be afraid of losing or wasting money.
He may be aware of the pressure he is going to receive from the defendant who caused him the injury, and that would most certainly put him off. He, like many other people would also feel a lot of pressure from barristers in the courtroom, as he would not be able to understand the complex language they use, so therefore Peter may feel left out and immobilized. He will not know how much this whole course of action is going to cost him; he probably wont be able to fund himself, and legal aid is unavailable in personal injury cases and that will worsen the circumstances.
Furthermore Peter will most probably have to prove his injuries, and in addition that may cost him money. There are certain alternatives available to people who wish to avoid going to court. Peter could take the advantage of using ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution. It involves the following: Mini trial and Arbitration, which are is used to settle down commercial disputes would be of no use to Peter; however Mediation, which is used for both commercial and non-commercial matters would be a perfect solution.
It's a process of the two parties reaching a reasonable solution with the assistance of a trained mediator without an actual trial. That means no courtroom pressure and an informal hearing during which Peter will feel more in control. Mediation is also a lot cheaper and makes the case settle much faster, so therefore money is not spent and wasted. Mediation can also provide detailed agreements, whereas in court you cannot decide on such minor issues and since there is an 86% success rate in using Mediation it appeals to many people.
Nonetheless, for Peter and the defendant to use Mediation to their advantage, they would both have to be reasonably educated and eloquent. This is because if one of them isn't, it is more than certain that the person who is would win the case. There may also be a power imbalancement and therefore Peter or the defendant may wish not to be present in the same room together. In conclusion Mediation can only work successfully if everyone at the beginning knows their rights, so therefore it cannot replace legal guidance.
One final type of ADR is Tribunals, however its nor genuine ADR, because the decision making is not in the hands of the client. Peter may wish to use it as an alternative to Mediation, and even if it is cheap, fast, less intimidating and produces coherent and consistent decisions it will leave Peter unrepresented, unless he can afford a solicitor. This is because the panel and the defendant would all most probably be expets leaving Peter out.