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Should I file suit?

Filing suit generally is the last option when attempting to resolve a dispute. There are several factors to consider:

Potential recovery

Calculating recovery, if the lawsuit is won, is based on the best-case and worst-case scenarios. Expectations may not be realized. Not all damages are recoverable.

The amount of recovery is unpredictable. In case of a claim for bodily injury, no one can exactly evaluate the amount of compensation that will be awarded by a judge or a jury for the injured party's pain and suffering, disability or disfigurement.

Attorney fees and expenses

Legal fees may be based on an hourly rate or contingency-fee basis. An hourly rate can depend on a lawyer's experience, relationship with a client and desire for ongoing work with the client.

Billable items include:

  • Phone calls to and from a client or any other party related to the client’s matter
  • Meetings
  • Legal research
  • Composition of letters and briefs
  • Time in court (which may be charged at a higher rate than office work)
  • Preparing documents
  • Travel time
  • Depositions

Expenses connected with a case may reach such level that further litigation may become counterproductive.

Litigation is costly and time-consuming for all parties. A lawsuit only should be filed to seek resolution of a legitimate problem that cannot be resolved by other means.

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