Don't Let These Excuses Derail Your Personal Injury Case

Defendants in personal injury cases will do anything to avoid being sued, and that includes coming up with a plethora of guilt-inducing reasons as to why you shouldn't pursue compensation for your injuries. Here are two common excuses defendants give in these situations and why you shouldn't necessarily believe them.

They Have to Pay Out of Pocket

One tactic that defendants like to employ is to claim they have to pay any compensation plaintiffs are awarded out of their own pockets and that doing so would bankrupt them because they don't have enough money or assets to cover the damages.

This excuse is typically deployed in situations where plaintiffs and defendants know each other. It's psychological manipulation because the defendant is attempting to use the goodwill between them and the plaintiff to guilt the plaintiff out of suing.

For instance, your neighbor may launch into a long monologue about his bills whenever talk of the compensation comes up. The goal is to get you to feel sorry for him and either ask for less than you're owed or call off the lawsuit altogether.

You may be tempted to believe this excuse, but it's likely a lie. In most cases, the defendant will have insurance that covers the costs associated with the incident in question. Any out-of-pocket costs the defendant incurs are typically limited to attorney's fees and increased insurance premiums.

That isn't to say defendants never have to use their own money to pay jury awards, but this only happens when they aren't covered by insurance or the amount awarded exceeds policy limits. However, you still should not let this influence your decision to sue. There are many ways defendants can pay what's owed, including setting up payment plans, so you should do what's best for your circumstances.

They'll Take Care of You Under the Table

Another favorite move defendants like to do to avoid lawsuits is to promise plaintiffs they'll take care of their needs under the table. They'll pay for medical bills, repairs, and other costs as long as the plaintiff agrees to not file an insurance claim or lawsuit.

When defendants broach these types of schemes, it's usually with the intent to avoid leaving any type of paper trail associated with the incident that could come back to haunt them. For instance, the defendant may not want you to file an insurance claim because it could raise their premiums.

While it may be tempting to settle the issue this way—particularly if the damages or injuries are minor—you shouldn't give in for a couple of reasons. First, there's no guarantee the defendant will follow through. In fact, they may string you along until the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit expires and then ghost you. Second, you may end up getting far less than you're owed with no recourse to obtain more.

It's better to keep things aboveboard and follow the legal process for obtaining compensation for damages. You'll protect your rights and avoid problems down the line.

For help with your personal injury lawsuit, contact a local personal injury lawyer.