Whether it's from television and movies or stories from friends and family, many people hold misconceptions about the law that don’t accurately line up with the truth. In this blog post, we’ve outlined some of the most common misconceptions about the law, specifically personal injury law. You may be surprised to learn that some of your long-held beliefs don’t quite line up.
There’s no point in hiring a lawyer for a car accident in a no-fault state.
In no-fault car insurance states like New Jersey and New York, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you own a vehicle and thus have PIP coverage, the first insurer to cover your medical bills would be your own PIP coverage -- this goes for anyone involved in the accident. The driver of the car you were riding in, the other driver, each passenger -- all would first go through their own PIP insurance.
So, if you’re using your own insurance, you may assume everything should go smoothly and you will be fairly compensated for your losses. This is not always the case. Insurance companies -- even your own -- may try to devalue or deny your claim for a host of reasons. In cases of serious injury, PIP coverage limits may not be high enough to cover all of your damages.
A personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents and PIP arbitration has the expertise and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the no-fault car insurance system. This experience often translates to higher compensation awards than those going it alone.
It’s best to wait and see what settlement you’re offered before hiring a lawyer.
Insurance companies may offer you a lump sum settlement after the accident, in the hopes that you’ll settle quickly. While it may be tempting to accept the offer and move on, you should consider several factors before accepting an insurance settlement. First, once you agree and sign a settlement, you cannot go back and file additional claims. With many injuries, you may not know the full extent of your prognosis and what medical bills and other losses you may incur down the line for some time.
Your best option -- before you even get a settlement offer -- is to contact a personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your options and give you a sense of how much your claim could be worth. Memories fade and evidence can be harder to come by the longer you wait after an accident. Contacting an attorney soon after the accident gives you an advantage with your claim.
I will have to go to court if I file a lawsuit.
Courtrooms are a common setting in television and movies. In real life, most personal injury cases are settled out of court and do not involve a trial, despite the ‘threat’ of a trial being used as a negotiation tactic. That being said, a top-rated, reputable personal injury lawyer will have trial experience and not be afraid to take a civil case to trial, if need be. In some cases, a trial by jury or in front of a judge may be the best option, though it's an exception not the rule.
Most personal injury lawsuits are frivolous.
The majority of those filing personal injury claims and lawsuits are doing so for the first time. Reputable attorneys build a case with solid evidence proving the liability of the negligent party and base their compensation demands on the client’s tangible and intangible losses. It’s a misconception that those who file an injury claim are doing so out of greed or other negative motivations.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are driving up the cost of healthcare.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, medical liability costs account for a little more than 2% of annual healthcare spending. In another study, researchers found that administrative costs, labor, technology and pharmaceuticals were the largest drivers of healthcare spending in the United States. Lawsuits and litigation for medical malpractice were not considered drivers of costs.
Get Help With Your Injury Claim
At the law firm of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our attorneys specialize in personal injury, car accidents, workers compensation and employment law in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. With decades of collective experience and over $500 million recovered for our clients, our top-rated lawyers fight for injured victims’ rights to fair compensation for their losses. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with car accident settlements and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.