Personal injury myths can influence a victim to fulfill actions that may negatively affect the outcome of their settlement. We heavily encourage those who have been harmed in an accident to contact a personal injury attorney for legal assistance rather than getting advice from someone who is not qualified.
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys have over 100 years of collective legal experience. We have handled more than 5,000 personal injury cases and recovered over $1.5 billion in settlements for our clients. Due to our achievements, we have been recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in California.
If you are seeking legal representation, we welcome you to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (888) 522-2810 or completing our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Debunking Common Personal Injury Myths
A victim of an accident may want to seek help from others on how to handle such a situation. However, it is possible for the victim to come across one or more people who may mention a personal injury myth that could steer the victim into the wrong direction. To prevent this from happening, we have created a list below that debunks common personal injury myths.
Insurance Companies Will Get Me More Money
This is incorrect. Insurance companies will see you as an easy target to low-ball, especially if you do not have an attorney representing your case. They will typically give you a low first offer to convince you that it is the best you can get. However, this is not true. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you are given a fair settlement offer that will help cover the damages caused by the accident you were involved in.
I Do Not Need to See a Doctor After the Accident
You should see a doctor after an accident. Your injury may seem minor at first, but it could progressively worsen, especially if you are not taking care of it. We encourage victims of personal injury to visit a doctor to get the injured area examined. The doctor will use imaging tests, such as an X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI to determine a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis has been made, the doctor will create a treatment plan to help you with your recovery. Your visits will be saved on file and can be used as proof to use in your personal injury claim.
If you refuse to seek medical attention from a doctor, you could be putting yourself in a tough situation. As stated before, an injury can worsen over time. You could experience symptoms a day, week, or even a month after the accident. If this happens to you, and you did not visit the doctor to get it checked, you may have a difficult time proving that you sustained an injury from the accident. The insurance company will use this against you to avoid giving additional compensation for expenses caused by the accident.
I Will Wait to File My Personal Injury Claim
California’s statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is two years starting from the initial date of the accident. Although two years does seem like a substantial amount of time, it can go by very quickly. You will need as much time as possible to gather important documentation and evidence to build up your claim. You will also need to search for a personal injury attorney that you believe will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Fulfilling all of these tasks may take a long time, which is why we do not encourage victims of personal injury to wait it out to file a claim. Leaving everything to complete at the last minute will put you in a stressful and overwhelming situation. You may end up running out of time to pursue legal action or will not have enough evidence to back up your personal injury claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Can Be Costly
Personal injury law firms who run on a contingency-fee basis, such as West Coast Trial Lawyers, will only require clients to pay a certain percentage of compensation if they win their case. If you lose your case, neither you or your attorney will receive any pay. You will also not be required to compensate your attorney for the work they put into your case.
Other personal injury attorneys may charge clients for each hour of time they work on their case. Experienced attorneys will charge more per hour compared to those who have less experience. Furthermore, the attorney will likely charge additional pay for the amount of time that is spent in the courtroom compared to the office.
With that being said, this myth does have some truth to it. There are personal injury law firms that require clients to pay for each hour the attorney works on their case. However, if you are looking into getting legal representation for a lesser cost, we encourage you to seek personal injury attorneys who work on a contingency-fee basis.
I Can’t Receive Compensation Since I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident
California is a pure comparative state, meaning that the plaintiff is allowed to recover damages even if they were 90 percent at-fault for the accident. In such a shared fault case, the plaintiff will be able to recover 10 percent of damages caused by the defendant.
Determining liability in an accident is critical as the amount of fault from both parties will affect the outcome of how much compensation is owed. The party who is found less liable for the accident will still have a percentage of negligence attached to them. This is called contributory negligence.
For instance, the plaintiff failed to fulfill their duty of care by driving over the posted speed limit, while the defendant breached their duty of care by driving under a red light. Ultimately, the plaintiff was 30 percent at-fault for causing the accident, while the defendant was 70 percent at-fault. Each party is responsible for the cause of the accident, thus requiring them both to pay one another according to the amount of negligence committed. The defendant will recover 30 percent of damages caused by the plaintiff, while the plaintiff will obtain 70 percent of damages caused by the defendant.