What Happens If I Lose My Case? Do I Have to Pay the Medical Bills? Do I Have to Pay My Attorney?
If you were injured in a car accident or other negligence-based incident, you can pursue a personal injury case against the at-fault parties. The aim of a personal injury claim is to ensure that the party responsible for your injury is forced to compensate you for the harm you have suffered. Likewise, if you were injured in the workplace, the purpose of your workers’ comp claim is to ensure that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier covers your medical bills and other expenses.
Unfortunately, not every claim can be won. You might not have the evidence necessary to prove that a driver was negligent or that a doctor committed malpractice. A court may decide that your injury did not “arise out of” your job duties. If you lose your workers’ comp or personal injury case, what happens? Are you on the hook for your medical bills and, on top of that, your legal bills? Continue reading to learn about what happens if you lose a personal injury or workers’ comp case. If you’ve been hurt on the job or due to someone else’s negligence in Southern California, call an experienced and dedicated Riverside workers’ compensation lawyer for the best chance at success.
Your Own Insurance Will Cover Your Bills
Just because your workers’ comp claim was ultimately denied and/or your personal injury lawsuit was dismissed does not mean that you will necessarily have to pay for your medical bills out of pocket. Ideally, you will have purchased auto insurance and health insurance, either individually or through your employer. If workers’ comp and negligent drivers will not pay your medical bills, you can still rely on your personal insurance coverage.
Health insurance is meant to cover any necessary medical procedures resulting from an illness or injury. If you were injured in a slip and fall, you are still entitled to health insurance coverage, even though there was the chance that someone else may have been liable. If you were injured in a car crash, your auto insurance may also kick in to pay for your medical bills. You may need to navigate between your health insurance and car insurance providers to find out who will pay your claims, but you will be covered up to your policy limits.
If your medical costs exceed your policy limits, however, then the issue becomes more complicated. Your insurer will not pay additional amounts beyond the limit in your policy, nor will they pay if the treatment is deemed not to be covered by your policy. In that instance, you will be responsible for your medical bills.
Contingency Fees and Legal Fees
There is one silver lining to losing a case: If your lawyer operates on “contingency,” then you should not owe any legal fees. Most personal injury attorneys, including the dedicated personal injury legal team at Ochoa & Calderón, operate on contingency. Contingency fees mean that the lawyer’s fees are “contingent” on you winning–either at trial or in a settlement. Your lawyer’s fees, as well as other litigation costs (filing fees, expert witness rates, etc.), are taken out of the amount you ultimately recover. If you do not recover any amount in your workers’ comp claim or your personal injury case, then you should not owe your lawyer any compensation for their time.
You and your attorney should discuss the specifics of their fee structure in your initial consultation. They should be clear with you about any costs that you will incur in the event of a loss. For example, some attorneys may ask clients to pay for expert witnesses. At Ochoa & Calderón, if we do not recover compensation for you, then you don’t owe us a dime.
We Fight for the Compensation You Are Owed
For help getting benefits after a car accident or an on-the-job injury in Southern California, call Ochoa & Calderón to discuss your case with a seasoned, effective California workers’ comp lawyer. Call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 toll-free throughout Southern California.