Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by Legal Team
Is It Time To Engage In a Lawsuit?
Before we delve into the hows and the whys of suing someone, let us first understand what it means to sue someone for personal injuries.
To sue someone means approaching a court of law seeking monetary damages from someone because he/she may have caused you harm or injury, physically, mentally, emotionally or financially.
Why Do People Sue?
Now that we’ve established what it means to sue let’s look at some of the reasons why people sue. The law allows you the right to file a litigation against a person, company or an entity that may have wronged you in the following ways:
1. Harm to Self
When an act of negligence by someone results in harm or injury to you, you can litigate against them for monetary compensation.
2. Damage to Property
If someone damaged your property, whether willfully or accidentally, you are allowed to litigate against them.
3. To Replace a Trustee
If the beneficiary of the trust feels that the current trustees are incompetent or have mismanaged finances or property, you can litigate to have the trustees removed or replaced.
4. Divorce Cases
Given the increasing number of divorces in the country, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that most couples also litigate against their spouses.
5. To Enforce the Terms of a Contract
If you have entered into a contract with someone and they did not comply with its terms.
6. For Harassment or Discrimination
Litigation against unjust treatment is very common. If someone has been unjustly treated because of their gender, race, skin color, limitations etc., the law gives them the right to sue.
Suing With a Lawyer
If you’ve been wronged in any of the above ways, you could always walk into the nearest law office to present your case. However, don’t be surprised to hear a refusal. Lawyers often refuse to take cases that are financially unviable. In other words, if the case’s costs would be more than the settlement value, then it’s not worth it to take it on.
Suing On Your Own
Even if lawyers decline your case, this does not mean the end of the road for you. Your legal right remains, only you won’t have a lawyer taking care of the groundwork. If you are willing to get down and dirty, you can sue them yourself.
Does this case warrant litigation?
First, ask yourself if you have a strong legal case. A case that may seem important to you, whether business, personal or contractual might not be significant enough to anyone else to warrant litigation.
Can you prove that the other party is at fault?
Once you’ve gotten over the ire of being wronged, look at the matter objectively. Would you be able to rightfully establish a burden of proof on the other party in court? Remember that the burden differs depending on the dispute.
Under what area of law are you suing?
Next, determine what type of case you have and what the legalities are. Under personal injury, the plaintiff needs to present evidence of neglect and how it led to an injury. When it comes to breach of contract, the elements are different. You would be required to show the contract and how you performed as expected, but the defendant did not, leading to a breach.
If a dispute can be solved through alternate means like mediation or arbitration, consider them instead of a lawsuit since they’re less stressful and cheaper.
Send A Written Informal Demand
Most times, sending an informal demand is all it takes. Set out your terms and expectations and the legal steps you will be taking should they not respond. Be reasonable, though. Most people prefer to avoid the hassles of lawsuits and are willing to settle.
What Is The Financial Position of the Defendant?
You don’t want to be filing a case on someone who has no money or is currently filing for bankruptcy. Even if you win, you will end up the loser here.
What Is Your Financial Position?
Lawsuits are expensive, and there’s no guarantee you’ll win. Irrespective, there will be legal bills to be paid. You don’t want to be spending more than you’ll ever expect to receive, especially if you’re not financially secure.
No matter how small you think a case is, it is always a smart idea to consult with a lawyer to determine the type of case you have, whether it’s worth pursuing, and how long it will take.