If you've been arrested for a crime you didn't commit, you need to defend your legal rights. You have the right to an attorney who can help you present your case. After being wrongly accused of something myself, I learned quickly how to navigate the legal avenues to have my case dismissed. My attorney was a great resource for building the case, and because of my understanding of the law, it worked. I created this site to share what I learned along the way and some other great tips for others who have been wrongly accused and arrested for a crime.
Generally speaking, if someone injures you on purpose, you probably expect them—or (more likely) their insurance—to pay for your medical care and other financial losses. But there are times when the insurance company balks at paying. Maybe the homeowner skipped a few insurance payments before you were injured, or maybe the insurance company will get a judge to say it isn't responsible somehow. Whatever the case, should you continue to sue?
On one hand, juries don't care if the defendant has insurance or not.
The jury in your personal injury lawsuit won't even know that the defendant is uninsured. Telling them is grounds for a mistrial because a jury might be swayed to "go easy" on someone simply because they don't have insurance. Since the verdict isn't affected by the lack of insurance, you might want to continue your case in order to give yourself the legal means necessary to collect your damages directly from the pocket of the person who injured you.
For example, in one of the most famous personal injury verdicts ever, O.J. Simpson was found liable for the wrongful deaths of his ex-wife and her friend. The families of the victims were awarded a total of $33.5 million—which had to be collected laboriously over the years by the plaintiffs in the case. While the insurance wouldn't pay that claim, Simpson's vast collection of personal items and property (including the rights to a book he wrote) were sold off to pay his debt and his future earnings were garnished.
On the other hand, you need to determine if there's any point to the case.
If the defendant in your case is heavily mortgaged and doesn't have any assets, you have to question whether or not the case is worth your time—and your money, because you probably won't be able to offer your attorney a contingency fee. Contingency fee agreements basically commit the attorney to a case in exchange for a percentage of any winnings. If there's no potential payout at the end of a case, there's no way to strike that kind of deal with your attorney.
That's another reason why it's important to discuss cases over with an attorney carefully before you decide if you want to sue—because you could decide that someone of little means isn't worth suing and not realize that someone else (with deeper pockets) should also be a defendant. For example, if you were injured by a careless pizza delivery guy who ran you off the road, suing the pizza delivery guy probably isn't worth your while—unless you also add the pizza restaurant's owners to the lawsuit. They likely have the insurance and the assets to provide for your injuries, but you may not realize that they have a vicarious liability due to their status as the delivery guy's employers.
If you've been injured but you think that the possible defendant isn't worth suing, talk to a personal injury attorney today to discuss the issue.Share
10 June 2016