Filing a lawsuit is a very serious decision. It is something that should not be taken lightly. Whatever the outcome is, filing a lawsuit will make demands on your energy, time and finances. Before doing it, think it carefully and through step by step and consult an expert or legal advisor before moving forward. What is your goal? What is the best-case and worst-case scenario?
Here are the important steps to take before you file a lawsuit:
1. Is It a Good Case or Not?
The first question that you should ask yourself is; Is it really worth it? Even if you have a good case or not, check if whether you can win the case. Even if you win, is it worth the money, time and energy? Will it cause you stress or even damage your reputation? Never make an emotional decision, especially if you are very angry about the situation. The legal system does not care about your feelings. You should base your decision on facts.
2. Research on the Theories of Law of your Case.
Make some research on the law and decide if it will support your theories. Consult a trusted criminal defense lawyer before filing a lawsuit. They can recommend you on how and if you will proceed with your lawsuit. If you already qualify, then you can hire an attorney to defend you in the court.
3. Do you Have Evidence?
Make a list of all the possible evidence that you will use such as recordings, documents, objects, writings, etc. Always make an accurate record of your evidence and why every piece is essential. If a certain evidence is in your position, make sure to keep and preserve it against deterioration while waiting for your trial. You can also take a picture or record it to have a back-up.
4. Are there Witnesses to Prove Your Case?
Are there any witnesses that will prove and testify about the events and the evidence you will be presenting at the trial? Will these witnesses willing to help and testify in court? If there’s any witness who are unable and cannot testify for you in the court because of some reasons, then the question is, can you lock in the testimony through declaration or an affidavit?
5. Determine the your Expenses, Time and Energy
Take the cost of filing into account, including all the filing costs and fees, lawyer’s fees, and others. Do you have enough savings available? Filing a lawsuit will also be an emotional experience, especially if you don’t have an attorney. Make sure that you have the time and energy that is needed if you want to do it. Determine if you need a lawyer or not in your case.
6. Check if your Lawsuit is Timely
There are certain types of lawsuits that must be filed within a required period of time called statute of limitations. Statutes vary from the jurisdiction to jurisdiction and will depend on the kind of lawsuit in the question. If you will not be filing a lawsuit within the proper statute of limitations, it will only be dismissed.
7. Try Settling the Dispute
Is there any other way to resolve the dispute by not filing a lawsuit? Will it be possible to talk to the other party and come up with an agreement? Consider hiring a mediator if it is impossible. They are trained professionals that will help you resolve your dispute without filing a lawsuit.
The legal system is very complicated if you don’t have knowledge and understanding of the process of it. It is important that you need to seek a legal advice and determine if you really need to file a lawsuit or not.