According to the CDC, more than 29 million people visited emergency rooms in the United States due to an unintentional injury. The same year, more than 35 million people visited a physician’s office for the same reason. While some of these injuries are accidents, many others are caused by the action or inaction of someone else.
When you receive injuries due to the carelessness or negligence of someone else, a court may award you compensation to pay for your damages. First, however, you will need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to prove your case and summarize your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. The process required to prove the other party’s fault or negligence and determine the damages caused can be complicated and is often subject to misconceptions and myths of many types. Here, we have compiled the top five.
Myth #1 – Personal Injury Cases Lead to an Easy Windfall
While it is true that some personal injury settlements and awards in California can reach into the millions, the money awarded after a personal injury lawsuit is not akin to winning a cash prize. Instead, the money replaces, or compensates you for, funds you may have already paid in medical bills or lost due to missing wages. Also, you may receive compensation for physical pain and suffering or even extreme mental anguish as a result of the injuries you suffered. This reimbursement depends on the unique circumstances of your case and is likely to be different than many others.
Myth #2 – Large Compensation Amounts Are Outrageous and Undeserved
This myth is often touted in concurrence with myth #1. Many people believe winning a personal injury lawsuit will result in millions and that those larger settlements are undeserved by the plaintiff. While it is true that some verdicts seem very high, they are often in response to large-scale, life-altering, or otherwise impactful injuries. They may exist partially as the result of punitive damages for gross negligence on the part of a corporation or business. A good example of this unfounded outrage against personal injury lawsuits is the infamous “McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit”. At the time, many decried what they saw as an excessive settlement without knowing that the plaintiff involved suffered terrible, life-altering injuries to her thighs and genitals.
Myth #3 – There Is No Reason to File Your Case Now
The time after receiving injuries – particularly if they are the fault of someone else – is a difficult one. As a result, many people are tempted to focus on recovery and pursue legal action at a later date. While it is, of course, important to recover before you undertake a personal injury lawsuit, keep in mind that strict time limits – known as statutes of limitations – exist that dictate when you must file your claim. In California, injured parties have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. Consider recovering while your personal injury attorney handles the details of your case.
Myth #4 – Your Insurance Company Will Protect Your Interests
After a car accident, dog bite, or premises liability incident results in injuries to you or your loved ones, it can be tempting to simply allow the insurance companies to battle over who is at fault. While it is possible to receive compensation for your property damages or injuries from the other party’s insurance company, relying on insurance to compensate you for your damages is risky. Insurance companies exist to protect their policyholders from experiencing financial losses but are even more invested in preventing their own losses. As a result, most people will need to fight with both insurance companies over a period of time to receive any sort of compensation.
Myth #5 – Personal Injury Attorneys Don’t Make Much of a Difference
This myth often comes along with myths #3 and #4 – it can be tempting to attempt to pursue your personal injury case alone, especially if there are insurance companies involved and especially if you are recovering from your injuries. However, failing to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney is the number one reason many injured parties are unable to receive full compensation for their damages. A personal injury attorney is well-versed in how the court system and insurance companies operate and can help you request compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages in a way that provides you the best possible outcome.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have recently experienced injuries due to the fault of someone else, don’t be swayed by the above common myths regarding the personal injury lawsuit process. Consulting with a skilled attorney is the best way to achieve a positive outcome, giving you the most potential for satisfactory compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of Black & DePaoli, PC to request a no-charge consultation today.