Once you have decided to sue (initiate litigation to bring a legal claim) you should be able to identify who may be responsible for your problem. Sometimes this is obvious, but in other cases it will be difficult to identify who made a mistake, made a decision or provided you with the service that is causing you problems.
It is also possible for a person to be responsible for what happens to you even though they didn’t personally cause your problems. So, for example, employers are usually responsible for the actions of their employees, and where this is the case, it is generally much better to sue the employer rather than individual employees, as employers are more likely to have insurance and have enough money to pay your claim.
To start proceedings against the wrong person, company or organization is a waste of time and money, plus the court can order you to pay the legal costs of any defendant who has been involved in legal proceedings. So, it is important to know the identity and the exact name of the defendant or defendants. For advice from Huddersfield Solicitors, visit https://bridgelawsolicitors.co.uk/services-for-individuals/family-law/holmfirth-huddersfield-family/
If you are having trouble identifying the correct defendant or defendants, there are a number of things you can do to try to work out. A practical and sensible approach is to write to all the people who may be legally responsible for, say what the problem is and why you think they are in charge, and that you will sue them as defendants. No one would have thought this a slippery slope, because the attitude of the modern court is that all parties should work together on administrative matters, and issues that help the smooth, efficient and economical running of a case. And it can help you maintain a claim for the cost if they do not respond, you sue them and it turns out they are not the right defendant.
There are other steps that can and should think about, depending on what the dispute is about.
If you have been dealing with an insurance company, the correct defendant remains the individual or organization that is causing you the problems and not the insurance company! Don’t be confused into suing the insurance firm.
If you want to sue your employer, you will need to find the letters of appointment or work contracts, to make sure you’ve got the right organization. Seeing your wage slip may not be enough, because some people are paid by an organization which is not really their employers.
Some organizations outsource work, and their workers are wearing the company uniform, or driving a vehicle with the company logo, but are not treated as an employee, and the organization may say they are not responsible for the problem and refer you to the outsourcing contractor or subcontractor.
If you are a tenant, you may find you have a lot of dealings with the owner’s managing agent. It’s natural to feel a managing agent should be the defendant, but the right defendant is almost certainly the landlord – you will need to check your tenancy agreement.