Worst Family Member Ever?
We live in a litigious nation where people can sue one another for just about anything. While the ability to file a lawsuit when we feel that we have been wronged is one of our greatest freedoms as a United States citizen, we must be aware that every action has a consequence. Below is a story of an aunt that sued her nephew for greeting her too aggressively.
When reading the headline you might think, “What a horrible person!”. Reading the story further you realize that the aunt was not suing the family but the family’s homeowners insurance. Whether you side with the aunt or the nephews family, many may agree that filing a law suit is not a matter to be taken lightly. Here are 5 things to consider before filing a lawsuit:
- Your Private Life Will No Longer Be Private: Once you file a lawsuit be prepared to have your entire life opened up for scrutiny. The arrest for public drinking in your college days, that job you were fired from, or even an innocent social media post that may come off as offensive, are examples of situations that can and will be fair game for anyone to bring up. And these can be used against you in your case.
- You Could End Up Losing More Than Your Case: When filing a lawsuit, you may be optimistic and think that you will be the prevailing party. Most people do not file lawsuits that they think they will not win. In many states a “Prevailing Party clause” may apply to your case. A Prevailing Party clause is where the prevailing party in a law suit is entitled to costs and attorneys fees associated with the case. If you lose your case you are not only responsible for your attorney’s fees, but you may also be liable for the costs and attorney’s fees of the party you are suing.
- It is Stressful: Think about the first two items and their impact. Having your life examined under a microscope can be very stressful. In the case of a loss, paying those additional costs is definitely stressful. Additionally, there are many unforeseen things that can add to this stress load. Stress can be the number one cause of many illnesses so prepare yourself if you plan to continue with legal proceedings.
- Time Will Not Be On Your Side: Have you ever heard of the saying, “The wheels of justice turn slowly”? In so many cases this could not be more true. The average lawsuit can take many years to resolve. If you are looking for immediate vindication or for your case to be resolved quickly, be prepared for an extremely different outcome. For example, say that you file a lawsuit for a personal injury case. These are typically the steps that have to occur in order for your case to be resolved: 1) You must completely finish your medical treatment. 2) Your lawyer investigates your claim and reviews any and all documentation pertaining to your case. 3) Your lawyer must make a demand and negotiate your case. 4) If the party you dealing with is not willing to negotiate your case, then you must file a lawsuit. 5) There is a discovery process. This is where both parties gather information on the case, take depositions, and investigate. This process typically takes anywhere from six to twelve months, and in most cases longer. 6) Negotiation/Mediation. Prior to trial, the court encourages both parties try to negotiate or have the case mediated. 7) Trial: If negotiations or mediation do not work, your case goes to trial. Trials can be cancelled and rescheduled multiple times without much notice.
- You May Win Your Case, But At What Cost?: Lawsuits can change lives or even tear families apart, just like the aforementioned case between aunt and nephew. Be aware that once you file suit against a party, your life may also change along with your relationships.
If you believe that you may have a good case, do not let these things scare you off from filing a lawsuit. As an American citizen, it is one of our rights to be able to pursue legal action when we feel it necessary to resolve an issue. But it is important to use this right appropriately, and be prepared for the things that are associated with taking this course of action. Therefore, having good and ethical legal representation is imperative. An experienced and knowledgable attorney that guides you through the legal process is just as important as having a good case. The appropriate legal representation will not only reduce your stress but they will also be able to walk you through your case and prepare you for the legal road ahead. If you or someone you know is seeking legal advice or representation, contact Lagomarsino Law at 702-383-2864 www.lagomarsinolaw.com