Although we hear about lawsuits all the time in the news and across the media, many of us don’t know very much about them. Let’s take a closer look at situations which cause lawsuits to be filed, the possible outcomes and some information on how to file one for yourself.

Types of Situations that Can Lead to Lawsuits

The number of different situations which now end up resulting in lawsuits being filed is surprisingly large. As is to be expected, the majority of lawsuits are still focussed around legal areas such as breaches of contract, bad debt, damage to property, professional misconduct, injury, counterclaims and crossclaims, libel and breaches of warranty. However, as lawsuits become an ever more turned to method for dealing with disagreements in an increasingly litigious society, there continues to be new and novel reasons for filing lawsuits for reasons many would never expect. Recent examples of unusual lawsuit cases include a person filing for damages due to trans fats being used as a cookie ingredient and in 1995 a person actually filed a lawsuit against themselves. An important legal distinction to familiarise yourself with is the difference between civil and private lawsuits.

What Are The Typical Outcomes Once A Lawsuit Has Been Filed?

Many people who file lawsuits, and especially the lawyers representing them, view the initial filing of a lawsuit as an opening shot towards getting a desirable outcome from what may be a drawn out legal process. By far the most common lawsuit outcome is to see the case settled out of court before an official verdict is even reached. In fact, it is estimated that as many as nineteen out of twenty personal injury lawsuit cases are settled this way. The principal reason for most cases being settled out of court is that to both parties concerned it is often the case that the risk of the judge coming to a clear cut verdict is too high and so it’s seen as being better for both sides to compromise, negotiate and come to some sort of equitable outcome. Some in the legal field are critical of the current process and feel that far too high a percentage of cases are settled out of court rather than reaching a judge decided verdict. Outcomes not involving an out of court settlement can include the judge finding completely in favor of the plaintiff, throwing the case out of court or reaching a verdict which apportions liability to both sides.

How To File A Lawsuit

If you find yourself in the position where you want to file a lawsuit, then there are some steps you need to take to set the process in motion. These include ensuring that you fully meet the legal capacity criteria, have a solid legal case to base your lawsuit around and have a realistic chance of winning a sum that will make going through it worthwhile. Many legal firms will offer a free initial consultation which allows you to sound out their opinions on how strong a case you have. If you worry about what losing the case would do to you financially, then consider working with a legal firm on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Like it or not, lawsuits play a large part in modern life and there is a reasonable chance that at some point in your life you will have to either file one yourself or defend yourself against someone filing a lawsuit against you. Familiarising yourself with the law regarding lawsuits is worthwhile and can prepare you to handle any situation that may arise and help friends and family should they need to file a lawsuit.