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What happens if you lose a personal injury lawsuit?

If you have watched many legal shows on TV, you may be under the mistaken idea that all lawsuits end swiftly and with big payouts. In reality, things don’t quite work out that way. The truth is that the process of filing a personal injury claim and receiving a settlement or a decision by the court is long and complicated. And the way you feel, your interpretation of the incident, or your expectations of the amount of money you should be entitled to receive, may never enter into the picture.

As a matter of fact, there are plenty of cases in which the plaintiff comes into the courtroom with a case based entirely on misconceptions that leads them to lose their claims.

What are the most common reasons why people lose their personal injury lawsuits?

Not Hiring Legal Representation

Being successful when filing a personal injury claim means knowing certain aspects of the law, such as how long you have to file. You should also have experience negotiating with others, particularly with insurance companies, and the intuition to understand when to accept or refuse a settlement offer. Trying to navigate this process on your own without the legal expertise offered by an attorney means you may be missing out on the possibility of recovering the damages you deserve and may even end up with nothing.

Contributory Negligence

Personal injury cases are not all-or-nothing cases. You can also be at fault for the accident to some degree. If you share some of the fault, it is likely that you will only be able to recover less than the full amount of damages you are seeking. Your Santa Barbara personal injury attorney will once again be useful in this situation since they will know how to fight back when the other side accuses you of contributory negligence.

Lying About Your Injuries

It is easy to believe that if you exaggerate the extent or severity of your injuries, you will be entitled to receive a higher payout. The reality is that taking this route may mean that you will end up losing your case. Giving the jury or the insurance company false information on one aspect of your case may result in the whole claim being dismissed and you losing out on the possibility of recovering any damages.

What can you do if you lose your personal injury claim?

If you were unable to settle your case for a reasonable amount or go to trial and lose, you might end up being responsible for paying the other party’s trial costs. However, losing at trial gives you the opportunity to appeal. If you decide to appeal, it is important to know that this process is neither quick nor without risks. You may be looking at your case stretching out for a year or even longer.

For the appeal to proceed, there must be an evidentiary issue or a legal mistake for a higher court to agree to overturn the original decision in your personal injury case. An appellate court will not focus on new evidence but will rather look at the legal analysis involved in your case. Losing the appeal leaves you with no other recourse to recover your damages since there is no avenue open for you to refile your case.