“Sue sells seashells by the seashore, but I stepped on one of Sue’s shells so I want to sue.”
That’s how the tongue twister goes, right?
If you’ve caught the television commercial we produced about the shockingly LOW number of Florida civil claims that actually end up going to jury trial — you know, a measly 0.4% of all cases — you’ve probably pondered the implications. Maybe you’ve even questioned your overall understanding of how the system really works.
After all, you’ve been conditioned to believe that if you’re injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you hire “the big guys” and you SUE!
That’s just not the way it goes. Or at least it’s not how it SHOULD go the majority of the time.
Lawsuits have a time and a place
Let me be very clear: there is a time, place, circumstance, and a very personal decision that calls for the filing of an actual lawsuit against the person/entity that has caused you harm and loss. Most negligence claims, however, never get that far. Even fewer actually get to a full-blown jury trial, for numerous and varied reasons I won’t get into here.
It is very rare that you retain an injury attorney and immediately decide to file a lawsuit. Instead, your claim is (or should be) carefully guided through an organized and logical process. This will, hopefully, allow you to recover from your losses without the time, expense and stress of litigation.
This process helps to keep your attorney’s fees lower, keeps your costs lower and allows for faster resolution of claims. Additionally, it continually reminds you that you are making a claim against an insurance company, rather than a person. This can make a big difference to the psyches of those of us trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Let’s be honest, shall we? Nobody wants to be “that person,” meaning someone incapable of understanding that we all make mistakes and your injury very likely wasn’t intentional.
Sometimes a lawsuit is the best option
Of course, there are always exceptions. Many times we meet with a client to discuss whether it is in their best interests to file a lawsuit. Taking it one step further, once deep into the litigation of your claim, we assess whether it makes sense to take your case in front of a jury at trial. Yes, you read that right.
These are decisions that are ongoing and ever-changing. They are based largely on the work and effort your attorney puts in on your behalf to investigate, research, and uncover the good, the bad and the ugly about your case.
It is under these circumstances it is vital to have an attorney well versed in alternative dispute resolution methods. These include mediation and arbitration.
Make an educated decision
We need not live in a world of “I’m suing!”
Rather, we should live in a world of “What are my options and what legal remedy is best for me?” This is the question you should feel comfortable asking your attorney. Your attorney should be more than happy to spend the time necessary to explain options, processes, potential outcomes, financial investment, and any other concerns you might have.
Find an attorney who is focused on what is in YOUR best interests.