should you sueA court case seems to be the defense at any sight of discomfort. The statement “I’ll sue you” has become more famous than the king of pop’s classic songs. Before you threaten a lawsuit, always ask, “Should I sue?” A lawsuit isn’t always the solution. 

Sometimes, it isn’t a solution, and you may find other ways to address an issue.

Before you file a lawsuit to break the record as the world’s most litigious human, consider these factors. 

1. Cause of Action

By cause of action, we mean having a case. The fact that you have a grievance doesn’t mean you have a legal claim. In civil cases, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff. For instance, the fact that you got injured while on a job doesn’t mean you have a course of action. 

Or the fact that you got hit by a car doesn’t mean the driver will be liable to pay damages. 

In personal injury cases like this, you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is responsible for the injury. You’ll need medical reports and witnesses. The defendants will also try to prove that they are not directly responsible for your medical predicament. 

2. Can You Afford the Lawsuit?

Lawsuits are pretty expensive. Besides the cost of hiring an attorney, filing a case comes with different charges. 

One way to determine this is to ask your lawyer how much you may win from the case. And what you have to lose if things go south. That way, you can answer the question of whether or not you can afford the lawsuit. But some of the expenses to expect are: 

  • Attorney
  • Court fees
  • Process server’s costs 
  • Filling fees 

After considering the cost, now ask, “should you sue?”

3. Did You Suffer a Loss?

Most of the time, people go to court for justice and to recover a loss. The question is, did you suffer a loss that you will get damages for in court? In civil cases, you may win monetary awards for your loss. But in criminal cases, it’s often more than that. It’s about justice. 

You can either get economic damages or noneconomic damages for your loss. 

4. Can You Secure the Judgment

How would it feel to spend weeks or months in court dragging a lawsuit, and in the end, the defendant can’t afford to pay damages? That would be a waste of time. Some individuals or businesses may not have the resources to pay the cost of damages. 

Hence, people often sue insurance companies or huge companies for damages in personal injury cases. You’ll be certain they have the resources to ensure you collect the judgment. 

5. Have You Tried To Settle Out Of Court

Try to see things from the defendant’s perspective and consider if they have a value defense against your case. You may have a better chance of getting better damages by trying to resolve amicably than by spending time and money on a court case. 

Are you completely blame-free? Is your case 100% foolproof? If the answer to these questions is no, try settling out of court to save costs and avoid excessive stress. 

6. Do You Have Time For a Lawsuit

A lawsuit may last months or sometimes years. Can you combine it with your current job and see it through? If you are considering handling the case yourself without an attorney, you should consider all the paperwork you’ll need to fill out yourself. Also, your documents, evidence, and subpoenas must follow the court rules to be accepted. 

So, handling the court case yourself may not be an option if you can’t take the time to learn.  

7. What If You Lose? 

You may have the cause of action or a great case and still lose. Then what happens? Ask your attorney about your chances and what happens when you lose. It’s best to be prepared to handle your loss if you do. 

But sometimes, it boils down to hiring the right attorney. Of course, you have the option to appeal your case. Note that appeal could be expensive and time-consuming. 

8. Can You Bring Your Case Before a Small Claim Court?

You can bring certain cases before small claim court. In a small claim court, you can represent yourself, but you still need to maintain some decorum and court orders. 

 

Before you file a case, consult an attorney. You don’t always have to sue—sometimes, ADR is your best bet.