Lawsuits are incredibly common. There are approximately 15 million civil cases filed every year in the United States, which vary in size, intensity, and purpose. Our legal system exists to protect and support people who have legitimate claims against corporations, organizations, and individuals who hurt them physically, emotionally, or financially, but it’s not always a straightforward path to resolution. In a perfect world, anyone with a valid claim would be instantly awarded an appropriate settlement, but thanks to complicated legal processes, powerful corporations, and other variables, this is an almost impossible scenario.
The Unseen Challenges
Being the plaintiff in a pending lawsuit is challenging. Even though your lawyer may be taking care of the paperwork and proceedings, you still need to be aware of these five unseen obstacles:
- Dealing with day-to-day expenses. While you’re waiting for a final settlement, it can be extremely difficult just meeting your day-to-day expenses. In many cases, the plaintiff is injured, which adds two major variables to the situation. First, the injured plaintiff is responsible for more medical bills and ongoing treatment, making it harder to keep up with rising expenses. Second, the injured plaintiff may be unable to work to keep money coming in. Thankfully, there are options available to people in this predicament, such as legal funding, which enables plaintiffs with solid cases to access immediate funds. Legal funding isn’t a loan, which means if you lose the case, you aren’t on the hook for the money. In these circumstances, this cushion can be a source of immediate and massive stress relief.
- Affording suitable representation. You can find legal representation for many different budgets, but as you might imagine, higher skill sets, better areas of expertise, and more experience all tend to come with higher rates. For the injured plaintiff already struggling with daily expenses and who may not have an active income stream, the prospect of hiring a seasoned professional is virtually impossible. Some lawyers may be willing to reduce their rates, eliminate them entirely, or work out a special deal if you have a promising case, but this still demands some upfront research and work to determine the best fit for your particular case.
- Dealing with aggressive defense tactics. When you’re filing suit against a company, especially a major corporation, they won’t take it sitting down. Most companies have access to far more funds than the average individual, and they’re able to hire some of the best legal help money can buy. They’ll fight tooth and nail to keep as much money as they can, and they’ll likely use aggressive negotiation tactics to bully defendants into taking lower offers. They may downplay the severity of the incident, play off the plaintiff’s ignorance of the legal system, or misrepresent expenses and values to get a plaintiff to accept a lower offer.
- Maintaining a pre-existing lifestyle. After your injury or inciting incident, you’ll likely have trouble maintaining your pre-existing lifestyle. For example, your new circumstances may have changed your work or work schedule, or may prohibit you from engaging in some of your favorite hobbies or pastimes. On top of that, you’ll likely be spending hours of your time dealing with the lawsuit as it develops, which limits your free time to almost nothing.
- Following the legal proceedings. The law is complicated subject matter, which is why you need professional representation in the first place. If you don’t have any prior legal experience or any familiarity with how the system works, you may find it difficult to keep up with the proceedings or follow exactly what’s going on.
Is It Worth It?
Understanding all the challenges you could face as a plaintiff, and hearing stories of how intimidating or confusing the legal system is, you may feel disillusioned about the entire process. However, there are thousands of people who have made careers out of trying to get hurt individuals the compensation they deserve. If you have a legitimate claim, all you need to do is find the right resources—the legal funding and professional representation you need—to make your case effective.