Are you worried about losing a car accident lawsuit? Whether you are the victim or accused party involved in the car accident lawsuit, your goal is to receive a positive outcome, which cannot always be guaranteed.
Losing a case is different for the plaintiff and the defendant. It’s crucial for you to know what will happen if you lose a car accident lawsuit in order to prepare and boost your chances of winning.
Even if the evidence seems to be in your favor, winning or losing a car accident lawsuit depends on several factors. This blog post will discuss the losses you may face, some actions to avoid, and more.
How You Could Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit in Arkansas
Losing a car accident lawsuit can result in lost income, seizure of assets, or bankruptcy – on top of the losses you’ve already incurred.
Your reason for taking a car accident lawsuit to court is to recover compensation, but the result could be the opposite. It is important to follow your lawyer’s advice throughout the legal process in order to increase your chances of winning.
Taking a personal injury case to court also requires discretion. Careless conduct on the part of an uninformed individual can taint the evidence and the determination of fault.
The most important factors a judge and jury consider in a personal injury lawsuit is fault, negligence, and damages. You and your car accident lawyer must prove that you have suffered injuries and financial losses as a result of the accident.
Insurance companies often look for discrepancies or mistakes to dismiss your personal injury claim or reduce compensation. Certain actions on your part can give the liable party or insurance company ammunition for their defense, so take care to go by the following guidelines.
Avoid misrepresenting facts
Maintaining integrity is crucial both inside and outside of the courtroom. If anything you say or claim proves to be false, this could hinder your case. The judge and jury will be skeptical of anything else claimed from there on.
Avoid exaggerating or minimizing injuries, lying about the car accident, or speculating when asked a question.
Be careful when speaking with the opposing party
It is best to only speak to the opposing party, the insurance company, or their lawyers when your own attorney is present. Choose your words carefully. Your statements could be misconstrued and used against you in the courtroom.
Refrain from posting details of your lawsuit on social media
Releasing your frustrations or sharing your side of the story on social media can be tempting but must be avoided at all costs. The opposing party can use what you post to dismiss your claims.
Additionally, you could give away your legal strategy and other possibly confidential information that should stay between you and your personal injury attorney.
Overall, keeping your case off social media will protect your legal position and eliminate any obstacles in your pursuit of financial compensation.
Make sure you provide sufficient evidence
Insufficient evidence or incorrect documentation may cause the judge and jury to lean in favor of the opposing party. Keeping a good record of all documentation related to your claim, though, will strengthen your case.
Depending on the nature of your lawsuit, you may also need witnesses, such as eyewitnesses and medical experts. Communicating the most accurate information to your car accident lawyer will help them gather all the relevant information.
Consult your attorney about potential contributory negligence
It’s possible for car accident victims to share some degree of fault. According to Arkansas Code Section 16-64-122, the plaintiff cannot recover damages if their fault is equal to or greater than the fault of the party from whom they seek damages.
Arkansas is a modified comparative negligence state, which means all parties involved in a car accident are assigned a percentage of responsibility. Fortunately, the law permits you to seek compensation if you are 49 percent at fault or less.
Comparative negligence can cost your car accident case if you don’t know how to present the appropriate response to their claims. Your auto accident lawyer can assist you in preparing your argument for comparative negligence.
Avoid a lack of legal representation or poor representation
Good legal representation significantly improves your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses. The procedure requires detailed court filings, negotiating settlements, and examining evidence to establish a solid case.
Opting to manage your car accident lawsuit alone or hiring an inexperienced lawyer can be detrimental to your case. Representing yourself in court exposes you to the insurance company and skilled lawyers of the opposing party, possibly leading to inadequate settlements.
Experienced car accident attorneys can manage paperwork and court appearances as well as provide guidance on strategy and resolution. Thus, hiring a skilled car accident lawyer to take legal action on your behalf is the best route. Working with Minton Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys can prevent the potential undervaluation of your claims.
What Happens If You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit as the Plaintiff?
Dealing with lost wages and ongoing medical expenses can be devastating after a car crash. The good news is that you can take preventive measures to remedy your situation.
As a plaintiff (the person who initiated the lawsuit), losing the case means you will not get the compensation you sought. Providing insufficient evidence, misrepresenting, or posting on social media can give the opposing party’s lawyer an argument that increases your percentage of fault, resulting in your loss.
You will not pay legal fees
Many people who sue after an auto accident are concerned about facing legal expenses when they lose.
At Minton Law, our personal injury lawyers have a specific approach to avoid adding to your financial burdens. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only ask for payment if we win your case and you get the money you deserve.
You will not have to pay attorney fees out of pocket. In other words, if your case does not succeed, you won’t owe us anything, so you don’t need to stress about extra costs on top of your other bills.
A second lawsuit cannot be filed for the same reason
After losing a car accident lawsuit, you cannot file another lawsuit against the same party again for the same reason – except in very specific circumstances, such as bad faith. You can, however, sue the same party for different reasons.
No matter the case, judges do not often favor repeated lawsuits to reverse a ruling. For this reason, your legal team may advise against this course of action. It’s probably better to accept the outcome of the personal injury case decision.
You will have to find another way to pay for your damages
If you don’t win your car accident case, you will need to find another way to cover your damages. For instance, you may have to pay medical bills out of pocket since the other party is not obligated to compensate you.
There is always a chance you might lose the case or come away with less money than expected, so your legal team cannot guarantee your outcome. Instead, you should plan how you will pay for your medical bills and other costs early on. This way, if you lose the case, you will not be under extreme pressure to figure out your money.
What Happens If You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit as the Defendant?
The defendant in a lawsuit is the person or party accused of negligence. When you lose a lawsuit filed against you, your insurance company will pay whatever compensation the jury deems fair since you are liable.
You may have to pay compensation
If you lose a lawsuit as the defendant, you will be required to pay compensation to the plaintiff.
Insured personal injury victims can rely on their insurance providers to cover their medical expenses, damaged possessions, and other losses.
However, if you are uninsured, the court will consider your income to determine how you will pay damages yourself. The judge will decide whether you should pay all at once, over time in payments, or by selling some of your assets.
You might have to file for bankruptcy
Your legal team may advise filing for bankruptcy if your chances of winning the lawsuit are slim.
Once bankruptcy is filed, an automatic hold is placed on the defendant’s assets. This means a plaintiff will not be able to file a claim against the defendant.
Bankruptcy laws state that if you are liable for an auto accident, you may be able to eliminate some of the debts associated with the accident. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help you avoid court costs and legal fees in a lawsuit.
But certain debts, like those linked to drunk driving or intentional injury, usually cannot be wiped out. In this situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be better, as it arranges a manageable 3- to 5-year payment plan for various debts that cannot be completely discharged.
Get Help From Our Arkansas Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Justin Minton Law Firm, we are committed to representing all victims in car accident lawsuits and ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve.
When you’ve been in an auto accident, you may be facing lost wages and medical care expenses, among other losses. To minimize the financial burden, our experienced Arkansas lawyers can examine your case and help you understand what may happen if you lose a car accident lawsuit.
Contact us if you’re a personal injury victim in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Benton, Saline County, Conway, and Faulkner County. Call us at 855-Xadjuster or fill in the contact form to schedule a free consultation today.