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If you’ve been in an accident or another situation in which you were injured because of something someone else did, or perhaps something they failed to do, you may be eligible to file a personal injury suit and receive compensation.
These accidents can be scary, particularly if the other party is not cooperative – such as a negligent motorist fleeing the scene of an accident they caused. Is it worth your while to hire a personal injury lawyer and pursue the case?
Myths about hiring personal injury lawyers abound. Here are 8 of them…
Myth 1): “My Insurance Has Me Covered”
Some people who have been in accidents caused by other people think that their insurance will have them covered.
If this is you, ask yourself this question: “Who do insurance companies care more about, people who have been in accidents or their profits?”
Here’s the thing: your insurance company, or the other party’s insurance company, will do whatever they can to get away with paying you the bare minimum, if even that. Hire a personal injury lawyer.
Myth 2): “I Can’t Possibly Afford It”
This is almost certainly a myth. It is common practice for personal injury lawyers to work on contingency, meaning that they will get paid if and when you do.
According to The Barnes Firm of San Francisco (learn more at https://www.thebarnesfirm.com/contact-us/san-francisco-personal-injury-attorneys/), there’s a logical reason for personal injury lawyers to operate this way: it creates better incentives, demonstrates integrity, and allows them to focus on really getting justice for people, like you, who need it.
Myth 3): “My Injuries Are Too Minor to Bother”
You’d be surprised how many people who think they have only a very slight injury end up with something more serious over time. That small ache or pain you feel today could be the beginning of something considerably worse.
Bottom line, document your injuries and don’t waste any time. It’s in your interest to pursue this while everything is still fresh, rather than waiting and possibly missing out.
Myth 4): “Personal Injury Lawyers Are Ambulance Chasers”
This is a particularly damaging myth, because it encourages people to look down on the idea of getting legal representation.
Remember, insurance companies have armies of lawyers. Are you sure you want to go into this thing without a single law firm on your side?
The truth is, personal injury lawyers are generally concerned with getting justice for their clients. And there can be no doubt that many people pursuing personal injury suits deserve it.
Myth 5): “People Who File Personal Injury Suits Are Frivolous/Liars/Opportunists”
This is another version of the same damaging myth we discussed above. As a rule, people who seek compensation for personal injuries have suffered very real harm, have had their lives disrupted, by someone else’s negligence and carelessness.
Human nature being what it is, there will always be some cases for naysayers to point to.
“Remember that lady who sued McDonald’s for spilling hot coffee on herself?” (She actually suffered third-degree burns and had to get skin grafts, and she was only one of hundreds of people injured by the temperature of the coffee).
Myth 6): “If I File A Case, I’m Home Free”
Now for a myth which is too optimistic: no, filing a case does not guarantee you compensation. Any lawyer who promises you this, that, or the other sum of money should be regarded as a fundamentally dishonest person.
It’s important to understand this up front, both to avoid any unreasonable expectations and to guard against complacency. The fact that you aren’t 100% guaranteed success means you’ll want to do the best you can to document your injuries, get evidence, and be able to establish what did and did not happen.
Myth 7): “This Will Take Too Long”
Some people think it will take years before they’ll see any compensation. This is almost certainly not true.
Granted, this is difficult to gauge without getting into the specifics of your personal case, but certainly the vast majority of cases take less than a year, and many take considerably less time.
The complexities of your case will certainly have a great deal of bearing on how long it takes, but the plain and simple reality is that most personal injury cases are actually resolved without any need for a trial.
Myth 8): “But What About My Insurance Rates?”
What about them? If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, their insurance should be responsible.
This is probably two myths in one, the other being that a personal injury claim will bankrupt an individual who will have to pay out of pocket. The whole idea with these cases is to go after insurance companies. Don’t you deserve to have your interests represented by someone who’s in it for you?