1. What amount of time are you willing to invest?
Lawsuits take a very long time. The exception is if the amount in controversy is small, in Colorado $15,000, and your case can go before the County Court. Otherwise, it is not uncommon for a lawsuit to take multiple years, even if the trial itself will only be a couple of days. If there are concerns about when the money becomes available, it may be more appropriate to take a settlement. You may be vindicated through the outcome of the trial, but such a result could be three years away.
2. Lawsuits are risky, are you willing to walk away with nothing?
If you are taking your case before judge and jury, there is always the possibility that your opponent wins. This means you would receive no damages at all. In fact, depending on the law of your state you may owe the other side costs. In some cases, you may be required to pay for the other sides attorney as well. On the other hand, for some cases, you could prove your position and receive multi-million dollar awards. A settlement will not produce the possible high end amounts contemplated, but at the same time your expenditures will be significantly less as well.
3. What is your purpose in this litigation?
Fighting a lawsuit may be the right decision for you regardless of the financial implications. It depends entirely on why you are commencing the litigation. Your reputation may be implicated. Your truthfulness and trustworthiness may be besmirched. You may be one hundred percent correct in wanting to receive justice. Proving these elements of your intrinsic character may be worth the risk of the lawsuit. At the same time, having the opportunity to have your side heard may not be worth the consequences. If the case is decided against you, your reputation could be even more damaged than before.
Getting involved in a lawsuit may be the right course for you to take. The specific area of law you are involved in may alter these considerations. The theft of a trade secret is going to be treated differently than falling in a store. Regardless of the circumstances, take your time and figure out the best option for yourself and do not let someone pressure you into a poor decision for you.