When Should You Sue? - Civil Litigation | The Law Offices of Nigel Burns

When Should You Sue? - Civil Litigation

It’s Not Always Clear When You Should Sue. Call Us Today to Evaluate Your Case

Filing a lawsuit is not a decision to take lightly. You need to think through your case from start to finish before you even consider beginning the legal process of filing a lawsuit.

In some cases, pursuing a lawsuit may not be the best way to handle your problem or issue. In other cases, hiring a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles is the smart decision. 

If you were in a situation where a negligent driver hit you and your injuries were so bad you had to be hospitalized for a period, then you may want to sue for financial compensation. Other situations our attorneys see are where a paid caretaker had been making fraudulent transactions with an elderly person’s credit card, and we help them and their families sue the caretaker for all they took.

In this article, learn about when you should sue and how to get started.

You Have the Right to Sue - But Should You Sue?

As The Washington Post reports, the Seventh Amendment protects each American citizen's right to file a lawsuit.

However, just because you can sue doesn't mean you should sue. It is vital to consider all of the potential impacts of filing a lawsuit before you take that next step.

The smart move is to sit down with an experienced LA civil litigation lawyer to talk through your case, your reasons for filing the lawsuit, and whether suing is the only means or even the best means of achieving your goals.

Either way, this can only be to your benefit. You will come out of the meeting knowing that moving forward with your lawsuit is the right decision.

Identify Whether Your Case Meets the Basic Criteria

As respected legal research site NOLO outlines, good lawsuits generally tend to follow certain defined parameters.

Your business litigation attorneys in Los Angeles can review your specific situation with you to identify whether it meets these basic set points.

  1. A strong initial case.

    Determining whether you have a strong initial case depends on the type of lawsuit and the details of what occurred.

    A construction lawsuit may have different criteria than an employment lawsuit or an auto accident lawsuit.

    Your injury lawyer in Los Angeles can review the specific criteria for your type of case to help you determine whether to proceed.

  2. A basic comfort with the potential for settling versus going to trial.

    Data published by the New York Times indicates settling results in a more advantageous outcome for the plaintiff.

    The truth is, more cases settle each year than go to trial. The reason this can work to your advantage is that settling ensures you actually will get something for your time and effort.

    If you proceed to trial, there is always a chance you will lose and even be made to pay the defendant's legal fees and/or damages.

    As USA Today's list of 25 of the weirdest lawsuits ever filed highlights, sometimes a lawsuit can go very, very wrong if you go all the way to trial.

  3. A reasonable chance you will actually be able to collect your settlement if you win your lawsuit.

    When you sue an individual or entity, even if you win that is just the first step of the process. The next step is to collect.

    Let's say you win your lawsuit but the defendant goes bankrupt in the process (or was already bankrupt when you filed your lawsuit).

    In this case, you will get the satisfaction of winning, but you still have a very low probability of ever receiving the damages awarded.

    In the same way, perhaps you are awarded damages but then the defendant decides to appeal. This could tie your case up in court for months or even years, eating up your time and leaving you with nothing to show for it.

    This is one of the key reasons you need a civil litigation attorney to help you talk through your options. You need to identify upfront all possible resources to collect your settlement or award from the defendant.

    This may mean researching the defendant's holdings, including tangible or intangible assets, property, vehicles, income from employment or holdings, and which of these assets are accessible to you legally.

    You also have to prepare for the outside chance that the defendant may choose to file for bankruptcy as a method of getting out of paying you what you are owed.

    There are only a handful of exceptions where a debtor's obligation to pay you will remain (examples include child support and drunk driving damages).

Why Work With a Civil Litigation Law Firm?

If you plan to sue for less than $10,000, your best route may be to file in small claims court. Small claims court works differently than other courts and is designed to streamline low-impact lawsuits.

Most people don't worry too much about whether to file a small claims lawsuit. If you are struggling to decide whether to proceed with your case, chances are good the potential value is far greater than what a small claims court is set up to address.

But how do you decide what your case is truly worth? What if you could reasonably sue for $100,000 but you don't know that and file a claim for $10,000 instead?

This is exactly why it is smart to schedule an initial consultation with a legal professional in Los Angeles.

Contact Us for Civil Litigation 

Deciding whether you need a civil litigation attorney is a stressful decision. We can help. Contact us to request your free initial consultation with one of our highly skilled and experienced business litigation lawyers in Los Angeles.

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