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Can An Earlier Personal Injury Lawsuit Affect A Present Personal Injury Lawsuit? Part 2

Posted by Chris Powell | Dec 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

Here is the link for part one of this blog. Defense attorneys typically will present certain arguments using evidence of any and all prior previous litigation involving the plaintiff. The defendant naturally wants to reduce any award of damages in the present case. Where past personal injury lawsuits have been repeatedly filed by the same attorney, predictably, defense arguments like the following may thwart a pending personal injury case:

Plaintiff Attorney's Litigation History

Like most anything, not all lawyers are equal. If given the opportunity, defense counsel will also attack the credibility of the newly filed accident claim by making arguments similar to those mentioned above based upon the litigation history of plaintiff's personal injury lawyer. If not already known to them, defense lawyers will learn about the reputation and history of the plaintiff's lawyer.

An attorney may be guilty of what is known as a “Rule 11” violation. Rule 11 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure states that an attorney, or a party if unrepresented by an attorney, must sign every pleading or motion, including a complaint for personal injury, thereby certifying that to the best of the signer's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry, that the pleading or motion is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.

Further, the pleading or motion may not be interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. Attorneys that have a history of filing cases based upon frivolous, unsubstantiated claims will probably be faced with more scrutiny by opposing counsel for Rule 11 violations.

Another point of inquiry is whether the plaintiff's attorney has a reputation for not trying cases, and is therefore seemingly unwilling to try the case in front of a jury. Plaintiffs want to avoid this perception as it may result in unwanted lower settlement offers.

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