Most people want to know if you will owe your attorney any fees or costs if you lose your injury case. However, some people also want to know, if you lose, can the defendant countersue you for any charges or other stuff?
The short answer is usually “No”, but I’ll answer the question in more detail.
To do so, let’s look at one of the more common personal injury cases, which is a slip and fall.
Assume you’re injured at a store in Florida. (I’m using a store in this example, but my answer applies if you’re injured anywhere on someone else’s property).
You make a claim to get compensation from the store for your injury. There are a few different scenarios that could happen, assuming that you don’t get a settlement.
If You Dismiss Your Case Before a Lawsuit; You Don’t Owe the Defendant
Assume that you try to settle with the store before suing. They deny liability. You decide to drop your claim.
In this case, the defendant cannot sue you and win. (Note: Anyone can sue anyone. Here, I am talking about suing in good faith and winning).
This is because you haven’t caused any harm to the defendant. This assumes that you didn’t damage property on their premises.
What if You Sue the Store and Later Dismiss the Case?
If you sue the store, and later dismiss the case, they can’t sue you for any charges or costs.
However, if you decided to sue them again (for the same case) then you will owe them costs if you previously dismissed your case.
What If You Sue the Store, You Reject Their Offer, and You Lose at Trial?
If you sue the store, and they make you a proposal for settlement, you can buy insurance that protects you in the event that the store beats its offer in trial.
Almost everyone hires an attorney if a personal injury lawsuit is required. Most cases settle before a lawsuit.
If you sue and the store makes you a proposal for settlement, your attorney should buy that insurance. This is one of the 11 benefits of hiring an accident lawyer.
This insurance protects you from owing the store its attorney’s fees (up to $100,000) if you lose at trial. This insurance reduces your risk of owing the store its attorney’s fees if you lose the case.
You would still owe the defendant’s costs if you lose at trial. Examples of costs are the costs of deposition transcripts, court reporters, medical experts, etc. Most personal injury lawsuits settle before trial.
If your attorney buys this insurance for you, and you settle your case, your attorney would pay himself/herself back for the cost of this insurance from the settlement.
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