When you hear the term personal injury lawsuit, a specific picture might come to your mind. Like all personal experiences, there are a lot of myths surrounding these types of claims. Truth is, these myths are often caused by rumors, misconceptions, and incorrect portrayals on TV and in Movies.
Separating Fiction from Reality in Personal Injury Law
To truly separate fiction from reality, it wouldn’t be enough to simply tell you what is a myth. It’s important to also establish what the reality is. This will help clarify what the truth of the matter is. To that end, we’ve gathered a list of 8 common myths about personal injury law in Michigan.
Myth #1: Personal Injury claims are handled quickly
Fact: The time it takes will change depending on the specifics of your case
Personal injury claims can sometimes be handled rather quickly but they can just as well take several months or even years. Depending on how the case is defended, including whether or not the case has to go to trial, the process can take anywhere from nine months to two years or more. Most cases take a year or less to be brought to a conclusion.
Myth #2: You can file a claim at any time
Fact: There’s a limit to the amount of time you have to file a claim
There is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In Michigan, you have a year from the time of the accident to file a claim for personal injury protection benefits (PIP), and three years for pain and suffering claims.
Myth #3: Personal Injury Lawsuits are quick and easy cash
Fact: The suits take time, and not every claimant gets huge settlements
Thanks to movies and TV shows, people often have the impression that suits brought forward because of injuries or accidents are always easy and lead to settlements in the hundreds of thousands. That’s not always the case. Settlements are often calculated by formulas enshrined in state law. You can learn more about the calculations for car accidents here. These cases can take months, and the amount you can receive for a settlement will depend a lot on the specifics of your case. Furthermore, injuries don’t always guarantee payouts.
Myth #4: Insurance Companies have your interests at heart
Fact: Insurance companies are interested in keeping their payouts low and dealing with things quickly
The main goal of an insurer is to resolve the situation quickly and avoid paying the limit on the insurance. They will try to deny claims, minimize payouts, and otherwise find ways to not pay on benefits. Your insurance company will refer your claim to an attorney for negotiation. You should follow their example let your attorney handle your complaint instead of trying to work things out with them yourself.
Myth #5: Holding out will lead to a bigger payout from the insurance company
Fact: Sometimes you want to settle a claim quickly
There are many factors that determine how an insurance company calculates its settlements. Waiting around to settle a claim could end up backfiring on you if the insurance company decides that they don’t want to settle after all, or that your injuries aren’t as severe as stated. You should discuss the situation with an attorney to determine the best path forward.
Myth #6: Your employer will always file an injury report
Fact: Not every company does
While injury reports at the workplace are required within the state of Michigan, some companies neglect to file them. Furthermore, even in cases where they do file them, the insurance company might not be aware of the accident outright. In some cases, an attorney has needed to file a petition of benefits on behalf of the injured party to make the insurance company aware of the situation.
Myth #7: You have to pay a lawyer upfront for a personal injury claim
Fact: Many Personal Injury attorneys work on contingency.
You don’t always have to pay upfront. Many personal injury firms, including Shafer Swartz PLC work on a contingency basis, meaning that they will only charge for the services if the case is won. You don’t have to pay out of pocket for a great personal injury attorney.
Myth #8: Any personal injury lawyer will do
Fact: You want an attorney experienced with your specific situation
Personal injury law has several areas. Workplace injuries, auto accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, and more. You need to ensure that the attorney you are hiring is experienced with your particular injury.
The Fact to End All Myths: Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Is Your Best Bet
Here is something that is an indisputable fact, seeking assistance from an attorney will increase your chances of success. Personal injury law is a complex field, and you will want the help of an expert to navigate it. Get in touch with an experienced attorney in matters of personal injury law in Muskegon to ensure that your case will be in the right hands.