Suing a Storage Facility: What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need?


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to take legal action against a storage facility? Whether it’s due to damaged goods, breach of contract, or any other issue, knowing what kind of lawyer do I need to sue a storage facility is the first step towards resolving your problem. This article will guide you through the process, helping you understand the legal landscape and how to navigate it.

Understanding Your Legal Needs

When contemplating legal action against a storage facility, it is crucial to comprehensively grasp the underlying reasons for such a decision. Before delving into the intricacies of lawsuits and attorneys, let’s explore the common scenarios that might necessitate suing a storage facility. These situations typically revolve around:

Damage to Stored Items

Damage to your stored belongings is a prevalent issue that may warrant legal action. Such damage can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Negligence: If the storage facility fails to exercise reasonable care in safeguarding your possessions, resulting in damage, they may be liable;
  • Subpar Maintenance Practices: Inadequate maintenance of storage units, such as leaky roofs or faulty security systems, can lead to damage to your items;
  • Inadequate Security Measures: If the facility doesn’t provide adequate security measures, such as surveillance or access control, it may contribute to theft or vandalism, resulting in damage to your stored items.

Understanding the extent of the damage and the facility’s liability is crucial when contemplating legal action. Document the damage with photographs and records, as this will be important evidence.

Breach of Contract

Most storage facilities require customers to sign a storage agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the arrangement. If the storage facility fails to meet its obligations as outlined in the contract, it could give rise to a breach of contract claim. Key points to consider include:

  • Reviewing Your Agreement: Carefully review your storage agreement to determine if the facility is in violation. Pay close attention to clauses regarding maintenance, security, and any guarantees or warranties;
  • Failure to Uphold Terms: If the facility breaches the terms and conditions of the contract, such as not providing the agreed-upon level of security, you may have grounds for legal action.

Ensure that you keep copies of your storage agreement and any correspondence with the facility regarding their obligations.

Illegal Actions by the Facility

Storage facilities should operate within the bounds of the law. If they engage in unlawful activities that directly impact your stored possessions, it becomes essential to seek legal recourse. Examples of such actions may include:

  • Unauthorized Disposal of Belongings: If the facility disposes of your belongings without your consent, it could be considered theft or wrongful disposal;
  • Wrongful Eviction: Being wrongfully evicted from your storage unit without proper notice or legal cause is a violation of your rights.

Now that we have identified the common reasons for suing a storage facility, let’s delve deeper into understanding how to proceed in these situations, including what type of lawyer you may require.

Determining Your Legal Course of Action

When faced with the need to sue a storage facility, it is crucial to follow a structured approach to ensure a favorable outcome. Here’s a step-by-step guide to understanding and addressing your legal needs:

Step 1: Evaluate the Situation

Begin by thoroughly assessing the situation. Collect all relevant documents, including your storage agreement, any correspondence with the facility, photographs of damaged items, and any evidence of illegal actions by the facility. This comprehensive evaluation will help you understand the strength of your case.

Step 2: Determine the Specific Legal Issue

Identify the specific legal issue you are dealing with:

  • If your case revolves around damage to stored items, it may fall under the category of personal injury or property damage claims;
  • If you believe there has been a breach of contract, you will need to pursue contract law remedies;
  • In cases of illegal actions by the facility, you may be looking at potential civil rights violations, property law, or even criminal charges against the facility.

Step 3: Consult with an Attorney

The choice of an attorney is pivotal in pursuing a successful legal action against a storage facility. To make an informed decision regarding the type of lawyer you need, consider the following:

  • Property Damage Attorney: If your primary concern is damage to your stored items, consult with a property damage attorney who specializes in personal injury cases involving property damage and negligence claims;
  • Contract Law Attorney: For breach of contract issues, seek counsel from an attorney with expertise in contract law and dispute resolution;
  • Civil Rights Attorney: In cases of illegal actions by the facility that infringe upon your civil rights, a civil rights attorney may be necessary to protect your legal interests.

Step 4: Seek Legal Remedies

Once you have retained legal representation, your attorney will guide you through the process of seeking legal remedies. This may involve negotiations, mediation, or, if necessary, litigation in a court of law.

Step 5: Gather Evidence and Build Your Case

Work closely with your attorney to gather additional evidence, interview witnesses, and build a robust case. The strength of your evidence will significantly impact the outcome of your lawsuit.

Step 6: Pursue Settlement or Litigation

Your attorney will advise you on whether to pursue a settlement with the storage facility or proceed to litigation. Settlement negotiations may result in a mutually acceptable resolution, while litigation involves presenting your case in court.

Choosing the Right Lawyer

When you’re pondering, what kind of lawyer do I need to sue a storage facility, the answer generally lies in finding a lawyer specializing in civil litigation, specifically in areas like property law, contract disputes, or consumer rights. Here are some tips on choosing the right lawyer:

Look for Relevant Experience

One of the most critical aspects of choosing the right lawyer is to ensure they have relevant experience in handling cases related to storage facilities and property disputes. This experience can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here’s what to consider:

SpecializationSeek lawyers specializing in civil litigation, particularly in areas like property law, contract disputes, or consumer rights.
Success RateEvaluate their track record by researching their success rate in similar cases. The more successful cases they’ve handled, the better.

Evaluate Their Approach

The lawyer’s approach to handling your case can greatly affect the outcome and your experience throughout the legal process. Assess the following aspects:

CommunicationEnsure the lawyer communicates clearly and straightforwardly. Effective communication is crucial for understanding the progress of your case and making informed decisions.
StrategyDiscuss and assess their plan of action for your specific case. A well-thought-out strategy can significantly increase your chances of success.

Consider the Costs

Understanding the lawyer’s fee structure is essential to manage your legal expenses effectively. Different lawyers may have varying fee arrangements. Be sure to clarify the following:

Fee StructureInquire about how the lawyer charges for their services. Common fee structures include hourly rates, flat fees, or contingency-based fees. Understand the implications of each structure and choose the one that aligns with your budget and case.

Check Reviews and References

To gauge a lawyer’s reputation and reliability, it’s crucial to research their client feedback and references. Here’s what to look for:

Client FeedbackLook for online reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Pay attention to any patterns or recurring issues mentioned in the feedback.
ReferencesDon’t hesitate to ask the lawyer for references. Contacting past clients can provide valuable insights into their experiences and the lawyer’s performance.

Legal Process and What to Expect

Once you’ve decided on what kind of lawyer do I need to sue a storage facility, it’s important to understand the legal process:

Initial Consultation

The first step in the legal process is to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney specializing in the relevant area of law, such as contract law or property law. During this meeting, your lawyer will help you assess the merits of your case and provide an overview of what you can expect throughout the legal proceedings. Key points during the initial consultation include:

Discussing your case in detailBe prepared to provide your attorney with all relevant information, including any contracts, correspondence, photographs of damages, or witness statements that may support your claim.


Once you’ve hired an attorney, the next phase is the investigation. This critical step involves collecting and analyzing evidence to build a strong case. Your attorney will work diligently to gather essential materials, which may include:

  • Contracts: Any agreements or contracts between you and the storage facility that outline the terms and conditions of the storage arrangement;
  • Photographs of damages: If your belongings were damaged or lost while in storage, photographic evidence of the condition of your items before and after storage can be crucial;
  • Witness statements: Statements from individuals who can attest to the condition of your stored items or any incidents that occurred at the facility.

Filing a Lawsuit

If attempts at negotiation and settlement fail to resolve the issue, your attorney will initiate the legal process by filing a lawsuit against the storage facility. The key components of this phase are as follows:

  • Complaint: Your attorney will draft a formal complaint outlining your grievances and the legal basis for your claim. This document is filed with the appropriate court;
  • Service of process: The storage facility will be served with a copy of the complaint, officially notifying them of the lawsuit and giving them an opportunity to respond.

Discovery and Pre-trial

The discovery and pre-trial phase is a critical step where both parties exchange information and prepare their cases for trial. This phase can involve various legal processes, including:

  • Interrogatories: Written questions that each party must answer under oath, which helps gather information relevant to the case;
  • Depositions: Oral examinations conducted under oath, where parties and witnesses provide testimony that can be used as evidence during trial;
  • Document requests: The exchange of documents, records, and evidence that will be used to support each side’s arguments.

During this phase, your attorney will work to strengthen your case while anticipating and countering the storage facility’s arguments and evidence.


If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation, the case will proceed to trial. This is the stage where your attorney will present your case before a judge or jury. The trial process typically includes the following steps:

  • Opening statements: Attorneys for both sides present their case’s outline and main points;
  • Witness testimony: Witnesses are called to provide their testimony and answer questions from both attorneys;
  • Presentation of evidence: Documents, photographs, and other evidence are introduced to support the arguments presented;
  • Closing arguments: Attorneys summarize their case, highlighting key points and asking for a favorable judgment;
  • Verdict: The judge or jury reaches a decision, either finding in favor of one party or another, or possibly issuing a settlement order.

The duration and complexity of the trial can vary widely depending on the specifics of your case and the court’s schedule.

Preparing Your Case

To strengthen your case, consider the following steps:

Document Everything

Documentation is the foundation of a strong case. Keeping a detailed record of all relevant information and communication is crucial. This documentation will serve as your evidence and help establish the facts of your case. To effectively document everything, consider the following steps:

  • Create a Timeline: A timeline can help you organize events in chronological order. Start from the moment you engaged with the storage facility and continue up to the present. Include dates, times, and descriptions of all interactions and incidents;
  • Keep Copies of All Communications: Save emails, text messages, letters, or any other written communication with the storage facility. These documents can serve as concrete evidence of agreements, disputes, or notifications;
  • Take Photos and Videos: If applicable, take clear and date-stamped photos or videos of damaged items, storage conditions, and any incidents that occurred within the facility. Visual evidence can be highly persuasive in court;
  • Collect Witnesses: If there were witnesses to any relevant events, ask them to provide statements or testimony. Their accounts can corroborate your version of events.

Understand Your Contract

The terms and conditions of your storage facility agreement are critical in determining your rights and responsibilities. To fully understand your contract, follow these steps:

  • Obtain a Copy of the Contract: Ensure you have a complete copy of your storage facility agreement, including any amendments or addendums. If you don’t have one, request it from the storage facility;
  • Carefully Read and Analyze the Contract: Thoroughly review all terms, clauses, and conditions. Pay attention to sections related to liability, damages, insurance, and dispute resolution. Take notes for reference;
  • Identify Any Violations: Compare the contract terms with your documented timeline of events. Identify any violations of the agreement by the storage facility or yourself. Highlight these discrepancies for your case.

Calculate Damages

Calculating the value of damaged or lost items is crucial when seeking compensation. To estimate damages accurately, follow these steps:

  • Inventory Your Items: Create a comprehensive inventory list of all items stored in the facility. Include descriptions, quantities, and estimated values for each item;
  • Assess Damage: Inspect the damaged items and determine the extent of the damage. Be specific in your assessment, noting any repairs needed or the degree of loss;
  • Calculate Total Damages: Multiply the quantity of each damaged item by its estimated value and sum up the results to find the total estimated damages. Add any additional costs, such as repair expenses or replacement fees, if applicable.


Determining what kind of lawyer do I need to sue a storage facility is crucial for a successful lawsuit. Ensure you choose a lawyer with relevant experience, a clear strategy, and a good track record. Remember, preparation and understanding your legal rights are key to navigating this challenging process.

Navigating the legal waters can be daunting, but with the right lawyer and preparation, you can effectively address disputes with storage facilities. Remember, the goal is not just to win a lawsuit, but to ensure justice and fair compensation for any wrongs committed.


How long do I have to sue a storage facility?

This depends on the statute of limitations in your state, usually ranging from 1-6 years.

Can I sue for emotional distress?

It’s challenging but possible if you can prove that the facility’s actions caused significant emotional harm.

What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

Look for lawyers who work on a contingency basis, where they only get paid if you win.

Can I handle the lawsuit myself?

It’s advisable to have a lawyer due to the complexities of property and contract law.

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