Have you recently been injured in a car accident, a workplace incident, or another type of accident?
If so, you're not alone. Personal injury cases are more common than a lot of people realize.
A lot of people also don't realize that they are missing out on compensation that could help them cover the cost of their injuries.
One reason so many people avoid personal injury lawsuits is that there are a lot of myths out there surrounding these types of cases. Have you fallen victim to one (or more) of these myths?
Seven common myths about personal injury claims are listed (and debunked) below.
1. You Have to Go to Court:
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go to court if you file a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, only between four and five percent of personal injury cases actually end up going to trial. The rest of them are settled out of court.
Keep in mind, too, that your chances of getting compensated for your injuries are actually better if you settle out of court. Of the cases that go to court, about 90 percent end up losing.
2. Minor Injuries Don't Matter:
Some people assume that they can only file a personal injury lawsuit if they have suffered serious injuries (broken bones, hospital time, injuries that required surgery, etc.). In reality, though, you're not just entitled to compensation for your medical bills.
You're also entitled to compensation for damage done to your vehicle or property, as well as compensation for mental anguish (grief, fright, depression, anxiety, etc.) that you experienced after the accident.
3. Personal Injury Claims are Frivolous:
When a lot of people think of personal injury claims, they think that they are frivolous and only filed by greedy people. This couldn't be further from the truth, though.
The majority of personal injury claims are filed for a legitimate reason. That's not to say that there aren't any people out there who file claims based on greed. In reality, though, most lawsuits are filed by people who just want to feel better and move on with their lives.
If you've suffered injuries, you deserve compensation. You shouldn't feel guilty for seeking it.
4. Personal Injury Claims Always Result in Compensation:
While you should absolutely try to seek compensation for your injuries, it's important to note that there is no guarantee that you will be compensated.
Lawyers and insurance providers have to take a lot of factors into account when determining whether or not you will receive compensation.
Some factors they address include:
- The type of injury (or injuries) you experienced
- Medications you used or were prescribed
- Disruptions to your daily life
- The amount of pain and suffering you experienced
- Your medical expenses
- Wages lost from days taken off of work
There's always a chance that your case will be dismissed or that you will be compensated but not for the amount that you really want. This isn't to deter you from filing a lawsuit. It's just meant to help you be prepared.
5. Any Lawyer Can Handle My Case:
If you're going to file a personal injury claim, you need to work with a personal injury lawyer.
Lawyers specialize in a variety of different things, and your divorce lawyer or business lawyer will not have the skill and know-how necessary to help you win your case.
You wouldn't go to the dentist if you have a problem with your eyes, would you? You shouldn't go to a divorce lawyer for a personal injury case, either.
6. You Can File a Lawsuit any Time:
If you are going to file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to be relatively quick about it.
Every state has different statutes of limitations that determine that period of time after an accident during which you can file a lawsuit.
Make sure you're aware of your state's specific statute of limitations before you proceed with your lawsuit.
7. It's Wrong to File a Lawsuit:
Some people also feel guilty when they file a personal injury lawsuit. They may think that they are hurting someone else by trying to seek compensation for their injuries.
This is a normal feeling, and it's okay if you feel a bit strange about filing a lawsuit. Keep in mind, though, that laws are in place to protect people like you from getting hurt. You are a victim in this situation, and you deserve to be compensated.
Remember, too, that by filing a lawsuit, you can help to ensure that other people do not experience the same types of injuries that you experienced. You're not just doing this for yourself. You're doing it to protect others, too.
Tips for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit:
Now that the record has been set straight and you've been able to learn more about the myths and facts surrounding personal injury lawsuits, do you need to file one?
If you're considering filing a lawsuit, keep these tips in mind:
- Hang on to all evidence related to your case (this includes camera footage, pictures of your injuries, and medical records)
- See a doctor as soon as you can to receive a formal diagnosis
- Hire a personal injury attorney before communicating with any insurance adjustors
- File your claim as soon as possible
- Avoid talking about your case on social media
This last one is especially important. The insurance adjustor could use the information you post online to discredit you.
Looking for More Legal Information?
As you can see, there's a lot of misinformation out there regarding personal injury claims.
Now that they've been debunked, do you think it's a good idea for you to file a personal injury lawsuit? Do you want more legal information before you make your decision?
If you answered, "yes" to either of those questions, check out the legal section of our website today for a variety of helpful articles.
In addition to learning more about personal injury lawsuits, you'll also learn other important pieces of legal information, from choosing an attorney to handling a divorce in an amicable way.