We live in incredibly litigious times; times in which the slightest insult can spark a lawsuit. So, it should not be surprising when someone gets injured and, feeling a sense of righteousness, decides to hire the services of a solicitor in order to get what they believe they are owed from society or even just a specific company. Usually, though, someone is clearly at fault and medical bills need to be paid by that someone. The shortfall of income that can accompany an injury also needs to be dealt with to your satisfaction. Going to trial seems like the most obvious way to gain redress, but it is not without risks.
First we need to understand why those who have suffered an injury take a responsible party to court. Usually, it isn’t merely for the sake of justice in itself. Money is usually involved, and for good reason: An injury often results in the inability of the injured party to work, and whether times are good or bad, the loss of weekly or monthly income can hurt. The justice that is served by seeking compensation for an injury is represented by making up for the potential loss of the earnings that put food on a table or pay the monthly rent. In some cases, medical expenses could exceed the coverage of the National Health Service, and an injury could require extra care or materials left uncovered.
The expectation is that the court will side with the plaintiff, rewarding a more than sufficient amount of damages to the personal injury victim. The reality, though, is slightly more complex. The fact is that while the court may, indeed, side with you, the amount of money you seek will not be what you get. This could lead to a sense that your time has been wasted, and that justice ignored you. Determining how much your injury is worth is one of the main quandaries of going to trial for a personal injury. If you seek too little, and you won’t be able to make up for what you lost, let alone the legal fees. If you seek too much, the judge could reject it, leaving you with nothing but legal fees.
Keep the Focus on Your Plight, Not the Money
It also risks turning your injury into a spectacle. Our natural inclination in Western societies is to side with the injured party, who is one of us. On the surface, the injured party is absolutely the more sympathetic party in the equation, and a balanced claim against the responsible party can help you maintain that deserved air of sympathy. On the other hand, making too big a deal about the amount of money you feel you are owed risks turning the court of public opinion against you. As true as it is that people like to side with the underdog, they also bristle at the first sight of bullying. Shocking as it is, even though you were the victim, you could be seen as a bully. Why is that?
Losing Perspective Carries its Own Risks
Quite frankly, it’s because few people set out to do harm to others. Most personal injuries occur as a result of an accident, such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the wrong time. Some personal injuries, also, come about as a result of our own inattention. There is a reason that the coffee cups at major fast food chains and coffee houses come with a warning about the intensity of the cup’s heat: They don’t want to get sued, which can happen even though it is reasonable to expect that the contents of a cup of hot coffee will be very hot indeed. Regardless of the reason or cause, the important thing to remember is that it was an accident.
If a neighbour’s dog bites and injures you or your child, it probably isn’t because the owner trained his or her dog to do so. The event likely came about by accident, and the owner might end up losing a beloved pet as a result of a playful moment gone wrong. As hard as it might be to do, one should be mindful that the circumstances of a personal injury are usually unhappy for both parties, not just the injured one. Then again, if you’re behind the wheel of a lorry and someone else crashes into your vehicle because they were speeding, it’s difficult to advise against seeking a large amount of damages. It won’t be hard for russellworthsolicitors to make the case that the other driver is at fault.
It Could End Up Costing You Too Much
Regardless of who is at fault, the question of legal fees needs to be factored into your decision-making process. There is every chance that you could be awarded the amount of money you seek, only to find that you owe your victorious solicitor a fair share of the winnings. This is less likely if the trial proceeds quickly, but if for some reason it drags on, the lawyer will be waiting with a bill at the end. One of the first things you should do when injured and looking around for a solicitor to represent you is see if they will demand payment even if you don’t win. If they do, then you had better take your case to a law office that will pledge that you will not owe them anything unless you win.
A benefit of working with a law office with a “no win, no fee” philosophy is that they will work harder on your behalf since if you don’t get paid they won’t get paid. It seems cynical, this focus on money, but since that is what you’re seeking by going to trial, it is important to be realistic.
No one wants to be injured, and it’s fair to say that the responsible parties probably feel no happiness as a result of you having been harmed. If you’re going to take your personal injury case to trial, make sure you do your homework first, and you’ll be on your way to getting the justice you deserve.