Five Personal Injury Myths
If you have been hurt in an accident, such as a work accident, car crash, or slip-and-fall incident, you may be interested in filing a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your losses. This is fairly normal, and a personal injury claim could potentially help you recover damages and get your life back on track. However, the law itself is immensely complex, which has led to the rise of a number of different myths and misconceptions about it, many of which are fairly well-known or thought of as truth in the sphere of public knowledge. On this blog, our Santa Clarita personal injury attorney will help set the record straight so you can make the wisest and most informed decisions about your case.
Myth: You Don’t Need a Lawyer to File a Claim
Truth: This isn’t an outright lie, but it’s not advisable in nearly any situation. Personal injury laws are complex, and unless you’re familiar with these laws as well as tactics that insurance companies and their attorneys will use to try to deny your claim and absolve their responsibility to pay, you may find yourself running around in circles, getting nowhere, and dealing with frustration while still trying to heal from a massive injury.
Having an attorney on your side can make this entire process so much easier. An attorney will handle communication and other trivial matters on your behalf while standing up for your rights. An attorney on your side is an advocate with your best interests in mind, and trusting them to handle your case can give you peace of mind and trustworthy counsel throughout what could wind up being a long and complicated process.
Myth: Lawyers are Expensive
Truth: A professional’s services have a considerable value to them, particularly attorneys. However, personal injury lawyers are different from most other types of lawyers. The vast majority of personal injury representatives operate on what is known as a “contingency fee” basis. Essentially what this means is that their ability to be paid is directly linked to (or, contingent upon) their ability to get you a settlement. If an attorney is successful in your case, they take a percentage of your settlement, and many even fight to have their fees included in the settlement so their client isn’t burdened with any additional hardship. If they don’t win your case, they don’t get paid. Simple as that.
Myth: You Can Bring Your Case to Any Lawyer
Truth: Would you trust a plumber to fix your roof? What about having an electrician repair your toilet? The truth is that most home service workers have at least some experience and knowledge to be able to handle a basic home problem of many different types, but taking them out of their element means you’re probably going to get sub-par work and you won’t be all that satisfied with the results.
The same goes with attorneys: even those who advertise that they practice multiple types of law still have one or two types which they’re far better at and more familiar with than all the rest, and it’s usually reflected in their case history. Because personal injury law is so complex, it’s pivotal you have an experienced lawyer on your side who knows and has an extensive history handling personal injury matters in order to receive the best possible experience and representation.
Myth: I Can Always File My Claim Later
Truth: You may not know this but many personal injury issues are bound by restrictions known as “statutes of limitations,” which are essentially time limits to file your claim. Your time limit will vary based on the nature of your injury and what kind of case you’re eligible for, but odds are you’ll have to file your claim sometime between 90 days and two years from the date of your injury. After that, your case will almost certainly be tossed out by a personal injury judge.
If you have been in an accident, you may want to see a doctor as soon as possible and then speak with an attorney about your rights. Just because you may not be experiencing long-term symptoms now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the chances that they might happen in the future, and both a doctor and attorney can advise you on what steps are best to take going forward.
Myth: Settlements Will Make Me Rich
Truth: This is so far from the truth, and it’s unfortunate that this myth is starting to damage people’s ability to seek justice, particularly in the field of medical malpractice. You’ve probably heard a lot of talk from politicians about medical malpractice insurance causing surging healthcare costs for everybody, but that’s far from the truth of reality.
The vast majority of personal injury claims are just enough to cover your medical expenses, including your medications, treatments, therapy, future treatments, and more. In some cases, you can also have your attorney fees covered as part of the settlement. Anything beyond that, known as ‘punitive damages’ is actually exceedingly rare, and used far more as a punishment to someone who is grossly negligent rather than as a benefit to the victim. The goal of a personal injury claim is to help get you back to where you were financially before your injury, not to make you wealthy off of someone else’s mistake.If you have been injured in an accident, call the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser today at (661) 441-3446 and ask for a free consultation to learn more about your rights!