5 Things You Need Before Filing a Lawsuit Against a Business
Filing a lawsuit against a business is a significant step that requires careful consideration and thorough preparation. Whether you’re a customer, employee, or business partner, taking legal action should not be taken lightly.
According to the US Financial Education Foundation, every year, over 40 million lawsuits are filed in the US. In a lot of cases, these lawsuits are filed against businesses and corporations of all sizes.
Around 12 million lawsuits are filed every year in the US against small businesses alone, according to Insurance Zebra. The construction and healthcare industries see the most number of lawsuits filed. Of course, not all these lawsuits work in favor of the plaintiffs. Thus comes the need to ensure that you have all your ducks in a row before heading to court.
In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most essential things you must have in place and understand before filing a lawsuit against a business.
#1 Clear Understanding of the Situation
Before you decide to take legal action against a business, it’s imperative to have a crystal-clear understanding of the situation. This includes thoroughly evaluating the facts, gathering evidence, and analyzing the potential legal claims you could pursue.
You need to identify the key issues and establish a timeline of events. You must also determine whether the business’s actions have caused you harm or violated any legal rights. It’s essential to be honest and objective during this assessment to gauge the strength of your case.
#2 Consultation with an Attorney
The legal system can be complex and overwhelming to navigate for ordinary citizens. Thus comes the need to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in legal matters related to lawsuits against businesses.
Data from the American Bar Association suggests that the US has around 1.3 million lawyers. You’ll need to choose one to represent you and your case based on their skills, experience, and past legal victories. An experienced and skilled attorney will increase the likelihood of you winning the legal battle.
Keep in mind that not all disputes require a lawsuit. Your attorney can help you explore alternative methods of resolution, such as negotiation or mediation.
#3 Thorough Documentation
Effective documentation is the backbone of a successful lawsuit. Gathering and organizing all relevant documents related to the dispute is essential. This might include contracts, invoices, emails, photographs, videos, receipts, and any other evidence that supports your claims.
External research can also be counted as valid evidence in such cases. Take the Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF Firefighting Foam) lawsuit as an example. According to TorHoerman Law, the AFFF foam has been found to cause different types of cancer. These include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and more. These revelations were made through research, and the documented results were what led to people filing lawsuits against the manufacturers.
Victims of the AFFF foam lawsuit are currently uniting to file lawsuits against the respective manufacturers. The goal is to seek compensation from these businesses for the losses they suffered.
Detailed records will help build a strong case and provide your attorney with the necessary tools to advocate on your behalf. The more thorough and well-organized your documentation, the better your chances of presenting a compelling argument in court.
#4 Calculating Damages
In a lawsuit against a business, it’s important to accurately calculate the damages you’ve suffered. Damages could be economic (financial losses), non-economic (pain and suffering), or punitive (aimed at punishing the business for wrongdoing).
Understanding the extent of your losses will help you decide whether pursuing a lawsuit is worth it or not. It will also assist your attorney in determining the appropriate compensation to seek. Quantifying damages can be complex, so consulting financial experts or professionals in relevant fields might be necessary.
#5 Exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Methods
While filing a lawsuit is one option, it’s not the only path to resolution. Before heading to court, consider exploring alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration. These processes can be less time-consuming and expensive than a trial and can lead to mutually agreeable solutions.
Mediation involves a neutral third party facilitating discussions between the parties, while arbitration is a more formal process where an arbitrator makes a binding decision. ADR methods can be particularly useful in maintaining relationships and preserving your time and resources.
If you ever find yourself in a legal battle against a business or corporation, remember that it’ll be an uphill fight. The business you go against will come at you with everything they have. However, with the right lawyers and strategies in place, you just might make it out victorious. For that, it’s important to remember the points we’ve discussed above before entering the battlefield, or in this case, the courtroom.