You’ll have seen the incessant radio and TV ads asking whether you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, right. None of us tend to like the way the culture is shifting to a claim and blame culture where ‘ambulance chasing’ litigation is becoming more and more prevalent.
That said, if you have been wronged then it is reasonable for you to be compensated, and the way to do that is to enter into litigation against the person or company that has caused you harm.
Now, this post is a little different to things like making money from your receipts, and is perhaps a little more invested, but you know, if you have been wronged that it’s hard to rest until you get a resolution and if a resolution happens to involve a big payout, all the better.
The court system is pretty straightforward, when it comes to low value claims, but can get much more complicated when dealing with more advanced cases or when the amounts are much higher in value. The other thing to consider, is that if you are going up against a company then you’re likely to be going up against a team of paralegals and solicitors who are experts at winning cases.
In this sense, you’ll want to ensure that if you do have a claim against someone, you will actually win the case as otherwise it can be a waste of time and a lot of money should you not win and be ordered to pay costs in the case.
Here are some tips on winning your case:
- GET REPRESENTATION
You might have a good case, on merit, but that’s not to say the other side won’t use whatever it can to get the case struck out (meaning thrown out of court before it’s even heard). This is where having representation comes in handy.
That said, if you are struggling to afford a solicitor, you can act on your own behalf as a litigant in person and the courts are becoming much more accommodating to those choosing to represent themselves. Today, “access to justice” is considered a right that should not be limited to the privileged few who can afford expensive legal counsel.
- BE HONEST
In addition to the serious issue that you might commit perjury if you lie on your claim form or in court, lying is not genuinely recommended as your argument is more than likely to fall apart at some point either on the evidence, in cross examination, or the non-logic and non-congruence of facts.
Therefore, whilst it might feel tempting to exaggerate a particular aspect of your claim because you know the outcome could be more favourable, the court relies on evidence to substantiate everything you say, and the trial is designed to get straight to the truth, so do yourself a favour and be transparent from the outset.
Accept you have certain areas of weakness and find ways to defend against them, but don’t attempt to lie or embellish the truth in order to create a more compelling argument because the case will fall apart, you might be ordered to pay the costs of the other side, and you could even end up in jail!
- NEGOTIATE OUT OF COURT
Remember, that many cases are never settled in court, they are settled either prior to trial or just before verdict. Indeed, a lot of times the trial is almost a game of one-upmanship where you each flex the muscles of your argument and then the judge or jury will come back with a decision, however, in most jurisdictions when it comes to civil matters, the two parties can always make a deal outside of court… taking out the gamble associated with a third parties judgement.