Each year, millions of Americans are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. And despite the fact that there are rules and laws in place to protect the rights of these victims, myths and misconceptions cloud judgment and disguise the truth.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been injured as a result of something like a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle crash, dog bite, slip and fall, defective product, or workplace accident, it’s imperative that you don’t simply accept your fate and move on. There may be certain protections in place to help you accelerate your recovery.
In order to truly understand personal injuries and how they’re handled in the United States, it’s important that we address some of the myths that are shrouding the truth.
Don’t be foolish enough to assume that insurance will take care of your injuries. The reality is that insurance companies exist to turn a profit – not protect their clients. No matter how warm and fuzzy they make you feel, they’re only going to pay out the bare minimum.
Take a car accident as an example. Insurance companies only pay out approximately 50 percent of the costs associated with a typical injury-related car crash. In fact, car crash victims often end up paying as much as 25 percent out of their own pockets. In a serious accident, that can mean a lot of cash!
There’s another pervasive myth that the at-fault individual must pay for your injuries out of their own pocket. This prevents many injury victims from ever pursuing a claim.
If you know the at-fault individual, you might also know some of their financial situation. And if you don’t think they can pay for your injuries, you might refuse to file a claim. But that’s not how it works. In the majority of cases, it’s an insurance company that’s actually paying your damages. That’s why it’s important to always pursue a claim.
This is another cost-related qualm people have – but it’s rooted in fiction.
As Gartlan Injury Law mentions, most lawyers don’t charge any costs or fees unless they’re able to obtain a financial aware for you. This means you never end up paying for something you can’t afford. In other words, there’s no reason not to file a claim.
Some people make the mistake of holding off on filing a claim to see how their situation progresses. Unfortunately, they eventually learn that they’ve waited too long to receive compensation.
“The statute of limitations in personal injury cases ranges from as short as one year to as long as six years, depending on the state,” Nolo explains. “For example, if you live in a state with a three year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you would have three years from the day of the accident within which to file a lawsuit against that person for personal injury damages.”
It can take a while for the legal process to unfold, so it’s highly recommended that you file a claim as quickly as possible. A good lawyer will speed things along and get the ball rolling.
You don’t need a traumatic brain injury, spinal issue, or internal bleeding to pursue a personal injury claim. Even small injuries could qualify you to make a claim against a negligent party.
Never assume that your injuries aren’t significant enough. It’s also important to note that many symptoms don’t show up until days later. That’s why it’s critical to meet with an attorney as soon as possible and to avoid making any bold declarations about your health until further medical examinations have been conducted.
Setting the Record Straight
Personal injury law exists for a reason. It exists so that it can protect people like you from being unjustly victimized by the negligent actions of other individuals and organizations. Hopefully this article has set the record straight on some of the common myths that are frequently perpetuated.
Familiarize yourself with the truth, find a lawyer you trust, and do what’s best for you and your family.