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A year ago I was involved in a car accident. I hit a

A year ago I...

A year ago I was involved in a car accident. I hit a Mercedes Benz in front of me who then hit a taxi in front of them. I have since made a payment plan with the Mercedes insurance co. I heard the taxi driver blaming the Mercedes driver for the collision. Never heard a word from the taxi driver. Then this jan

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

I haven’t finished my issue. Then this jan received a letter from a legal firm for the taxi driver. They sent one quote for $8305 and demanded that I pay or legal action will proceed.

Lawyer's Assistant: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.

I then said I am willing to pay $1000 but no more. Reason for this is the Mercedes damage was only worth $3000; I never heard from the taxi driver for 9 months, only recived one quote and am sure the taxi has been repaired. I have to contact taxi drivers legal by this Friday or they will proceed with court proceedings. I didn’t have any insurance on my car.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet they will this Friday. I am wondering should I just agree to pay or go to court.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don’t think so

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Andrew
Andrew, Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 377
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hello I am a licensed practicing attorney with 20 years’ experience hopefully I can help with your problem. Please give me a moment to review and respond to your question.

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My apologies just realized you are in Australia. Would you like to wait for Australian attorney ?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
thanks

All right best of luck. I will opt out.

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John Melis
John Melis, Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,340
Experience: Principal Lawyer at Legal AU Pty Ltd
Verified

Hi, my name is***** solicitor in Melbourne. Thank you for using Just Answer, and I will answer your question today, and ask various questions to narrow the issues in your post raised.

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did you file an insurance claim yet

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No I wasn’t insured.

your next step is to raise civil proceedings

would you like to consider this option

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I have extended a special offer to talk on the phone about this important matter, please look, it will help you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What are civil proceedings. I assume it is a court matter.

yes it is

have you had quotes obtained yet

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Quotes for what?

for the damages, as there was a multi collision.

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if the matter proceeds to court, there tis risk of a cost order being issued.

I invite you to talk with me by phone. Please look at the offer, it will help you

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No my car wasn’t too damaged and still driveable.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I hate talking on the phone. Would it be better if I made another offer?

Its the other cars that are in question.
Any proceedings in the Magistrates Court, will result in one party having a costs order raised against them if the facts are not correctly supported.

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I do recommend that you make an offer to settled on the basis of without prejudice save as to costs.

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Disputes are an inherent part of life. Nobody wants a dispute, though they naturally occur due to difference of opinion on issues that are standing. As most prudent people would appreciate, the best solution is an amicable outcome without the need to litigate in either a tribunal or court on the disputed matter.

One of the methods to bringing a dispute to an end is through the use of offers of compromise that incorporate the so called Calderbank offer.

So what is a Calderbank offer?

This type of offer originates from the English case Calderbank v Calderbank [1975]. This case concerned whether a ‘without prejudice’ offer to settle, could have the confidentiality waivered in order to rely upon the proposed offer in seeking an application for indemnity costs.

Our society from a public policy and private interest point encourages offers of compromise to settled disputed matters, which aims and does reduce costs of litigating.

Offers of compromise occur daily in many aspects of life, whether it be working in an office or building site, compromise is a part of what we do and what makes society develop and move forward.

Sometimes the disputed argument is a matter of principle and is well founded but just not worth pursuing to the end due to the cost to litigate. Legal costs are just not about what comes out of your savings account, but more so, how much emotionally it will take away from you with stress, worry and the impact on your immediate family and work life. This is not saying that you should throw away a well-founded claim, but more so to consider the entire consequence of the dispute, and what is the best way to reach a resolution so you can move forward with your life.

In relation to offers of compromise the court in Cutts v Head [1984] made a very clear statement how such offers should be considered when a Calderbank offer is used:

“If a party is exposed to risk as to costs if a reasonable offer is refused, he is more rather than less likely to accept the terms and put an end to the litigation. On the other hand, if he can refuse reasonable offers with no additional risk as to costs, it is more rather than less likely to encourage mere stubborn resistance.”

Putting this case point in an example, lets say there is a dispute on breach of contract, and Party A is the one that has been wronged, and Party B is the person that committed the wrong. Now if Party A wants $80,000 settlement, and Party B has offered $60,000 on the basis of a Calderbank offer, and if Party A refuses and pursues the claim to full litigation and wins, but only receives and Order to be paid $45,000, Party B may apply for a costs claim against Party A, for failure to accept a reasonable offer from the date which it was made.

The basic rule as to costs in court proceedings is that costs follow the event, subject to the courts discretion. The making of a Calderbank offer is one of the discretions the court may consider in issuing a costs order relative to the parties.

Calderbank offers relate to indemnity costs, and if a party is successful at litigating their dispute, whether it be a tribunal or court, the successful party may seek a different cost order than when costs follow the event due to the Calderbank offer.

You can come back to this post any time to ask questions and there will be no further charges to you.

Don’t forget to rate me 5 stars as this supports me helping the community, and thank you for using Just Answer.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Any suggestion as to how much? I forgot to mention that after my $1000 offer the taxi drivers legal reduced the cost by $1000 but I still feel the cost is still way too high.

In order to determine the settlement costs you would need know the cost to repair the other vehicles from a qualified mechanic. However, you can guesstimate this matter.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
As I mentioned before I only received one quote. I thought I legally had to receive three quotes?

what you can do is take a best estimate on the offer you would like to present.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok thanks for your help

you are most welcome.

John Melis
John Melis, Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,340
Experience: Principal Lawyer at Legal AU Pty Ltd
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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