Some victims of an accident welcome the chance to consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Those same victims usually hope to face the other party in court and win a large amount of money. Unfortunately, their hopes often cause them to overlook the recognized risks that are associated with pursuit of a personal injury lawsuit.
Juries are unpredictable
Even the most experienced personal injury lawyers in Ottawa cannot say for sure what a jury’s verdict might be. There is no guarantee that the members of the jury will decide against the defendant and from the plaintiff. Although members of the public tend to anticipate a large award for the plaintiff, those expectations tend to be based on what has been shown on TV, or in more than one movie.
That fact should highlight one of the biggest risks. A jury might decide in favor of the defendant. In that case, the plaintiff would not win a single cent.
How litigation costs could present clients with an additional risk
Most personal injury lawyers increase the percentage of a given client’s award or compensation that should be used for the contingency fee, if the same client’s case has advanced to the trial stage. That is one example of the costs associated with litigation.
Before the start of a trial, a discovery session takes place. During that session, the recorder must be paid. Personal injury lawyers are willing to pay that expense out of their own pockets, but expect to be reimbursed, once the trial has ended. In other words, their clients have to shoulder the burden of that expense.
During the trial, the jury gets shown various exhibits. It costs money to prepare those exhibits. That money comes from any court-ordered judgment. Hence, the litigation costs could easily eat away at a large portion of the funds that might have been awarded by the court.
Time is money
In addition to the money that a plaintiff could expect to pay at the conclusion of a trial, the same plaintiff has also had to sacrifice a large block of time. He or she must be in the courtroom throughout the trial. During any recess, he or she must be ready to return to the courtroom.
Even after the jury has announced its verdict, there could still be demands on the plaintiff’s time. The defendant might seek to appeal the jury’s decision. If an appeal hearing were to be scheduled, then the plaintiff might need to set aside time for attending that hearing.
Smart claimants give serious thought to the nature of the risks that are associated with litigation. Each of them weighs those risks against the rather slim chance for winning a large, court-ordered award.