Personal Injury Lawsuit Myths That Are Hindering Real Personal Injury Cases
There’s much to love about the spring season, but arguably one of the best things is the chance to spend more time in the great outdoors. Jennifer Sompa is an avid runner and walker and is more than ready to ditch the boring treadmill and take her exercise routines outdoors. Sompa’s house is within walking distance to a supermarket, an awesome bakery and more importantly the elderly home where she volunteers her time. For her, the springtime means running outdoors, walking to locations around town and saving serious money on gas. While she was walking home from the senior center, she tripped over some loose concrete chunks on the corner of the sidewalk. She fell forward and almost fell within the crosswalk with oncoming traffic ahead. Someone helped her up and sat with her for a moment while she regained her composure. They said it was most likely from the city plows being careless over the winter. Not wanting to be a bother to the stranger and wanting even more to just crawl in bed and hide from embarrassment and pain, she limped the last two blocks home. The next morning Jennifer woke up three hours early to be met with unbearable pain. She took some over the counter pain reliever but it didn’t do anything at all to help. She thought about calling the senior center to tell them she’d be out, but they had an exciting event going on today and they really needed her help. Pushing through the initial pain, Sompa found ways to alter her physical movements to alleviate the pain and got used to walking or grabbing things a different way than she normally would.
At her next yearly physical a few months later, her doctor noticed the odd way she went about reaching in her purse and filling out paperwork for the nurses. When asked if she was experiencing pain, she disregarded her odd mannerisms and nonchalantly mentioned what had happened a few months back. Jennifer is not one to admit weakness. Her doctor was alarmed and ordered her to get x-rays and meet with a physical therapist. They discovered that her shoulder was fractured and that the tissue was built up in an unsafe manner in an attempt to self-heal the problem. She’d need surgery in the next month or so to fix this. This reality shock made her reach out to a personal injury attorney.
The attorney listened intently during her consultation but had to regrettably inform her that she waited too long and no action could be taken. If she had only contacted the attorney earlier, got the contact information of the kind witness that helped her or even took a picture of the crumbling sidewalk, things would have been a whole lot different.
Personal injury laws are victim to a lot of misconceptions and are frequently inflated and exaggerated by the media. One of the most well-known personal injury cases across the country is one of a woman who sued McDonald’s when she spilled hot coffee on herself resulting in serious burns. Uninformed media outlets and citizens cried “moocher” and looked down upon the woman for trying to work the system and get rich quick. 99% of the squawkers weren’t informed of the skin grafts and multiple surgeries she needed to recover. And they definitely didn’t have to experience the immense pain she did each day for months. In reality, her case was more than valid as the fast food giant was knowingly serving coffee at a temperature well above what was regulated. Let’s break down some myths and explore what gives personal injury cases a bad rep.
Myth #1: All personal injury victims are guaranteed hefty compensation and waiting longer means you’ll get a bigger settlement.
As personal injury attorneys, we will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve. But, as your attorney and representative, we will not lie to you and say that you are guaranteed compensation. Believe it or not, insurance companies will do everything in their power NOT to pay out a single dime. They deal with these types of cases all the time and would lose serious money if they were to just settle and payout to whatever they were asked. A good personal injury attorney sees past this and knows the games they play. We play the game better than they do and get you everything we can.
As for the waiting period, this misconception drives us nuts! The truth to this is exactly the opposite. The statute of limitations is different for each area and segment of law, but the longer you wait the less likely you are to have as strong of a case. A good PI attorney will work with you right away to get the proof you need to back your case and expedite the process to get your needs taken care of in as quick of a way as possible. In a rare instant that it might be beneficial to hold out, let this be a decision your experienced injury attorney makes.
Myth #2: Personal injury cases aren’t worth the effort
If only the process for filing and winning a personal injury case was the same as the short amount of time that caused your injury in the first place. A trip, fall and bone break can happen in a matter of minutes and a personal injury case can sometimes take months. Working with an attorney will expedite the process as they have the experience needed to go through the motions. They know what paperwork needs to be filed where and when, how to get the proof you need for a valid case and how to negotiate. A great PI attorney will keep you informed along the way but it is your job to get better and their job to do the legal heavy lifting. Regardless of the amount of the settlement received, the time that working with an attorney can save you is so valuable in itself.
Myth #3: Someone who files a personal injury claim just wants to get rich and scam the system
Once again to reference the famous McDonalds personal injury case, this is painfully untrue. The elderly woman who was a victim went through numerous painful surgeries, months of rehabilitation and still lives with ailments each day that are a direct result of her unfortunate experience at the restaurant that day. No one would put themselves through such pain simply to get rich quick. Personal injury cases frequently happen when they are least expected. When you walk into the grocery store to pick up something for dinner and slip on the wet floor or waiting in traffic on the highway while on the way home from work. Injuries are never ideal.
Don’t let Jennifer Sompa’s unlucky break happen to you. Reach out to a personal injury attorney right away to discuss your case. Put aside your pride, fear of being criticized by friends and family or your lack of knowledge stop you. Let us help you decide the best route for your situation. We welcome your call!