If someone harms your person, property, or rights without justification, you likely have a potential legal claim. Deciding whether and how to assert a potential claim can be a difficult process. The type and extent of injury, conduct at issue, location of the parties, timing of events, and state of the law, among many other factors, affect this analysis.

An attorney familiar with yout particular area of concern can help you sort out how to proceed. However, not all claims will be worth pursuing, either for you or for an attorney. The time, expense, and energy necessary for legal vindication can outweigh any benefit you would see. 

If your issue has a small financial value, oftentimes up to a maximum of between $10,000 and $15,000, then the local, municipal court process may be right for you. This process, generally referred to as "small claims" or "conciliation" court, is an expedited legal process to determine claims where traversing the legal process would otherwise cost more than the value of the claim.

The other options for asserting claims are generally through state and federal courts, via informal discussions or an alternative dispute resolution process, or via a process established by a state or federal agency. 

See the other pages in this section for additional information.