A life-altering injury can occur when you’re driving your car, receiving treatment from a trusted medical professional or even walking down the street. These incidents can leave you with a pile of medical bills and prevent you from working and supporting your family.
In many cases, pursuing a personal injury claim or filing a lawsuit against the negligent party is the only way to receive adequate financial compensation for your injuries. However, many people are reluctant to take this crucial step due to these common myths about personal injury claims.
1. Insurance Covers All Expenses
One of the more popular personal injury misconceptions is that your insurance will save the day when you are in an accident, but this is not always the case. Suppose you are in a crash caused by a driver who has third-party insurance. If your medical or property damage costs exceed the limits of their plan, you could be responsible for the rest.
Also, insurance companies can go to great lengths to reduce their payout. You could end up receiving far less compensation than what you deserve — unless you take legal action.
2. Personal Injury Lawyers Are Unaffordable
The potential expense of a personal injury lawyer should not deter you from seeking legal representation. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will only have to pay your lawyers if they recover compensation on your behalf. The firm receives an agreed-upon percentage of the judgment or settlement amount, removing the need for upfront legal fees.
3. You Can Negotiate a Favorable Settlement Yourself
Insurance companies attempt to position themselves as trustworthy friends who will always be there to help. In truth, they often engage in well-honed low-ball negotiating tactics to minimize their payouts and achieve their profitability objectives.
You will significantly improve your chances of receiving the appropriate amount of compensation by enlisting the services of a battle-tested personal injury attorney.
4. The Process Takes Years
Generally, the complexity of a personal injury case dictates the length of the process. If your situation is relatively straightforward, an experienced attorney can get the legal wheels turning quickly and significantly reduce the case’s duration. Whether you decide to go to trial or pursue an out-of-court settlement will also affect the time frame — the latter process often yields faster results.
5. It’s Not Worth It for a Minor Injury
Even a seemingly insignificant injury can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. You should not have to cover these costs when a negligent party is responsible for your losses. Also, what begins as a minor injury can worsen over time. Think of a whiplash situation where the victim may not experience the full effects for months or years. Filing a claim for minor injuries can certainly be worth taking the time to complete the process.
6. Your “Other” Lawyer Can Handle Your Case
Personal injury law is a unique field requiring specialized skills and extensive experience to attain a successful outcome. The attorney who handled your divorce, set up your business, drafted your will or gave you tax advice may not have the training, knowledge or qualifications to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit.
7. You Can File a Claim at Any Time
Another of the top myths about personal injury claims is that you can wait to take action. In reality, each state has a statute of limitations for initiating legal action. In Pennsylvania, you have only two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.