You have to consider certain things before filing a lawsuit against an individual or a company.
For instance, the first thing you want to ask yourself before filing a lawsuit against a company is whether it is worth it or not – in terms of damages. What you want to do is to compare the amount of money that you think you have lost as a result of the potential wrongdoing.
For instance, if you have faced a personal injury at your workplace, as the result of which you cannot work anymore, and you have medical bills to pay on top of your lost wages, then you will want to contact a lawyer from a well-renowned personal injury firm, such as the personal injury firm, Thomas Law Offices and discuss your case with a legal expert.
Nonetheless, you will also want to compare the potential amount that you can win from the lawsuit to the amount that you will have to pay an attorney to file the lawsuit in the first place.
Before Filing a Lawsuit – Assess Your Options
Everybody knows that lawsuits aren’t cheap – you will have to assess the lawyer’s fees compared to what you have lost due to the potential damage.
In most states, you can benefit from small claim courts. In case you have never heard of small claim courts before – you should know that these are informal courts where an average individual can represent themselves.
Suppose you aren’t facing something as serious as a personal injury and seeking economic compensation for the charges that a car mechanic took from you but failed to deliver the promise: the repair of your car.
In this case, you can go to the small claims court, fill out the mandatory paperwork, jot down your narrative of what happened and how your personal rights were violated, and how much you think you are entitled to.
Small claim courts can save you a lawyer’s fees – for small things; it can also be appealing for people to represent themselves. The maximum amount of damages in small claims courts ranges from 10 to 20 thousand dollars.
So, in case of small disputes with a company or an individual, you might want to save yourself the hassle of going to a lawyer by opting to seek help through a small claim court instead.
Nonetheless, in case of personal injury, stress, pain, and suffering – all of this needs to be substantiated by some medical professional who can give you an expert report stating that you have indeed sustained damages or you are suffering from specific health conditions as a result of the defendant’s wrongdoing.
You Need Strong Evidence
Another thing that you want to think about before suing a company is whether you have evidence or not. You will need to have enough evidence to prove that the company committed whatever you allege that they have committed.
For instance, you could record the situation – so – the evidence could be a recording – whether it is video or audio. It could be anything in writing as well. You get the point – you will want to have anything that documents the wrongdoing.
For your evidence, you could include emails, text messages, Facebook posts, Twitter posts – anything that is recorded on social media.
You will never want to go to court by using the only evidence that is secondhand information, such as you heard somebody say something or someone told you about something. In the court, things like these are considered hearsay and are usually not admissible in a court of law.
You get the point – you will want to ensure that you have enough evidence to show that you have been wronged.
Suppose you joined a company or signed a contract with them. And you got an email where the company said that they wouldn’t perform what they promised that they would perform in the contract. For example, you want to sue a landlord, and you had damages in your apartment that the landlord is blatantly refusing to cover – despite the contract.
In such a situation, you will want to take pictures of the damage so you can prove in court that you have been damaged and you are entitled to some sort of financial recovery.
Understand Whom You Are Suing
Before you call a lawyer and sue a company, you will need to ask yourself – who am I suing?
You will need to assess whether you are suing a company or an individual. You will want to assess whether the person/ company you are suing has the means to pay you in the event of damages. You will be paying your lawyer, and the defendant will be paying their lawyer – ultimately – these attorney fees will rise, and it can motivate both parties to ultimately settle the case.
Imagine yourself going through the lawsuit process, and you have gotten to the trial process, and the judgment has been in your favor – now it is time to execute.
Think about this entire process proactively – before it actually happens – and ask yourself whether you will be able to collect from the judgment. You will want to be absolutely sure about your chance of recovering your damages before filing a lawsuit.
Understand the Timeline
Before suing a company or someone who has allegedly wronged you, you will want to consider the timeline and assess how long it is going to take for the case to get resolved. You will want to understand the simple aspect that litigation is not a speedy process.
Typically – lawsuits take more than a year – even two years – before you get the trial – especially if you are looking for a jury trial. In some states, the courts prioritize criminal proceedings over civil proceedings.
With that said, you might find that, ultimately, getting to a jury trial can become a very lengthy process. So, think about the timeline and ask yourself whether you have the patience, endurance, and resources to go through the lawsuit – all the way – until the trial period.