Personal injury cases come with a lot of misconceptions. They’re stigmatized by unrealistic lawyer fees, draining case durations, the thought that fighting your case along is possible, and more. If you aren’t talking to the right attorney, these myths can feel like the reality of your case. It’s important to speak with an attorney that’s detailed and experienced, so you can be confidently aware of the process as it continues. Here are some common myths we will debunk so you don’t have to.
#1: You Can File A Personal Injury Claim Anytime
U.S. courts abide by a statute of limitations that control a person’s time frame to file a claim against an at-fault party. The statute of limitations is different depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim being filed. In personal injury cases, a very typical length of time given to file a claim is two years. Make sure to research this in your own state to know if, and for how long, you qualify for filing.
#2: Lawyer Fees Will Take Most of Your Settlement
There are two myths wrapped up in this statement, and we’ll help clarify them both. The first is that lawyer fees cost an arm and a leg, and the second is that you pay upfront and out of pocket. This couldn’t be more untrue.
The majority of lawyers offer a free consultation, and help evaluate your case with you: You can assess the viability of your case, whether they are willing to represent your specific situation in court, and your other legal options. This conversation will provide you the information you’ll need to adjust your expectations accordingly.
As far as paying your lawyer fees go, most lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning their pay only comes out of your case’s success and settlement. Your lawyer will brief you on what percentage they’ll take of the compensation, and you can choose before they’ve been hired whether you are willing to pay them their expected percentage of the earnings.
#3: Personal Injury Cases Can’t Be Fought Without a Lawyer
While it’s true that you can file a personal injury claim without the aid of a legal professional, it is not advised to take on the case by yourself. This is due to the complexity of many claims that require the trained eye of a lawyer to navigate correctly and ensure that the injured party receives the compensation that they deserve. As described by the personal injury attorneys at DuBois Law Group, by declining the help of an attorney, you are missing out on crucial opportunities for a skilled lawyer to collect evidence, meet with your insurance company, file your lawsuit, define your damages, represent you in court, and a number of other high-priority legal tasks. Essentially, trying to do all this by yourself while injured is setting yourself up for failure.
#4: Personal Injury Cases Take Years to Settle
Because each case is unique in its own way, there is no way to accurately say how long any personal injury case may take. However, there is a common misconception that it may not even be worth filing a claim because it usually takes years to get through the system. Luckily, that is a false misconception, and while some cases do take longer than others, many people are pleasantly surprised by the turnaround of their own claim. Of course, your personal injury attorney will do everything in their power to handle your claim in a timely manner.
#5: The At-Fault Party Pays Out Of Pocket
Although it is possible to opt to pay for another’s damages from an accident out-of-pocket, by no means is it required. Especially in situations when someone is physically injured in an accident, it is always wise to get your insurance companies involved to help settle the finances. Even if an individual claims to be fine in the aftermath of an accident, they can always say they were injured later down the line which can mean massive amounts of hospital and rehabilitation bills that are now your responsibility. This same suggestion also applies to property damage as the result of an accident.