Personal injury law is a broad category, and personal injury cases may be filed for a variety of reasons; some of the most common include car accidents, workplace injury and medical malpractice. But if you talk to attorneys, you’ll find out that the possible personal injury outcomes stay mostly the same across all these categories. Here are the four basic things that might happen if you decide to file a lawsuit:
- Settling Outside of Court
The vast majority of personal injury cases are actually settled outside court (that figure is somewhere between 96% and 98% of cases, depending on whom you ask). This means that your lawyers and the other party’s lawyers are able to reach an agreement through private negotiations. This route is often preferable for both parties because it keeps legal fees to a minimum and saves time.
- Winning a Settlement
If you are not able to come to a private agreement, your lawsuit will go to court and be decided by a judge or jury. If your evidence is strong enough, then you may be awarded a settlement by the court. You can also win a settlement through binding non-court resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. In those cases, both you and the person you’re suing agree to comply with the decision of a third party.
- Losing a Settlement
Of the four basic personal injury outcomes, this is the one people don’t want to talk about but must face the possibility of. The risk that comes along with going to court, of course, is that you also might lose the case. This is one reason it’s so strongly encouraged that you hire personal injury attorneys; the person you’ve filed a lawsuit against will almost certainly have one, which makes it difficult to be successful on your own.
- Dropping a Case
In some situaitions, you might choose to voluntarily drop your case partway through the process. You might decide that the time and emotional strain of a lawsuit are too taxing, or some new evidence might weaken your case and make it unlikely that you’ll win. You should know that even if your lawyer has been working on a contingency fee (meaning he or she only gets paid if you collect a settlement for your injuries), you’ll probably still be responsible for certain legal fees — which makes sense, since your lawyer has already put in time on your behalf.
Are you looking to hire an attorney for car accident, workplace injury or medical malpractice suits? Share what criteria you’re using to find the lawyer you think will get you the best personal injury outcomes in the comments.