What would be the consequences if I dropped a personal injury lawsuit in the middle of it? 32 Answers as of October 25, 2012

I'm in the middle of a sue case and I was thinking about dropping it to just get rid of everything. What would happen if I were to just drop it?

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Jones, Boykin, & Associates, P.C.
Jones, Boykin, & Associates, P.C. | Noble L. Boykin, Jr.
There usually are no consequences from dropping a personal injury lawsuit before it is completed, other than making no recovery for your injury. If, however, a counterclaim was asserted against you by the person you sued, you could not drop the original claim without permission. Generally, merely "dropping" or dismissing your claim does not result in any adverse consequence to you other than the fact that you would not be entitled to any recovery for your injuries. Further, once "dropped" or dismissed, if you were outside of the statute of limitations, you may or may not be able to re-file the action. In Georgia, where I practice, one may usually dismiss a claim and re-file it within six months, even outside the statute of limitations. Not all states have such a savings provision. In other word, if you dismiss the claim you should be prepared to live with the consequences of not being able to make any recovery for your injury.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/27/2011
E. Ray Critchett, LLC
E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
Generally in Ohio, the answer to your question will depend on the contract you have with your attorney and it may depend on the type of claims that have been asserted in your case.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/25/2012
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
If you personally dismiss it, you can probably do so without prejudice, which means that you can file again later if (as long as the statute of limitations has not expired). If the court dismisses it, the case will probably be dismissed with prejudice and you will never be able to pick it back up.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/23/2011
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Probably nothing. Your lawyer might ask you to reimburse him for any money he has laid out. He would also technically be within his rights to ask you to compensate him for his services. But, I doubt he would ask for that.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/23/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
Probably nothing, but you will need to reimburse the costs of the suit and any other expenses of your attorney.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates | Steven R. Kuhn
    You should consult with the opposing side. Ask them if they will accept a dismissal for a waiver of costs. You need some consideration or you leave yourself open for a malicious prosecution case against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    You can drop your personal injury claim at any time. If you have a layer, you may be responsible for his or her costs. If your statute of limitations has expired, droppinfg the case may mean that you are not able to bring it back to life if you later change your mind.. You should talk to your lawyer and discuss the consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    if there is no claim against you, you may take a dismissal at any time. You might absorb some costs. Filing fees etc .
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Your attorney might ask for his/her expenses. Usually nothing bad results from quitting. I have had to do it in cases that did not work out.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Please retain and consult with a personal injury attorney. Expenses possibly have already accrued on both sides and have to be dealt with by all parties in the lawsuit as well as the opposing party has to agree to a dismissal of the lawsuit in many cases..
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I would speak with the defense attorney first and get a written agreement that you would dismiss the case if he will enter into a mutual release (so the defendant would not pursue you for taxable costs)
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You would certainly owe costs. You should discuss this with your attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    If you drop the case in the middle, the attorney who has been putting in all the work on the case will possibly sue you for the costs he/she has extended on your behalf and may sue for the time spent by him/her on your behalf. They don't often do that, but they can. Why not simply finish the case and get it over that way? Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You should discuss with your attorney since he or she knows the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    Without knowing the case, one can't say for certain. Typically, your lawyer would file a notice of voluntary dismissal, which dismisses the case but allows you to file again if you want so long as the statute of limitations has not passed. You still have to pay for the costs of litigation, which most lawyers advance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    It's possible you could be responsible for the other party's costs. However, you should speak to your lawyer about bringing an immediate resolution and what the possibilities are for you. At a minimum, you should be able to negotiate that neither party obtains costs so that you all can just walk away.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    If the other side consents, you are free to drop your case without penalty. You may owe your attorney some money, depending on what your written fee agreement provides. If the other side does not consent to a dismissal of your lawsuit, you could be liable for some court costs and possibly some or all of the other side's attorney's fees.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    If it is a good case, your lawyer, if you have one, might be upset and might want some sort of fee for all his/her work. You will not be allowed to refile at a later time. Other than that, nothing, unless it is a frivolous suit. There is a law that says the defendant can sue you for filing a frivolous suit. Of course, if it is frivolous, you will lose anyway, and you are better off do drop it now. If they do have a suit for a frivolous suit, their damages will be more if you continue to pursue it. If it is a decent suit and you have a lawyer, I would at least ask the other side for an offer and take it. Something, even a dollar, is better than nothing.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    If you drop a personal injury case you won't recover any money. Also, if you have an attorney, you might be liable for the attorney's expenses incurred in pursuing your case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    You may have to pay the costs of the other side and you could be compelled to pay the other side's attorney's fees and costs depending on whether they have made you any offers.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn | H. Christopher Coburn
    If you want to walk away from it you should make sure the other side will waive its costs. Otherwise if you dismiss the other side could attempt to collect its costs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Several things could happen. If your attorney is advancing costs, you would likely become obligated to pay your attorney for those advanced costs. If you just simply dismiss the case, the other side can file a Memorandum of Costs for their recoverable costs, which would result in a judgment against you. Simply dismissing is not a wise idea at all. If you really want to bail out, your attorney should try to get the best deal possible and then settle. If they are offering nothing, then you need to request a waiver of costs in exchange for a dismissal. If they agree, and they almost always do, this would prevent the cost judgment against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    cant answer without more detail speak with your lawyer maybe nothing, maybe not.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    The lawyer could sue you for costs. It depends on what the agreement is between you and the lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    If you drop your lawsuit you would receive no compensation for the other side and likely would be responsible for all of the costs in the case if you have a lawyer who has been fronting the cost of litigation.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Depends on type of case and what ha gone on to date.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    If you sued someone with insurance and there is no counterclaim against you, the insurance company would probably be happy to do a "walk away," where you drop your case and everyone forgets about it. However, you may have a couple of problems. First, your lawyer may have put a lot of money and/or time into the case. Your contract with him may say that you need to pay him for that time and reimburse his costs if you drop your case. This is something you have to talk with him/her about. A second possible problem is that, if the defendant has spent a lot of money and if they believe you never should have filed the case in the first place, it is possible they will seek their costs from you. This is pretty rare, but not impossible. You will need their agreement before you drop your case, or you risk that they could go after you. Third, if the defendant made any type of claim against you, you would need them to agree to walk away too and drop their claim. There are a lot of variables, and I would need a lot more information to be able to answer your question. You really ought to talk to your lawyer about this. He or she can tell you your options based upon your specific situation. Something else you could consider would be a "nuisance" settlement, where you agree to walk away for a very modest amount of money. This would allow your lawyer to get back his costs and a little for his time, and it may be more palatable for him than just dropping it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Speak to your lawyer. You could be responsible for costs or your lawyer may be able to work it out with no responsibility although he probably won't be to happy.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    You could be ordered to pay costs for the other side. If you are interested in dropping the case, see if the defense will waive any costs and fee.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
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