Personal injury lawsuits often get a bad rap. But as anyone who has been injured through no fault of their own knows, a serious accident is definitely not the equivalent of winning the lottery, despite what the media may make you think. Our system of compensation for losses after acts of negligence has been around for hundreds of years.
Injuries can result in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and if you were injured enough to be unable to work, even temporarily, you won’t be able to bring in a paycheck to cover those bills. Oftentimes a lawsuit is the only way to get the compensation you need to cover your expenses.
If you or someone you love has been injured, but you are unsure whether a lawsuit is the right course of action, it’s important to dispel the myths and get the facts on calling a lawyer and using the legal system to get compensation.
Debunking Personal Injury Lawsuit Myths
Myth #1: I don’t need to hire a lawyer if I have insurance.
Insurance companies are primarily concerned with profit, and if they think they can pay you less than you deserve, or nothing at all, they will take the opportunity. Personal injury lawyers understand the ins-and-outs of the insurance industry, what your injury is actually worth, and the laws surrounding liability, and they fight to ensure injury victims get the proper compensation.
Myth #2: I can’t afford to hire a lawyer.
At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, we handle personal injury cases on contingency. This means that if you don’t win, you pay us nothing. On top of that, there’s never any fees for an initial consultation, and no obligation to hire us afterward. That means there is no downside to calling us if you are considering filing a compensation claim.
Myth #3: It’s not worth hiring a lawyer because it’ll take years before I see any money.
While it is true that some personal injury lawsuits may take several years to wrap up, these often involve life-threatening or permanent injuries. However, most personal injury cases are settled relatively quickly outside of court. Things wrap up quicker when the insurance company knows you are serious and willing to file a suit, costing them more money. That happens when a lawyer is involved.
When we take on your claim, we’ll work hard to prove who was at fault, determine exactly how much money you’re owed, and get a settlement check in your hand as quickly as possible.
Myth #4: My tax/divorce/estate lawyer can handle my personal injury case.
While you might be able to find a tax attorney willing to take on a personal injury case, that doesn’t mean you want them to. The legal code is extremely complex, and when you hire a lawyer for a case outside of their main practice area, they will have less experience and knowledge of the laws and statutes specific to that field, and will be unfamiliar with the paperwork and processes that need to be followed, which could be detrimental to your claim.
Insurance companies know which lawyers file lawsuits and are experienced in personal injury cases. They also know which ones don’t and aren’t. Choosing the right lawyer matters. At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, we are AV-rated and Board-certified in civil litigation, not divorce work.
Myth #5: I can always file later if the insurance payment turns out not to be enough.
Contacting a lawyer is an important first step to take after an injury because in most cases, you won’t have the option to do so later. Typically, when you agree to take the insurance payout, you will be required to sign paperwork waiving your right to ask for more money later for the same claim. So if your injuries turn out to be worse than you originally thought, you will be stuck paying for any bills out of pocket if the payout you received doesn’t cover them.
You can also lose your right to sue for additional compensation simply by waiting too long. In Georgia and Alabama, the statute of limitations, or time limit, to file a lawsuit for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date you were originally injured. However, it can be substantially less (six months, in some cases) to file a claim against a government agency or to use certain insurance coverage. Be careful waiting on the adjuster to “get back” to you.
After an Injury, Call Gary Bruce
At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, we believe no one should have to pay out of pocket when their injuries are someone else’s fault. If you are injured through no fault of your own, don’t believe the myths you’ve heard about personal injury lawsuits. You deserve compensation, and standing up for yourself and your rights by calling a lawyer is the best way to get it.