As you probably know, there is an infinite number of ways to become injured. Your injuries could be your own fault, or maybe something accidental and unforeseen. But perhaps you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
For example, maybe you sustained injuries in a car accident caused by another driver. Or you may have had a slip and fall accident in a mall parking lot. All in all, If you sustained injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against those who caused your injuries.
Like any major decision, it is important to know exactly what you are getting into when you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are a few things you might not know about personal injury lawsuits.
Your Every Move May Be Watched. If you bring a personal injury lawsuit against one or more defendants, chances are that they will be defended by the insurance companies. And, as you can probably guess, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible. They also have the money and resources to put up a tough, lengthy fight.
Included in their bag of tricks is placing the plaintiff—you—under surveillance. By using private investigators, insurance companies oftentimes “catch” plaintiffs doing something that is contrary to their injury claims. For example, if a plaintiff claims that he injured his back in a slip-and-fall accident and is caught on camera playing a game of pickup basketball, the value of his claims can go way down. Not to mention it reduces his credibility…
Your Medical History Becomes Fair Game. When you claim in your lawsuit that you suffered personal injuries, your medical bills and records will be scrutinized. As part of the insurance company’s case, they will try to find some other reason for your injuries – rather than what you claim in your lawsuit. They will also try to show that your medical records do not support your claimed injuries.
Therefore, the insurance company will obtain and meticulously review all of your medical records—going back a number of years. This is an invasive process and something you should consider. You may be fine with this type of intrusion into your personal life, or you may not be. Talk to your attorney about this issue if you have any questions or concerns.
You Are Responsible for Litigation Costs. In most personal injury cases, you only pay your attorney if and when you recover a settlement or court-ordered judgment. Typically, when you receive your money, your attorney will take a percentage of the recovered amount. You should know how the payment of “costs” will take place.
Here are some examples of the typical legal costs behind a personal injury case:
It costs money to obtain and copy medical records.
It costs money to conduct the deposition of defendant(s) and witnesses.
It costs money to conduct investigations and even hire expert witnesses to help you in your case.
Of course, your case may be different, and the costs can vary from case to case. Additionally, it’s important to discuss all potential costs of your case upfront with your personal injury attorney so you know what you are getting yourself into with your case.
Make sure you know exactly how you will be charged for these costs from the very beginning.
It May Take a Long Time to See a Settlement. While some personal injury lawsuits are settled relatively quickly, it may take months or even years to reach a settlement agreement or to receive a court-ordered judgment. This is also something to consider when deciding whether or not to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
There are many benefits to bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant(s) that may be at fault for directly causing you pain and suffering. Hiring a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury attorney will go a long way in getting you through the sometimes difficult and arduous process. Personal injury attorneys will shoulder a big part of the burden and will assist you every step of the way.
Author Bio: Tony Bennett specializes in personal injury and criminal defense cases. He is the owner and senior attorney at the law firm Tony Bennett Law located in Jupiter, Florida. Our team offers a free consultation to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.