Any person has the right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses in the event of an injury caused by a reckless person or organization. The personal injury law covers accidents that result in the victim’s physical, mental, or emotional distress. That means someone who suffered from actual bodily or mental harm can file a
The Process of Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits
For the most part, filing a personal injury lawsuit is simple. Here, the complainant needs to consult an attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer will require information, including the cause of the accident, the number of medical bills, the impact of the injury on the victim’s personal, professional, or social life, and so on.
After the consultation with the lawyer, the next step is to investigate the accident. This step involves collecting statements from witnesses or evidence from security cameras. Then based on the victim’s account of the accident and the evidence collected, the lawyer will represent the victim in seeking a claim for compensation from the relevant insurance provider.
The insurance company may or may not offer a settlement. If it’s the former, the victim and the lawyer have to carefully review the settlement offer, focusing on whether it will adequately cover the medical bills and lost income incurred by the victim. Should the victim accept the offer, the paperwork will be prepared and the funds from the insurance claim will be paid to the victim. Otherwise, the victim can decide to take the case to court.
A personal injury case goes through several phases, including the discovery phase, mediation, trial proper, and, if necessary, appealing for the verdict.
Misconceptions About Personal Injury Lawsuits
Indeed, dealing with personal injuries can be a difficult and distressing experience for anyone. Accidents can happen when you least expect it, but having a thorough understanding of how personal injury lawsuits can help you or your family manage and recover from such unfortunate events.
Unfortunately, many people’s idea of personal injury cases comes from movies, television shows, and social media. Misunderstanding these legal concerns can lead to serious repercussions, preventing individuals who have been injured or harmed from taking action or receiving the fair compensation they deserve.
For those who have been hurt in an accident, a personal injury lawsuit is a reasonable solution to cover medical bills and other expenses. However, it’s common for victims to find themselves in a maze of personal injury misinformation.
Put your dilemmas to rest by distinguishing between the myths and facts regarding personal injury lawsuits.
6 Myths About Personal Injury Lawsuits
Some may feel that following an accident, filing a personal injury lawsuit may seem exhausting or not worth the effort. As such, these common personal injury lawsuit myths abound.
- It’s not necessary for minor injuries
Whether the injury sustained is minor or major, it’s always advisable to file a claim. You must receive compensation to cover your medical bills. A personal injury lawyer can help evaluate the settlement offer from the concerned insurance company since insurance providers typically lower the offer for minor injuries. Settlements have to be fair and match the insurance policy’s limitations.
- Hiring personal injury lawyers is costly
Accident victims are sometimes faced with a mountain of medical expenses, property damage, or loss of income. As such, they may be hesitant to seek legal assistance to further add to their expenses.
However, a majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That is, the lawyer is paid a share of the money recovered. They are not paid if money is not recovered. It’s up to personal injury lawyers or the firm they represent to take on the that comes with contingency fee agreements.
- Personal injury lawsuits can be filed at any time
Personal injury claims are generally limited by the applicable statute of limitations. The amount of time you have to file a claim is determined by the state where you reside and the nature of your accident. Generally speaking, the time frame begins on the day the accident happened. As such, the best recourse for being eligible to file a personal injury claim is to have early consultation with an attorney.
- Personal injury settlements take a long time
Many people believe that filing a personal injury lawsuit takes ages. However, it is quite impossible to predict the length of time it will take for a case to reach its conclusion since it depends on whether the victim opts for a settlement or goes to trial. Settlements can be made within weeks or months, while cases brought to the court can last a year or more.
- It’s not necessary if I have insurance
You might already know this but insurance is a business. As such, insurance companies want to make a profit too, just like any other business.
Personal injury lawyers are well-versed in the insurance industry and can be counted on when it comes to evaluating how much your insurance company must pay for the injuries you sustained. Your lawyer may also have to pursue compensation from the defendant’s insurance company.
- The party at fault will cover everything
There’s some truth in thinking that the party at fault would be accountable for all the costs associated with the injury, but there’s more to it. In several cases, the responsible party’s insurance company will bear the responsibility of paying for any settlement you’ll receive.
If it’s with your insurance company you’re filing a claim from, they will likely have to deduct any outstanding amounts in your policy and use the remaining portion to fund the claim.
6 Facts about Personal Injury Lawsuits
Having covered the most common myths, here are 6 important facts about personal injury lawsuits:
- Compensation can be obtained for physical, psychological, and emotional injuries
Again, even the mildest of injuries can be taken into consideration. In addition, legal compensation can also apply not only to physical but also emotional and psychological injuries. After all, trauma, depression, and sleep problems are among the common side effects of tragic personal injuries.
- It’s not as expensive as you think
By speaking with a personal injury lawyer, you have nothing to lose. Aside from free consultations, most personal injury lawyers only charge after securing a settlement for you. This means you may not have to pay any upfront attorney’s fees until they win your case. Only then will a percentage of the settlement go to the personal injury lawyer or firm as a professional fee.
- You don’t always have the luxury of time
The law places stringent time constraints on how long personal injury victims can file a lawsuit. These restrictions are referred to as statutes of limitation. Different time limits apply to different sorts of claims or states. For instance, some states allow victims only up to two years after their accident to file for compensation.
- How long it will take depends on the case
Some cases are settled out of court, while others are taken to trial. Regardless, there is no exact timeline for personal injury lawsuits. Cases can take months to resolve, and the same can or cannot be said for cases that go to trial. It all boils down to factors like the nature and severity of the victim’s injuries as well as the willingness of both parties to reach a quick settlement.
- Nothing’s ever fair when it comes to insurance settlement offers
Often, insurance companies try to limit what they pay for medical expenditures and other damages. Any offer may look fair on the surface, but you could always negotiate with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
- There are no guarantees
Both the complainant and the lawyer can make all the necessary preparations and presentations for the case, but in the end, no one has control over the outcome.
The final decisions ultimately lie on the juries and judges. At times, judges reach a decision based on factors that accident victims and their attorneys could not anticipate. Nevertheless, an experienced attorney will make sure to cover all bases to get a favorable ruling for personal injury victims.
Choose Verified Information and Professional Legal Advice
Following an injury, your health and well-being should be your top priority. Needless to say, handling a personal injury case on your own can add more stress, not to mention that it entails taking some risks. It’s always best to look for trusted resources or contact a personal injury lawyer.
Hiring an attorney to represent you in court should reduce your burden and facilitate your case. Additionally, personal injury lawyers can be of great help in leveling the playing field with insurance companies. Besides using verified information to guide you throughout the process, working with a competent attorney will enable you to understand your legal rights and determine your best course of action.