Establishing the Value of Your Case

Before pursuing litigation, it is important to consider the value of your case.  An accurate assessment of your case’s value, meaning how much you stand to gain if you are successful, is crucial to making important decisions at each step of the litigation process.

How to calculate the value of your case 

Depending on the facts of your case, valuation can be relatively straightforward or very complex.  For example, if the case is about non-payment of a bill or a collections matter, the value can be simple to calculate based on services rendered or a written contract.  However, depending on the varying facts of the situation, the calculation can become more complicated.

You must first consider the legal merits of your case.  Experienced attorneys are in the best position to help you understand the legal merits, the value of your case, and its likelihood of success.  Without a viable legal claim, your case may have no value.

After determining you have a legal claim, you should consider your goals and what you want to obtain from pursuing legal action.  In the majority of cases, the remedy comes down to a dollar amount based on how you have been damaged.  Some damages are easier to evaluate and prove than others.  Damages for lost wages can be a simple math problem using past pay stubs.  Or there are receipts and invoices for non-payment of fees in a collections matter.  You may wish to seek other forms of damages for more intangible things, like emotional harm or damages to be incurred in the future.  Those forms of damages can be more difficult to calculate because it is challenging to measure the exact amounts and there are no receipts for things like pain and suffering or lost business opportunities. These intangible damages can be difficult to quantify and prove, which may decrease the value of your case.  However, depending on the specific facts, those intangible damages can be very valuable and provide increased value to your case.

The value of your case may also depend on the amount of time and attorney fees you are willing to invest.  You should factor in these other costs of litigation itself, including attorney fees, filing costs, and other expenses.

How to use this information

Understanding the value of your case helps to inform you on how to pursue a claim.  For example, information about the value of your case is crucial to determining the amount to request in a demand letter.  If the opposing party is unwilling to settle the claim for the amount demanded, knowing the value of your case will help you determine whether to move forward with litigation.  Ultimately, it is your decision whether your claim is valuable enough to pursue.

The above outlines a few reasons it is important to accurately assess your claim before moving forward.  Attorneys Sean Foss or Sarah Aaberg can help you determine the value of your case.  Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo, North Dakota to discuss your case or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.

 

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