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What Is Pre Litigation (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What is Pre-Litigation?

What’s important to know about this concept?

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Let me explain to you what Pre-Litigation is and how it works!

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What Is Pre-Litigation

Pre-litigation refers to the process that is followed before a formal lawsuit is filed in court.

In other words, pre-litigation refers to what the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s lawyer may do before actually serving a complaint and summons on the defendant.

The pre-litigation generally includes the sending of a notice by the potential plaintiff’s attorneys, investigation of the claim by the plaintiff’s attorneys, sending of a demand letter to the at-fault party, and potential settlement negotiations.

The main objective is for the plaintiff to investigate the merits of a potential claim, formally notify the potential defendant of the potential claim and compensation sought, and ultimately settle the matter or formally file a lawsuit.

For example, a person involved in an automobile accident and has suffered damages may want to first consult with a lawyer to see if he or she has a case against the at-fault driver.

If so, the lawyers will assess the facts of the case and determine if the injured driver has a claim and for how much.

Then, the potential plaintiff’s lawyers will send a notice to the at-fault driver asking for compensation, hoping to settle the matter before the case goes to court.

Otherwise, a formal lawsuit will be filed against the defendant who will need to formally present a defense and do what’s necessary for court.

Keep reading as I will further break down the meaning of pre-litigation and tell you how it works.

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Pre-Litigation Process

Pre-litigation refers to all the steps taken by litigants before officially filing a lawsuit in court.

The main pre-litigation steps include the investigation of a potential claim, the formal notification of the other party, the sending of a demand letter, settlement negotiations or the filing of a lawsuit.

Before filing a lawsuit, it’s important to properly investigate the matter to ensure that the plaintiff has sufficient grounds to be able to file a claim in court.

Lawyers will want to investigate the plaintiff’s claim by consulting all the documentary evidence, speaking with the injured party, speaking with witnesses, reviewing medical records, and taking statements from different parties.

As the case is being investigated, the plaintiff’s lawyers may send a notification letter to the at-fault party requiring that the party maintain and preserve all documents and data related to the dispute.

A letter can also be sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company in case an insurance policy may be triggered.

Once the lawyers have validated the potential of the claim and quantified the injured party’s damages, they will then send a demand letter to the at-fault party.

The demand letter can expose the injured party’s claim and will formally demand compensation from the at-fault party for the damages suffered.

The defendant may retain the services of an attorney who may engage in negotiation discussions with the plaintiff’s lawyer.

If the matter is resolved, the parties can enter into a settlement agreement putting the case behind them.

Otherwise, the plaintiff can take the matter to court and file a lawsuit against the defendant.

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Pre-Litigation Requirements

Certain types of claims must follow a specific pre-litigation process before a lawsuit can be filed in court.

For example, in certain states, a person looking to file a lawsuit against a healthcare professional will need to send certain notices to the healthcare professional and follow a specific process.

A committee of doctors will need to review the case before the plaintiff is entitled to file a lawsuit in court.

Another example where pre-litigation requirements may be imposed by law is when filing a lawsuit against the government or state agencies.

Depending on the nature of the claim, a complaint may need to be filed with a government agency before a lawsuit can be filed.

Depending on the nature of the claim and who is being pursued, the plaintiff may have the obligation to follow a specific pre-litigation process before filing a lawsuit.

It’s very important that an injured party consult with a qualified attorney to understand any specific requirements applicable to the claim.

In some cases, if the proper pre-litigation process is not respected, the plaintiff may lose his or her right to pursue the matter in court.

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Pre-Litigation FAQ

What does pre-litigation mean?

Pre-litigation is a broad term referring to anything that is done by an injured party before officially filing a lawsuit against another party.

This can include a notice sent to the other party informing them of your intent to potentially sue, an investigation by your lawyers, a formal claim letter sent to the at-fault party, and attempts to settle the case before going to court.

What are the benefits of pre-litigation investigation?

The main benefit of a pre-litigation investigation is to ensure that you have a defensible claim against another party before filing your lawsuit.

Filing a lawsuit can be quite expensive and the last thing you will want to do is to file a lawsuit that you had little to no chance of winning.

To avoid unnecessary legal costs and headaches, it’s best to do a proper pre-litigation investigation to ensure that you have a valid claim with reasonable chances of success against another party and estimate how much you can get in compensation.

What does pre-litigation start and end?

There is no exact definition of when the pre-litigation process begins.

Generally, the moment an injured person starts gathering facts or contacts an attorney for legal advice, you can say that the pre-litigation phase has begun.

In some cases, an injured person may choose not to take any action while in other cases they may take further pre-litigation steps.

The pre-litigation process ends when the injured party files a lawsuit or decides to definitively abandon the pursuit of the claim.

Recommended article: What is a settlement check

Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does pre-litigation mean?

In a nutshell, pre-litigation refers to the steps, activities, and processes engaged before the filing of a formal lawsuit.

There are many benefits in properly handling the pre-litigation steps before filing a lawsuit.

Typically, a person will consult with an attorney to determine whether he or she may have a valid claim against another person, quantify the claim, gather the necessary facts and documents, speak with witnesses, send a notice to the defendant, and either settle the case or proceed with the filing of a lawsuit.

To the extent that the parties are able to resolve their dispute without having to engage in formal legal proceedings, they may save themselves a lot of time, money, and headache.

Now that you know what pre-litigation means and how it works, good luck with your research!

Demand letter 
Structured settlement
Witness deposition
Demurrer meaning 
Request for production
Request for admission 
Injunctive relief 
Alternative dispute resolution 
Affirmative defense 
Cease and desist letter
Author

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!

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