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by Staff Blogger | February 19, 2024

Most people think they understand the world of personal injury well enough, but some stubborn myths about the field loom large in the public consciousness. Without proper education, belief in these outdated myths can go so far as to impact the outcome of your claim.

At Ponce Law, we understand how overwhelming and confusing the journey can be. That’s why we’re committed to debunking these myths, providing clarity, and guiding our clients every step of the way. In this post, we’ll tackle five of the most prevalent myths about personal injury claims and reveal the truths behind them.

Myth 1: You Can Easily Handle a Personal Injury Claim on Your Own

One of the most pervasive myths about personal injury claims is the belief that they can be easily handled without legal assistance. This often stems from people’s underestimation of the complexity of such cases.

While it’s true that some people have successfully navigated minor claims on their own through negotiations with the insurance company, the reality is that the legal landscape can be fraught with challenges that require professional expertise. For example, the process of filing a personal injury claim involves more than just submitting paperwork. It requires an in-depth understanding of legal procedures, state laws, and the ability to negotiate effectively with insurance companies.

While handling a personal injury claim on your own might seem feasible, it often leads to poor outcomes. Even if you get some money, it’s likely not as much as you would have gotten with an attorney on your side.

The legal knowledge, negotiation skills, and strategic planning provided by attorneys like ours at Ponce Law are invaluable in securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Myth 2: Personal Injury Claims Always Take Years to Resolve and the Lawyer Takes All the Money

Another myth about personal injury claims is that they are always long-drawn affairs and that legal fees consume most of the settlement or award money. This misconception can deter injured individuals from seeking legal help, fearing a lengthy process with little financial benefit.

While it’s true that some cases may take years, especially if they go to trial, many claims are resolved much sooner. Experienced attorneys, like those at Ponce Law, aim for timely settlements that accurately reflect the client’s damages and losses.

Beyond that, the concerns about legal fees consuming a huge portion of the compensation are often overstated. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that the lawyer’s fees are a percentage of the settlement or award money, and clients don’t pay upfront fees. This arrangement aligns the attorney’s interest with the client’s, and both are incentivized to maximize the compensation.

Myth 3: Minor Injuries Don’t Warrant a Claim

The misconception that smaller injuries aren’t “worth” a personal injury claim leads many to overlook the legal options available to them, potentially missing out on deserved compensation.

It’s important to understand that even injuries that seem minor can have lasting impacts. For instance, symptoms of whiplash, concussions, or soft tissue injuries might not manifest immediately but can lead to prolonged pain, discomfort, and even disability. By not quickly filing a claim, individuals risk having to bear the costs of unforeseen medical treatments out of pocket.

On top of that, even minor injuries can impact your life beyond medical issues, such as causing lost wages from time taken off work for recovery or medical appointments. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and a reduced capacity to enjoy life are all compensable damages, even in cases involving less severe injuries. If someone else’s negligence caused you medical bills and missed paychecks, it’s not fair that you should have to simply grin and bear it—you deserve compensation, and we want to help you get it.

Finally, it’s crucial to understand that filing a claim goes beyond seeking financial compensation. It’s also about holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions as a deterrent against future negligence.

Myth 4: If You’re At Fault, You Can’t File a Claim

The belief that being at fault in an accident completely bars you from filing a personal injury claim is a widespread misconception. The reality of fault in personal injury law (especially under the rules of comparative negligence in certain states like here in Tennessee) is more complex.

It’s important to note that the determination of fault is not always straightforward. Many factors contribute to an accident, and a thorough investigation may reveal that the other party holds a significant share of the responsibility. This could include instances where the other party was violating traffic laws, driving under the influence, or engaging in reckless behavior.

However, there are limits. In Tennessee, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you may not be able to recover any damages. Hiring a lawyer could help reduce the percentage of fault assigned to you. Thus, understanding the nuances of fault and how they apply to your specific case is crucial.

Myth 5: Going to Court is Inevitable in Personal Injury Claims

Another myth about personal injury claims is that they inevitably end up in court. This can scare people off from pursuing the compensation they need. However, the reality is that most personal injury cases are settled out of court.

In fact, both parties involved in a personal injury claim generally prefer to avoid the uncertainty and expenses of a trial. Court trials are costly and time-consuming for everyone involved, including the defendant and their insurance company. As a result, most people and insurance companies prefer to reach a settlement through negotiation.

Even if negotiations don’t proceed swimmingly, there are more options you can use before going to court like mediation or arbitration. These options are less formal than a court trial and can provide a more efficient way to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Of course, you can’t always avoid going to trial, and being prepared to do so can be a strategic advantage in negotiations. Demonstrating this readiness to the insurance company shows that you’re serious about your claim and are prepared to fight for fair compensation.

Fact: Ponce Law Is Here to Help You Through Your Personal Injury Claim

Whether you’re dealing with a minor injury or facing a more complex scenario involving comparative negligence, Ponce Law is ready to advocate on your behalf. Our goal is to simplify the legal process for you, negotiate effectively with insurance companies, and avoid unnecessary court proceedings whenever possible. However, should your case require litigation, our attorneys are prepared to represent your interests in court.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, don’t let common myths about personal injury claims prevent you from taking action. Contact Ponce Law for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate the path to justice and compensation.

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