If a person is injured in an accident, he or she may hesitate to file a claim or work with an attorney because he or she believes myths surrounding the issue of personal injury cases.
Below, we discuss and debunk some of the most common myths about personal injury cases.
Call our South Bend personal injury lawyers if you were injured due to another party’s negligence. We offer a free and confidential legal consultation. If we validate your claim and you decide to work with us, there are no fees for our services while we build your case.
Working With a Lawyer is Expensive
The most common myth preventing accident victims from hiring a lawyer is the idea that it is expensive.
However, those who suffer an injury due to another party’s negligence do not pay any out-of-pocket fees for legal services.
This is because personal injury lawyers work on contingency, meaning they only receive payment if they recover compensation on behalf of their client. That payment is usually a percentage of the compensation you are paid for your damages.
If the lawyer does not win the case, and you do not recover compensation, then you do not owe him or her any money.
It is Not Worth Filing a Claim for a Minor Injury
Many people mistakenly believe that it is not worthwhile to file a claim for a minor accident or injury. This could not be further from the truth.
First, it is important to understand that even a minor accident can result in serious injuries. That is why getting to a doctor right away is vital, as you may be diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening injury and not know it because you are not experiencing serious symptoms.
Second, accident victims who suffer minor injuries can still experience a lot of pain and economic uncertainty, as medical bills can quickly pile up. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for the costs you incur due to the negligent actions of another person.
For example, if you suffered a minor injury like whiplash, you still need to get treatment like physical therapy or chiropractic care. These treatments cost money, and if you do not have health insurance or your health insurance does not cover accident care, you may get stuck paying those medical bills out of pocket. This is when filing a claim for compensation helps.
Just because you suffered a minor injury or were involved in a minor accident does not necessarily mean pursuing compensation is a waste of time and effort.
Personal Injury Cases Are Only Resolved in Court
Another reason why accident victims hesitate to file a claim is because they believe they must testify in court. While this may be the case in some instances, it is certainly not the standard.
As a matter of fact, the vast majority of all personal injury cases are resolved out of court via settlements. This means your claim will most likely not make it before a jury, so you would not have to testify in open court.
Even if a lawsuit gets filed, it will most likely get settled before going to trial. This is because going to court is expensive for the insurance company, so to avoid court fees and other expenses, they are likely to offer a better settlement than the one they made at the beginning of the case. You and your attorney can still review this offer to see if it fits your needs.
Filing a lawsuit does not end settlement negotiations. In fact, many attorneys begin cases by trying to negotiate with the insurance company, then file a lawsuit if they do not cooperate, but continue trying to get the best settlement offer on behalf of the injured party.
There is an Unlimited Amount of Time to File a Lawsuit
There is a misconception that there is no time limit to file a lawsuit if you suffered an injury. Some people believe they have the right to file a lawsuit for an accident that occurred four years ago if they begin experiencing symptoms. However, this is not true and can hurt your chances of recovering any compensation.
In Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. If you wait more than two years, you have no legal right to sue.
Although two years to file suit sounds like a long time, it is important to keep in mind that the legal process can take time. Your attorney must investigate your claim, recover the necessary evidence to prove it and then build a strong case to successfully recover compensation. Negotiations may also take a long time, as the insurance company is not going to make a good offer the first time that they try to settle the case.
Only Greedy People Pursue Compensation
One of the most harmful myths about personal injury cases is that only greedy people file them. This is not true. You have every legal right to pursue compensation for damages you suffered due to the negligent actions of another party.
When you suffer an injury, you must get medical attention which costs you money. If those injuries occurred through no fault of your own, you should not feel selfish or greedy for wanting to recover the money you were forced to spend.
In some personal injury cases, your rights may have been violated by a government entity. If this happens, you should take legal action to ensure your rights are protected.
Have Questions About Your Personal Injury Case? Call Us Today
People may believe all sorts of myths when it comes to personal injury cases. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligent actions and want the truth about the process of filing a claim, call our knowledgeable attorneys today.
We can discuss your claim during a free consultation to determine what legal options may be available for you.