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Could I Lose Money in a Personal Injury Claim?

November 3, 2021 By Flora Templeton Stuart

Most personal injury lawyers usually work on a contingency basis. Contingency means that your lawyer will not ask you for any upfront legal fees for services. You only have to pay them if they help you win compensation in an out-of-court settlement or trial verdict. This way, you should only benefit financially in a personal injury claim since your attorney takes all of the risk.

At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency basis to give you a fair chance to claim and get a fair settlement for your injury. Here, we will take you through how contingency works and how to avoid losing money in your injury claim.

How Does Contingency Work?

If an accident lawyer tells you that they will take your case on a contingency basis, what they mean is that they will work on your case for free. That is until they settle your case for an agreed sum and obtain a favorable verdict. Most injury attorneys usually work on a contingency basis. They will only take your case if they believe they will win.

An experienced accident attorney will know the odds of winning compensation for each claim and may opt not to accept claims with a lower chance of success. Suppose your attorney does win compensation for you. In that case, they will usually collect a percentage of your settlement amount or damages award, often 33.33%-40% plus case costs. You can look for an attorney who charges a lower fee and always ask.

This percentage is set out in the attorney-client contract that you signed at the beginning of the case. If you don’t recover any amount, you won’t have to pay any lawyer fees or case costs.

There should be no upfront fees involved if your attorney needs to hire investigators, expert testimony, or travel expenses. If your personal injury lawyers wants up-front costs, do not hire them.

Be sure to read the retainer agreement carefully. Be open with your prospective attorney and ask any questions you might have before putting ink to paper.

Can I Lose Money in a Personal Injury Claim?

The federal government statistics show that about 95% of personal injury cases are settled out of court, and only 5% go to trial. According to experts, most of the cases that go to trial end up losing. In such a scenario, you lose the damages due to you and your lawyer should be on the losses and case expenses.

This may make you question whether it is worth going to trial. Still, you are likely to win if you engage an experienced attorney. Pre-trial settlements are common because a trial can drag on for several years while the claimant experiences the financial consequences of a job loss and bills they have to pay. Most cases settle prior to trial.

You can ensure your chances of success by hiring attorneys who have a track record when it comes to an accident or personal injury cases. A lawyer may suggest mediation to push the process along. In Kentucky and Tennessee, mediation prior to trial is mandatory but you are not required to settle.

How to Avoid Losing Money in a Personal Injury Case

Let’s check out five things you can do immediately after the accident and during the legal process to improve your odds of a successful claim.

#1. Get prompt medical help.

If you wait too long to get medical help, you may not have sufficient proof that the accident caused the injury. The defendant may argue that the injuries were caused by something else due to the delay in seeking medical treatment.

Taking too long to see a doctor will make it more difficult for you to win your claim. At the minimum, let your physician check you out as soon as possible. They will identify any injuries and their potential complications if any. Your doctor should document your injuries, as this will be used as evidence in court. Waiting to receive medical treatment can hurt your case.

#2. Seek Legal Help as Soon as Possible

The sooner you hire an accident lawyer, the sooner you have a trained expert to help with your claim. They can provide you with helpful insight and fight for your case from the beginning. Waiting too long to seek legal help will make it harder to gather evidence and present a successful claim.

#3. Hire a personal injury attorney

The legal processes of pursuing compensation through a court of law can be rather complex for the layman. It involves court filings and strict deadlines that you have to meet. It also consists of many negotiations to reach a settlement and experienced judgment to know when to accept a settlement offer.

A personal injury attorney will smoothen the process. An attorney in Kentucky can obtain PIP benefits to pay medical bills and lost wages. In Tennessee, MedPay can help pay for medicals.

A lawyer is well versed in the legal process involved and can help you win the damages you deserve. Being unrepresented robs you of these benefits, and your settlement, if any, is likely to be delayed. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we will refer our clients to excellent physicians.

#4. Gather all relevant documentation

Documentation is vital evidence in a personal injury claim and critical to backing up your legal strategy. You need documentation to prove what occurred during the accident. Documents will boost your case and convince the court that you have a strong case.

Police reports, witness statements, photographs, incident reports, receipts, and medical care records are all an essential part of the legal process. A diary that tracks your pain and symptoms is also important. Your attorney obtains evidence to win your compensation claim.

#5. Avoid posting about accidents on social forums

While it might be tempting to blow some steam off on social media, it can harm your injury claim. Things that you say on your social media accounts may be admissible in a court of law. The other party can print your social media posts and use them to drive their case.

Although it might feel good to share your pain and frustrations with family and friends, you should be careful. Posting something that contradicts the evidence you present in court can make you lose your case. You might also make a post that unwittingly gives away your legal strategy and unravels your case.

[LEARN MORE]: How Do You Win a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Hire a Trusted Attorney Today

Filing a personal injury claim can be almost as emotionally draining as the accident itself. The legal process can be hard to navigate, and a skilled injury attorney can help you through the process of winning the compensation that you deserve after being hurt.

You can ensure your chances of the most successful outcome by working with attorneys who have a strong track record of wins. Contact us at (888) 379-3109 for a free consultation. After listening to the details surrounding your injury occurrence, we will openly advise you on how to proceed based on our experience.

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, established in 1976. Flora goes to work every day to make a difference in her community and the lives of her clients. When you call you will get a personal representation and an attorney who truly cares.