It is predicted that in 2020 U.S. companies will spend a total of 24 billion U.S. dollars on litigation. Suing and litigation are a daily occurrence in courts all over the USA.
While most of us take steps to avoid litigation, have you ever considered what happens when you get sued? How does it affect your reputation? What can you do to avoid the financial ruin that may come with litigation?
Check out our in-depth guide to litigation and the effects of litigation?.
- Investigatory Stage
When an individual proposes litigation, their lawyer will enter the investigatory stage. They will examine the known information about the case to determine whether the case can be brought to court.
Their investigation will involve reviewing relevant public records and accident reports and speaking with witnesses.
In short, this means that by the time you learn that someone is suing you, they may have already gathered a significant amount of information.
- Discovery Stage
After the Summons and Complaint are filed, the investigation ends and Discovery begins. The defendant will reply to the accusation. This is to either agree or disagree with the complaints made.
The defendant can then formally request information from the plaintiff to gain access to information that will be used against them in the case.
- Pre-Trial Stage
During the pre-trial stage, each party will collect official documents that they can use as exhibits during the trial. This stage includes the court issuing subpoenas to key witnesses.
During this stage, each party will learn how the opposition will approach the case. It is during this stage that one side or the other will try to settle the case.
- Trial Stage
In the event that they have not been able to settle the case, it will inevitably go to trial-stage. Both parties will have appointed lawyers to represent them in court.
Even during this stage, the case can be closed with a settlement. However in the case that it is not settled, the decision will go to the judge or jury to make the final decision.
- Appeal Stage
After a judgment is made by the judge or jury, one party may not be happy with the results and feel that they have grounds to appeal. In most cases, they will have the right to do this by appealing to a higher court. In New York State this is called the appellate division.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Many cases do not go as far as court. As we have seen, in some situations the parties agree to settle the case financially before going to court.
Of course, in all cases, it is better to avoid litigation altogether. Often precautions can be taken to avoid litigation.
Sometimes this may include security barriers to prevent trips and falls in the workplace. In other cases, it may be possible to prevent a lawsuit with a security guard by thoroughly screening your security company before you hire. Being proactive is key here, and small preventative measures can often go a long way.
Find Out What Happens When you get Sued and Much More
If you have ever wondered what happens when you get sued, you now understand the consequences can be serious. It can have very damaging financial implications and even worse, damage the reputation of your business for years.
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