Being injured in an accident—whether on the road, at work or otherwise—can send you into a physical, emotional and financial tailspin. However, if another person's negligence caused the accident, Delaware law allows the victims to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek a financial recovery for the damages incurred.
It sounds simple but, in actuality, personal injury law is complex, and securing a large settlement award is far from guaranteed. Not to mention that the persistent myths and misconceptions surrounding personal injury cases make it difficult for accident victims to find the reliable information they need.
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, make sure you have not fallen prey to the following myths.
I Can Handle My Case Without a Lawyer
While it is true that you can file a personal injury lawsuit on your own, hiring a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer gives you the best chance of receiving the financial compensation you deserve. Additionally, studies have shown that plaintiffs who hire legal representation tend to be awarded larger settlements than those who choose to represent themselves.
My Case Has to Go to Court for Me to Receive Compensation
While some personal injury cases make it all the way to trial, most are settled during the negotiation and pre-trial phases. In many, if not most, instances, you will not even have to appear in court. However, if you do, your attorney will prepare you for what to do and expect.
Personal Injury Cases Take Forever to Complete
No one looks forward to being embroiled in a lawsuit but, while the length of a personal injury lawsuit varies from case to case, most plaintiffs will not see their cases drag out for years on end. In fact, most cases settled outside of court take an average of 8 to 12 months to resolve.
I Can File My Case at Any Time
This is one of the most dangerous and costly personal injury myths, as people who fall for it may end up having their case thrown out of court without being heard. Delaware law gives potential personal injury plaintiffs just two years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit. Those who wait until the statute of limitations has passed forfeit their right to take legal action against the person responsible for their injuries.
Additionally, the longer you wait to file your personal injury case, the weaker the evidence in the case becomes. Filing the lawsuit as soon as possible—when the evidence is both fresh and available—may be the best course of action.
My Insurance Company Handles Everything
People who pay their monthly insurance premiums often expect their insurance company to fully cover their injuries and offer them a fair settlement amount after an accident. Unfortunately, many injury victims find that this expectation just doesn't comport with reality. Insurance companies are businesses and, like most businesses, they have a close eye on the bottom line. As a result, insurance adjusters—even ones from your own insurance company—may try to minimize your injuries or blame you for them in an attempt to reduce potential settlement amount.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Is Expensive
Another myth that discourages accident victims from securing the legal representation that they need is the misconception that hiring a lawyer is prohibitively expensive. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning that they take their fee out of the settlement you receive, rather than accepting payment upfront. This makes it possible for even those with limited financial resources to pursue the compensation they deserve after an accident.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, you may be debating whether filing a personal injury lawsuit is right for you and your situation. The knowledgeable legal team with the Morris James Personal Injury Group is happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact the Morris James Personal Injury Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case consultation.