If you’re already anxious and wonder, “What happens if I lose my personal injury claim?” You’re not alone. It’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed with uncertainty while in the middle of a settlement or trial. For many, a personal injury claim feels “personal” as it often involves physical harm, emotional distress, and loss of wages. Losing a claim can be devastating.
If you’re unfortunate enough to lose your personal injury case in court, the first thing that will happen is non-payment for your damages. It would be recommended to file for an After The Event (ATE) insurance claim. It is an insurance policy that helps cover your legal fees if you lose your claim and do not receive compensation.
Alternatively, you can take a second shot and file an appeal. However, because there is a “no-win, no-fee” clause, some lawyers may be hesitant about taking these cases. To learn more, let’s read below.
Should You Pay Your Lawyer After Losing?
So, what happens if you lose a personal injury claim in terms of paying your lawyer’s fee?
Generally speaking, if you lose your case, you’re not required to pay attorney fees. In Michigan and most places, the most common form of fee arrangement is the “no-win, no-fee” or contingent fee agreement. It means the lawyer will only receive a fee from you if the case wins and you receive compensation. Simply put, if you lose, you won’t pay the lawyer.
However, the lawyer will receive a portion of your compensation if you win. This contract is permitted under Michigan’s Rules of Professional Conduct for actions involving personal physical injury, wrongful death, accidents, and other no-fault insurance claims. Furthermore, the amount is limited to one-third of the amount you recovered.
How Can Someone Lose a Personal Injury Claim
Losing a personal injury claim can be incredibly damaging. The compensation could have been a big help in recovery, especially for those who had to endure prolonged treatment and severe physical, mental, or psychological consequences. Unfortunately, there are times when a claim is unsuccessful. So, what causes your case to lose, and what are the possible explanations? We listed some below.
1. Misrepresentation or Exaggeration
Misrepresentation means not being truthful with what you say or the documents and materials you present in court. Falsely reporting or suppressing any information could quickly put you in a bad light and may lead to the dismissal of your claim. Similarly, exaggerating the events, particularly your injury, may result in your claim being denied.
2. Contributory Negligence
This means you were found to be partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. It is a common tort law defense that prevents the plaintiff from receiving compensation if they were also negligent.
3. Social Media
Indeed, social media is a powerful thing, even in court trials. Posting photos of yourself on vacation or anything else that may discredit the seriousness of your injury could be used against you in court.
4. Lack of Evidence
In a personal injury claim, the burden of proof falls to the plaintiff. You should gather as much information and documents as possible and talk to your attorney about how to present them.
5. Downplaying Your Injuries
Don’t try to minimize your injuries in an effort to avoid conflict and hasten the case’s resolution. Your attempt at being brave could lead you to lose your case. Be truthful about your injuries so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
How Common Is It to Lose?
Generally, your chances of losing a personal injury claim are about 50%, depending on the case you are filing. According to data from the U.S. Department of Justice, most personal injury claims are settled outside of court, and only about 3% make it to trial. Out of that number, almost half of the cases sided with the plaintiff as the winner.
According to statistics, the defendants (physicians, hospitals, and medical professionals) win 74% of medical malpractice cases. Meanwhile, your chances are slightly better if you are the plaintiff in a car accident case. Most plaintiffs involved in an vehicle accident win 60% of the time.
Win With Nolan and Shafer
The courts, especially those in Michigan, are very particular regarding liability and negligence. Don’t let a simple online search for “Personal Injury Lawyer Michigan” reduce your chances of success. At Nolan & Shafer, our lawyers have extensive experience and knowledge of tort laws and other personal injury lawsuits. We’ll help you win and recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at (231) 722-2444 or contact us here to schedule an appointment.