How Do I Know if My Case is Worth Taking to Court?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Filing a lawsuit sounds like a headache, and the perceived cost of hiring an attorney doesn’t generally inspire people to want to take their case to court. However, in situations where someone was seriously injured or sustained significant financial damage, it’s probably worth at least considering filing a claim. Additionally, it may help to note that the majority of personal injury attorneys work on contingency, which means you won’t have to pay your legal team unless and until they win your case. A variety of factors go into whether or not you want to take your case to court. If your damages are relatively minor and easily covered by your own or the other party’s insurance, you might be offered a fair settlement up front and choose not to take it to court. However, if it seems unlikely that you will receive fair compensation through a settlement or if the case is particularly complicated, it’s a good idea to contact a trial attorney. Trial attorneys have more experience taking claims to court, and they undergo additional training in client advocacy.
Questions to ask that could indicate whether or not you have a viable case:
- Was there a significant loss? Did the accident or situation in which you found yourself result in significant personal, physical, or financial loss that is unlikely to be compensated without litigation? If so, you might have the grounds to file a claim.
- Was a duty of care violated? In any claim, the injured party must be able to prove that a duty of care existed for the allegedly responsible party toward the injured party. A duty of care is considered a legal obligation to provide a reasonable level of care and safety to prevent foreseeable harm to another person.
- Is there evidence? This is a question an attorney can help answer, as some kinds of evidence may only be available to an expert in the field. Other kinds of evidence include pictures, videos, and reports that prove how the incident occurred as well as proving the damages that occurred.
- Does the recovery outweigh the costs? This is another question that it will likely take the help of an attorney to answer. An attorney will be able to sit down with you and look at the expenses that are likely to go into building a case like yours. If it seems as if the expenses will outweigh the recovery or compensation an attorney is able to win for you, it might not be worth filing.
- Is the statute of limitations still in effect? A statute of limitations is a time limit that begins either when the incident occurred or the harm was realized, and after it passes the injured party forfeits the right to take legal action. Every state has different statutes of limitation for different situations, so it’s important to look up the relevant statute for your state so you know how much time you have left to take action.
If the answer to most or all of the above questions is yes, talk to an attorney about filing a claim to seek recovery for your damages. These questions are all strong indications that you have a viable claim worth pursuing. In the case of personal injury claims, seeking the help of an attorney is an especially good idea as it will be at no cost to you. If you or a loved one were harmed and suspect you might have a viable case, seek legal counsel to discuss your eligibility and the process for seeking compensation.