If you have been injured or have suffered a loss at the hands of another person or business entity, then you may be considering a civil lawsuit.
It is a wise decision, if you have a good case against the other party, as it can help cover the costs of medical care, repairs, and other such financial damages suffered.
However, before you file, you should consider these steps.
Assess the Facts with an Attorney
While you may be perfectly justified in wanting to take the other party to court, the truth is that not all cases do well in the courtroom. A personal injury lawyer can help you assess the facts of the case, the evidence, and can even question witnesses to determine if your case is strong enough to win before a judge and jury.
Gather and Organize Evidence
The attorney may help you do a little of this before you even make a decision about the worthiness of the case, but there will still be more to do in order to prepare to file with the courts. All possible evidence should be found, compiled, and kept in a well-organized manner.
This may include photographs of the scene and the injuries, medical records for care received as a result of the incident, recorded witness testimony, and police reports, among other things.
Discuss Possible Outcomes
Now that you have all of the evidence before you, it is a good time to have a conversation with your attorney about possible outcomes. What is the worst that could happen? What is the best possible result? Would you be willing to settle for a smaller sum of money in order to avoid the courtroom?
These are questions that should be answered before you file, so you are not caught off guard later.
File the Lawsuit
When you are confident in the case, the evidence, and the possible outcomes, it is time to file. A good attorney will handle most of this process for you, but you should be prepared to show up at scheduled events – at the courtroom, the attorney’s office, or elsewhere – in a timely and professional manner.