Your parents, friends, and co-workers have often thought they were being helpful in sharing information on what happens after a car accident. Unfortunately, most of this information is incorrect: it is common for us to correct clients and set up the proper expectations for what really happens during these traumatic incidents. Here are the top 5 car accident myths and misconceptions we’ve heard over the years.
“You can file a claim yourself successfully.”
Well, this is technically true, but it actually turns into a myth in practice. You can file an injury claim yourself, but it’s likely to take so much more time, money, and effort than you initially think.
“All that matters is who the police say was at fault.”
If you are in a car accident, you should call police so they can help anyone who is injured and create an accident report. A police officer may say who is to blame and give that driver a ticket, but many times juries in civil trials are not allowed to hear about tickets or who the police think is at fault. The rules of evidence only allow certain information to get to the jury, and that is one reason hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is important.
“You can get compensation without the help of an attorney.”
The next myth that we’ll address is that you can recover fair compensation without hiring an attorney. The reality is that you can recover compensation on your own, but it is not likely to be fair or adequate to cover all of your damages. Studies show that injured victims who work with an attorney recover 3.5 times the compensation of those who don’t. Further, the insurance company will have an attorney that will be doing his best to disprove or minimize the value of your claim.
“All lawyers charge the same fees in injury cases.”
Personal injury cases are paid for by contingency fees. What this means is that a personal injury lawyer won’t charge you any fees upfront. All lawyer’s fees come out of your settlement amount if you win your case. If you don’t win your case, many lawyers will not require a payment to be made. At Sunset West Legal Group, if your case doesn’t succeed, you don’t owe us anything.
“Settlements are determined by a standard formula.”
If you spend a little time browsing the websites of other lawyers, you’ll run into many sites that offer settlement value calculators and tools. These have no value. There is no true way to determine a settlement amount before a lawyer is able to fully investigate your case.
Still thinking twice about what next steps to take after your accident? We’re here to help.