Three Things You Need to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit

Thursday, February 13, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

If you are in need of filing a lawsuit chances are you don’t have a lot of time as a lawsuit can be very time consuming. Before you get yourself too far into the process take a look at these tips to make sure it is something you still want to pursue.

Three Things You Need to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit

  1. A Lawsuit must be filed in a Certain Amount of Time or it is barred.

    Most personal injury claims must be filed within two years from the date of the occurrence that caused the injury to the plaintiff. This period of time to commence a lawsuit is referred to as a statute of limitations. If not filed within that time, the case will be dismissed.

    There are a few exceptions to this rule. The statute doesn’t always apply if the injured person is a minor child or person under a mental disability. In medical malpractices cases, the two year period begins on the date treatment is completed.

    In cases such as breach of contract and fraud cases, the statute applies a four year period. If a person has been injured, or thinks they have a viable lawsuit against another, it is vitally important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

    In addition to avoiding a statute of limitations problem, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is beneficial for other reasons. Collecting evidence, obtaining statements from witnesses, and other case investigation is easier to perform right after the incident occurred than years later.

  2. Attorneys Charge Fees By Different Methods.

    Some attorneys charge by the hour and are expected to be paid up front or periodically as the case progresses. Criminal cases and many contract cases are charged in this manner.

    Others charge on a contingency method, or as a percentage of eventual recovery. Most personal injury cases are charged on a contingency method. Usually, the contingency percentage is between 25 percent and 33 percent.

    Case costs are another thing to consider in filing a lawsuit. Costs can be filing fees, investigator fees, expert witness fees, and stenographer fees. In some cases, costs can be high. Some attorneys, but not all, will agree to front the case costs and obtain reimbursement from the client when recovery is made.

  3. Success in a Lawsuit is not guaranteed.

    Attorneys cannot guarantee that a client’s case will be successful or that the client will receive a certain amount of compensation.

    On the other hand, far more cases are settled out of court, or through a mediation process than go to trial. Many factors will apply to the eventual success or failure of a case. The attorneys at places like Dietrich Law who is a Cambridge lawyer will be happy to evaluate a client’s personal injury case and can fully explain the merits and possible pitfalls of filing a lawsuit.

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