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How Fast Is Too Fast to File a Lawsuit?

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By George Khoury, Esq. on February 21, 2019 5:56 AM

When a client comes to you seeking justice, often, you'll need to explain that the legal actions you can take in the real world don't work like they do on TV. Unless it's a pressing criminal matter, or there's a looming appearance, they're not going to be in courtroom for a while.

And while that client might not want you to wait one single second before filing, you might want to consider holding back for several reasons. But, unfortunately for you, with how quickly ACLU, state government, or other non-profit lawyers fire back when the Trump administration takes questionable actions, client expectations may be changing when it comes to how fast they expect a lawsuit to get filed.

Mind the Statute, but Let the Injury Mature

In personal injury law, you don't file cases right away because injuries often take time to mature. For those that have never done a PI case, this basically means you want to wait until all the medical treatment and recovery has been completed so as to make sure that all the damages can be accounted for in the case.

When explaining this strategic reason to delay filing to clients, often attorneys use the common expression: "You only get one bite of the apple." It's not uncommon for cases to get filed right at the statute of limitations date, as injuries can often take years to resolve and the costs of medical treatment can be uncertain until completed.

Pre-litigation Negotiations Do Work ... Sometimes

If there have been no efforts to resolve a matter prior to filing a lawsuit, it's never a bad idea to shoot over a formal demand that briefly outlines the case and sets forth a reasonable demand. After all, if you have time before the statute of limitations runs, and the case is ready to file, clients can greatly benefit from pre-litigation settlements.

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