No one wants to go through the process of filing a sexual harassment lawsuit if they are unlikely to win compensation for their losses. When you meet with a sexual harassment lawyer in Kansas City, you will receive a candid case assessment that can help you determine your chances of success. If the lawyer finds that there is strong evidence in your favor during the initial consultation, you can leave with the confidence you need to move forward.
Ask a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Kansas City: What Are the Odds of Winning a Case?
There is no way to determine the likelihood of your arguments holding up in court without reviewing the details of your case specifically. However, in this article, we can give you a sense of the kinds of sexual harassment cases that often result in favorable verdicts for the plaintiff.
“Winning” the case can mean obtaining a court-ordered payout OR securing a settlement from your employer. In fact, the majority of sexual harassment claims that yield compensation end in a settlement rather than a trial.
How Can You Tell If Your Case Is Likely to Succeed?
While every sexual harassment case is unique, there may be some indications that you are more likely than not to succeed. You can find out more about strengthening your case here. When considering your case, ask yourself:
What Type of Harassment Did I Experience?
Sexual harassment is a broad term that can refer to any unwanted sexual attention, from inappropriate remarks to forced touching. Courts tend to take actions more seriously than words. If your case involves physical contact, you may have strong grounds for your claim. Additionally, cases involving firing an employee or lowering their pay may prevail over lawsuits that do not concern material consequences.
Who Was Responsible for the Harassment?
In the workplace, sexual harassment can occur at the hands of anyone, including managers, superiors, peers, and third parties. While your employer could be liable for your damages regardless of who the perpetrator was, courts are more likely to side with the plaintiff when the incident in question involves an abuse of power.
How Many Times Did the Behavior Occur?
Courts usually expect individuals to report sexual harassment to HR before taking legal action. If the inappropriate behavior you experienced is repeated after you notify HR, you will be able to present the court with a strong argument regarding the need for legal action.
When Did the Harassment Happen?
Sexual harassment cases are most likely to succeed when the plaintiff initiates the lawsuit soon after the incident occurs. Therefore, you have a better chance of winning a case involving an issue that surfaced months rather than years ago. Many issues involving sexual harassment need to be investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before a notice of the right to sue is issued, and the deadline for initiating the investigation is 180 days after the incident occurs.
Don’t assume, however, that just because you experienced harassment a long time ago, you can’t claim compensation. Extensions to the statute of limitations are sometimes available, especially for minors. Your lawyer will be able to tell you if there is still time to take action on your case.
How Much Strong Evidence Do I Have?
You do not need to provide direct evidence to win a sexual harassment case. When no direct evidence is available, the court can accept circumstantial evidence if it shows your claims are highly likely to be true. Moreover, the more evidence you have, the better your chances of securing either a settlement or a favorable verdict.
Correspondence between you and your employer, witness testimonies, and data from HR can all help further your case. You do not need to have all of the evidence compiled before you meet with your lawyer. They will provide guidance on how to obtain access to the documentation you need. One of the benefits of working with a lawyer is that they should be able to identify which pieces of evidence will impress the court.
Am I Working With the Right Lawyer?
Putting the details of the incident aside, the quality of your legal representation could be a major factor in the outcome of your case. Focus on choosing a lawyer with plenty of experience in employment law. Most law firms will provide examples of real cases they have won in the past.
Understanding what makes a case likely to be successful can help you increase your chances of winning. With an informed mindset, you can focus on collecting evidence strategically and playing up the aspects of your case that a court is likely to empathize with. While it is not possible to give you definitive odds regarding your claim’s chance of success, working with a qualified lawyer is one of the best ways to stack the deck in your favor.