Five Important Things to Know About Litigation

Going to court can be intimidating. But, with the right attorney, you can litigate your case and win what you deserve. No matter who your attorney is, here are five important things to know about litigation.

Judge in Trial

1. How does a trial work?

First, it is important to understand the different ways trials can happen.  There are two different types of trials. The first type of trial is bench trial, where the judge makes the final decision.  The second type of trial is jury trial, where various people are selected at random to make a decision in the case.  Knowing which one to choose, and which one you are entitled to is crucial in preparing the litigation strategy for every case. 

2. How much will litigation cost?

Second, it is impossible to set an amount of how much a case will cost.  There are times when cases can be resolved in the early stages, without much litigation, and that will help keep the costs down.  But there are also cases where extensive work will be needed to create the best opportunity to establish the truth and win the case.  Understanding the goal and what is at stake will help in estimating what these costs can add up to.

3. Should you put your insurance carrier on notice?

Third, all though insurance does not apply to provide coverage in every case, it is important to find out.  Let the insurance company determine if there is coverage, even if you believe there is none.  Although coverage is not guaranteed, the failure to notify the insurance company of the suit in a timely fashion may jeopardize any coverage you may have been entitled to.

4. What do I do with electronic evidence?

In today’s world most evidence will be found in some form of electronic format.  Identifying and preserving those items, in their native format, is very important in making sure that you are prepared both for starting a lawsuit, or in the event you must defend one.

Moreover, if you are a business owner, there needs to be document preservation and destruction policy in place for your business.  Setting those procedures and enforcing them protects the business from being accused of destroying evidence in the case you end up in litigation. As an individual, you also need to preserve all electronic evidence in its native format. You can do this by making sure that there are sufficient backups in existence. 

In some cases, you may have to send preservation notices to the other side if you believe they may not be preserving documents needed for the litigation.

5.   How long does it usually take for a case to go to trial?

In the end, each case is different. Although some cases can be decided within a few months, the Florida courts have established case tracks that provide the schedule that a case can take, which could be anywhere from 12-24 months.  However, it is still hard to give an estimate as some of these cases can take longer depending on the facts and complexities.  

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