Have you been injured in an accident and aren’t sure what your next step should be — or if your situation even warrants a next step?
There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to personal injury resolution, and also a lot of misinformation. Partly to blame are those obnoxious TV commercials from personal injury lawyers; other causes of common myths stem from dishonest lawyers that have given the entire industry a bad name.
Below we’ve debunked 5 of the most common myths surrounding personal injury lawsuits.
Myth 1: Hiring a lawyer is a lot of hassle. I don’t need one.
Truth: Hiring a personal injury lawyer will often get you better results and more compensation. Trying to go it alone is the surest way to put yourself through a lot of stress and confusion, and to possibly come away empty-handed. Getting a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to guide you through the process and fight for the outcome you desire will likely bring you more money — not to mention a heck of a lot more peace of mind.
Myth 2: All lawyers charge retainer fees.
Truth: Most reputable personal injury lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. Unless they win the case, you literally owe nothing. As far as quality and value goes, only paying for something when you’re satisfied with the outcome is value that you can’t beat.
Myth 3: My insurance will cover all my costs if I’m injured.
Truth: Unfortunately, most insurance companies are going to try to pay the least settlement amount they possibly can, which more than likely will not cover the costs you incur surrounding your injury. Simply put, the business model of insurance companies is that the less they have to pay out, the more money they get to keep. Annually, insurance companies end up paying only 50% of costs associated with car accidents. The victims wind up shelling out around 26 percent of their own money towards these costs.
Myth 4: I only have minor injuries, so it’s probably not worth talking to a lawyer.
Truth: Healthcare isn’t cheap. Those minor injuries you’re talking about now can easily add up to way more than you can or are willing to pay. Also, the “minor” injuries could actually turn out to be worse than you thought. Some injuries become worse or more painful with time, such as whiplash. The symptoms from latent injuries could show up days or weeks after an accident. Costs will then begin to add up as you seek the medical care you deserve.
Myth 5: I have plenty of time to file a lawsuit if I want to do it later.
Truth: The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident is always limited. There is a statute of limitations on filing lawsuits, and far too often we begin a consult with victims who have unfortunately waited too long to open a case. Moral of the story, don’t let too much time pass after your accident!