If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may suddenly find yourself confronted with mounting medical expenses, no income because of missed work, and a diminished quality of life. No one expects to be injured in a vehicle accident, construction site accident or otherwise have their lives turned upside down in an instant. While it may be tempting to believe that you’ll receive fair compensation for your losses without much trouble, unfortunately, that’s not often the case.
Personal injury lawyers protect your rights to fair and maximum damages for your losses in an injury claim. Many people may believe erroneously in myths about personal injury and want to avoid getting attorneys involved in their claim. In this blog post, we’ll review 7 common myths about personal injury in New Jersey.
Myth #1: Insurance will cover the cost of my losses.
In no-fault car insurance states like New Jersey, the primary insurer is your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Only if your medical expenses and other losses exceed your PIP coverage and you’ve opted for the right to sue for bodily injury can you pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that insurance will cover the full cost of your losses, regardless of whose insurance policy may be at play.
Insurance companies are in the business of mitigating and minimizing claims. In other words, their goal is to pay out the least amount possible for a claim. Insurance adjusters may use a variety of tactics to mitigate or minimize your claim, from pressuring you to accept an early settlement to using evidence against you. The fact is that injury victims rarely receive compensation for the full cost of their losses without the help of a personal injury attorney.
Myth #2: The at-fault party will have to pay out of pocket.
This myth erroneously holds weight in personal injury cases such as dog bites or a slip and fall incident at a local business. Many victims don’t want to sue a family member or friend. Or, they may believe if they pursue a personal injury claim against a homeowner after an animal bite or a small business, the person or business's financial security will be threatened. However, the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay the claim, if successful, not the person themselves.
Myth #3: I will have to go to court.
Many people think of a high-stakes trial when considering legal action after an injury accident. The fact is that the vast majority of personal injury claims settle out of court before reaching a trial. While you may need to attend a meeting here or there and potentially a hearing, many claims settle before even reaching litigation. By hiring a skilled, experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer, you will be in the best possible position should your claim require litigation and a trial.
Myth #4: You can file a claim any time, if things don’t work out as expected.
Every state has a statute of limitations, or time frame by which you must file a personal injury claim. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. While you shouldn’t hesitate to consult with a New Jersey personal injury attorney at any point after an accident, it's in your best interest to do so as soon as possible. Evidence can be lost, recollections fade and an attorney can advise you on your best course of action as you recover and wait for your claim. It’s important to remember that once you accept a settlement, you cannot go back and reopen your claim.
Myth #5: It’s not worth talking to an attorney unless you were in a serious accident.
Even a “minor” car accident can cause thousands of dollars in property damage and injuries that require you to pay for medical bills and miss work. Why risk being left on the hook to pay for losses that aren’t your fault? It can be difficult to know what is considered a minor accident versus a serious accident without the expertise of a lawyer.
Myth #6: I can’t afford a personal injury lawyer.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means they only get paid if you win your claim – you owe no money out of pocket, upfront. Further, most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation and will let you know your chances of a successful claim. There’s little risk in discussing your case with a skilled lawyer.
Myth #7: I’m not the type of person to file a personal injury claim.
No one expects to be injured in an accident through no fault of their own. Personal injury claims allow victims to recover financial compensation for what they’ve lost due to the accident. Typically, this compensation includes the cost of medical expenses, lost income from the time away from work as well as intangible losses like pain and suffering or mental anguish. Accidents can happen to anyone. Those who choose to file a personal injury claim are not greedy or ‘working the system.’ Rather, they are exercising their right to be compensated for what they’ve lost, through no fault of their own.
Call Our New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Working with an experienced, top-rated personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why be left without enough compensation to cover your bills and other losses -- for an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness?
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience and a track record of results, with more than $500 million in compensation awards*. Our firm works on contingency, which means that you don’t pay any legal fees unless you win your claim.
Many of our clients tell us they feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Contact us today for a free consultation.