How To Prepare For A Lawsuit
One of the great things about the American legal system is that it gives power to the people to take matters into their own hands for justice. While it’s true that criminal law is supervised and enforced first by the police, and then by the courts, civil law is another matter.
Obviously, when there’s been no violation of criminal law, there is no need for police to step in. But that doesn’t mean that a person can’t get justice of their own when someone has done wrong by them. In Florida, there is always the option to go to trial for a civil lawsuit, where the punishment does not come in the form of a jail sentence but in the financial compensation that is rightfully owed to the victim. But how do you go about undertaking a lawsuit? Here’s where we lay out some of the basics.
Get A Lawyer
Any citizen can go to court and represent themselves without a lawyer. In some cases, such as seeking financial compensation in small claims court for amounts less than $5000 this may be advisable. However, when it comes to something as large, complex and with as many moving parts as a personal injury lawsuit, going it alone is a very bad idea. This is especially true when seeking compensation against a defendant that has an insurance company involved, as this means they are likely to have their own team of attorneys and even investigators involved.
If you do not seek the services of your own St. Pete lawyer, you will be at a severe disadvantage if, for no other reason than you are “starting from scratch.” Unless you yourself are already a practicing attorney, you will have to learn about which laws and conditions apply to your particular case, instead of having legal expertise at your side that already knows what is happening and what to do next.
Research Your Lawyer
If you already know that getting a personal injury lawyer is part of your plan of attack, then the next most important choice is selecting the right person. This is where research is crucial. It’s all well and good to take advice and/or references from friends and relatives, but are these lawyers you are being referred to experienced in your type of case?
If you’re in a car accident, with a potential for traumatic brain injury, you should find an experienced lawyer for car crash. If you get involved in an accident with a truck, this opens up its own unique legal considerations and challenges, and thus a lawyer with experience in taking on trucking and insurance companies will be extremely valuable.
Can The Other Party Pay?
Unless you are pursuing a lawsuit strictly as a matter of principle to send a message, this is an important consideration. As an example, you get into a car accident with a careless driver, and it then comes out that the driver not only does not even have car insurance, but is unemployed and currently receiving child support. This changes things considerably.
Even if you successfully sue this person in court for the full damages you believe you are owed for financial compensation, this person’s lack of insurance and poor financial prospects guarantee that you will not get the compensation you are actually seeking. In fact, all you are likely to do is drive such a person even further into debt, while at the same time dealing with the expense you need to pay for your successful trial.
Is This Case Worth It?
Some lawsuits may languish in court for years before they see any kind of decisive resolution. While a lawsuit may seem on initial inspection to be very straightforward, with a quick win in court, nothing is guaranteed. As a case develops, the defendants you are taking to court may put up more roadblocks, or, as the investigation continues, new information may be uncovered that puts your own position in a far less certain place.
This may mean as the case drags on, more witnesses and further testimony are required, and the defendants may offer their own counter arguments that carry some legal weight. If your lawyer advises you that you are in for a long, drawn out legal battle, you’ll need to weigh the consequences yourself. You’ll have to decide, ultimately, if the time it will take to settle this in court is acceptable compared to the cost that will arise to get that resolution.
As always, a good St. Pete lawyer is critical to navigating the many complexities, obstacles and hurdles of a lawsuit. If you know that someone else is responsible for your injuries, the best way to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve is to have an expert at your side, working for your interests and for your fair treatment in court.