Personal Injury Myths Debunked
When people get injured, they are often not sure how to proceed with seeking compensation for their injuries. There is also a lot of misinformation on the Internet when they try to research the problem. We’ve assembled 10 of the most commonly believed myths about personal injury law to better prepare you for pursuing a case yourself.
Myth #1: Lawyers Must Be Paid in Advance to Take the Case
For many personal injury attorneys, this myth is particularly untrue. Most personal injury lawyers don’t ask for money up front during the course of your case. Goeing, Goeing & McQuinn, PLLC, for example, will start your case with a free consultation and work to achieve success in your case. If you don’t recover any compensation, we don’t ask for our fees. This is called working on a contingency fee basis. We use this system to ensure accident victims have an opportunity to pursue justice without worrying about hourly fees.
Myth #2: An Attorney Can Tell Me How Much My Case Will Be
Personal injury lawyers can give you an estimation of how much your case might be worth; however, there is no way to completely total what you will ultimately receive at trial or through settlement negotiations. Many factors will affect the case, from medical bills to pain and suffering, some of which can be hard to calculate. Because every case is different, a court might award two variable compensation amounts for the same types of injuries. Talk to one of our skilled attorneys for more information about your case in particular.
Myth #3: Each Accident Only Involves One Lawsuit
Depending on the accident, more than one lawsuit might be needed. A car crash, for example, could include several drivers in one collision. Alternatively, even if only one other driver was involved, you may need to sue the at-fault driver, your insurance company, and possibly your long-term disability insurance company. Your circumstances will dictate liability as well as what to do if your initial claim is denied by each insurance company.
Myth #4: Lawsuits Always Involve Going to Court
Many people think lawsuits always involve a lengthy trial. However, only about 2% of civil suits are actually tried in court. Most people try to settle before a trial is even necessary, mostly because it saves everyone involved time and money. Trials are also riskier, as they might involve consulting a jury. A good personal injury attorney will try to settle your case out of court before a trial is necessary, and a settlement can be reached at any time before a judge or jury makes a decision.
Myth #5: I Have Time to Decide Whether or Not to Sue
Personal injury is one of the legal areas that require statutes of limitations. These are time limits placed on the injured party, after which they have almost no chance of recovering damages. The statute of limitation will vary by state, but in Kentucky, you only have 1 year from the date of your injury to file a claim. If you didn’t discover your injury until later, you have 1 year from the time of discovery to file a lawsuit. Doing so as soon as possible is the recommended course of action.
Myth #6: I Can Manage My Case on My Own
If your case is a large and complex one, a lawyer is highly recommended. Attorneys spend years in law school for a reason; the law is extremely complicated and constantly changing. Insurance companies actually prefer if you handle the case on your own because they will do their best to lowball you on the settlement. You could miss out on getting the full amount of deserved compensation by settling your case without a lawyer.
Myth #7: I Will Have More Than One Chance to Settle My Case
Once your case is settled, that’s it. You only get one chance to settle your case in full with the insurance company. Once you do, you are waiving your right to pursue further compensation. So there is no “try and try again” with a personal injury case; you must get it right the first time.
Myth #8: It Will Be Years Before I Receive Any Compensation
While some personal injury cases can be dragged on, most are resolved much more quickly. Our firm tries to take every opportunity to resolve your case as quickly as possible while still meeting your goals. Many personal injury cases are straightforward and have substantial evidence to back your claim, which will allow us to complete the process much faster.
Myth #9: I Can Only Get Compensation for Physical Injuries
Negligence can lead to all manner of injuries, both physical and mental. Pain and suffering is something you can be compensated for in many cases where your physical injury resulted in a loss of enjoyment of life. While such a loss is difficult to put a price on, courts will take your mental anguish into consideration when calculating how much the negligent party owes you for their errors.
Myth #10: Most Personal Injury Claims Are Frivolous
When people think about personal injury lawsuits, they probably think of the woman who sued McDonald’s after she was burned with their hot coffee in her car. However, not many people are aware of the details of her case. While coffee is always hot, McDonald’s corporate policy was to serve it at a temperature that could cause severe burns in seconds. The woman was also wearing sweatpants at the time, which absorbed the coffee and kept it against her skin. She sustained 3rd-degree burns requiring skin grafts, and she was not the first person who was injured by McDonald’s coffee. In the case, McDonald’s also knew for 10 years prior to her accident that serious burns were a risk but refused to change their policy because of their coffee revenue. In other words, most personal injury cases are brought in by regular people who have suffered damage from legitimate accidents that should not have been allowed to happen. Likewise, personal injury lawyers do not take every case people bring to them. They will usually only take cases they think they should win, and only genuine victims can present enough evidence of neglect to guarantee a good case.
If you have more questions about your case in particular, don’t hesitate to call us. Our skilled Lexington personal injury attorneys would be happy to address your questions and concerns. Goeing, Goeing & McQuinn, PLLC has more than 20 years of legal experience to offer you. Let us help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. The lawyers at our firm have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements throughout the years. We look forward to working with you.
Contact us at (859) 534-9327 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.