Top myths about california personal injury lawsuits
Learn the facts about some of the biggest personal injury lawsuit myths
If you're involved in an accident and are injured, you'll likely want to talk to an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims. While getting started is usually quite easy, there are times when the process can feel overwhelming. But a personal injury attorney can look at the details of the incident and determine how to approach the other party in order to get the compensation that you need and deserve for your injuries.
Unfortunately, you've probably heard a few myths surrounding personal injury cases that may make you hesitant to file a lawsuit and prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve. Here are only a few of California's most common personal injury myths.
Personal injury lawsuits take a long time to complete
One of the most common personal injury myths is that it takes months or years to complete before an outcome is reached and you receive compensation. The prospect of talking to your attorney, filing the appropriate paperwork, negotiating with the other party, and waiting to see if a final agreement can be reached or if your case will need to proceed to court can be intimidating, and it may feel like the process will go on indefinitely.
In most situations, however, a personal injury case can usually be completed in just a few months, especially if you have all of your information in order. Your attorney should be able to give you an estimate of the time frame for your case based on your specific situation and will be able to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is filed in a timely manner, so you don’t miss any important deadlines that could prohibit you from receiving compensation.
Insurance companies will fully compensate you for your injuries
When dealing with any insurance company, even your own, it’s important to understand that their bottom line is to make money. That means paying as little as possible on any insurance claim.
Many insurance companies will initially try to offer you less than you deserve, and once you accept their offer, you can’t go back and ask for more money later if there are unexpected costs related to your injury. Because of this, it’s usually wise to contact a personal injury lawyer after an accident before accepting the insurance company’s initial offer.
An attorney will be able to give you an idea of what your case is worth based on other similar cases and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair deal.
The other party will have to pay damages out of pocket
Sometimes people are hesitant about filing a personal injury lawsuit because they think the other party will have to pay for the damages out of pocket, and, depending on their financial situation, they may not be able to pay at all. Because of this, many people worry they won’t get paid even if the court does award them damages, so they believe a lawsuit would just be a waste of time.
However, most of the time, the other party is not responsible for paying you directly. In the vast majority of cases, insurance companies will pay you directly and pass along their costs to the responsible party in the form of higher deductibles and higher monthly payments. In other words, your compensation won’t necessarily be dependent on the other party’s ability to pay.
Filing a claim against someone you know will destroy their finances
Although no one wants to file a personal injury claim against a family member or a friend, you deserve to be compensated for lost wages, medical bills and any future medical treatments you might require. While filing a lawsuit against someone you know always has the potential to change the nature of your relationship, it’s important to protect yourself financially, especially if you suffer from severe injuries that make it difficult or impossible to work.
Hiring an attorney can be an enormous benefit in situations like these because they can handle the negotiations with the other party and their insurance company so that you don't have to be directly involved. This can often alleviate the stress of the situation and make it feel less personal.
And remember, insurance companies are typically responsible for paying out the claim, which means your family member or friend shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket to cover your damages.
There will be several hearings before you get paid
While it’s true that you will have to attend some hearings if your case goes to trial, the majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. Your attorney should be able to handle the negotiations and keep you updated on your case without you needing to attend any appointments in person.
You don’t need an attorney if you only have mild injuries
While it’s true that not every minor accident requires a lawyer, it’s important to understand that some accident injuries take days, weeks or even months before they fully appear. If you accept a settlement from the insurance company and later discover that you have additional injuries that require further treatment, you will be responsible for those expenses. That's why it's always best to consult an attorney to ensure that any settlement offer is proportional to the accident and injuries you endured.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at MVP Accident Attorneys are here to help. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients across California and Texas, and we'd love to devise an individualized plan for you too.
Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation. There’s never a fee unless we win your case.
Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.
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