What happens if you lose a car accident lawsuit?
In the event that you lose a car accident lawsuit, then you may be wondering what happens after — not all cases end in success, so there’s a lot of confusion as to the plaintiff’s responsibilities, burdens, and options in the event of a court loss. Let’s take a closer look at how it all works.
What happens if you lose a no win no fee case?
If you lose a car accident lawsuit, whether or not it’s a “no win no fee” case, then you will not be entitled to compensation under the law — at least with respect to the defendant(s) you sued for damages. That being said, you won’t have to worry about paying the attorney. Any expenses they accrued in litigating your case are their own burden to carry (with exception in some cases for filing fees and other small procedural expenses). That was the risk they took in representing you. So you’ll have no (or limited) out-of-pocket costs for having sued.
Also, just because you lost doesn’t mean you have no compensation options. If you were involved in a work-related car accident, for example, you could potentially have access to workers’ compensation benefits that would not be tied to the outcome of your case. And even if you lose a car accident lawsuit, you can potentially submit a claim with your own insurance provider for compensation — this could cover most of your losses, in fact.
Losing a case isn’t the end-all, be-all. But it does have an impact on your strategic options so do bear that in mind.
How long does it take for a no win no fee claim?
There is no set-in-stone rule for how long it takes for a no win, no fee legal claim to be resolved. Every case is different. Some can take as little as a week or two for a settlement to be reached, while others can take as much as two years after lengthy negotiations, court hearings, and trial litigation.
For example, a dispute might conclude very early if both parties are amicable, rational, and willing to come to an agreement due to a desire to avoid the negative publicity and cost and uncertainty of litigation.
By contrast, a different dispute might develop into something complex and hostile over a year or more, and can lead to trial. This may be due to deep and continued disagreements about liability, damages, and more.
Alternative strategic options may exist
If you lose a car accident lawsuit, you might have different strategic options:
- You can potentially submit a claim with your own insurance company to secure compensation through your personal coverage
- You can identify and sue different defendants against whom you might have a claim
- You can explore a mediation to resolve the dispute if there are any leftover issues
- And more
Bear in mind that there’s no guarantee of compensation with these alternatives, either, but they are reasonable options in the event of a lost dispute. For example, your own personal accident insurance coverage could coverage a substantial portion of your damages if you submit a claim with your insurer — doing so in the alternative is still a fine plan for securing compensation, though you’ll want to work with an attorney who understands how to prepare the claim so as to minimize the chance of it being rejected (or of receiving a lowball offer).
Appealing the loss
You may be able to file an appeal if you lose a car accident lawsuit — in other words, you are disputing the loss. That being said, you cannot simply pursue an appeal just because you disagree with the outcome. To pursue an appeal (i.e., to have it heard in an appellate court), there must have been a “legal mistake” made by the lower court. Further, this mistake must have impacted the final judgment in the case.
During the appeal, you won’t get an opportunity to present or submit new evidence. There won’t be a new trial, or new witnesses, or a new jury. The appellate court will simply review the original case in the lower court and determine whether there was a legal mistake. For example, the appellate court will investigate to determine whether the lower court improperly applied the law (i.e., applied the wrong law to the facts).
Appeal isn’t easy, and may take additional time and resources. Make sure to discuss the possibility with your attorney before you decide on a course of action.
Navigating legal disputes with an attorney
Attorneys are useful advocates in more ways than one. Experienced attorneys understand that their role is comprehensive, and that they may have to handle a variety of aspects of the case when representing the client. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Investigating the accident scene
- Gathering and preserving evidence
- Securing the contact information of relevant parties, such as eyewitnesses
- Working with experts to reconstruct the accident and develop supportive testimony
- Communicate on behalf of the client with insurers, opposing counsel, and others
- Develop and execute an effective legal strategy
- Negotiate a potential settlement compromise
- Pursue trial litigation, if necessary
- Secure the damages award
- Appeal a loss, if necessary and desirable
- And more
Just be aware that attorneys have a diverse skill set and role, and that they can handle your dispute from start-to-finish — so don’t delay too long! Get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Legal Consultation
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you may be exploring the possibility of a lawsuit so that you can be compensated. That being said, it’s worth considering that not every lawsuit results in a win. If you lose, however, you may still have options for securing compensation outside of a lawsuit. To better understand, we encourage you to explore these options with an experienced attorney.
Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get connected to an attorney in our legal network. The attorneys in our network can provide a free initial consultation, during which you’ll be able to discuss the details of your case and obtain guidance on next steps. There’s no obligation to continue if you decide against it, so there’s really no downside — call in today!
We look forward to assisting you.