There are many myths out there about personal injury lawyers and the process of filing a claim. It is important to understand how the process works and to separate the facts from fiction. Here are 5 of the most common myths and misconceptions about personal injury claims.
Myth #1 – You Have to Go To Court to Get Compensation
Reality: Most personal injury cases will never go to trial and are settled out of court.
It may seem surprising, but 98% of all personal injury suits in Canada are settled before they go to court. Trials can be risky and expensive. Most personal injury lawyers in Oshawa will try to settle your case out of court as soon as possible.
There are many alternative ways to settle a claim between your personal injury lawyer and the insurance company. These include discussions, meetings or mediations that involve a neutral third party to help settle the dispute.
Myth #2 – You Need to Pay Upfront to Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Reality – Most personal injury lawyers only get paid once you get a settlement.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means if they take your case you don’t owe them any fees until they’ve settled in your favour. There are no upfront costs, and their fees including court costs are taken out of the settlement once you win. If you don’t win, you don’t owe them anything.
Myth #3 – Frivolous Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Very Common
Reality: Most personal injury lawsuits are centred around clear injuries and a reasonable settlement.
While frivolous injury lawsuits may seem to get a lot of attention in the press, they are very rare in Canada and definitely not the norm. Most personal injury lawsuits that do go to court are heard by a judge, not a jury and judges are less likely to be swayed by emotion.
Also, because most personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees, meaning they only get paid if you win compensation, they tend to only take cases that they believe can win. This means your lawyer needs to prove there was a legitimate injury and a legitimate claim. Frivolous lawsuits have very little chance of winning any compensation.
Myth #4 – You Don’t Need A Lawyer to Negotiate A Claim
Reality: By not using a lawyer you could be missing out on the full compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies are not on your side. They make money by trying to avoid paying settlements or offering the lowest possible amounts for claims. By negotiating directly with the insurance company you may be missing out on the full compensation you are entitled to.
Not only is negotiating directly with the insurance company a bad idea, but it could also hurt your future claim if you accidentally make any statements that they could use against you in the case. It is always better to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the law and knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies.
Myth # 5 – Personal Injury Claims can Take over 5 Years to Settle
Reality: Most personal injury claims are straightforward and settle much sooner than 5 years.
Many circumstances can lengthen the time of a personal injury lawsuit. These depend on the severity of the injuries, the recovery time or whether or not there is a dispute over who is at fault.
Most personal injury suits can be settled out of court much sooner than 5 years with an average time being between 2 and 4 years from the time your lawyer takes the case. There are also several phases involved in the suit and settlements can happen at any of these phases far before it goes to court. Your lawyer can help to simplify the process.