When people need a lawyer, it is usually because they are in a difficult time in their life. With personal injury law, people may be struggling with serious injuries, medical bills, loss of income, or even the loss of a loved one. It can be a confusing time that makes you feel hopeless, especially when the thought of a lawsuit causes even more stress. But, many of people’s concerns about personal injury law are unfounded, and may be based in myths they’ve heard over time.
Despite what stereotypes describe, lawyers do want to help and can help you or someone you love heal, move past and get fair compensation for injuries. We want you to better understand the process and your options by dispelling the most common myths about personal injury lawsuits.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Myths & Misconceptions
In hard times, the thought of going to court may seem exhausting or perhaps not worth the effort. However, the solution to your problems may lie in a courtroom. The following myths may be holding you back.
Myth #1: It’s Expensive to Talk to a Lawyer and More So to Hire One
Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Everything you discuss is held under the strictest confidentiality. Personal injury attorneys usually work on a contingent fee basis. That means the lawyer earns a fee based on a percentage of the recovery. If you don’t recover money, they don’t get paid.
Myth #2: I Don’t Think I Have A Case Worth Pursuing
Since the consultations are free, you should seek the opinion of an experienced attorney. Many people mistakenly believe that small injuries aren’t worth pursuing compensation. However, the fact that you are even considering filing a claim proves that a burden is on your shoulders. Consult a lawyer to see if they can help relieve that burden.
Myth #3: Lawyer Will Try to Convince You to Pursue Legal Action Every Time
Another misconception is lawyers will try to convince you to pursue legal action every time, but that is not the case, especially when it comes to personal injury lawsuits that are based on contingent fees. If they don’t think they can win, they will likely not take your case. They are not interested in wasting your time and money, nor theirs.
Myth #4: Lawyers Get All the Money Anyway
Attorneys in North Carolina usually charge between 33.3-40% of the recovery for their services. An experienced attorney will typically get their clients more total dollars in their pockets even after lawyer fees than if you pursue a claim on your own.
Myth #5: My Insurance Will Cover All My Costs
Unfortunately, this is not true in most cases. Your insurance will typically cover your medical bills minus the deductible. But, the at-fault individual’s insurance company would have to be held responsible for pain and suffering, loss of income, and similar damages. Seeking recovery from the at-fault person’s insurance company will require you to hire an attorney.
Myth #6: I Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Any Time
In North Carolina, as with all states, personal injury claims are subject to the applicable statute of limitations. If you do not file within the established timeframe, your case may be forever time barred. Consulting with an attorney early is the best way to avoid such a situation. wi
Myth #7: Personal Injury Lawsuits Take Forever to Close
While closing time varies, and depend on whether a case settles or goes to trial, on average, personal injury lawsuits take about one year from filing to closing. That may seem like a significant amount of time, but you must consider how long it would take you to recoup your losses otherwise. Chances are, it would take you much more than one year to recover the financial losses due to your injury. Taking the time to develop your case and present it to a jury is vitally important.
Myth #8: My Family Lawyer or Divorce Lawyer Can Handle My Personal Injury Case
Different attorneys have different skillsets, just like doctors. You wouldn’t ask a foot doctor to do your dental work, would you? Instead of asking your trusted family lawyer to represent you in your personal injury claim, ask them to refer you to an attorney experienced in handling personal injury matters.
Myth #9: Filing a Lawsuit Makes Me a Bad Person
Some people have a tainted view on lawsuits and file them all under the ‘frivolous lawsuit’ category. Most law firms, however, strive to get victims justice and fair compensation for their injuries, and will not take a case that is not warranted (supported by the facts and the law). Personal injury law was established for moral reasons to protect victims, not to punish the defendant for no reason at all. We have a civil justice system set up to provide fair compensation when someone is injured, hold the responsible party accountable and to facilitate change while making our communities safer for everyone.
Is Personal Injury Law Different in North Carolina Than in Other States?
Yes, North Carolina is one of the few states that still has contributory negligence. If you share some degree of blame for the injury, it can affect whether or not you can collect any compensation at all from the other at-fault parties. Contributory negligence does create more obstacles, but that doesn’t mean you and your lawyer can’t overcome them. North Carolina personal injury attorneys are well-versed on these types of laws and can advise you accordingly.
Understanding the facts about personal injury law will help you determine if you should pursue your case or not. Though, the most helpful way to make your decision is to consult a local personal injury attorney. Together, you can review your case’s details and discuss different options that may be beneficial. With their experience and know-how, they can help you come to a well-informed decision.
If you live in Asheville, North Carolina or the surrounding areas, the personal injury attorneys at Fisher Stark, P.A. can help you determine your best options. If you have been injured and are overwhelmed by medical bills, loss of income, chronic pain, and more, we can help you get the fair compensation you deserve. Call 828-505-4300 now to schedule your free consultation.