It could be said that personal injury is one area of the law that is riddled with myths and misconceptions. When it comes to pursuing a personal injury claim, after being injured through the negligence of someone else, there are a few myths that need to be debunked. Your Joplin personal injury attorney is here to dispel the worst of these myths.
Myth #1: You don’t need a Joplin personal injury attorney
One of the worst myths in the area of personal injury is that you don’t need a personal injury attorney. Many people believe that all they have to do, after being involved in an accident, for example, is contact the insurance company. After all, that’s why we all have insurance, right?
While this may seem logical, it is important to know that the goal of most insurance companies generally is to pay as little as possible. If you attempt to settle your claims with the insurance company yourself, without the assistance of a Joplin personal injury attorney, you may jeopardize your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Settling with an insurance company
The majority of personal injury cases involve some form of insurance coverage. In many cases, the insurance company will offer a settlement early on, after the claim has been filed. The purpose of insurance is to pay out in situations where a legal claim could be made. Insurance companies have the money to pay out to resolve claims. In fact, they expect to pay out on many claims. Settling is often preferred when insurance companies are involved because, by settling, they can control the costs, including legal fees, and they don’t have to deal with a jury.
Myth #2: It will require substantial time in court to obtain compensation for your injuries
In many cases, personal injury victims are hesitant to pursue their claims because of the time, expense and stress that doing so will cost them. However, the reality is that the vast majority of personal injury cases, handled by a Joplin personal injury attorney, have to go to trial. If you have an experienced attorney handling your case, you may be able to settle your case before trial. Even if that does not happen, your attorney will be able to navigate the litigation process to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
Settling a Personal Injury Claim
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, there are basically two ways to receive compensation for that injury. You can either settle the case out of court or obtain a judgment from the court. Although a jury verdict in a civil lawsuit would likely result in a larger recovery, jury verdicts are never guaranteed. Indeed, most personal injury cases settle before trial.
When does settlement usually occur?
Generally speaking, settlement will occur when either the insurance carrier or the defendant makes an offer of payment, before liability has been proven. The offer of settlement can occur before the lawsuit is filed. It can also be made after the lawsuit has been filed, but before the case goes to trial. A settlement can occur virtually at any point before a jury verdict, or before the court enters an order dismissing the case. In some cases, a settlement can be reached while the jury is deliberating.
Myth #3: It will take years for you to be compensated
Every case is different, which means your Joplin personal injury attorney cannot guarantee how long it will to take to pursue your case. However, a typical personal injury claim can be resolved in about a year. Other cases that are more complicated or involve more difficult legal issues may take a bit longer. The amount of time it may take to resolve your case will depend on so many factors, but it is safe to say that every case does not take years to complete.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
Most people who have been involved in a personal injury case agree that resolving the matter can never come too soon. That is understandable, as the disruption that a legal case will cause in the lives of everyone involved can be very unwelcome. The sooner you are able to get back to life as usual, the better. How long that will take depends on several factors, none of which can be predicted with great certainty. However, your personal injury lawyer in Rogers can familiarize you with the normal timeline for certain types of claims.
If you have questions regarding personal injury myths, or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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