How do we separate the myths about personal injury lawsuits from reality? If you listen to too much chatter from friends and family, you may be steered in the wrong direction after suffering an injury. You could end up with an unsatisfactory result.
There are many stigmas and myths about personal injury lawsuits. These can negatively affect how you handle a complex legal matter. You need to be able to separate myth from reality if you have been injured in any type of accident and have sustained serious injuries.
Personal Injury Cases Take Forever and Always Go to Trial
This is a common myth. Actually, 95 percent of cases settle and never make it to the inside of a courtroom. The news media tends to report on unique headline-grabbing cases that have been litigated for years. However, most cases are settled quickly with the use of other legal tools such as arbitration.
Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution. An arbitrator hears evidence, decides who wins the case, and sets the amount of damages to be awarded. Many people choose arbitration because it can be faster and less expensive than going to trial.
You Must Have Life-Long Lasting Serious Injuries to Sue
Another common misunderstanding. While you might not get a mega-payout if your injuries are minor, you may still need help covering all of your medical expenses. This is where a personal injury attorney can help.
Insurance companies often attempt to lowball the settlement offer for minor injuries. These low payouts may not adequately cover the level of medical care that you need.
The Party At Fault Will Suffer Serious Financial Consequences and Have to Pay Significant Costs
This is another misconception about personal injury cases. Many times, people are hesitant to file a personal injury claim because they are afraid that the party at fault will suffer severe financial difficulties. This is rarely the case. Typically, the other person’s insurance company pays the settlement award.
I Have Insurance, I Don’t Need a Personal Injury Attorney
This could be a costly misunderstanding. An insurance company is looking at their bottom line, not your best interests. They will typically offer you much less than your coverage actually provides. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. They will make sure you receive a reasonable settlement that includes other expenses beyond strict medical costs.
I Have Plenty of Time to File My Case
This is another myth that can have drastic consequences. California has set a time limit during which you can file a lawsuit. This is referred to as a statute of limitations.
For a personal injury case, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. If you didn’t know you were injured right away, you then have one year from the date you discovered the injury if the two-year limit has expired. An attorney can help you navigate within these timeframes.
If My Lawsuit Fails, I Can Always File Again
False. If you fail and are denied relief from a judge you can’t simply file again. You may have grounds to appeal the judge’s decision. However, there’s no guarantee that your appeal will be accepted or successful. This is why it is so important to do things right the first time. Have an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney assist you and increase the odds of success.