5 Common Misconceptions About Personal Injury Lawsuits
by Stephanie Andre | Last Updated: August 24, 2020
Most people aren’t too familiar with personal injury lawsuits. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to file one. If you do suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence, though, you may find yourself facing the prospect of having to sue, and being unsure what that means.
Below are five common misconceptions about personal injury lawsuits. Understanding more clearly what they are can help you feel more confident about pursuing your claim.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
First, it helps to know for sure what a personal injury lawsuit is. It begins when someone suffers harm because of an accident or other occurrence and believes another person, company, or entity might be legally responsible for that harm.
The injury may have occurred because of:
- A traffic accident
- A defective medical device or medication
- A negligent medical professional
- Unsafe conditions at work
The possibilities are nearly endless. The important thing is that the injured person believes his or her injury never would have happened had not another party been negligent.
5 Misconceptions About Personal Injury Lawsuits
Let’s say you were injured and you believe it was because of someone else’s negligence. You hope to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Below are the five most common misconceptions you may have about what comes next.
1. You Don’t Need a Lawyer
Of course, you can proceed with a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer, but your odds of recovering the funds you need are higher if you work with a personal injury attorney. He or she has the experience necessary to create a strong case in your favor and can help guide you in what you may reasonably expect from your lawsuit.
2. You Can Recover Damages for Most Any Type of Pain
An insurance company, judge, or jury will demand to see evidence of any injuries you claim to suffer. They will not easily hand out benefits, so it’s up to you to have the medical records and other documents necessary to prove that you have been significantly harmed.
If you merely feel pain but have no medical evidence to support your claim, your case will be less likely to succeed.
3. A Personal Injury Lawsuit Always Drags On
This can happen in some cases, but it’s not always the case. Most of the time, it is in the interest of all parties to get the case resolved as quickly as possible, which means that a settlement at some point is more likely than a long, drawn-out jury trial.
You can help ensure that your case stays on schedule by keeping careful track of all of your receipts, medical treatments, and other documents as suggested by your personal injury attorney.
4. A Large Award Will Make You Rich
Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case. Large awards are reserved for those plaintiffs who have extreme injuries, which means the money will most likely be used for medical care. From a $1 million award, for example, you may have to pay $350,000 in past medical expenses, set aside another several hundred thousand for future medical expenses, and use the rest to cover lost wages or to purchase medical aids you may need.
A personal injury settlement can be a blessing as it can help you and your family get back on your feet.
5. Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer is Expensive
Don’t let this misconception keep you from getting the compensation you deserve. Most of the time, a personal injury attorney will collect fees only if you win your case, so you will owe nothing upfront.
Always check with your lawyer early on so you know exactly what the arrangement is, but understand that you can enjoy the benefits of having legal assistance on your side without suffering from financial difficulty.