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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.If the amount is fairly small, then you could potentially pursue this via small claims court. If the company is based out of Virginia, for example, the small claims limit is $5,000, which means that provided you have evidence to show that the employer is liable, you would not need counsel and could directly self-represent. I cannot tell you if it is 'worth it', time wise, what I can say is that small claims is extremely simplified and beyond about $100 in filing fees for the complaint (which you can can demand that the other party pay for if you prevail), there is no other financial burden to you. The process would last only a few months in terms of waiting for a hearing, and the hearing itself will likely be no more than 5 to 15 minutes.Hope that helps.
Joe,To answer directly:Do I need to be present in small claims court, or can I have a representative go in my stead? You can have an attorney present for you, but then you would have to pay that attorney a fee for representation, and that fee may be $750-$1200 for his appearance. That may be cost prohibitive. In addition someone else cannot appear on your behalf as it would be 'unauthorized practice of law'/Hope that helps. If satisfied, please do not forget to positively rate. If you have additional questions pertaining to this question, please use the 'reply' button and I will do my best to clarify.
I did not see this tab at first and followed the link instead. It sounds like since I am again overseas that going to small claims may not be the best answer. Provided that I have reasonable proof that my costs incurred were the result of their mistake, what would you take my chances to win and get attorney fees?
Joe,Thank you for your follow-up. Not a problem pertaining to your response, I assumed that it was a bit in error--no issue as that confusion does occur from time to time.Small claims does not award attorney fees, so if you take them to court, you become responsible for such an expense. In terms of your chances otherwise, you have to prove that the damages and expenses were a 'direct' result of their negligence, and that it directly contributed to your losses. If you can show that, the burden transfers to them to show that the error was not theirs or that they aren't responsible in some way. Without seeing your facts I cannot give you an honest answer but I can say that the courts tend to first look to written contractual obligations and then intent. So if in writing they weren't responsible for such losses, it may be hard to hold them liable. It is not impossible, you could potentially claim that there was an implied agreement in place, but it is not as simple as maybe you would hope it could be.Hope that helps.
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