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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Are the Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injuries can be one of those challenges that many people have to overcome throughout their lives. Unfortunately, when the underlying accident is catastrophic, the extent of the damage can be traumatizing and impact victims' well-being in the long term.


However, those who have been injured by someone else's negligence can take legal action against the at-fault party to hold them accountable for their behavior and try to recover compensation for the damages or losses they suffered. This is a legal right.


Before beginning the legal process, it's essential that victims understand what they're getting into, know what a personal injury lawsuit is, and evaluate their chances of winning to determine if it's a good idea to move forward with this legal action.


Fortunately, this is an up-to-date and comprehensive guide with all the information victims need to learn more about personal injury claims and determine if they might have a chance of winning their cases.


What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?


Essentially, a personal injury lawsuit is a civil action that people who have been injured due to someone else's behavior can bring against responsible parties to hold them accountable and try to recover compensation for damages.


Most people who file personal injury cases hope to recover financial compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the accident. This remuneration may include medical bills and related expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.


These cases are governed by personal injury law, which establishes the statute of limitations, the system used to determine liability, the damages that plaintiffs can recover if they win the case, and other key aspects.


Do Personal Injury Cases Always Go to Trial?


Many personal injury cases are settled before making it to trial. In fact, reports from the US Department of Justice show that in about 95% of these lawsuits, both parties agree on a settlement before going to court.


However, some personal injury lawsuits make it to court because the victim and the at-fault party's insurance company aren't able to come to an agreement regarding the final settlement.


Common Accidents That Often Lead to Personal Injury Claims


As mentioned, a personal injury claim is a legal dispute between a person who sustained an injury and the individual or entity that allegedly caused it. Different accidents can lead to these lawsuits, including the following:

  • Car accidents

  • Motorcycle and bicycle accidents

  • Commercial vehicle or truck accidents

  • Slip and falls

  • Animal bites

  • Workplace injuries

  • Defamation

  • Medical malpractice

  • Product liability

  • Drowning

  • Drug overdoses

  • Wrongful death

All of these accidents can set the stage for different types of personal injury lawsuits, which vary depending on the facts of the case.


Wrongful death happens when a person dies due to someone else's negligence, for example. In this scenario, victims' surviving family members or estate can bring legal action against the responsible party.


A person who was injured in a car accident would file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the crash to recover compensation for the harm they suffered and the damage to their property.


On the other hand, people who are harmed by a defective product can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer to hold them accountable for their negligence and recover financial compensation for resulting damages.


What Are the Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit?


After having an accident and bringing legal action against the responsible party, many people wonder if they may be able to win a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation for the damages suffered.


Reports from the Department of Justice say that only 3% of personal injury claims are resolved through trial verdicts. That means in most cases, both parties come to a settlement agreement.


However, around 72% of defendants contest the complaint, so it isn't always easy to agree on a fair settlement for a personal injury case.


Considering this, determining the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit is also difficult. In fact, whether a person will be able to recover compensation for an injury caused by someone else's actions will depend on multiple factors.


What Affects the Chances of Winning a Personal Lawsuit?


As mentioned, different aspects can influence the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. These are:


The Personal Injury Lawyer's Skills and Experience

People who work with a seasoned personal injury lawyer to build their cases and get advice through the legal process will have better chances of winning the lawsuit. Plus, this is the only factor that plaintiffs can completely control.


Many people believe they should handle their personal injury case alone because they fear that attorney's fees will be too high and will cut into the compensation they will ultimately recover. However, this can be a costly mistake, as insurance companies don't typically take unrepresented parties seriously and refuse to make a fair settlement offer in these cases.


Additionally, if the case makes it to court, people who don't have legal support will find that it'll be much more difficult to build a solid case and find sufficient evidence to support their claims.


What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for Victims

Overall, this is what an experienced personal injury lawyer can do for plaintiffs:

  • Guide personal injury victims through the legal process to help them understand their rights and fight for them

  • Help plaintiffs collect evidence to support their personal injury cases, from medical reports to bills and other types of documentation that can prove their claims

  • Estimate reasonable compensation for the damages and losses that victims suffered as a result of the accident

  • Negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the victims and do everything possible to come to an agreement on a fair settlement

  • Deal with insurance adjusters who will try to dismiss claims and use strategies to convince victims to accept less compensation than they deserve

  • Help injured parties prepare for recorded statements if necessary

  • Interview witnesses to collect testimonies that may be key to solving the case

  • Review police reports and other documentation that plaintiffs may use as evidence

  • Explain everything personal injury laws and the legal process entails to victims in a way that is easy to understand

  • Help injured parties prevent potential pitfalls through the claim process

If a person plans to take legal action against someone else after an accident that injured them, seeking advice from a professional personal injury attorney will always be a good idea. However, they must be careful and choose a reliable lawyer who can really help them handle these cases.


How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Most personal injury attorneys in Cincinnati offer information about their background, experience, qualifications, and skills. In order to hire the right one for their claims, injured parties should consider professionals who have:

  • Extensive experience handling similar cases

  • A good reputation in the industry, with respect and admiration from previous clients and fellow attorneys

  • A track record of winning cases for clients who have filed personal injury claims

  • A reliable and skilled team that can handle every aspect of the lawsuit

  • Convenient locations and availability to help victims evaluate their cases and find answers to their questions

  • Accessible resources to keep injured parties informed about their personal injury claims

Although finding the right personal injury lawyer can take time, it's an essential part of this legal process. Attorneys with the characteristics mentioned above will guide clients through each phase, providing the assistance they need to understand their cases and protect their rights.


Additionally, experienced attorneys know how to investigate accidents, evaluate the damages injured people have suffered, identify liable parties, and demonstrate to the court that their clients were victims of someone else's negligence and deserve the highest possible compensation.


When they hire an attorney, injured parties also send a message to the defendant and their insurance companies that they're prepared to win and cannot be pressured into accepting a low settlement.


Liability

Besides legal representation, another factor that can influence the chances of success in a personal injury case is liability. That means plaintiffs should be able to prove that the other party was negligent and that conduct caused the injury or underlying accident.


In personal injury cases, victims should present sufficient evidence to prove the following elements in order to establish liability:

  • The other party or "defendant" owed them a duty of care, meaning that they were legally required to act reasonably to avoid hurting others or putting their well-being at risk.

  • The defendant breached that duty of care in some way, meaning that they didn't act as a reasonable person would

  • The plaintiff suffers an injury due to the defendant's breach of the duty of care

  • The injuries caused by the other party's breach of duty led to damages and losses, which may include lost wages, medical expenses, or pain and suffering

The stronger the evidence, the more chances there are of proving these elements and winning the case. Many people who plan to take this legal action against the person who caused the accident where they were injured require the help of an experienced attorney to establish liability.


An experienced personal injury attorney understands the ins and outs of the legal process, knows where to find the evidence that injured parties need to prove that the other person was negligent, and can help victims organize everything they need to build a solid case.


What Injured Parties Do After the Accident

Those who have been harmed in an accident caused by someone else's actions can improve their chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit by taking a few steps that can benefit their cases.


Get Medical Care As Soon As Possible

The first thing people should do if they're injured in an accident caused by someone else is to seek immediate medical attention to protect their health and well-being. Furthermore, it's essential to follow doctors' recommendations.


Besides ensuring injured parties receive treatment on time, going to the doctor contributes to the case because it creates records of victims' physical condition after the accident and the treatment they received.


Medical records are important pieces of evidence to support a personal injury claim. Additionally, when a person receives immediate medical attention after an accident, the defense lawyer won't be able to argue that their injuries worsened because they failed to care for themselves.


Act As Quickly as Possible

In every state, there's a statute of limitations, which is the limit that defines how much time passes after the injury or fatal accident occurs until victims lose the right to take legal action against the other party. In Ohio, it's two years.


If the personal injury lawsuit isn't filed within this deadline, courts will likely refuse to hear the case, and victims won't be able to recover compensation. Therefore, they should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.


People working with a personal injury attorney at their side can build and file a solid case before the statute of limitations expires or find an extension to toll that limit. Additionally, seasoned lawyers can collect and preserve critical evidence to support victims' claims.


Avoid Falling Into Insurance Companies' Traps

Although many are obligated to pay for victims' losses and damages, the truth is that no insurance company will want to do so. Instead, these firms will look for a way to pay less than what injured parties really deserve.


Insurers often ask injured parties to give a recorded statement about the injury. However, this is a tactic they use to pay victims less than what they owe. Plus, it's very risky.


Companies that request this statement only want to record people answering leading questions that have been designed to get victims to say something that they can then use to undermine or reduce the value of their personal injury case.


Injured parties may be required to give a recorded statement to their insurers, and it's always a good idea to seek advice from an experienced attorney before doing so. However, in most cases, victims don't have to talk to the other party's insurance company, especially if they don't have legal representation.


Besides requiring a recorded statement, many insurance companies make a quick, lowball settlement offer. However, insurers often do that before claimants have a lawyer to try to trick them into accepting less money than an expert could recover. Therefore, before having conversations with these firms, injured parties should contact an attorney. They can also help with questions like are personal injury settlements taxable in Ohio?


Damages or How Much Compensation Victims Can Recover

In order to support their claims and recover compensation for the injuries and losses they suffered because of the accident, plaintiffs will have to prove their damages' value and existence. If the case is successful, they may be compensated for the following:


Economic Damages

Also known as special damages, economic damages refer to financial losses or expenses related to the injuries that victims sustain. Evidence that plaintiffs can use to prove this includes bills and receipts or a wage verification statement from their employers.


These are some examples of the economic damages that claimants could recover in a personal injury case:

  • Past and current medical bills, including emergency room and urgent care costs

  • Future medical expenses, including expenses for follow-up doctor visits

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses

  • Travel costs to medical appointments

  • Diagnostic tests and labs

  • Property damage

  • Lost wages

  • Lost earning capacity

  • Property repairs

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic or "general" damages don't refer to monetary losses but impact victims in other ways. Since they cannot be quantified, plaintiffs cannot use bills or receipts to prove them.


Instead, to demonstrate their existence and calculate their value, victims can present testimonies from witnesses or experts who can show how the injuries have changed victims' lives. Photos and videos can also be useful in these cases.


Some of the examples of non-economic damages include the following;

  • Pain and suffering

  • Mental anguish

  • Humiliation

  • Scarring and disfigurement

  • Loss of enjoyment of life

  • Loss of consortium

  • Loss of a body part or bodily function

Evidence to Prove Damages

The evidence used to prove damages is one of the factors that influence people's chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. Plaintiffs who have evidence of reasonable medical expenses are more likely to recover compensation.


Insurance companies won't just agree to pay the sum that victims are seeking remuneration for but will look for a way to deny their claims to reduce it. That's why submitting bills, receipts, and testimonials to support the case is so important.


Liability Insurance Limits

In many cases, plaintiffs don't receive compensation directly from the defendant but from their insurer. However, insurance policies usually have coverage limits, which means that these companies will only be able to pay a specific amount for an injury claim.


When damages exceed coverage limits, defendants are still legally liable for the rest. Many use their umbrella policy, which is an extra policy that provides protection beyond these limits, to pay the entire amount.


Depending on how the injury or accident occurred, coverage may come from:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which protects drivers and their passengers

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which is often part of the at-fault driver's policy

  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, which is often available on the injured party's insurance policy when the at-fault driver lacks coverage

  • Health insurance, which applies to people who have a policy to pay for medical bills related to an accident

Insurance limits set by the state can also affect how much compensation victims receive. Each regulates the minimum amount of coverage that people should have, especially when it comes to auto insurance.

These are the minimum insurance requirements in Ohio:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 for bodily injury for all people injured in an accident

  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Personal Injury Compensation Caps

Each state has its own personal injury laws and defines the damages that victims are entitled to receive after an accident, which also affects compensation.


Caps and limits are set in some areas to define the maximum amount that plaintiffs can receive as compensation if they win a case.


These caps are often placed on non-economic and punitive damages, which are the ones awarded to punish the at-fault party and deter them from committing the same action in the future.


Ohio law limits non-economic damages to three times the amount of economic damages or $250,000, whichever amount is greater. However, this sum cannot exceed $350,000 if there's only one plaintiff in the case or $500,000 if there are two.


Additionally, in Ohio, there's no cap on compensation for non-economic damages if the victim sustained a catastrophic injury, which can be any of the following:

  • Permanent and significant physical deformity

  • Loss of bodily organ system

  • Loss of the use of a limb

  • Permanent physical functional injury

Punitive damages are also capped in this state. According to Ohio law, a jury can only award up to two times compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater, in these cases.


Will Plaintiffs Always Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit?


No one can predict what will happen in the future. Therefore, there's no guarantee that a person will win a personal injury lawsuit. However, numerous factors can increase their chances of success, such as seeking medical care quickly, having solid evidence to support their claims, and working with an attorney.


How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Victims?

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Victims?


As mentioned, hiring a personal injury lawyer to get legal advice and build a personal injury case can make a difference. Attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of victims to pursue a fair settlement or guide them through the litigation process to file a lawsuit if necessary. They can advise on matters like should you choose a structured settlement?


Additionally, personal injury attorneys know the Ohio laws and will fight for victims' rights, help them gather evidence and testimony, calculate damages to determine how much compensation they should recover, and more.


With personal injury attorneys at their side, those who have been injured in an accident caused by someone else's behavior can focus on their recovery while an expert handles their cases and does everything possible to achieve the best results.


Call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today!

Anyone who has been injured in an accident caused by another person can take legal action to hold them accountable for their actions and recover compensation. However, victims may need help from a seasoned personal injury attorney.


Fortunately, they can find a reliable one at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. Our law firm has extensive experience in these cases and is ready to fight for our clients' rights. Contact us today!

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