Personal injury law, however often it’s referred to on TV, is actually quite misunderstood by the majority of the American public. So if you’re actually considering taking legal action and haven’t gone through the process before, you’ll want to get a more accurate understanding of how personal injury lawsuits actually work. Here are five facts you probably didn’t know about personal injury law:
- Ambulance Chasing Is a Violation
The stereotype of personal injury attorneys is that they’re sleazy ambulance chasers. But you should know that the American Bar Association actually prohibits seeking out victims at car accident scenes and the like, and lawyers from top law firms will always let you come to them.
- It’s Rare for Cases to Go to Court
Despite what TV might suggest, it’s actually extremely rare for personal injury cases to go to trial. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 97% of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. That can happen through a third-party insurance claim, or through alternate dispute resolution routes such as mediation and arbitration. Insurance companies are often eager to settle before a lawsuit, and that means with the aid of a good lawyer, you can often get a very fair settlement while avoiding the expense of an extended legal battle.
- Negotiations Don’t Always Drag On
Legal action should never be taken lightly, and it’s possible for personal injury cases to go on for months or even years. But it’s equally likely that personal injury action can be settled in a matter of days or weeks. You should consult with an attorney to get an estimated timeline of your case before you commit.
- Minor Injuries Should Be Addressed
People often avoid personal injury lawsuits for minor injuries because they don’t want to go through the hassle. But often, these types of injuries would be fully covered by insurance companies with the application of a little legal pressure. That’s why you should never simply ignore injuries of any kind.
- Top Law Firms Have a Broader Scope
Although it’s solid advice to work with a lawyer or law firm that has quite a bit of experience handling the kind of case you’re facing, the point sometimes gets overstated in a way that indicates that all top law firms choose only one area of the law to focus on. In reality, a good law firm will probably have quite a few attorneys, all with slightly different specialties. A law firm with mainly personal injury lawyers might also address concerns such as family law, employment law, real estate and wrongful death cases, for example.
What other common misconceptions can cause confusion for people dealing with personal injury lawsuits for the first time? Share your advice in the comments.