A Holy Bible next to a gavel

Can A Christian Sue?

Does Filing A Lawsuit Make You A Bad Christian?

While our clients come to us with many concerns, a common question is, “Can a Christian sue?” 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 (NIV) deals directly with the possibility of one Christian suing another Christian. The scripture poses the question of pursuing a claim against brothers and sisters when “you yourselves cheat and do wrong.”

The verses contemplate taking disputes against other Christians to a court of law “before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people.” It makes clear that when there are “lawsuits among Christians, you have been completely defeated already.” Yet, the Bible also commands, “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.” (Exodus 23: 6-9)

Resolving Disputes While Respecting Your Beliefts

As a Christian with knowledge of Scripture, you may be wary about bringing a legal claim against a defendant who embraces Christian beliefs. However, there are some individuals, insurance companies, corporations, government, and other organizations that put profits before people. Insurance companies, corporations, and the government do not have a soul and are not Christians.

Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman PLLC is a Christian law firm with attorneys who resolve a majority of their cases without lawsuits. Complex car accidents or other vehicle collisions, workers’ compensation claims or Social Security Disability disputes do arise between Christians. The Bible does not forbid lawsuits. In fact, our judicial system is based on Judeo-Christian principles.

James Madison proposed the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Bill of Rights] including freedom of religion and right to trial by jury in all civil cases in excess of $25. The Bible discourages selfish (2 Timothy 3:1-9) false (Exodus 23: 7), or vengeful (Romans 12:19) motivations and provides direction (Proverbs 1:5; 27:23-24 & Eccl. 11:2) while encouraging stewardship (1 Timothy 5:8).

In the Bible, if you have a dispute against another Christian, you first go to them and try to resolve the matter. After following the steps of Matthew 18, you may treat the other individual as a pagan, not a Christian, because their actions have shown them not to be Christians.

A Christian businessman praying at church

What You Can Expect From Us

We, as Christian lawyers, attempt to resolve cases by putting the other party on notice of our claim, which is almost always an insurance company or corporation, not an individual. The insurance company, 98 percent or more of the time, stands in place of the individual or company that is at fault. Only 2 percent of some large corporations have self-insured retention and handle their own claims. We present the facts of the dispute to the insurance company or corporation and make every effort to negotiate the matter to an amicable resolution prior to filing a lawsuit.

When the insurance company refuses to be reasonable in resolving the dispute or the other party is lying about the circumstances of the accident and not accepting responsibility, then we do recommend filing a lawsuit. Again, you, as our client, after prayerful consideration, decide whether the suit will be filed.

Even after suit is filed and discovery is conducted regarding the facts of the dispute, we, again, try to resolve the dispute during settlement negotiations. Most courts now require that all disputes be mediated by a third party in an attempt to settle disputes prior to setting a case for trial. Only after all of these processes have been completed will the matter actually go to trial. As you can see, there are numerous opportunities to settle the claim prior to an actual trial.

At each stage of the proceeding, you, after prayerful consideration, have the choice whether to move forward or settle the claim. The case belongs to you, and we will respect your wishes and directives. Simply stated, there are some occasions when the best way to achieve a resolution is by filing a lawsuit.

We Respect Your Christian Faith & Decisions

Your values are of paramount importance to us. We understand the struggle between the law and how it applies to your faith. Pursuing a claim is clearly not prohibited in the Bible. If you, in good stewardship, purchase insurance wouldn’t you also be required in that same stewardship to pursue a claim on that insurance? Why would you buy it but then refuse to use it? This would not be good stewardship.

State law requires that automobile owners purchase insurance and to remove uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage from their policies they must sign a specific document waiving it.

In order to show our clients our faith and belief in what we are doing, we will donate 10 percent of our attorney’s fee to your church if you request it. While we tithe at our own churches, we would be happy, as extra giving, to donate money to the work of your local church as well!

For a free and confidential consultation to answer all of your questions, call our attorneys at 6622220597 or contact our law firm online today. There are no fees unless we recover compensation for you.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.