Filing a personal injury claim after an accident can be unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and challenging territory. Without previous experience with personal injury cases, you’re going in with either no knowledge about personal injury claims or information based on what you’ve heard from others. Everyone has heard stories like “my friend told me about a horrible experience with a lawyer or insurance company.” However, those stories are often times myths, half truths, or out right wrong.
When you or a loved one suffers a personal injury, hearing some of this common misinformation can cause an already difficult time to become even more challenging. Ideas and misconceptions about personal injury cases may hold you back from seeking the help and compensation you deserve. We’re going to debunk some of the common myths about personal injury claims.
Myths About Personal Injury Claims
The Insurance Company Won’t Offer Any Higher, so You Shouldn’t Get a Lawyer
The insurance company’s goal is not to treat you fairly. Their only goal is to minimize how much compensation they will pay you.
One of the first things you should know going into a personal injury case is that the insurance company has no obligation to tell you (a) what your rights are, (b) what the law is, (c) what evidence you can submit to increase their offer, or (d) how much you are entitled to receive. Experienced lawyers know the law and what evidence is required to maximize a recovery.
As a result, insurance companies will actively try to persuade people after an injury to not hire a lawyer. Many people tell us that “the insurance adjuster told me it was a waste of time and money for me to hire a lawyer.” You should know that claim is usually completely false.
The insurance company is going to try to get you to settle for the lowest possible dollar amount because that is the best outcome for the insurance company. They know that when an injured party hires an experienced lawyer it will result in higher settlements.
It is their goal to close the claim as quickly as possible before you have any time to consult with a legal team. Reject the initial offer, as it is likely this amount is only a tiny percentage of the compensation you are entitled to with respect to your injuries and other relevant damages. Instead, find an experienced personal injury attorney to help you get the settlement amount you deserve by researching and establishing the actual value of your damages.
Personal Injury Claims Take Too Long
When filing a personal injury claim, you might think that representing yourself is the answer to closing it quickly. However, that is actually not always the case, plus, working without a lawyer exposes you to significant risk.
Taking the quick payout from the opposing insurance company might seem like a quick fix for medical bills, missing income, and other related damages. But what happens if you experience long-term chronic pain, income loss, or other challenges along the way? It’s not uncommon to have insurance adjusters call injury victims while they are still in the hospital recovering from a surgery caused by their insured’s negligence, where the adjuster tries to convince the injury victim to settle the claim quickly for a fraction of what they are actually entitled to under Illinois law.
Enlisting the services of an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that you can obtain compensation for all the relevant damages, including those like future wages lost, or future medical bills you will incur, or the ways this injury will impact you for the rest of your life.
Additionally, modern day health care involves so many different kinds of “specialists.” It can be overwhelming for an injury victim to discern whether they are seeing the right specialist for their particular type of injury. There is rarely a doctor overseeing an injury victim’s care that is advocating for the patient and ensuring they are seeing the right specialist or getting all of the care they need. An experienced injury attorney that routinely deals with traumatic injuries and interacts with all kinds of specialists knows how to navigate a health care system. The experienced injury attorney can make sure you are seeing the right type of doctor right from the get-go and throughout your recovery. This will go a long way towards aiding your physical recovery, while also maximizing the amount of money the insurance company will have to pay you to settle your claim.
You Can File a Personal Injury Claim Any Time
While you might think you have an unlimited window in which to file a personal injury claim, each state has its own laws regarding a statute of limitations for personal injuries.
In Illinois, for example, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years, but can be less time under certain situations. As a result, it is imperative not to delay in contacting an experienced lawyer, because if you wait too long, you might be barred from ever seeking compensation.
Another reason not to delay is that evidence disappears if its not timely preserved. Videos are dubbed over or deleted after a period of time. Those videos can be critical to proving the other side was at fault. When certain evidence eventually becomes unavailable, your ability to recover damages can be negatively impacted. This is why immediately hiring experienced lawyers that work with investigators to collect and preserve critical evidence is so important.
The Party Responsible for Your Injuries Will Pay Out-of-Pocket
While your injuries might be extensive and present long-term damages, you may still feel empathetic towards the individual or entity responsible for your injury. This could cause you to hesitate on a personal injury claim out of fear that the at-fault individual or entity might go bankrupt covering your damages.
In almost all personal injury cases, the opposing party’s insurance company will cover the damages or settlement that you’re awarded in your personal injury case. The insurance company will also pay for a lawyer to represent the at fault party as well. This means the at fault party is rarely out of pocket any money. Their insurance company is under no obligation to explain any of this to you.
You Are Guaranteed Compensation
You’ve had medical bills, loss of income, and lasting physical or emotional trauma from your injuries. Hiring any lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit for you might seem like a good option to give yourself some peace of mind, but know that compensation in a personal injury case is never guaranteed.
If that lawyer does not have a full handle of the law and evidence, they will not be able to recover you full compensation. For example, there are laws that protect injury victims that inexperienced lawyers do not know about. Some of those laws deal with the amount of medical bills that is recoverable by you. Is it the amount billed by the provider? Or is it only the amount paid by my health insurance company? How much money do you have to reimburse your health insurance company for medical bills paid? The answers to all of these questions impact your bottom line in a personal injury case. Therefore, knowing the answers to these questions is critical. People that do not specialize in personal injury law do not understand, and have no experience proving, what is necessary to maximize your recovery. By hiring “any old lawyer,” you can cost yourself significant sums of money at the end of the day. Since full compensation is not guaranteed, experience matters.
Experience the Power of Promises Kept With Pullano and Siporin
Facing a personal injury can be challenging physically, mentally, and financially. Thus, when you are looking for an attorney to handle the legal side of your personal injury, choosing the right one means everything.
Our team at Pullano & Siporin has successfully obtained full justice and timely compensation for our clients’ injuries for more than 50 combined years. We work tirelessly to fully understand how your injury has impacted every facet of your life and your family members’ lives in our pursuit of justice for you. You become our priority when you choose us as representation for your personal injury case.
Contact us today to discuss your case and meet our team of attorneys.