BKC Solicitors | Litigation
Litigation is the process of making a claim against another party by taking them to court. Burns Kelly Corrigan Solicitors are experts in litigation. The process of litigation can be ended before going to court if an agreement or settlement is reached. If a settlement cannot be reached between the parties, then a judge or sometimes a judge and jury, will determine the outcome in court.
The Phases of Litigation
Before the litigation process proper begins a good solicitor will make a demand or demands of the other party. For instance, if a client had a faulty hip implant the solicitor would write to the manufacturer and clearly demand corrective treatment and compensation. If the required response from the other party is not acceptable the first phase of litigation begins.
First the plaintiff (the party pursuing compensation) files the complaint with the appropriate court.
The court then certifies the complaint and it is given to the defendant (the party against whom the complaint has been made) along with a summons to answer the complaint by a certain day. The defendant now has a timeframe in which they can response to or answer the complaint. Once an answer has been filed by the defendant the litigation moves into the next phase.
During discovery both the plaintiff and the defendant engage in a structured exchange of evidence and statements. This is done so that both parties are clear on the cause of the dispute and to eliminate frivolous and non relevant information from the next phase of litigation.
Trial and Judgement
If at this stage the two parties have still not settled upon an agreement then the litigation moves to trial. During trial a judge or a judge and jury considers both parties evidence and arguments and delivers a verdict.
When is Litigation Appropriate?
To sue another party successfully and receive compensation, you must be able to show that you suffered a loss as a result of the defendant and that you have tried to resolve the problem through ordinary means…e.g. There is no point bringing a personal injury case against another driver if you have never tried to come to a resolution with him. It is also important to consider whether the party has appropriate means to compensate you if you win.
The most important first step in deciding whether to litigate is to choose a good solicitor. Of course a good solicitor will also have plenty of experience in helping to resolve disputes before litigation even begins.