There is no way to predict your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. While some cases are stronger than others, most personal injury lawyers won’t accept your case unless they believe you can win.
Contingency Fees Weed out Real Cases from Non-Cases
Nearly all personal injury firms work on contingency fees. The client does not pay the firm anything upfront. The firm does not charge a fixed or hourly rate. Instead, the client agrees to pay the law firm a percentage of their financial recovery.
Financial recovery may come in the form of:
- An insurance payment;
- A settlement;
- A judgment awarded after a trial.
This contingency fee arrangement means that the law firm will receive nothing unless they secure compensation for the client. If the firm does not win, all case-related costs—filing fees, investigation-related costs, expert fees, and other expenses—fall on them.
Contingency fees ensure that a law firm will only take a case if they believe they have a good chance to win. Therefore, a law firm will only accept strong cases. Your chances of winning improve if a law firm takes your case.
Factors That May Affect the Strength of Your Case
Though a law firm accepting your case is a positive step, it does not guarantee victory. Several factors may determine how strong your case is including:
The Capability of the Law Firm You Hire
No two law firms are the same. Yes, some firms are more capable and experienced than others. You must keep this reality in mind as you seek a lawyer to handle your case.
You should hire a law firm that:
- Makes you feel comfortable (and even inspired) during the consultation process;
- Has a proven record of successful results for its clients;
- Can, does and will try cases to juries;
- Does not advertise on TV, buses or benches;
- Can provide positive client testimonials;
- Has experience winning personal injury cases that are similar to yours;
- Addresses your concerns in a satisfactory manner.
A law firm that is right for one injured person may not be right for the next. Choose a firm based on your preferences and criteria.
The Strength of Evidence in Your Favor
Evidence can make or break a case. If you have video footage of a motorist running a red light and striking your vehicle, for example, then you have a strong case. A case solely based on a person’s word may be weaker but may still be worth bringing.
Evidence that may be useful in your case includes:
- Video footage;
- Witness accounts;
- Physical evidence;
- Medical assessments.
Your case may present other types of evidence. A competent personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and gather and preserve all helpful evidence.
Your Law Firm’s Tenacity in Seeking Compensation
The best personal injury firms fight tenaciously for their clients. Where other firms (such as the TV guys) often throw in the towel, premier firms continue to fight.
Reports show most civil cases end with a settlement. This is not always the case, though. A case may not settle because of disputed liability, a defendant simply refuses to pay the plaintiff fairly, or other reasons. Your law firm should be willing to go to trial if it is the best decision.
What Do You Win in a Personal Injury Case?
To win a personal injury case means different things for each plaintiff. Winning almost always means winning some amount of financial compensation.
However, cases can vary by:
- The types of damages that the plaintiff seeks;
- The severity of damages;
- The total resolution that the plaintiff expects.
Generally, winning means securing enough compensation to cover all your recoverable damages.
Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Damages vary from case to case. For example, property damage may be recoverable in a car crash case but not a defective drug case.
There are often common damages between case types, though, including:
- Medical costs;
- Lost income;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Loss of retirement benefits, performance bonuses, and opportunities for promotion;
- Non-economic damages such as pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Your lawyer will review your case. They may identify your damages by speaking with you and your loved ones. Your attorney may also consult experts, doctors, and others who can shed light on your damages.
A lawyer will also determine the monetary cost of your damages. This is difficult for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Having a professional who can accurately assess your damages is just one benefit of hiring a personal injury lawyer.
What Should You Do if You’ve Suffered Losses Because of Someone Else?
You should hire a personal injury attorney if you’ve suffered harm and believe that someone else is at fault. At the very least, you may complete a consultation with a personal injury firm. There is generally no cost or obligation to complete a consultation.
Injuries and loss of life can be extremely costly imposing non-financial costs. We commonly find that someone is liable for an injured person’s losses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found, for example, that drivers are responsible for an overwhelming percentage of injury events.
Hiring a lawyer may be your first step towards justice.
While your attorney leads your case for justice, you can:
- Get the rest that your doctor has recommended;
- Receive medical treatment;
- Tend to personal and professional responsibilities.
A lawsuit or insurance claim can be very stressful and just as time-consuming. Let a qualified attorney handle your case.
Call a Qualified Law Firm Today
You can find qualified law firms online, through word of mouth, and other channels. You should research a firm and seek a free consultation. Ask other local lawyers about your potential lawyer’s skills and reputation and whether they take cases to trial. Look for lawyers who are leaders in their field such as those who have held positions in their local, state or federal trial lawyers organizations. Don’t wait long, though, as your case may include various time-sensitive deadlines.