What are my Options?
When you have a legal dispute, going to court is not your only option. You should consider your options and decide what is the best way to resolve the matter. Should you start a lawsuit? Should you try to settle? Who can help?
It’s important to keep an open mind about your options to settle out of court. Most claims in BC Small Claims Court take about 1 year from when a claim is filed to when a decision is made after a trial. Working out a solution between you and the other party can:
- Allow you to have more control over the outcome (rather than leaving it up to the judge)
- Be more flexible (more opportunity for creative solutions)
- Avoid escalating hostilities (going to court can exasperate conflict)
- Reduce the amount of time you are in dispute
It’s particularly important to try to work out a solution when there is an ongoing relationship. Is your dispute with a neighbour or someone you do business with? Going to court can be damaging to relationships. Settling the dispute without a lawsuit can be beneficial to both parties.