How to Sue

By Legal Editor

You have been wronged by a business or an individual. You know you should be compensated in some way. You know it's time to get a lawyer. You want the justice system to compensate you. Follow these tips to sue.

Know your legal rights. Find out all you can about the law pertaining to your situation. The more information you have the better prepared for court you will be.

Decide if you want a civil law suit or a criminal lawsuit. Know your goal. Decide if you want justice or compensation. You need to know this before you proceed. You want to know if you will end up in small claims court, criminal court or with an out of court settlement.

Know what you want to achieve. Make sure your goal is realistic. You don't want to waste money in court if there is no chance of winning your case.

Get a lawyer. Laws are complicated. You don't want to get involved in a lawsuit until you've spoken to a lawyer. You may want a specific kind of lawyer like a medical lawyer. Even if you decide to represent yourself, you should speak to a lawyer.

Speak to a paralegal or a law clerk if you don't have a lawyer. Legal representatives also know about the law. Get legal aid or call a lawyer for a free hour of consultation. At the very least, you want to know which papers to fill out.

Visit legal websites to gain information or find out the steps for suing. Look for online help such as legal guides and free legal information. Make sure the information you get is for your own country. It may be different in different areas. You want accurate, up-to-date, useful information.

Speak to others in your situation. Find a legal support group. Check a forum for answers to common questions. Read online newsletters and articles for information about laws and about suing.

Document your case in detail. Take pictures of any damage. Gather evidence. Know the details of the other parties involved. Make sure you have correct names and dates of all people involved. Make sure you have reliable witnesses. You may need the testimony of witnesses to back up your case.