After the accident, you spent time in the hospital, worried about your family, worried about the bills that were piling up, worried about when you could get back to work, and possibly are still worrying about the long term effects of your injuries.
You know the accident was not your fault, and you know that the responsible person needs to compensate you for what you’ve been through and the financial disaster that it’s caused. You are beginning the next part of this journey – your personal injury case which will bring its own worries and stress.
This is one reason why it is important to turn your case over to an experienced injury defense lawyer in SC who can answer your questions and take the weight off your shoulders as you seek maximum compensation from the defendant and their insurance company.
When going through a personal injury case, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed—especially if you’ve never experienced anything like it before. Knowing what to expect as the case progresses can relieve some of your stress.
Below are some of the possible outcomes of personal injury cases and what to expect as a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit.
Case Gets Dismissed
Personal injury cases can be dismissed by the court on a motion to dismiss or a summary judgment motion for many reasons, including::
- The court finds that the facts in your complaint, if true, do not state a valid cause of action against the defendant.
- Insufficiency of process: there could be an issue with the summons, either a technical defect or improper serving of the papers – in many cases, this can be corrected and the lawsuit may be allowed to continue.
- Lack of jurisdiction: the court doesn’t have the authority to rule on the case – it may be that the case can be re-filed in a different court or there may be other jurisdictional issues.
- Summary judgment: after all discovery has been completed, if the facts of the case are undisputed, the court can decide that there is no “issue of fact” for the jury to decide and may decide key issues in either side’s favor, dismiss the case, or decide that the defendant is liable and the jury only needs to determine the amount of damages.
What does it mean if my case is dismissed?
If the case is dismissed “with prejudice,” you won’t be able to refile the case again in the future. On the other hand, if the dismissal is “without prejudice,” the court will allow you to correct the problems that led to the dismissal and re-file your case.
Case Settles Pretrial
A pre-trial settlement is the most likely outcome of any personal injury case. In fact, 95% of personal injury cases end in a settlement, according to Avvo.
Although some cases settle early in the process, most will not settle until the discovery process has been completed, including depositions of key witnesses. In most cases, the courts require a mandatory mediation prior to trial – some cases will settle at the mediation, others will settle just prior to trial, and some cases have to be tried to a jury.
What does a pretrial settlement means for the plaintiff?
You’ll receive compensation; however, you’ll probably have to compromise in some way to get the defendant to agree to the settlement – both sides have to ask themselves:
1. What is the likely outcome at a jury trial based on the evidence that each side has disclosed; and
2. What am I willing to give up to avoid the expense, stress, and uncertainty of trial?
Case Goes to Trial
When a case goes to trial, both sides get to present evidence and call witnesses. The jurors at your trial will decide whether or not the defendant is liable and how much they have to pay.
What does a win at trial means for the plaintiff?
You’ll get a judgment that orders the defendant to pay you. The compensation could include:
- Medical expenses including ER, hospital stays, and follow up visits to the doctor;
- Future medical care including long-term care if needed;
- Emotional distress;
- Lost wages; and
- Pain and suffering
Maximize Your Recovery with Coastal Law
Your injury lawyer at Coastal Law will do everything legally and ethically possible to maximize your odds of winning your case and recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our legal team is here to answer your questions, investigate the accident and defendant, gather the evidence and witnesses that we need to prove your claims, and work with you to achieve the best possible outcome.
To schedule a free consultation, complete our online form or call now at (843) 488-5000.