There are certain legal perceptions, many of which are perpetrated by movies and tv, that are simply untrue. It is important to know facts from fiction. Failing to do so could put your legal rights at risk.
Common Legal Myths and The Truth
Dog Bites are not worth suing over because the dog owner doesn’t have any money.
Dog bites can cause a massive amount of damage to a person, resulting in expensive medical bills, and pain and suffering. However, there is a fear that a dog owner won’t have the money to pay the medical bills anyway. This is generally untrue. Almost all homeowner’s insurance policies include coverage for dog bites, meaning that if you sue the dog owner you will likely get paid by a multi-billion dollar corporation, not a person.
Refusing a search means you are guilty
Refusing a search does not mean you are guilty, and it is actually a prudent thing to do. If a police officer is asking you to search their vehicle, and cannot search your vehicle without your permission, that means they have not been presented with enough evidence to arouse probable cause. You are not required to give up your rights. In addition, while 99.9% of police officers are good people, there have been cases of unscrupulous officers planting evidence.
An arrest is not valid if you are not mirandized
This is a dangerous myth. Officers do not have to give you your rights when they arrest you. Period. They have to give you your Miranda rights when they arrest you and begin asking you questions. If they just arrest you and you begin talking, what you say is admissible.
You can’t be charged with a DUI on private property
Believe it or not laws apply to private property. DUI laws prohibit the operation of a vehicle while under the influence. It does not make a distinction between private and public property.
Police officers cannot lie
To make a complicated issue simple, police officers are allowed to be misleading and to lie. It would be pretty difficult for an officer to go undercover if they couldn’t tell a lie.
Online comments cannot get you into trouble
Online comments can get you into trouble as much as real-life comments can. No matter how anonymous you may feel online, online providers can and will track your identity if the government orders them to through use of a warrant. And believe it not, most online forums and businesses will cooperate with the government.
Contracts must be written
Contracts that are for marriage, land, lasts longer than a year, or is for a sale in excess of five hundred dollars must be written. Meaning if you sell something to someone for less than $500, your contract is fully valid, written or not. With that being said, there are a ton of other “non-contract” theories that can be used to enforce non-contract promises. The best way to go is to fulfill your agreements.
Always cooperate with the police right away
Generally, it is better to talk with your attorney before talking to the police. Although the police may not want you to, always ask for your attorney.
My injury isn’t severe enough to require an attorney
The severity of your claim generally doesn’t matter. The legal process and system is the legal process and system whether your claims are large or small. Legal issues are always complicated, and an attorney can make you sure you get the justice you deserve.
I have to handle my claims alone because I can’t afford an attorney
Most personal injury attorneys operate on the contingency fee. This means that instead of charging you for their work, they simply take a percentage of your winnings. If you don’t win, most don’t collect anything. This allows all people to get the justice you deserve. For issues that don’t have many attorneys working on a contingency fee basis, there are sometimes free government attorneys, or other attorneys who will work pro-bono on your case.
I can deal with the insurance company on my own
Insurance companies are companies, and they have to keep their bottom live in place. Unfortunately, this means that if there is a way to deny a claim, they may very well take it. They may try to poke holes in your story, even if there are none. Attorneys are experienced with working with insurance companies and know what to do to make sure you get the money you need from them.
All cases go to court
Nearly every case settles out of court. Only a subset of cases actually go to trial.
Personal injury cases are always long and drawn out
Like other cases, most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. Having an experienced injury attorney gives you the most chance for having a quicker settlement.
Having an attorney who is an expert in the law is important, because they will be able to tell fact from fiction, myth from truth. Lawyers know how to best proceed in your case, and get you the justice you deserve. Going it on your own can be confusing, especially with modern films and tv shows perpetrating legal myths.
Bulluck Law Group has the experience necessary to separate this fact from fiction. Contact us for a free consultation today.