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Personal Injury Cases: Misconceptions vs. Reality

Figuring out whether you have a personal injury case can be difficult if you don’t know a lot about the law.

There are also plenty of misconceptions about how personal injury cases are handled and what it takes to get a fair settlement.

With so much misinformation available about personal injury and personal injury lawyers, we thought it would be worth exploring some common myths about personal injury cases.  After you have read this blog, you will have a better understanding of the reality of working with a personal injury lawyer.

What Is a Personal Injury Case?

Two basic elements determine whether you have a personal injury case. 

  1. An injury has occurred. 
  2. Someone else may be legally responsible for your injuries.

As a personal injury victim, you can seek compensation from the person or organization at fault. 

General compensatory damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium or companionship. Special compensatory damages include loss of earnings, loss of future earnings, medical bills, cost of future medical care, household expenses, and costs associated with canceled trips or altered plans. 

Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their behavior. 

In a formal personal injury lawsuit, you file a civil complaint against the defendant alleging their careless or irresponsible behavior caused your injury. In an informal personal injury settlement, negotiations take place followed by a written agreement that neither side will pursue legal action, and the matter will be resolved with payment.

What Are Some Myths About Personal Injury Cases?

Here are some common misconceptions regarding personal injury cases.

  1. Your health insurance will cover your injuries. You pay monthly premiums for a reason, right?  Having the right coverage will keep you from having to go through the hassle of making the defendant pay.
  2. Your recovery won’t take long and you can handle the situation yourself. 
  3. There aren’t any time limits to file a claim. As long as you’re negotiating with an insurance company, you still have time to file a formal legal claim if you can’t settle for some reason. 
  4. Your case must be worth millions of dollars. Since your injury is minor, you wouldn’t get that much money out of a claim anyway. It’s not worth going through the ordeal without a big payout.
  5. If you have a strong case, you’ll settle quickly. All of the evidence is there. 
  6. You have to go to trial to get a fair settlement. There’s no way to get what you deserve without going to court. Any settlement outside of a trial isn’t going to be worth it. 
  7. The person at fault will have to pay out of pocket. You’d like to see the defendant pay, but you don’t want them to go bankrupt. Filing a claim is likely to start a whole chain of expenses. 
  8. You’ll only be compensated for current medical expenses. You can’t get paid for something that hasn’t happened yet. There’s no way to figure out what your future medical bills will be.
  9. Any lawyer can get a good settlement in a personal injury case. It doesn’t matter what kind of lawyer you use. Any attorney can handle a personal injury claim.

What Is the Reality of Personal Injury Cases?

Here’s the truth about what happens in personal injury cases.

  1. The insurance company will pressure you to settle. They are looking to pay out as little money as possible, so you could end up agreeing to an unfair amount just to get them to stop calling.
  2. You should be able to concentrate on recovery. You need a buffer between you, the insurance company, and any other parties involved. 
  3. Even if you’re negotiating with insurance, your case has a time limit. There is a deadline for you to file a formal legal claim. 
  4. You don’t have to have an expensive claim to get a settlement. A lot of personal injury cases are settled for small amounts. It doesn’t matter if it’s not a million dollars. 
  5. It may take time to get a settlement, even in an open and shut case. Though there may be obvious evidence of negligence, you may not get compensation right away. Determining the value of your injuries takes work.
  6. You don’t have to go to court to get a fair settlement. Many personal injury cases get settled before trial. 
  7. The person at fault may not have to pay directly for your injuries. The defendant’s insurance provider will likely be responsible for covering the costs of your recovery.
  8. Your future medical bills can be paid. Your attorney will consult with health professionals about your injury to estimate the dollar amount of your future expenses.
  9. You need a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney has specific experience with these types of cases. They can help you get the fairest amount of compensation in the smoothest manner possible.

Personal Injury Cases: Misconceptions vs. Reality

Now you know more about personal injury case myths and how the process of working with a personal injury attorney works.

Here are a few key takeaways: 

  • Your health insurance may not be enough to cover your injuries.
  • A personal injury attorney can help.

A personal injury lawyer has the expertise to maximize your compensation and let you focus on your health. Contact Bulluck Law Group today to talk about your case.

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