Top Seven Personal Injury Myths
Myth #1: Personal injury claims are "easy money.”
In a personal injury case, you may be compensated for costs, or "damages,” you incurred or will incur as a result of your injury. Typical personal injury damages include:
* Medical costs including ambulance, ER, hospitalization, surgery, and prescriptions
* Wage loss due to the injury
* Compensation for pain and strain on your physical and emotional well-being, as well as loss of enjoyment of life
It takes more than "one call” to resolve a personal injury matter.
Myth #2: I can file at any time.
Keep in mind that Georgia’s "statute of limitations” on personal injury claims sets a time limit on how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your lawsuit is filed after time expires, you may have lost your case forever. For most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations runs two (2) years from the date of the injury. However, some cases are subject to shorter time limitations, as short as weeks or months.
Myth #3: The at-fault driver’s automobile insurance company should pay for my medical bills as they are incurred.
The at-fault driver’s automobile insurance company will generally not pay for your medical bills caused by a car wreck until a final settlement is reached. In fact, they are not technically required to pay you anything until a court enters a judgment against their insured driver. If the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company does offer to pay for your medical bills prior to settlement, be sure to carefully read every document they send you before signing it. This is important because you could be signing away important rights related to future compensation. If at all possible, pay for your medical expenses through your personal health insurance coverage.
Myth #4: As the plaintiff, I am guaranteed compensation.
Understand that each personal injury case is different and is judged based upon its own unique characteristics and circumstances. There are no guarantees that you will win your case.
Myth #5: My case will take "forever” to finish.
In actuality, many personal injury cases can resolve within 8-12 months. If the parties to the dispute elect to settle the matter before filing a lawsuit, a quicker resolution may be reached. If a lawsuit is filed, a resolution may take longer.
Myth #6: I have more than one opportunity to be compensated for my injuries.
Once a personal injury case is settled with the insurance company or a verdict is entered by the court, the result is typically final. If you settle your case in full with the insurance company, you are waiving your right to pursue further compensation.
Myth #7: I don’t need to consult a lawyer.
Not all personal injury accidents require legal representation. However, you want to ensure you fully understand the legal issues involved in your case, the procedures and processes involved, and the time limitations for asserting your claim.