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How to Win a Personal Injury Case Without Favorable Facts?

Posted by Inna Gorin | Jul 20, 2022

Justice may be blind, but that doesn't mean the facts always serve justice. For example, you may be injured in a car accident where the "facts" seem to point to you being clearly at fault, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to some compensation or shouldn't fight to receive it.

In other words, the "facts" of the case may not tell the whole story. However, a good Los Angeles personal injury attorney can get to the story behind the story to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

How to Win a Personal Injury Case Without Favorable Facts
You might recover compensation in a personal injury case when the facts are not in your favor.

The most crucial factor in winning a personal injury case is evidence. Simply put, you need solid evidence to prove your case and calculate how much financial compensation you should get for your losses and damages.

This is true whether a car accident, truck accident, premises liability case, or a slip and fall caused your injury. Every personal injury case is specific, and success depends on the facts involved and proving what happened. Sometimes, the details and facts are not always in your favor.

Evidence comes in many forms; some are more valuable and convincing than others. There is direct evidence versus circumstantial evidence.

To prove your personal injury case, you must show convincing evidence that someone acted negligently or recklessly, causing you harm. To show you suffered harm, you can present proof of your physical or mental condition, medical diagnosis, and treatment needed for recovery.

To avoid responsibility, the other party often has a different story about your injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather the most convincing evidence you will need to maximize your chances of winning the case and the total amount of damages you deserve.

Let's explore how you may be able to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit even if the facts of the case put you at an apparent disadvantage.

Two Factors that Can Help Even the Odds

Even if the deck is stacked against you on a personal injury case, your attorney can hone in on one or two key factors that provide more context to a case where you appear to be at fault. These factors are comparative negligence and the extent of your injuries.

Comparative negligence in a personal injury case
Comparative negligence means more than one person could be at fault in an accident.

Under California law, everyone has a duty of care to act in a reasonable and expected way. Negligence occurs when somebody fails to take the proper or expected responsibility for their actions, and others get hurt.

The proper standards of conduct could change depending on the circumstances. All car drivers must follow all traffic laws and not operate vehicles when drunk. It's illegal in California to text and drive, and someone could be negligent for distracted driving if they do so.

Negligence is often doing something you are not supposed to do, such as speeding, running a red light, or not fixing a hazardous condition on a property.

Suppose your personal injury case goes to trial.  In that case, you have the burden of proof to convince a judge or jury that your story is more likely true, which is called the preponderance of the evidence.

However, the vast majority of personal injury cases never go to trial because the facts and evidence can help you avoid going to court. Personal injury lawyers can often quickly spot negligence and help guide you on which types of evidence work best in your case, even when not in your favor.

What is Comparative Negligence?

California is a "comparative negligence" state, which means the state recognizes that more than one party may be at fault in an accident, and compensation may be adjusted accordingly.

Comparative negligence often works against you in a personal injury case. If the insurance company, or a jury, believes you share even a small percentage of the blame for your accident, it will reduce your damage award by that percentage.

However, in cases where you appear to be mainly at fault, comparative negligence works in your favor. Even if you are considered 99 percent at fault, you're still entitled to 1 percent of the damages for your injuries.

It is this comparative negligence structure that a good attorney can often use to help you collect a greater settlement than you might expect by uncovering evidence that puts more responsibility on the other driver.

What is the Extent of Your Injuries?

The severity of your injuries can often play a huge role in shifting the tide in your favor. For example, if you have suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident or have incurred significant medical expenses, this may outweigh much of the comparative negligence on your part.

Extent of Your Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
The severity of your injuries can be a crucial factor in all California personal injury cases.

The main reason for this is that severe injuries suggest that there may have been other, subtler factors at play in your accident that made your injuries more pronounced than they would have been under normal conditions.

In other words, the injuries suggest the other party shares a greater percentage of negligence than is immediately apparent. The more severe your injuries, the greater the damages you are entitled to receive.

Suppose you need medical treatment or physical therapy for the rest of your life. In that case, your personal injury lawsuit should cover all the costs.

Suppose you become disabled after your injury and can no longer work. In that case, your claim should cover all your lost income. To prove the full extent of your damages, you can show the following:

  • Medical diagnoses and doctor's notes about your injuries;
  • Outcomes from other patients who sustained similar injuries;
  • Mental health professional notes about your pain and suffering.

Even if all the facts of the case are not in your favor, the more proof you have, the harder your lawsuit will be to challenge. With some documented evidence, the other side will more likely offer a reasonable settlement during negotiations to avoid going to trial.

An Illustration

The best way to show how these factors can turn the tide in your favor is to give a practical illustration. For example, suppose you were in an accident where you rear-ended another vehicle.

By default, the police and the insurance companies will presume that you bear most of the responsibility for the accident because the driver behind is usually at fault in a rear-end accident. This is a perfect example of the facts not being in your favor.

Rear-End Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
The other driver could be found partially at fault, even in a rear-end car accident.

However, suppose this rear-end incident occurred at a high impact and left you severely injured. At the same time, the other party was relatively unscathed—an unusual outcome for a basic "fender-bender."

A forensic investigation of the skid marks reveals that you had slammed on the brakes to avoid the collision. However, eyewitnesses tell the police that the other driver had stopped suddenly, failed to activate their warning lights, or did something else unexpectedly, putting you in a position where it was impossible to avoid an impact.

Considering these factors, it becomes more apparent that the other driver may have played a larger role in the accident than was initially thought.

Now, thanks to the combination of the extent of your injuries and the principle of comparative negligence, the jury has a greater sense of context for assigning fault and a greater sense of duty to ensure you get at least some compensation for your injuries.

The bottom line: Don't assume that you don't have a valid personal injury case just because the facts don't seem to be in your favor. If there is any argument to be made that the other party shares fault and was a significant contributor to your injuries, you may be entitled to more compensation than you think.

If you were injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, contact our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers to review the details and legal options. We offer a free case evaluation and work on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay any fees unless we win your case.

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About the Author

Inna Gorin

Inna Gorin, the founding Partner of Injury Justice Law Firm modeled the Firm after her ideals and principles of what skilled, aggressive and tenacious representation of individual clients should embody. Ms. Gorin's mission is to level the playing field, and provide her clients with the same level...


If you have been injured in an accident, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will protect your legal rights and help you recover compensation for your injuries. We are available 24/7 for your risk free initial consultation in Beverly Hills, Encino, Glendale, Hermosa Beach, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Santa Monica, San Fernando Valley, Valencia and Ventura County areas.