We’ve all heard about outrageous personal injury cases and it’s time to set the record straight. Here are some myths we’ve heard about injury claims – and the truth behind each myth. Don’t go into a case with unrealistic expectations: read more to educate yourself.
Myth #1: A personal injury lawsuit will make you RICH
In 99.999% of cases, this is not true. When the legal system is working as it is meant to, a personal injury lawsuit will compensate someone who has been injured by someone else’s carelessness or negligence. This means a good personal injury attorney will get their client all the money he or she deserves for compensation in accord with the injury. If a person has been paralyzed, for example, several million dollars might be needed to pay for daily care – but a person who has simply broken their foot will likely not receive such high sums.
Most of the multimillion dollar cases that we read about are either exaggerated, completely false, or were amounts actually needed by the injured person. In cases where the awarded amount grossly exceeds the amount needed for medical bills, etc., a judge will often reduce the reward to a more reasonable amount.
That said, if you’ve been injured you should consider hiring an attorney. For most people, even high medical costs can place a HUGE strain on their budget and just getting enough to pay for damages and medical bills can be a relief. The law entitles you to get this money if you’ve been injured through someone else’s fault, and we support this system of just and fair rewards for accident victims.
Myth #2: You should call a lawyer for every accident.
To be honest, many accidents do not require the services of a lawyer at all. In fact, if you can settle the case yourself, you won’t have to pay a lawyer’s costs and fees. Statistically, however, people that hire lawyers receive higher settlement amounts than those who don’t, according to the Insurance Research Council. This shows the value insurance companies place on understanding the legal system, the insurance company bureaucracy, and the personal injury claims process. They know lawyers understand this, but the average person does not and therefore does not pose a threat to the insurance companies – and this means insurance companies can get away with paying out less money.
Myth #3: Lawsuits drag on forever.
Sometimes this is true and sometimes it’s not. The time it takes for a claim to conclude varies by each individual case. If you make a demand, the insurance company offers you a low settlement, and you take it (EEP!), then your case could be settled relatively quickly. But, if you want a fair and just settlement, you should probably be prepared to wait. If you are in hurry, the insurance adjuster knows you’ll accept less money just to get it into your hands. But often it takes a while 1) to determine the true value of your case, which can mean waiting til medical treatments are conducted, and 2) to negotiate with adjusters and medical providers about liens. This process will take exponentially longer (to do it correctly) if you try to do it all without a lawyer, so consider hiring one to do the legwork for you.