Cases involving minors
In infant cases, (i.e. when the Plaintiff is under 18) different procedures apply, the main one being that the judge must approve of any settlement of the case - and may disapprove, even if the parents, solicitors and banisters all want to accept it. Usually all, or most, of the settlement monies are lodged in Court until the infant is 18, when the infant may then apply to Court for the money and any interest gained on it to be paid out to him. Also, in infant cases, the parent or guardian in whose names the case is brought is technically responsible for costs (of both sides).
Issue of cheques
After settlement of your case, there can be between a month and sometimes several months before the cheques issue.
You should get an account showing what each person had charged, and what both your solicitor's and barrister's fees are also. When the cheque representing party/party costs reaches your solicitor, it is credited to your accounts, as it forms a contribution towards the costs and in effect usually either pays to your solicitor or refunds to you a major part of the overall costs charged. At that stage, a further final dividend is usually paid to you, which also takes account of any monies paid by you as the case advanced, to finalise the account.
Advances from banks
Sometimes it is possible to persuade a Bank to give you a loan on the strength of your case. This is especially true if fault (liability) is not being contested, or if the insurers have already made a settlement offer.
If the case fights (i.e. does not settle out of Court), normally the loser may appeal to the next highest court. Bear this in mind when considering a settlement offer, as a settlement effectively finishes the case. There can be a considerable delay sometimes before an appeal is heard. The loser usually pays his own cost and makes a substantial contribution to the winner's costs. In other words, if for any reason the case is lost, the winner is entitled to have his/her costs paid (on a party/party minimum basis) by the loser in normal circumstances. This can include his baristers, solicitor, witnesses, engineers, surgeons, accountants or other experts called to give evidence. In High court cases, these can be very high. Again it is another reason why settlement of cases can be more attractive than fighting the case.
An Appeal from the District Court to the Circuit/County Court, or from the Circuit/County Court to the High Court is a new hearing requiring fresh evidence from everyone. An Appeal from the High Court to the Supreme Court/Court of Appeal is normally based on a transcript. Usually only one Appeal is allowed. A Judge may stipulate that some money be paid out as a consideration of allowing an Appeal.
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