The chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit depend on several factors. These factors include your case’s evidence, the liability insurance policy’s limits, and the damages you incurred. You could promote your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit by partnering with an attorney. They can manage everything the claims process entails, from negotiations to litigation.
Most Personal Injury Cases Never Go to Court
Most personal injury cases never go to court. Many injured claimants recover damages through negotiations with the liable insurance company. There’s a popular misconception that you can recover more money through a lawsuit than an insurance claim. That’s not necessarily true. When you partner with a lawyer, they can determine a suitable avenue for seeking damages.
An Attorney Could Settle Your Case Outside of Court
You should know all your options moving forward as an injured party. For instance, you should know that settling your case through a claim comes with many benefits.
Here’s what to know:
- Claims save time: It can take months before the injured party has their day in court. Claims typically don’t take that long, only requiring a few weeks. An attorney can resolve your case in the quickest, most efficient manner.
- Claims could cause less stress: Going to court is stressful. Feeling uncertain about your future could affect your mental health, causing you to suffer anxiety and everything that comes with it.
- The outcome of your claim is confidential: When people sustain injuries, they might want to keep the extent of their injuries private. Once a case goes to court, and each side presents evidence, all that information is no longer private. However, claims are confidential, and only known between the injured party and the liable insurer.
Don’t worry if you can’t resolve your case through an insurance claim. There’s still a chance that you could win a personal injury lawsuit. Consulting a Personal Injury lawyer can help you understand your next steps.
Factors That Influence the Outcome of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
While each case is different, there are factors that can influence the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. These factors include:
How Long Ago Your Accident and Injuries Happened?
Personal injury lawsuits are time-sensitive matters in addition to their filing deadlines. With time, evidence fades. Eyewitnesses forget certain details. The other party could even view your own testimony as being less creditable.
It’s important to promptly consider your legal options. By acting quickly, you allow your lawyer to gather important information and prevent the other party from complicating matters.
Any Allegations of Fault
The other party may claim that you caused the accident, and therefore, they’re not liable for your damages. This can quickly turn into a “he said, she said” battle. That’s where hiring a lawyer comes in handy. Using your case’s evidence, they can refute allegations of the fault and advocate for what you deserve.
Your Case’s Evidence
To win a personal injury case, you must demonstrate that another party caused your injuries. This requires evidence.
An attorney can find and use this information to supplement your case:
- Photos or videos of the accident scene: Photographs or videos can demonstrate the cause of your accident. For instance, if you slipped and fell, photos of the hazard could demonstrate the other party’s negligence. If you were in a collision, having a picture of the accident scene could also supplement your case.
- Testimony from witnesses: Eyewitness testimony can corroborate your version of events. Eyewitnesses are people who saw the accident happen. Your lawyer may also consult with third-party field consultants, such as healthcare providers, to learn more about your injuries.
- Medical records: These records show that you suffered an injury. They can include X-rays, MRIs, and lab test results.
- Proof of your lost income: Your pay stubs and paychecks can demonstrate the full cost of your lost income, tips, bonuses, and other revenue streams.
This is just a short list of information that could support your personal injury case. Correspondence from the insurer, accident reconstruction data, and receipts could also supplement your lawsuit.
Whether You Choose to Partner With an Attorney
Many people try to handle personal injury cases on their own because they fear the financial burden of hiring legal representation. Fortunately, many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning their clients don’t pay them anything out of pocket. If the client doesn’t recover compensation, they don’t have to pay for their attorney’s legal services.
Benefits of partnering with a lawyer include:
- Attorneys can determine how much compensation to seek. They can calculate the injured person’s recoverable damages and provide proof of those damages.
- They can use their negotiation skills and fight for financial recovery. By presenting a solid case and proof you sustained damages, they can negotiate for a fair outcome.
- Attorneys can help their clients navigate the legal waters. Many people who don’t work with the law often don’t know the proper steps to take to file a claim or lawsuit against another party. Personal injury attorneys guide their clients through the financial recovery process and offer the insight they need.
- Attorneys understand state-mandated deadlines. Each state has a statute of limitations that requires the plaintiff to file a lawsuit within a certain period. This deadline ranges from state to state. For example, in Georgia, the statute of limitations is generally two years. Filing your case on time protects your right to damages.
Hiring legal support offers the resources you need to pursue a successful personal injury lawsuit. By entrusting your case to a professional, you get the peace of mind you need to move forward from your accident.
The Overseeing Judge and Jury
When your case goes to trial, a judge and jury will ultimately decide its outcome. While these parties are supposed to be impartial, their decisions could affect your lawsuit’s resolution. This makes it important for your lawyer to have supporting evidence and an understanding of your case’s value. That way, they can convince the judge and jury to award fair compensation.
How You Present Yourself
Facts aside, you want the judge and jury to like you as a person. This doesn’t mean that you all share the same interests. In means that, when presenting your case, you come across as level-headed and creditable. Building trust may compel the judge or jury to award favorable compensation in your lawsuit. Shouting in court, dressing inappropriately, or giving misleading information could mean bad things for your case’s outcome.
The Damages You Request Can Affect Your Lawsuit’s Outcome
To win a lawsuit, you must prove that you have damages resulting from the accident. The specific damages you can recover depend on the circumstances of your case. As the injured party in a personal injury lawsuit, you could recover:
Economic Damages (Your Financial Losses)
Economic damages are the actual monetary losses you sustained. Your lawyer can determine what you’re owed by adding up your damage-related receipts, invoices, and bills. They may also consult with third-party experts (like economists) to learn more about your anticipated expenses.
Examples of recoverable economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit may include:
- The costs of your medical bills: Medical bills can multiply quickly when someone sustains an injury. Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you could recover compensation for your medical care expenses. Medical care could include emergency room treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, and doctor’s visits.
- The future cost of your medical bills: You could require medical care far after the claim settles. When this happens, you can include the future costs of medical care in your case. This way, you can recover compensation for the entirety of your medical expenses—not just what you have accrued up to this point.
- The cost of rehabilitative treatments: Many injuries require the injured party to go through rehabilitative treatments to fully recover. Rehabilitative treatments could include speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you could recover any out-of-pocket costs associated with these treatments.
- Nursing care: Depending on the severity of your condition, you may require in-home nursing care. Your lawsuit could account for these costs.
- The income you lost: Compensation for lost income can include lost tips, bonuses, commissions, contracts, and freelance work.
- The potential future income you could lose: If you cannot work again (or your injuries diminish your earning capacity), you could recover those losses through a claim or lawsuit.
Non-Economic Damages (Compensation for Your Intangible Hardships)
Non-economic damages are subjective and hard to prove. They don’t have inherent monetary values associated with them. To win non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit, hiring an attorney is helpful.
They can request compensation for:
- Pain and suffering: Injuries typically cause pain or discomfort. If the injured party experienced these feelings, they could potentially recover compensation for these challenges.
- Emotional trauma: Accidents and injuries can cause someone to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health complications. These hardships are compensable through a personal injury lawsuit.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Before the injury, the injured party could have enjoyed playing sports, participating in activities, or enjoying hobbies. If they can no longer participate because of their injuries, they could recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
An attorney can calculate the value of your non-economic damages by reviewing your overall situation, including the severity of your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit
You likely have many questions as you consider your legal options. These questions may include:
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you suffered injuries because of another party’s negligence, you could file a lawsuit and seek compensation. Whether your lawsuit succeeds depends on your situation. That’s why it’s important to have supporting evidence, understand your rights, and consider legal representation.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
How long your case takes to resolve, again, depends on your situation. As noted, claims generally take a few weeks to settle. This isn’t necessarily the case for lawsuits. Your lawsuit’s length depends on the overseeing court’s docket, the other party’s cooperation, and other factors—some of which are entirely out of your control. It’s not uncommon for litigants to spend months going back and forth.
A personal injury lawyer can do everything in their power to keep your case moving forward. They can also continue negotiating with the liable insurer, which could offer an option for settling your case.
Can I Sue More Than One Party?
You can name more than one defendant in your lawsuit.
Consider this scenario to understand more:
- You were driving down a busy highway in a newly purchased car.
- Through no fault of your own, the brakes failed, and you were rear-ended by a speeding motorist.
In that instance, you could sue both the brakes’ manufacturer and the at-fault motorist. The specific details of your lawsuit would depend on the details of your different types of car accidents, including the damages you’re requesting.
What Situations Merit a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Injured claimants can file injury lawsuits after suffering:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Traffic accidents
- Premises liability incidents
Depending on your case’s specifics, you could also file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one. Here, you could recover compensation for the decedent’s funeral, burial, and memorial costs.
Does It Cost Money to File a Lawsuit?
You may have to pay administrative fees and court filing costs to file your lawsuit. Understandably, this can cause worry about your financial resources. Yet, in addition to working on a contingency-fee basis, many lawyers also cover these costs. This way, injured claimants don’t pay anything out of pocket for litigation.
Bottom line: The chances of winning a lawsuit vary from case to case. Yet, you’re not alone during this challenging time. A personal injury lawyer in Georgia can manage your lawsuit’s many obligations and seek fair compensation for you.