How to Sue a Company

By Contributor - Updated June 16, 2017
Lawsuit paperwork

Defective products, bad service and injury to you or your property are just a few reasons to consider taking legal action against companies. What to do first and what to expect during the process can be confusing. The following are the steps in how to sue a company.

Investigate the company you wish to sue by doing some research on the internet. Collect as much information as you can about the company, especially if the company has had similar complaints or lawsuits about your situation, in particular. You can sue a company in small claims court. Small claims court is within your state and is a much more relaxed environment than the higher court systems. There are limits for the amount you can sue for in small claims court. This makes it more comfortable for an individual to represent themselves, saving the money of hiring an attorney. Gather all the evidence you can to build a solid case for yourself.

Determine whether your lawsuit is for money or replacement of a defective product. You can only sue a company in small claims court for money. If a product you purchased was defective or you received bad service, that would require going to the higher court systems, which means you would have to hire an attorney.

File your paperwork with your local courthouse that will also advise what the next step will be. Keep in mind that you must be at least 18 years old to sue a company. If under 18 years old, you will need to have someone over 18 to represent you in the suit.

Determine who is to serve or deliver a copy of your notice to sue the company. The court can send either a sheriff or what is called a "process server." A process server basically is anyone who delivers legal paperwork to the other party on your behalf and returns to the courthouse with proof that the paperwork was delivered and signed for. You can also appoint someone you know to deliver the paperwork on your behalf.

Assemble your paperwork to present in court in chronological order. Provide pictures if appropriate. Give anything you will be using to support your case such as pictures and a list of individuals who have had similar experiences that will be attending the trial to the judge to be entered as evidence.

Find the time to attend other cases of individuals suing a company. By doing this, you will know what to expect and see how the whole process works.

Research websites where you can ask advice of lawyers who specialize in small claims cases. This will help not only show you all the steps involved but also what to expect after.

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