Most personal injury claims settle before making it to trial, but some cases make it into the courtroom. If you lose your personal injury case in court, you may be able to file an appeal. Otherwise, you will not receive any damages.
Will I Owe My Attorney Money?
If you lose your personal injury claim, you should not owe your attorney money. This is because most personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees, meaning they only get paid if you recover compensation.
Nevertheless, litigation is expensive, and if you paid any court fees upfront, you will not be reimbursed. Check your retainer agreement carefully because you may be responsible for some of these fees after the fact, too.
In some states, like Wisconsin, plaintiffs who lose personal injury claims may be responsible for the defendant’s legal fees, as well.
Why Do People Lose Personal Injury Cases?
Usually, people lose their personal injury cases because they fail to hire a lawyer. If your case is going to court, you should hire an attorney. Failure to do so could put your case in jeopardy.
Other factors that harm personal injury claims include:
- Contributory negligence – when you are partially at fault for the accident.
- Misrepresentation – lying or exaggerating the truth.
- Social media – anything you post online can be used against you in court and twisted to discredit your claim.
- Lack of evidence – you need documentation to prove your claim.
- Speculation – if you don’t know something, do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” in testimony. Otherwise, the defense could use speculation to unravel your case.
- Playing down your injuries – do not try to “put on a brave face in court.” Be honest about your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
- Hiding unflattering information – make sure your attorney has the whole story before going into court.
Remember that your attorney is on your team, and if you want to win your personal injury case, you need to be a team player. Make sure you follow their instructions carefully, and if you don’t understand their advice, ask them to clarify.
Your lawyer doesn’t get paid unless you do, so you can rest easy knowing your lawyer has your best interests at heart.
The Statute of Limitations
One other reason people lose personal injury cases is because they miss the filing deadlines. In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit for personal injury cases is three (3) years, which means you must file your case within 3 years of the accident or injury that inspired your claim.
If you try to file a lawsuit after this deadline has passed, your case will be thrown out, and you will not recover any compensation.
How Do I Win My Personal Injury Case?
No lawyer can guarantee a successful settlement or verdict, particularly if a case goes to trial. Still, contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your accident or injury is the best way to strengthen your personal injury case.
If you can, you should also collect evidence for your lawyer. For example, take pictures at the scene of a car accident, request a copy of any relevant police reports, and make sure your attorney can access your medical records.
Going to court is risky for everyone involved, so your attorney will keep you out of court unless a trial is necessary. Listen to what your lawyer has to say about settlement offers, and remember that a settlement offer is real, but a verdict is only a possibility.
The most important part of any personal injury case is the relationship you have with your attorney. At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., you can trust our lawyers to prioritize your needs, aggressively represent you, and treat you with the empathy and respect you deserve.
Get to know us during a free consultation – call us at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online to schedule yours today.