Taking legal action against somebody can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. But sometimes you feel you have no choice. If you’ve suffered a loss and the person responsible is ignoring you, what else can you do?
Or it may be that somebody is threatening to take legal action against you because they believe they’ve suffered a loss because of your actions.
Whatever the circumstances it makes sense to arrange a consultation with a lawyer before you do anything. That way you’ll know more about the process you’re entering into and what your options are.
Taking advice before you act can also prevent you from doing something that might inadvertently undermine your legal position.
The first thing to be prepared for is that the process can take a significant amount of time. For the period April to June 2021, small claims and multi/fast track claims took on average 49.2 weeks and 71.1 weeks to go to trial – 12 weeks longer than the same period in 2019 respectively.
Civil Litigation – Establishing the Facts
The law is only interested in facts. The first thing your solicitor will do is to establish a clear factual position based on the evidence. Whatever you think about the motivations and character of the other party will not be relevant – it’s all about the facts of the case and how they relate to civil law.
A lawyer will also be able to advise you on your chances of making a successful claim and the level of compensation you might get if successful. They should also give you an estimate of the costs involved in pursuing a claim. You can then make an informed decision about whether to proceed.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many cases are settled without going to court through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Courts normally expect both parties to explore this option seriously. During this process there’s a duty on both sides to openly share relevant information and seek a resolution based on the facts.
If you’re lucky, contact from a lawyer will encourage the other party to engage in a serious discussion – even if they’ve ignored you in the past.
If either party fails to engage in the ADR process or withholds relevant information a court can impose a sanction. It can order them to pay costs or restrict the costs they are able to reclaim if they win the case.
Deciding what information is relevant to the case and what needs to be disclosed is one of the issues your solicitor can advise you on.
Ultimately, it’s about going in with your eyes open and being clear about your options. If you’re considering taking legal action, talk to PowellsLaw before you do anything and we will be happy to help. Contact us on 01934 623 501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.