Few people have the experience and expertise to approach a personal injury case without some confusion or question. With so many different myths about personal injury law, settlements and what it takes to get the money you're entitled to, it's no wonder that so many people find themselves overwhelmed. Before you file that personal injury suit, here's a look at some of the most common myths you might have heard and the truth you need to know about them.
Myth: There's No Need to Hire an Attorney
It's true that there may be some simple, straightforward cases that don't require the expertise of an attorney. For those cases, you can probably settle directly with the insurance company. The fact remains, however, that the insurance company doesn't work for you or have your best interest at heart.
That means that even in the simplest of cases, it's in your best interest to retain an attorney for legal support. He or she can help you face the negotiations and the court hearings and ensure that you receive the fair and reasonable treatment you should receive.
Myth: It's Fast, Quick Money
Unfortunately, personal injury cases have developed a poor reputation as being a source of easy money sought by dishonest and greedy people. The truth is, the dynamics of most personal injury cases make them a complex, time-consuming and difficult way to get compensation for any injury. In fact, getting money in a personal injury settlement can be a difficult thing to do.
Not only is it a complex process, but it can take time. The attorney will have to navigate the legal process, ensuring that you have sufficient evidence to prove your case. This can be difficult, and the information isn't always readily available. This means preparing for a lengthy process of negotiation, court hearings and settlement discussions before you ever see any money.
Myth: Your Expenses Dictate What You Receive
Some historical cases may appear to be settled according to what the victim's medical bills totaled, but the current personal injury settlement method doesn't solely take that into account. In fact, you may receive far less or far more than what you've incurred in medical bills. There is no single defined method for determining a victim's award in a case like this, so it's important that you understand what the possibilities are.
The courts will likely consider how much time you've spent out of work, any additional costs associated with your recovery and potentially also pain and suffering. Your attorney will be able to tell you what kind of case you might have based on the specifics and your current situation.
Myth: You Were Hurt, So You'll Get a Settlement
If you've had little to no exposure to personal injury law, it's easy to find yourself believing that if you were hurt, you qualify for a settlement. Unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily work that way. In fact, the courts are going to consider many things about your injury before deciding if you are eligible for an award.
You'll only receive money for your injury if the other party agrees to settle during negotiation or if the courts find that you were wrongfully injured and are eligible for funds. If, on the other hand, the courts find that you were partially at fault, as is the case with contributory negligence, you may not receive any settlement at all.
These are a few of the most often shared myths about personal injury lawsuits. If you are considering filing a case, you should talk to a personal injury attorney first. He or she can help you assess your situation to determine the best course of action. You can also click here for more info.