Home Court How to Sue Someone

How to Sue Someone

How to Sue Someone

Litigation is an effective means to correct a civil wrong with monetary damages.  Generally, you will win compensation for injuries and damage to property.  Depending on the state, you can also win damages for non-economic factors, such as pain and suffering, or the court may impose punitive damages on the defendant for exception negligence.  Generally, an organized case and good litigation lawyer improves your chances of a successful litigation.  You will also benefit from a few common sense measures taken prior to the case, to anticipate potential issues with your litigation.
How To Sue Someone : Receive an objective evaluation of your case

Before deciding to pursue any sort of litigation, you need to ensure that your case has merit.  Different states have different standards of determining if a case has merit and can proceed.  For example, when filing asbestos litigation, some states may require proof of an asbestos related illness.  Other states might only require you to prove that you have been exposed, but have yet to develop an illness.  Procedures will vary by state, with some states and counties employing automated systems to log information on potential litigation to be filed.
With this in mind, you need to find an objective litigation lawyer.  The best litigation lawyer does not readily agree with you and instead attempts to gain the best understanding of your legal situation, then applies it to state laws.  this practice enables the weakest parts of your claim to be exposed and strengthened as well as prepares for the possible leads the defendant’s lawyers may exploit to escape liability.  Poor lawyers will try to earn the confidence of the client and rush to a settlement before determining the strength of the case.
How To Sue Someone : Determine what you will pay
The professional standard for lawyer fees in litigation is a contingency agreement.  This is a percentage of the award the lawyer will collect as compensation for legal fees.  Some states place caps or set the contingency fee at a certain level.  You should be aware of these state caps before going to consult about fees with the litigation lawyer.  Have you fee arrangement in writing and be aware of flat fees and other costs that might be tacked onto your bill.  Fees for communication by phone, the use of office staff and document preparation are possible and litigation lawyers that assess these fees prior to the litigation should be avoided.  You may pay for the use of an expert witness, or this may be incorporated into the contingency fee.  Determine what is included in the contingency fee and what you will need to pay during litigation.
How To Sue Someone : Be aware of statutory limitations
Many states prevent plaintiffs from readily suing someone for a civil wrong.  These so-called “tort reforms” strangle plaintiffs by capping the damages the can collect, shortening the time they have to file a lawsuit and even forcing the loser of the lawsuit to pay the legal fees of the other party.  When discussing with your litigation lawyer on how to sue someone, ask about the effects of tort reform laws and note if you are exposing yourself to financial liabilities by suing another party.  You should have full awareness of the likelihood you will lose or have the lawsuit thrown out.
How To Sue Someone : Note the differences in litigation
Not all civil court remedies are the same.  For example, medical malpractice tort may require an expert witness to verify your claims.  Suing for Social Security Disability payments has strict caps on lawyer fees that are set by the federal government in addition to being a bench trial with no defendant present.  The standard of proof differs between litigation cases and knowing this is essential to suing someone for damages.  State laws may require different standards for litigation.  This includes minimum thresholds for damages or company policies that waive liability and by extension the right to sue someone.
How To Sue Someone : Completeness of paperwork
Overburdened civil court systems often look for excuses to invalidate lawsuits.  When working with a lawyer on how to sue someone, know that mistakes on paperwork can throw your case into disarray and prevent it from ever reaching the courts.  Examine the forms for possible mistakes before filing and ensure that your litigation lawyer does not have a record of legal malpractice.  Doing so helps to prevent losing a case on a technicality.

How To Sue Someone : Understand the jury and jurisdiction
You may be limited by state law in the jurisdiction you may sue an entity.  This can be especially problematic in areas where the entity or defendant is popular or has undue influence.  Many lawsuits against large manufacturers have had little success in company towns but have been successful when filed in other states.  Tort reform laws may stop “jurisdiction shopping” depending on the state.  Determine with your litigation lawyer if you have the option of suing the defendant in jurisdictions such as the site of the damages, at their corporate headquarters or in another state, if necessary.
The litigation lawyer can also weed out potential biases in the jury through juror cross examination.  The defense lawyer will attempt to construct a jury that favors the defendant and your lawyer will attempt to structure the jury in your favor, or at least away from supporting the defendant.
How To Sue Someone : Taking a settlement
Since you will have found an objective lawyer for suing the defendant, you will aim to have an honest opinion on avoiding going to trial.  If your chances of winning in court are low, you should working to secure a settlement that is appropriate for your needs.  You may also determine that you may do better than a settlement and pursue further litigation.  You litigation lawyer can help you come to a decision, but anticipate lawyers that will gladly take a quick settlement rather than try to win in court and collect a greater jury award.  Depending on state law, you may be able to negotiate a lower contingency fee for taking a settlement prior to filing the lawsuit with the assistance of your litigation lawyer.