There are hundreds of Americans injured across the US every day. Some victims suffer severe, life-changing injuries. If you are hurt because of another person’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation with a personal injury lawsuit.
If you decide to file a claim, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to maximize your chances of a favorable settlement or verdict. Before starting your case, it is critical to dispel some common myths about these cases.
Personal Injury Claims Are Easy to Win
You can receive compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of life’s enjoyment in most states. But obtaining compensation in a personal injury claim is not easy. The burden of proof is on you and your attorney.
Some of the funds you are trying to obtain you already paid out of pocket, such as your ongoing medical costs. Also, remember that every personal injury case is different, and it is unknown how much your settlement could be.
You Can File a Claim Anytime
Each state has a statute of limitations that dictates when a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. In many states, you have one or two years from the injury date to file your claim.
The At-Fault Driver Must Pay Your Medical Bills During the Case
As you get medical care, you have to take care of those costs for now. Your health insurer or maybe your auto insurer will pay them until a settlement is reached. The insurer for the other driver is not required to pay anything until you get a settlement, or there is a verdict in your favor.
You Are Guaranteed Compensation
You may be injured, but that does not mean you will be compensated. Many injured victims do not obtain a favorable settlement or verdict. This is because all injury cases are different, and the compensation you could receive depends on many factors.
There is never a guarantee you will win your case. That is why most personal injury claims settle out of court. Going to court is always a risk for both sides; you never know what a jury will decide. Your attorney will guide you on whether it is best to settle or go to trial.
Personal Injury Claims Resolve Fast
How long it takes to resolve a claim varies. A case that resolves quickly requires many favorable factors, such as being treated for your injuries and reaching maximum medical improvement in a few weeks.
A quick resolution also requires the other party to agree to a settlement. But the length of your treatment, discovery, negotiations, and the length of a trial can vary dramatically.
It Will Cost a Lot to Hire an Attorney
Personal injury law is different from most other forms of law. Most personal injury attorneys have a contingent fee structure. This means your personal injury lawyer works on the case for free. If the case reaches a favorable settlement or verdict, their legal fees are deducted from the funds you receive.
Most personal injury lawyers also pay your legal expenses out of pocket. Those expenses, such as court filing costs, expert witness fees, auto crash reconstruction, can add up to thousands of dollars. Those expenses may be paid upfront and deducted from your final settlement.
Personal injury lawyers charge in this way because many personal injury victims do not have the funds to pay large upfront legal fees. And personal injury cases can run up a lot of legal expenses. But you do not have to worry about it because it is paid out of the settlement or verdict funds.