When is it appropriate to file a lawsuit?
Before you consider filing a lawsuit, it’s important to determine a few things. Seeking legal advice is always the best practice when determining the strength and legitimacy of your potential case. An attorney can help you determine if filing a lawsuit is in your best interest.
Let’s explore three questions to help you determine if filing a lawsuit is worthwhile:
1.) Do I have a legitimate case?
2.) Am I willing to explore compromise, settlement, and mediation?
3.) If indeed a lawsuit is appropriate, will I be able to collect if I win?
Do I have a legitimate case?
You and your attorney will need to identify what is known as “cause of action.” In other words, there are legally required element that have to be applied to determine the strength and legitimacy of your type of case. For example, if you hired a contractor to remodel your bathroom and the contractors work was substandard, the type of case would be considered breach of contract. The contractor entered into an agreement (verbal or written) to do the job correctly. The legal elements in this case would be: contract formation, performance, breach of contract, and/or damages.
Other types of lawsuits may have different legal elements to consider, which your attorney can help you determine.
Exploring your alternatives?
If you and your attorney determine you have a good case, that doesn’t necessarily mean court is your only option. In some instances, there are ways to settle your case out of court. For example, you may be able to reach a mutual compromise or hire a mediator to help evaluate your options to reach solutions that is in your best interest. Your particular case may not need a courtroom to get resolved. It’s important to explore all of your options when considering filing a lawsuit.
Can I collect if I win?
This is a crucial identifier when determining if filing a lawsuit is worth it. A judgement in your favor has no value if nothing can be collected. It has to be determined what can be collected if given a favorable judgement and whether or not you’ll be able to collect. This is when having an attorney really comes into play to help you navigate how best to pursue collecting at the end of your case.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you and your attorney will need to identify these things before you proceed. Your attorney will be able to help you navigate these waters and determine what is within your best interest. Don’t rush out to file a lawsuit without having explored all your options. Otherwise, you may end up with more of a headache and costly fees that could have been avoided.
Consult with the legal experts of Troutman & Napier, PLLC.
We are more than just lawyers, we are your legal counselors.