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WILL I NEED TO GO TO COURT FOR MY CLAIM?
It’s not always necessary to go to court for a claim. Whether it is best to go to trial will be decided by the plaintiff and their attorney, because there is a good chance of settling out of court. It is up to the attorney to attempt to prevent the need to go to court by preparing a good case that will prove the court will rule in your favor. There are some things that your attorney will look at and show to the plaintiff so that an accurate decision will be made, and in many cases, the claim doesn’t need to go to court after all.
Court versus Settlement
Several things will happen that will determine whether you need to go to court or not. While your attorney is going to prove that you are correct in your lawsuit and that you will win a considerable amount, the opposing lawyer is trying to prove the opposite. If they can show that there is a likelihood that you won’t win, or if they can find any fault that will keep the payment down to a minimum, they may feel strongly enough to go to court and take their chances. The idea is to have more on your side to prove your case, and that is what your attorney will be doing. The final decision of whether to go to court or not is entirely up to you, the plaintiff. The attorney will advise you as to what your chances are and what they believe is best.
After speaking with your lawyer, they will send what’s known as a demand letter. The letter will include, quite simply, your demands. It will include the reasons for the claim and the amount of money that you are demanding in compensation. The opponent can decide to settle, negotiate, or take the risk of going to court.
Let’s say that the opposing side decides they want to settle out of court, saving both parties a good amount of money. Once you do receive a settlement offer from the opposing party, then it is time to consider whether you want to accept the settlement or take your chances in court. But how do you figure that out? It depends on what you are looking for and how much your attorney thinks you can get. If they give you a settlement offer is feasible, and around the amount of money that you were originally looking for, it’s a good idea to settle. There is even room to negotiate if the settlement isn’t up to par. However, if yourself and the defendant don’t agree on a final amount, a lawsuit can be filed against the respondent, and the case will go to trial for the court to decide. Sometimes just filing a lawsuit against the defendant despite negotiations is enough, and the respondent might simply give the amount you’re asking. When they don’t, it’s time for trial.
Reasons Why an Attorney May Advise Against Court
There are various reasons why your attorney may decide that it’s not in your best interest to go to court. Of course, the decision remains with you, and the attorney will support you in whatever you choose. Reasons to not go to court include:
The Risk of Losing a Case – If the settlement offer is rejected and then the case goes to court and loses, you walk away with nothing. Sometimes, what the court decides is a higher amount than originally asked for, which is why it’s crucial to have a well-researched strong case.
Delayed Compensation – If you need the money quickly for medical bills or something else, the settlement offer is the quickest option. Receiving money after trial takes a little longer.
Cost – Going to court costs a good amount of money, both for the attorney and the court fees.
Appeals – Anytime you go to court, the opposing side has the right to appeal multiple times, which can result in a longer trial. When you agree to a settlement offer, the contract is binding and done.
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