Personal Injury Settlements: Myths vs. Reality

Most personal injury cases are settled through negotiations or mediation. These cases include car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, slip and fall accidents, defective products, and many other negligent and wrongful acts. If you pursue a personal injury claim, there is a good chance your case will settle without going to court.

Unfortunately, myths about personal injury settlements can cause confusion. At worst, they can cause problems with a personal injury case. Here, our personal injury lawyers explain the difference between myth and reality for personal injury settlements.

Myth: It Costs Too Much To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Insurance companies love this myth about personal injury cases. They would prefer dealing with someone who has not hired a lawyer because there is no one to prevent the insurance company from undervaluing claims or acting in bad faith.

The reality is that San Diego personal injury lawyers take cases for a contingency fee. You do not pay any money upfront to hire a lawyer. Instead, the attorney receives payment as a percentage of the money they recover for your claim.

Myth: I Can Only Recover Compensation for Damages I Have Incurred to Date

This is another myth the insurance adjuster would like you to believe. The reality is that you can recover compensation for past and future economic and non-economic damages. Future damages are losses that you will incur because of your injuries.

Examples of future damages include:

  • The cost of ongoing medical treatments and care
  • A decrease in future earning capacity
  • The cost of long-term personal and/or nursing care
  • Future lost wages and benefits
  • Diminished quality of life
  • The ongoing emotional, physical, and mental trauma caused by permanent disabilities and impairments

Your attorney may consult with multiple expert witnesses to estimate future damages. Therefore, the attorney may retain medical specialists, vocational experts, financial professionals, economists, and other experts to help value future damages.

Myth: I Have Plenty of Time To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

You might want to proceed with a lawsuit if you do not settle your personal injury case. However, states have statutes of limitations that set deadlines for taking legal action. An attorney can help you determine the time limit for your case during a free consultation.

Myth: I Cannot Recover Money for a Personal Injury if I’m Partially To Blame for Causing the Accident

In most states, you can still recover compensation even if you share some of the blame for your accident. States differ on exactly how they evaluate this issue. 

In some jurisdictions, you may be barred from recovering compensation if you were mostly or equally to blame. However, in others, you can still potentially get money regardless of your level of fault.

Myth: All I Need To Prove Is Fault for the Accident To Recover Compensation for Damages

This myth is partially true. Negligence-based personal injury claims require you to prove the following legal elements:

  • The party owed you a legal duty of care
  • The party’s breached the duty of care by acting without reasonable care
  • The party’s conduct directly and proximately caused your injuries
  • You incurred injuries and harm because of the party’s negligence

However, proving fault for the accident is only one element of a personal injury case. You must prove the accident caused your injuries. You must also prove the value of the damages.

Myth: I Don’t Need To Hire a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case

The myth may or may not be true. It depends on the circumstances and facts of your case. You might not need an attorney to help you with your personal injury case if the evidence is straightforward and your damages are easy to value. However, you will not know that until you meet with an attorney.

Therefore, you should consult a personal injury lawyer before accepting a settlement offer. When you enter a settlement agreement, you give up your right to file a lawsuit or pursue other claims. In other words, you cannot demand more money if you realize your claim was worth more than the insurance company offered.

If you were injured in an accident, take advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Finding out if you need an attorney to help you with your claim does not cost anything. 

Contact the San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in San Diego or Chula Vista, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

We proudly serve San Diego County and throughout California.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 777-5555

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers – Chula Vista Office
690 Otay Lakes Rd #130, Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 722-3032

We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers – El Paso Office
201 E Main Suite 106, El Paso, Texas 79901
(915) 591-1000