What Happens If You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Losing a car accident lawsuit is devastating when you face loss of income, overwhelming medical bills, and ongoing medical needs. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence, and you can take preventive measures.
If you lose a car accident lawsuit, you may be liable for the other party’s damages. This could include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs. In some cases, you may also be ordered to pay punitive damages. If you cannot afford to pay the judgment, the other party may be able to garnish your wages, seize your assets, or even file for bankruptcy against you. It is important to speak with an attorney if you have been involved in a car accident, as they can help you understand your legal rights and options.
A competent car accident lawyer, such as the attorneys at NST Law can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
Personal Injury Settlements vs. Trials
Most car accident cases settle without proceeding to trial. Settlements are advantageous for both parties in many cases.
- Settlements take less time and cost less than litigation.
- The opposing party can offer a settlement without accepting fault.
- Settlements are private, while verdicts are not.
- Settlements eliminate the uncertainties present in trials.
However, settlements are not always plausible. The following factors can prevent an agreement from being reached:
- The parties dispute fault.
- The opposing party refuses to offer a settlement.
- The settlement offer is unreasonably low.
At NST Law, we negotiate aggressively for fair and adequate settlements, but we prepare every case as if it might go to trial.
Why did I lose my lawsuit?
The most important evidence in a car accident lawsuit includes the following:
- Fault. You must establish the opposing driver was at fault. Some states allow you to receive compensation even if you’re partly at fault. In these states, your award is diminished proportionally to your percentage of guilt.
- Negligence. You must prove the opposing driver’s negligence caused the accident.
- Damages. You must prove you’ve suffered injuries and financial losses as a result of the accident.
Insurance companies work hard to reassign fault or minimize damages in hopes of reducing compensation, often taking advantage of vulnerable car accident victims who lack experience. They look for innocent mistakes they can use against you.
Unfortunately, these tactics sometimes pay off for the insurance companies, which is why it’s crucial to avoid mishaps that provide them with ammunition.
Misrepresenting the Facts
Insurance companies hire their own experts who can easily discover any misrepresentations or discrepancies. It’s important to fully disclose all the facts to your attorney, even if you think they could work against you. Misrepresentation includes:
- Lying about the accident
- Exaggerating your losses
- Minimizing your injuries
Forensic analysis and medical reports can make the misrepresentations apparent, and this can lose you credibility with the jury.
Speaking to the Opposing Party
Every word you speak to the opposing driver, the insurance company, or their attorneys can be used against you. Your words could be misconstrued as an admission of fault or a contradiction of any statements you make.
Posting Details on Social Media
Everything you post about the accident on social media will be scrutinized by the insurance company and their attorneys, then used against you if possible. In fact, it’s never a good idea to discuss the case with anyone outside of court except your attorney.
Additionally, if you suffered injuries after an accident, but you post pictures of yourself on social media engaging in activities that make it seem you aren’t injured or your injury is not very serious, the defense can use those pictures as evidence to try to minimize compensation or avoid paying altogether.
Failure to Provide Evidence
You must prove the facts of your case. This will require appropriate documentation, such as:
- Photographs of the accident and injuries
- Police reports
- Documentation of your costs, such as medical bills
- Statements by doctors to support claims regarding pain and suffering or disability
You may also need witnesses, such as eyewitnesses and medical experts to support your claim.
Missing Doctor Appointments
Doctor visits establish proof that you need ongoing medical care. Missing appointments could prevent you from getting all the documentation you need to prove the extent of your injuries, and it could create the appearance medical care is unnecessary.
Choosing the Wrong Attorney
Always choose a competent personal injury attorney with proven experience in both settling and litigating car accident cases.
Trying to Represent Yourself
If you represent yourself in a car accident case, you’ll have to face the opposing party’s insurance company and their expensive lawyers by yourself. They’ll likely offer you a low settlement and use crafty legal maneuvers to defeat you if your case goes to trial.
Can I appeal an adverse decision in my car accident case?
Appealing a car accident verdict is usually only an option if you can prove the judge made a mistake. This is uncommon. Even if you do win an appeal, the process can take years, and there’s no guarantee your appeal will be successful. Additionally, appellate processes are often more extensive and complicated than lower court processes, necessitating an attorney to help you meet and adhere to the strict requirements.
Do I have to pay attorneys’ fees if I lose my personal injury lawsuit?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay your attorney a fee if you lose. Some attorneys may require you to pay case costs, such as filing fees or expert witness fees, but most write off those costs. Your attorney will discuss all of this with you before you hire them to handle your case.
The prevailing party could try to collect attorneys’ fees from you, but this is rarely practiced in car accident cases.
How can the personal injury attorneys at NST Law help increase my chances of winning a car accident lawsuit?
At NST Law, we pursue compensation aggressively on behalf of our clients. Our six pillars of service embody our philosophy:
- Compassionate care: We are passionate about helping injured victims who are under mental, physical, and financial stress get relief.
- Accessibility: We are easy to reach and we strive to maintain regular contact with our clients.
- Resourcefulness: We are creative and tap into every resource available for the benefit of your case.
- Trust & transparency: We work hard to earn your trust and keep you informed about your case.
- Personalized service: We personalize our approach according to the unique facts of your case.
- Maximized pursuit: We pride ourselves on pursuing the maximum available award for each case.
Our case results speak volumes about our methods. We’ve won over $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, including:
- $6,301,713 on behalf of a 65-year-old killed in a multi-vehicle crash
- $2,200,000 in a car accident case against a construction company
- $1,200,000 for a man injured in a rear-end truck accident on the interstate
- $2,700,000 for a client injured in a 4-vehicle wreck
We help car accident victims in multiple cities throughout six states, with offices in the following locations:
- Tennessee: Memphis, Knoxville, Jackson, and Nashville
- Mississippi: Tupelo and Jackson
- Missouri: Cape Girardeau and St. Louis
- Arkansas: Jonesboro and Little Rock
- Illinois: Belleville
We are proud of the communities we serve, and we actively support civil rights and low-income charities through donations, sponsorships, and volunteerism.
If you are suffering from injuries in a car accident, call attorneys who care. Contact NST Law today for a free case consultation.