Posted on: 16 March 2015
Few things can lead to as much confusion and discussion as a personal injury case. There are so many misconceptions about personal injury lawsuits that it can be hard to figure out what's actually true. If you've been injured and are wondering about filing a suit, the best place to start is to clear up the confusion. Here's a look at some of the most common mistaken assumptions about personal injury law and the actual truth behind each one.
You Don't Need An Attorney
Although there may be some straightforward instances where you can negotiate and settle directly with the insurance company, the fact is that the insurance company doesn't have your best interests in mind. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and the best way to do that is to settle every case for the minimum amount possible.
If you retain the services of a personal injury attorney right away, you will have someone in your corner who will approach the negotiations to ensure that you are treated fairly. You'll want to have the confidence that you're getting what you're entitled to as a result of the accident, and going it alone isn't necessarily going to get that done.
It's Easy Money
Personal injury law has acquired a reputation as a way to get easy money. When you understand the dynamics of personal injury cases, you'll see that this couldn't be further from the truth in most cases. In fact, getting money from a personal injury case can be very difficult. In most cases, the damages that you're compensated for are all expenses that you've had to pay out or will have to pay out for medical care and support. You'll have to show documentation of your medical status, the injuries, your recovery and any other relevant information.
Your attorney will then have to convince the court that the defendant was responsible for the injury and his or her own negligence directly contributed to it. This isn't always easy, and it takes a lot of research and evidence gathering. Understand that getting a settlement for a personal injury case is going to require a time and effort commitment to make your case in court.
You're Guaranteed Compensation
If you're new to the idea of personal injury lawsuits, you may think that filing a suit guarantees you a settlement of some sort. In fact, if you can't prove your case in court or settle for a predetermined damage amount, there's no guarantee of any compensation. You only receive compensation if the other party agrees during a settlement negotiation or the courts deem that you are entitled after evaluating the case. Working with an attorney may help you improve your chances of settlement, but there are no guarantees that you will win.
The Insurance Company Will Pay Your Medical Bills As They Come Due
In most personal injury cases, the insurance company won't issue payments for anything until the entire settlement has been negotiated. You'll have to reach a final settlement and sign the papers before anything will be paid. If the insurance company does offer to make payments on your outstanding medical bills before you finish the negotiations, have your attorney evaluate the paperwork before you sign anything. You may be inadvertently signing away your right to a settlement by allowing them to pay your current medical bills. The best thing you can do is have your medical insurance pick up the tab for your healthcare costs until the settlement is reached. That protects you from surrendering your rights to a claim.
These are a few of the most common misconceptions about personal injury law. As you can see from the clarifications, believing these myths can be costly for you in the long run. If you've been injured, talk with a personal injury attorney before you assume anything about the case.Share