You never want to be in a position where you must file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do reach that point, it generally means something bad happened to you. You’ll want the money from a potential win to help get your life back on track.
You might file a personal injury lawsuit if a defective product harms you. You could also file one after a store slip-and-fall, or maybe you’re going after a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice.
Whatever the case might be, your lifestyle could change after a personal injury lawsuit. Let’s look at some ways it might be different for you afterward.
You May Have the Money to Pay Your Medical Bills
We have privatized healthcare in this country. Because of that, you might have to pay hefty copays when you have doctor or hospital bills. Even the skimpiest plans don’t always cover very much, and you have to keep paying until you hit your deductible.
Let’s say a driver hit you, and they paralyzed you from the neck down. If that happens, you might face more than $1 million in medical expenses after only one year.
That is certainly a situation where you can file a personal injury lawsuit, provided you can find the right lawyer. If you win, you’ll have the money to cover those medical costs. You may still need to deal with the injury itself, but at least none of that money will come out of your pocket.
You Might Lose Friends or Family Members
In some ways, it’s easier to sue a big corporation if one of their products harms you. You can say the same if you sue a doctor who messed up your surgery. You are not friends with the defendant, nor are they your family members.
If a friend or family member harms you, though, and you decide you need to bring a lawsuit against them, that’s a much more challenging situation. You might lose the rest of your friend group if they side against you.
You also might divide your family. Some of them might think you’re right, while others might side with the other individual.
You may never get a family reunion invitation again. That might upset you very much, but not necessarily. Some people don’t even like their family members, so you won’t care about any division you’re causing.
You May Have More Money Than Ever Before
You may suffer a grievous injury, and you want to sue an individual or business entity because of it. You have to deal with that injury, but if you win a large settlement, you might end up with more cash than you ever had in the past.
Presumably, you’ll need to pay your lawyer first. After that, you may have to use those winnings to pay for outstanding medical bills as well.
Once you do those things, you might end up with a pile of money. It could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The amount will depend on how deplorable the jury decides the defendant’s actions were.
You will have to decide what to do with that money. You might use it for something responsible, such as buying some CDs or putting most of it in a high-yield savings account. You may start a trust fund if you have kids or grandkids, and you want to take care of them.
On the other hand, you could do something utterly frivolous with it. Perhaps you’ll get that muscle car you’ve always wanted, or you’ll head to Vegas for a wild blowout party.
Doing something responsible is probably the better choice. Still, you might opt to go in the other direction. You only live once, and this might be the only time in your life you can live a lavish lifestyle.
You Might Lose All Your Money
The personal injury lawsuit might not have the outcome for which you’d hoped. You may lose, and the defendant can walk away without having to pay you a dime. The usual way that happens is if the jury decides they don’t believe your story since there’s not enough evidence to prove what you say happened.
If you hired a personal injury lawyer and agreed to pay them on a contingency basis, you should be fine. No doubt you will feel some disappointment, but you won’t lose any money. A contingency payment plan means the lawyer has to win if you’re going to pay them anything.
If you agreed to a different payment structure, you might have to get a second mortgage on your house to come up with the money. You may need to liquidate any assets that you have. This demonstrates why the lawyer fee structure matters so much in these instances.
You Might Face Some Serious Depression
Win or lose, these trials can take a lot out of you. That’s why some individuals will agree to a settlement if the defendant offers one along the way. It’s hard having to sit there in court day after day as your lawyer tries to argue your case and the opposing counsel tries to pick apart your story.
At the end of it all, you might have some money to help with medical costs and your pain and suffering, but you may not feel satisfied. If the individual or entity you sued permanently harmed you, it’s tough getting used to your new life.
You might need to walk with a cane, or maybe you’re in a wheelchair. You may have lost your short-term memory, or perhaps you have PTSD. It all depends on what exactly the defendant did to you.
You may need to go on antidepressants or see a therapist for a while. Your life may be different from this point forward, and it’s not always easy for you to wrap your mind around that. In time, perhaps you’ll start to feel better about how things turned out.