Knowing When to Sue: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving Forward

Deciding to bring a lawsuit against a person or some other entity is a major decision which should never be taken lightly. Whether you’ve been injured in an accident, been the victim of a business-related sleight, or you are even seeking financial restitution for criminal actions committed against you, civil litigation may or may not be a good idea, and it is essential that you consider all relevant elements before taking action.

Below we have detailed three key questions you should ask yourself before deciding to sue. Keep in mind, you should always consult with a knowledgeable attorney beforehand as well, so if you are considering civil litigation, please contact ClarkeGriffin, LLC today.

Is it worth it?

First and foremost, you must decide whether it is going to be worthwhile for you to pursue litigation. In essence you must conduct a cost-benefit analysis, which will tell you whether the potential benefits of suing someone outweigh the potential detriments. And when we refer to “cost-benefit,” we do not just mean the financial cost. That is a key component, of course, but you must also consider whether you want the attention a lawsuit could bring, whether you want to deal with a public trial, and many other unavoidable ramifications of pursuing a lawsuit.

Keep in mind that whether or not litigation is worth it for you is entirely subjective and depends on your unique circumstances. For example, if you were injured in an accident and you are considering suing the person who caused the accident, your cost-benefit analysis is going to be entirely different from a business owner who is considering suing another business who violated a confidentiality agreement. Consult with your attorney and try to be as objective as you can when considering your own personal motivations.

Can I win?

This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of people who will pursue expensive litigation out of anger even when they know there is little chance of winning the case. You must consider the evidence, consider similar cases, and figure out whether you actually stand a chance of winning the lawsuit if you choose to pursue it. Obviously, your attorney will be an integral part of this process and can advise you on the probability of achieving a favorable outcome based on your unique circumstances. Once you have a reasonable analysis of the viability of a lawsuit, you should refer back to question one above and ask yourself whether it is worthwhile for you to pursue the case. Perhaps you simply want to make a statement by bringing the lawsuit and have no intention of winning. On the other hand, perhaps you want to play it safe and avoid litigation unless you are practically certain you will succeed. It all depends on your goals.

Can I collect?

Alongside the question of whether or not you stand a chance of winning your case is an even more practical one: If I win, will I actually be able to collect on the judgment? Oftentimes a defendant will be unable to pay the debt, and it can become incredibly difficult and potentially expensive to enforce the judgment. If you believe the potential target of your lawsuit does not have the means to pay you if you win, the case may not be worth pursuing.

If you are considering filing any sort of civil lawsuit, contact the law office of ClarkeGriffin, LLC today and let us advise you and guide you every step of the way.

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Written by Clarke Griffin