Were you involved in an accident that resulted in an injury, and another party is clearly at fault? You'll likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to be compensated for your injury. However, it's important to understand the truth behind a few common myths about personal injury lawsuits.
Myth 1: All Injury Cases Are Settled In Court
A common misconception people have about personal injury lawsuits is that they always end up in court where a judge or jury makes a final decision about the case. This is not true at all, since most personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court. You and your lawyer will be working with an insurance company to reach a settlement offer that everyone agrees to. You would only go to court if you are unable to reach an agreement in mediation.
Myth 2: You Can't File A Lawsuit If You Hold Any Fault
If you were partially responsible for causing the accident that led to your injury, you may think that you are out of luck when it comes to receiving compensation from the party that held the majority of fault. While some states require that you have no fault in an accident to receive compensation, many states still allow you to file a lawsuit where you can win partial compensation.
What happens when you are partially at fault is that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you hold. For example, if you are suing for $100,000 and you are 25% at fault, then you will only receive $75,000 if you win in court. This only applies to situations where your case goes to court because otherwise, a settlement outside of court is what you and the responsible party agree to.
Myth 3: You Can Only File A Lawsuit Once You've Fully Recovered
A problem people run into when filing a personal injury lawsuit is not knowing how much money to request as compensation. This is because injuries often have a long healing process and your medical treatment may not be finalized until years down the road. However, there is a statute of limitations on how quickly you must file a personal injury lawsuit, and you must file before that deadline even if you do not have all of your medical bills.
A lawyer can help estimate what your future medical bills will be, and then factor them into the compensation that you are asking for. Keep in mind that once you reach a settlement agreement the amount of compensation you'll receive is final. You can't go back and ask for more compensation if your medical bills end up costing you more than you estimated.
To learn more, contact a personal injury attorney in your area.