Given the number of car accidents that take place in the United States each year — 5.5 million, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration — it should be no surprise that the Bureau of Justice attributes 52% of personal injury lawsuits to automobile accidents. But laypeople often have misconceptions about how to go about getting fair compensation for injuries associated with car accidents. Below are five of the most common myths about car accident injury claims, busted:
Auto Injury Laws Are Simple to Understand
There is a legal framework that allows victims of car accidents to pursue just compensation (generally from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier). But the process is far from straightforward, and regulations vary by state. When accident injury attorneys recommend that you hire a lawyer rather than trying to navigate the legal system on your own, they’re not simply trying to drum up business: Knowing the ins and outs of personal injury law can be vital to a successful case, and you can be sure that the insurance company on the other side will have an experienced legal team with the simple goal of saving their employer money.
Fighting in Court Is Always the Right Financial Decision
You might be surprised to learn that only about 4% of personal injury lawsuits filed in the U.S. go to trial; the vast majority are settled outside of court. If you’re offered a fair settlement by the insurance company, then it’s probably to everyone’s advantage to avoid litigation. There are times, however, when an insurance company is counting on your being too intimidated to pursue a better settlement. Deciding whether to accept a settlement or to fight until the very end is a delicate balance, and it’s best determined on a case-by-case basis.
I’m Sure to Get a Big Settlement If I’m Hurt
Some people file auto accident injury claims or lawsuits anticipating big payouts, especially if they expect to collect pain and suffering damages. But negotiating car accident settlements can be tricky, and there’s often no set method for determining the proper dollar amount to assign to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. For that reason, it’s best to go in with the mindset that you’re simply hoping to recover your financial losses.
Commercial Driving Accidents Aren’t That Different
Despite growing public awareness, truck accidents are on the rise. This is a problem for drivers of passenger vehicles, especially since truck accidents are far more likely to cause serious injuries due to the comparative sizes of the vehicles involved. But what many drivers don’t know is that injury lawsuits associated with truck accidents can be more complex than those involving only passenger vehicles, since fault may be distributed among the driver, the trucking company, the owner of the truck or trailer, or the company who loaded the cargo.
Getting a Good Lawyer Guarantees Me a Settlement
Every conscientious attorney wants to win each case and provide the best possible outcome for every client. But it’s dishonest to pretend that hiring a top attorney guarantees you a settlement. The better your attorney, the more likely you are to see a case settled in your favor. But there are always elements even the best lawyers can’t control.
Did you know these facts already, or did some surprise you? Discuss in the comments.