How Do I Determine Whether or Not to Sue?

Deciding to file a lawsuit can be a difficult decision. You may have been injured or become ill due to someone else’s negligence, or you may have lost a loved one because someone else was careless. If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed because of someone else’s mistake, it’s natural that you would want them to suffer some kind of consequence and that you’d want your damages covered.

Understanding whether you should file a lawsuit can be critical to its success. There are three important things to ask yourself before you decide to contact a lawyer about a suit.

How Good Is Your Case?

The first thing an attorney is going to ask is whether your case meets the legally required elements. For example, if you plan to sue someone you were doing business with, your lawyer will want to know if there was a binding contract between you.

Without a written contract, it may be difficult to claim they violated the terms. You will need to prove that there was a breach of the contract and that you suffered some type of damage. If you have not suffered any damages, you may not be able to file a lawsuit.

Are There Alternative Means of Settlement?

If you can work with the person who caused your damages, you may be able to work out a settlement without needing to go to court. Some courts offer mediation services where a neutral third party will hear your case and offer a solution that works for both parties.

Insurance companies may offer settlements that meet your needs without requiring a lawsuit. If you are under a contract, it may allow for binding arbitration, during which an arbitrator will issue a decision similar to a judge that both parties must agree to follow.

Am I Able to Collect if I am Successful?

If you have a strong case and you are unable to reach an agreement, the final thing you will need to know is whether or not you will realistically be able to collect any award the court issues. Keep in mind that even if you sue a reputable business, they may appeal the decision, which will hold up any monetary awards. Most businesses, however, will pay once the court system makes a final decision.

If you were injured in a car accident by someone who had no insurance, chances are they will not have the money to pay a huge settlement. The person who caused your damages may own property, and this could be attached in order to collect a settlement. If they have no insurance and no assets, it may not be worth pursuing a legal case.

You may also be able to attach any wages they earn if they have a job. In some states, if you are suing someone who must hold an occupational license, you can request that the courts suspend their license until the judgement is paid.

Hiring an Attorney

The best way to know if you have a valid legal claim against someone is to speak to an attorney. Hiring an attorney does not mean you are definitely going to file a lawsuit. A good lawyer should guide you through the process and tell you in all honesty whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.

Jacoby and Meyers is a reputable law firm that helps clients get through difficult times. They may be able to obtain a settlement for you without the need for a lawsuit. If you believe you have grounds for a lawsuit, contact an attorney who can guide you through the process and let you know if they believe your case has merit.

After a careful evaluation of your case by a legal expert, you will have a better idea of whether or not it’s in your best interest to proceed with a lawsuit. If it is, a lawyer will take much of the burden of the case off of you.

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