Debunking common personal injury misconceptions and giving the facts
After being involved in a catastrophic accident, you might meet with a personal injury attorney near you to talk about filing a claim. Although this is usually a simple process to get started, there are a few details that can sometimes get confusing as your claim progresses.
There are several myths associated with the personal injury lawsuit process that you might be inclined to believe if you don’t talk to your attorney about the details beforehand. Our team at the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson is here to debunk these myths and help you discover the facts.
Myth #1: Personal injury lawsuits take a long time
Many people think that a personal injury lawsuit takes years to complete. It might feel like it takes this long because of all the paperwork and waiting to hear about the final results of your claim. However, if everything goes smoothly with each party involved, then it should be resolved in just a few months.
It’s true there are some claims that can take a long time to resolve, but it’s your attorney’s job to gather the important details of the case and get it put through the court as soon as possible so that you can get your settlement quickly.
Myth #2: Insurance won’t pay
Someone has to pay for all of the costs associated with filing a personal injury claim. After an accident, you’ll consult with your insurance company to discuss the details of what happened.
You’ll also talk to your attorney to find out whether or not you should talk to the other party’s insurance company. Most of the time, 1 insurance company will cover the costs of filing the claim or will pay for the remaining portion after you pay the deductible associated with your policy.
Myth #3: The responsible party will pay for everything
You might think that the person responsible for your injuries will pay for all of the costs associated with your claim. However, this is only partially true. This is why some people have reservations regarding filing in general; they don’t think that they will get money from a settlement due to the person not having the money to pay.
Most of the time, the person’s insurance company will pay the settlement amount. The person responsible will then have to pay higher monthly payments or premiums in order to make up for the insurance company paying the settlement amount. They will usually have to pay the deductible before the insurance company will pay anything as well.
Myth #4: It’s not worth filing a claim against family/friends
There’s never an easy way to resolve a financial dispute with friends and family members, as there is always the potential for tension or strain on your relationship. You might feel guilty about filing a claim against them because you feel that the person doesn’t have the financial means to pay the settlement amount.
This is when a personal injury lawyer can step in and communicate with the other party so that you don’t feel awkward in the situation. You should also keep in mind that your friend or family member likely won’t be the one to pay the settlement amount. Instead, it will be the insurance company.
Myth #5: You’ll have to attend several hearings
Although there will likely be a few hearings that could last a few hours, you probably won’t have to endure these hearings very often. Sometimes, you won’t even need to step foot inside a courtroom if you’re able to work with your attorney to reach a settlement.
If you do have to go to court, your attorney will likely do most of the talking, allowing you to focus on listening to what is said about your case.
Myth #6: Minor injuries aren’t worth filing a claim over
A common myth about personal injury cases is that you shouldn’t file a claim if you have minor injuries. Even if you have a few bumps and bruises, you should still file a claim to receive compensation for your medical bills.
Your attorney can review the details of the accident to determine if you have a case and if it would be worth your time filing a claim, depending on the severity of your injuries. If you didn’t go to the hospital or visit your doctor, then you might not need to file a claim after all, but that’s something that you would discuss with your attorney.
Myth #7: You can file as late as you want
Don’t think that you have all the time in the world to file a personal injury claim. Most states, including Georgia, have a statute of limitations that prevent you from filing a personal injury claim after a certain length of time has passed.
The time frame usually begins on the day of your accident, which is why it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney soon after the accident occurs.