Can I Sue? How to Know When You Can Sue

When can you sue? How do you sue somebody? And how do you know if filing a lawsuit will actually work? Here at, we get these questions a lot. After all, readers and website users at Complaints List all have at least one thing in common: they’ve been hurt by a company or individual, and now they’re looking for justice.

There are no clear-cut answers when it comes to questions like, “Can I sue somebody for ____?” However, here are a few things you might want to know as you consider pursuing your situation through legal means…

Three Questions to Ask Yourself About Suing

Before you go any further down this road, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do I have a case that will be accepted by the courts?

2. If I have a case, but it’s doubtful that I’ll win, am I willing to settle outside of court?

3. If I do win the case, will I actually be able to collect on the lawsuit?

Let’s break down each of these three questions…

Will It Hold Water?

This is the biggest question to ask yourself. The minute you go to hire a lawyer is the minute you start sinking money and serious time into your case. The more you put in, the harder it’s going to be to turn back. That being the case, it’s important to do one of two things:

– Only visit with lawyers who will offer free initial consultations.

– Do some serious research of your own to determine whether or not your case will hold up.

Really, we recommend doing both of these things if you choose to pursue your case through the courts. We recommend using a website like Find Law to search for precedents and more specific answers to the questions you may have about particulars surrounding your case.

Settling Outside of Court

Oftentimes, even if you have a legitimate case that could win, your lawyer will recommend settling outside of court. The truth is, if you’re prosecuting a major company and the company knows that you stand a good chance of winning, then you’ll probably receive some kind of offer outside of the courtroom. Companies make these offers to avoid the bad press and legal expenses.

It’s important to consider whether or not you’ll accept any such offer. What are your main objectives here? Are you mainly looking for money/restitution? Or, are you seeking to shame the company/person publicly? If it’s the latter, then receiving a settlement offer could lead to a more complicated situation than you originally accounted for.

Collecting the Money

Let’s say you win the case and lawsuit. Is the money actually there to be collected upon? There’s no point in suing your neighbor, on the verge of bankruptcy, for $200,000. The money simply isn’t there. No matter what the courtroom says, if the money isn’t there, then you aren’t getting it. Think seriously about the person or company you’re suing beforehand. You could find yourself up a creek.

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